ARE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS & BIKES LEGAL IN CANADA?
Updated: Jan 8
ARE ELECTRIC BIKES LEGAL IN BRITISH COLUMBIA?
In British Columbia, electric bikes are classified as vehicles electrically powered with a pedal-assisted system. In 2002, the British Columbia government adopted Section 1.2.1 of the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA). Therefore, becoming the first province in Canada to authorize the use of electric bikes on the highway legally. In British Columbia, e-bikes are classified into three (3) different classes and each class has different traffic rules distinguishing it from the other. The regulations state that those with Class 1 e-bikes can ride on any park trails where mountain bikes or other cycling is already allowed. However, those with Class 2 and 3 e-bikes can only ride on trails and roads designated for motorized vehicles. Also, Class 1 e-bikes are not considered motor vehicles under the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area (PCRA) regulations. These types of e-bikes have motors that are only put to work when the cyclist is pedalling at an output of 500 watts. However, the motors of Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are capable of providing partial or full assistance by a throttle. Furthermore, both classes are considered motorized vehicles under PCRA regulations. Also, electric bicycles must have fully operable pedals, which means the engine must disengage when the operator stops pedalling. However, they are allowed to have an accelerator controller. Additionally, to use your e-bike on the highway, neither a driver’s license, insurance, or vehicle registration is required. However, you must wear a bicycle helmet before riding on the road.
ARE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS LEGAL IN ALBERTA?
Cycling is a prevalent leisure activity, means of transportation, and competitive sport which has shown significant growth in Alberta. Under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, electric bikes are classified as vehicles. This means cyclists have many of the same rights and legal responsibilities as other highway users. However, there are provincial laws designed for your safety, regardless of where you ride in the province of Alberta.
According to the Alberta Traffic Act, you can ride an electric bike without a valid driver’s license. However, there is a specific speed limit you have to follow. Electric bike laws in Alberta also state that electric bikes must not go over a speed of 32mph.
The current Alberta Traffic Safety Act (TSA) provides regulations specific to cyclists on the road and how motorists interact with cyclists. Nevertheless, the TSA regulations are improving based on current best practices and evidence-based research on providing the safest environment. Also, the Alberta Cycling Coalition was formed through the partnership of several of Alberta’s top cycling organizations with the mandate to improve cycling safety in Alberta. As part of this mandate, the ACC has reviewed the TSA as it relates to cycling.
ARE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS LEGAL IN ONTARIO?
Electric bikes used to occupy the middle ground between bicycles and motor vehicles. However, in 2000, they were given their category by Canada’s prestigious Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations. Today, in Ontario, the Highway traffic act considers e-bikes to be completely different from other types of vehicles. They are separate and have their laws.
According to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, you can ride an electric bike without a valid driver’s license. However, there is a specific speed limit you have to follow. Electric bike laws in Ontario states that electric bikes must not go over a speed of 32mph. The Highway Traffic Act also states that electric bikes that have been derestricted to increase their speed limits are considered illegal.
In terms of safety, the Ontario highway traffic act state that all electrical terminals on an e-bike must be covered. This is done to reduce the risk of dangerous accidents. Usually, new electric bikes have this protective feature built in.
On the subject of specifications, the wheels of an electric bike must not be less than 35/350mm according to the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. This is the best way to make sure that these motorized bikes can withstand the rigours of use on selected roadways. Finally, riders must be able to provide a means of identification.
ARE ELECTRIC SCOOTERS LEGAL IN QUEBEC?
The rules for the use of an electric bike in the province of Quebec differ slightly. The rules for power ratings of less than 500 watts still stand. In Quebec, your e-bike can have up to three wheels. Although, it must be ridden while wearing a helmet in which the law states must be made entirely of a sturdy shell and a specially padded interior.
In Quebec, the law requests that all e-bikes must bear the original label imprinted by manufactures. Also, all extra accessories that are used have to comply with the Automobile Insurance Act and the Highway Safety Code. Electric bikes can be used on all roads except highways (including their exit and access ramps). You do not need to specially register an electric bike, although there are some restrictions on licensing. Riders over the age of 18 do not require any license. However, motorists between the age of 14-17 require a Class 6D license that bears authorization to operate a scooter, e-bike or moped. The minimum age for riders in Quebec is 14.
All riders have to follow regular road rules the same as other vehicle users. Additionally, the speed limit for e-bikes in Quebec is 32mph. This is one regulation that most of the provinces that allow the use of an e-bike on the municipal property has.