Transport Canada Introduces Regulations on Electric Bicycles

Aamendment creates a definition specifically for power-assisted bicycles and applies separate technical and safety requirements from motorcycles.

Published: 12-Apr-2001

OTTAWA — Transport Minister David Collenette today announced an amendment to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations to allow the introduction of power-assisted bicycles in Canada. Power-assisted bicycles are electric bicycles propelled by either a combination of the cyclist and a motor or by the motor alone.

"Transport Canada is committed to helping Canadians find innovative ways to meet their transportation needs while at the same time protecting the environment," said Mr. Collenette. "This alternative mode of transportation has the potential to reduce traffic congestion and the resulting green house gas emissions."

Prior to the amendment, power-assisted bicycles were classified as limited-speed motorcycles. However, they did not meet the safety standards applicable to that type of vehicle, including requirements for lighting, mirrors, horns and fuel controls, and were therefore not for sale in Canada. The amendment to the regulation creates a definition specifically for power-assisted bicycles and applies separate technical and safety requirements.

During the summer of 2000, Transport Canada participated in a study conducted by the Centre d'éxperimentation des vehicles électriques du Québec to assess electric bicycles. Vehicle manufacturers, importers, public safety organizations, government officials and stakeholders were also consulted on the amendment and their comments were considered during its preparation.

"This amendment allows the provinces and territories to adopt this definition and introduce these bicycles," added Mr. Collenette.

As with any other vehicle, provinces and territories apply their own requirements to areas such as licensing and registration. Consumers interested in determining whether power-assisted bicycles can be used in their province or territory should contact their Ministry of Transportation.

Contact: Karyn Curtis, Communications, Ottawa, (613) 990-6770

Transport Canada is online at

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