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E-bikes help more people to ride with heavier loads, up hills or over distances they would normally struggle with. Bicycle NSW is warning riders to avoid e-bikes that don’t meet the safety standards put in place to protect you.

The recent explosion of an e-bike in Adelaide is still under investigation, but rider Gary Ryan was lucky to escape without serious injury.  The exploding bike also ignited a fire that could have injured others had fire crews not been close.

The Transport for NSW e-bike requirements, which were updated in February 2023:

  • prohibit bicycles fitted with internal combustion engines.
  • permit power-assisted pedal cycles with a maximum power output of 200 watts.
  • permit electrically power-assisted cycles with a maximum power output of 500 watts.
    The power output must progressively reduce above 6km/h and cut off when 25km/h is reached.

Vehicles that do not comply with these standards, and are unable to be registered as mopeds, are illegal on NSW roads and road-related areas such as footpaths, shared paths, cycle ways and cycle paths.
Powered toys such as
foot scooters, hoverboards and electric skateboards can only be used on private land and not on footpaths, roads or bike paths.

Some people and some bicycle shops import non-compliant e-bikes, e-bike conversion kits or chips to override the speed limits of compliant e-bikes.  Riding these bikes on paths or roads in NSW is illegal and can lead to fines.

Additionally, excessive speeds, hot days, long hours of operation, demanding hills, batteries that don’t meet safety standards, and a lack of safety cut-out switches can lead to motors burning out or batteries exploding.  This could seriously hurt or kill riders.

“E-bikes offer a great way to get more people moving, but we don’t want to see riders hurt,” said General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.

“Whether it’s new, second-hand or converted, make sure your e-bike and its battery meets the NSW standards,” said Bastien.

Bicycle NSW warns people to avoid modifying or buying bikes or batteries that do not meet the safety standards.

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