Electric bike rules in Australia can be somewhat bewildering and it does differ from state to state but in the words of Vic Roads:
Power assisted bicycles are likely to have similar performance characteristics to pedal powered bicycles so the same road rules apply. These types of power assisted bicycles are not required to be registered nor the rider required to be licensed.
This makes sense really, so if it behaves like a bicycle and you can pedal it as long as the motor output is within certain limits it is still a bicycle except it has an auxiliary motor. Power assisted bicycles have two definitions in Victoria:
- A bicycle with one or more auxiliary motors attached which has a combined maximum ungoverned continuous rated power output not exceeding 200 watts.
- An electrically power-assisted cycle (EPAC). These are pedal cycles with an electric motor that has a maximum continued rated power of 250 watts. The power-assistance progressively reduces as the speed increases and cuts off once a top speed of 25 kilometres per hour is reached. EPACs require the rider to pedal to access the power.
Power assisted bicycles that meet the above definition are allowed to be ridden in Victoria as they are classed as bicycles.
The Ebike Standards
Currently in Australia all E-Bikes (or more accurately Pedelecs or EPAC’s) need to comply with the standard EN15194:2017.
This standard has been around for a few years now, and it is also common throughout Europe and other areas, and covers both the electrical systems on the bike, as well as the mechanical components.
Given that Pedelecs are typically heavier than “normal” bicycles and are put through more stress due to additional power, and stopping forces the EN15194:2017 standard was introduced to include testing standards for the entire bike, not just the motor component as the previous EN15194:2009 covered.