Alberta, Canada — New regulations as of July 1, 2009 will allow people to ride power-assisted bicycles without needing a licence, insurance or registration. Riders will have to wear a helmet that is approved by the Department of Transportation.
Originally, because eBikes weighted 40 kilograms, they were too heavy to qualify as non-licensed bicycles.
The bikes had no problem in the rest of Canada, but in Alberta, any vehicle that weighed more than 35 kilograms and traveled faster than 35 kilometers per hour was considered a moped. And moped riders had to be licensed. Unlicensed e-bike owners were fined.
These regulations added about $1,000 to the cost of the eBike, which are imported from China. The bikes sell for between $1,899 and $2,600.
Alberta’s new regulations stipulate power or power-assisted bicycles have a top speed of 32 km/h and an electric motor with a maximum power of 500 watts. Weight is not restricted, no driver’s license is required and the minimum driving age is 12. No insurance or registration is needed but a motorcycle helmet is required.
eBikes take between two and four hours to charge and can be charged every day at a cost of five or 10 cents.