Most e-Bike laws and regulations are similar all over the world with a few differences. Post the specifics in you area if you wish.
I'll get things started;
Effective October 3, 2006, the Province of Ontario began a three-year pilot project to evaluate the use of power-assisted bicycles (also known as electric bikes or e-bikes) on roads and highways where conventional bicycles are currently allowed. The pilot is opened to all Ontarians 16 years of age and older and will run for three years. For the duration of the pilot, electric bicycles will be treated as bicycles and must follow the same rules of the road as set out in the Highway Traffic Act that currently apply to cyclists.
There are two exceptions:
- Operators must be 16 years of age or older, and
- All operators must wear an approved bicycle helmet at all times.
THIS VEHICLE IS A POWER
ASSISTED BICYCLE AND
MEETS ALL THE
SECTION 2(1) OF THE
CANADA MOTOR VEHICLE
CE VÉHICULE EST UNE BICYCLETTE
ASSISTÉE ET RECONTRE LA NORME 2(1)
DU RÈGLEMENT SUR LA SÉCURITÉ
DES VÉHICULES AUTOMOBILES DU CANADA.
During the pilot:
An e-bike is a bike that:
- No driver's licence is required,
- No written test is required,
- No vehicle registration or plate required,
- No requirement for motor vehicle liability insurance.
The power-assisted bicycle pilot is authorized by Ontario Regulation 473/06. In this regulation, the legal definition of an e-bike refers to the federal definition of a power-assisted bicycle. For the full definition, please see subsection 2(1) of the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations under the Motor Vehicle Safety Act.
- has steering handlebars and is equipped with pedals;
- is designed to be propelled primarily by muscular power and to travel on not more than three wheels;
- has a motor that has a power output rating of 500W or less. (Note: the motor is electric, and is incapable of propelling the cycle at speed of 32km/h or greater on level ground, without pedaling.)
Bike vs. e-Bike clarification in Ontario
An e-Bike is considered as a Bicycle under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (HTA). As such it enjoys the same privileges and restrictions as a normal bicycle. Despite the presence of an electric motor on an e-Bike it's important to understand that an e-Bike is not considered as a Motor Vehicle but is simply a Vehicle.
So what does that mean? Well, since it's a bike, you can't ride it on a freeway (400 series highway). And since it's a bike it can also be ridden on bike paths, trails, multi-use paths unless there's a municipal bylaw that specifically prevents you from doing so. If you see a sign at the entrance of a park that says "no motor vehicles allowed", just remember, your eBike isn't a Motor Vehicle.