Do You Need a Permit to Ride an E-Bike in Melbourne?

Melbourne is considered one of the most walkable cities in Australia. It scored high, along with Brisbane’s central business district, in terms of proximity between community facilities, restaurants, entertainment, and shops. However, walking is not the best way to beat the traffic and still arrive on time at your office in the morning.

It is the reason why more and more young corporate professionals are buying an electric bike in Melbourne as their primary means of transportation between the home and office.

Electric bikes or e-bikes are standard bicycles fitted with a motor. It has grown in popularity in recent years, doubling in sales to 25,000-30,000 in 2017 compared to the previous year. They use e-bikes because they can still wear their corporate attire on their way to work and not arrive all sweaty when they arrive at the office.

But Melbournians are still wary about buying one because of the misconception that it is illegal. They are trying to avoid paying a fine if law enforcers flag them down and give them a ticket. So let’s check the facts:

What Does the Law Say on E-Bikes?

The 2012 Australian Vehicles Standards clarified the regulations covering e-bikes. They are legal as long as they are fitted with 250 watts of power with a maximum speed of 25 kilometres per hour. The rider should also be able to pedal the bike when necessary.

E-bikes are powered by a Li-ion battery, which can last for about two hours of unassisted riding. It also has multiple modes that can fully assist or give a little assistance to the rider.

Victoria Regulations

In the State of Victoria, e-bikes are classified as pedal-powered bikes because they exhibit similar performances. For instance, most cyclists can hit 20 kilometres per hour on a regular day, although performance bikes can hit more than 30 km/hr.

Victoria defines an e-bike or a pedelec according to the following classifications:

  • It should possess an auxiliary power that can produce a maximum of 250 watts.
  • The maximum speed should not exceed 25 kilometres per hour.
  • The rider should first pedal the bike to access the power.
  • For bikes with two motors, the combined pull should not exceed 200 watts of continuous power.

You do not need to register the electric bike in Melbourne, nor do you have to apply for a special license to ride one.

An e-bike is classified as a motorcycle if it features any of the following:

  • The rider does not have the ability to pedal if the motor is not functioning. It means that the motor does not provide auxiliary power.
  • The continuous power rate of the motor is 200 watts.

Buying an electric bike will help defray the cost of transport. If you already own a car, it will allow you to save on gas and avoid traffic at the same time. You also do not have to worry about finding a parking spot, which can be difficult in the central business district on a weekday. If you commute by bus, you can avoid the queue and the waiting time as an e-bike will enable you to go straight to the office from home. Finally, you are reducing pressure on the environment as e-bikes do not emit harmful gasses.

Author Bio: Ester Adams is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry.  She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.