E-bikes and electric scooters
This factsheet contains legal information about using electric bicycles and electric scooters on roads or road-related areas. It is not legal advice. The legal information is current as at 22 February 2022.
Can I legally ride an electric bicycle?
Electric bicycles that meet certain standards may be used on road or road-related areas.
What type of electric bicycle is permitted to be used on roads?
Where an e-bike meets certain standards it may be used on road or road-related areas. These standards include that the e-bike:
- can be propelled primarily by the rider;
- cannot be propelled exclusively by the motor;
- has restrictions on the power output of its motor (the power output cuts off when the e-bike reaches a speed of 25 km p/h or the power cuts off when you stop pedalling and the speed is above 6 km p/h).
Generally, the motor can assist the rider, for example when going uphill or riding into a headwind, however, the e-bike should not be designed to be propelled only by the motor. There are also other rules that apply such as the maximum power output of the motor and the weight of the e-bike.
What other rules apply to the use of bicycles?
The rules that apply to bicycles also apply to electric bicycles. These include:
- the need to wear a helmet, unless exempt from doing so;
- having a reflector and lights if the bicycle is being used at night or in poor visibility;
- having a working bell; and
- abiding by road rules.
Can I legally use an electric scooter?
It is illegal to use an electric scooter on a road or road-related area. Electric scooters should only be used on private property.
What if I use an illegal electric scooter or electric bicycle anyway?
Should you use an illegal e-scooter or e-bike on a road or road-related area you will have committed a number of offences. Police may issue penalty notices for:
- failing to wear an approved helmet;
- driving unlicensed;
- driving an unregistered motor vehicle;
- driving an uninsured motor vehicle; and
- driving a vehicle with tax not paid
Some of the offences may also attract demerit points. The Police may also require you to attend court by issuing you a court attendance notice.
What if I wasn’t aware of the rules?
You can still be guilty of an offence even if you did not know that you were using an illegal bicycle or scooter. When buying an electric bicycle, always obtain written confirmation from the shop that the bicycle is legal.