Riding an e-bike
What you need to know riding an electric bicycle in Ontario.
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A power-assisted bicycle, also called an electric bicycle or e-bike, is a bicycle with an electric motor that has:
- a handlebar for steering
- working pedals
- two or three wheels
- an electric motor
- braking systems
E-bikes must meet certain requirements to be legally operated on roads in Ontario. This includes weight and speed limits.
When riding an e-bike, you must:
- be 16 or older
- wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet
- keep your e-bike in good working order
- follow the same rules of the road as other cyclists
Where you can ride
You can ride your e-bike on most roads and highways where conventional bicycles are permitted, with some exceptions.
You cannot ride your e-bike on:
- certain provincial controlled access highways, such as the 400 series, the Queen Elizabeth Way, the Queensway in Ottawa or the Kitchener-Waterloo Expressway
- municipal roads, including sidewalks, where bicycles are banned under municipal bylaws
- municipal roads, sidewalks, bike paths, bike trails or bike lanes where e-bikes are prohibited
To operate an e-bike in Ontario, the e-bike must have:
- a maximum assisted speed of 32 km/h
- a maximum weight of 120 kg (includes the weight of the bike and battery)
- an electric motor not exceeding 500 watts
- no modifications to the motor to allow it to exceed a power output greater than 500 watts and an assisted speed greater than 32 km/h
- battery and electric motor securely fastened to the bicycle frame to prevent them from moving while the e-bike is operating
- all electrical terminals properly insulated
- minimum wheel width of 35 mm and minimum diameter of 350 mm
- two independent braking systems that applies force to each wheel and is capable of bringing the e-bike, while being operated at a speed of 30 km/h, to a full stop within 9 metres, on a level asphalt surface, from the point at which the brakes were applied
Removing the pedals makes the e-bike a motor vehicle, which requires a licence, insurance and registration to operate. It is also illegal to modify your e-bike's electric motor to make it more powerful or to increase the assisted speed of the bike.