Safe Assisted Pedalling

22 January 2019

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 NSW Government standards for power assisted pedal cycles:

  • prohibit bicycles fitted with internal combustion engines
  • permit power-assisted pedal cycles with a maximum power output of 200 watts
  • permit power-assisted pedal cycles with a maximum power output of 250 watts (also called a ‘Pedalec’) that complies with European Standard EN 15194: 2009 or EN 15194:2009+A1:2009:

Vehicles that do not comply with these standards, and are unable to be registered as mopeds, are illegal on public roads and bike 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 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.