After years of agitation for an increase in the power output for electric bikes, the Retail Cycle Traders Association RCTA has informed us that the Federal Government has just announced such changes, paving the way for a new range of electric bikes to be imported into Australia.
Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport, Catherine King, announced today that changes will allow for greater consumer choice while at the same time maintaining safety.
Changes to the standard mean that the allowable power output will increase from 200 to 250 watts giving a higher level of performance, while maintaining safety by restricting powered speed to 25 km/h.
Riders will be required to pedal to access the power or to reach greater speeds than 25 km/h.
The change will also mean new construction standards for batteries, cables and connections as well as other requirements such as braking performance and the strength of frames.
Catherine observed that:
“There is an increasing desire within the community for modern designs of power-assisted pedal cycles. This change in the Australian Design Rules will encourage modern electric bicycles as a healthy alternative to other means of transport..
With the National Cycling Strategy 2011-16 aiming to double the number of people riding by 2016, the Government is keen to work with the cycling community to implement reforms that promote healthy lifestyles.
In addition, existing designs of machines will continue to be allowed.
It’s important that this continues to be a national process that is supported by all governments.”
Catherine says the changes are an important first step towards an overall review by Austroads of alternative vehicles, which will also include mobility scooters. State and Territory authorities have worked constructively with the Commonwealth on the change.
The action was identified in Australia’s National Road Safety Strategy 2011-20.
Changes to state and territory road rules may be necessary to allow use of the new electric bicycles. People should contact their state road authorities to confirm local provisions.
The standard that has now been adopted is EN 15194.
For clarification you can contact Elaena Gardner, Australian Bicycle Council, Telephone: 02 9283 3389, Mobile: 0402 253 915, email
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