After many years of discussion about increasing ago the wattage available to power-assisted bikes, in May 2012 this was increased to 250 watts. Now, Victorian laws have been changed to enable European style, power-assisted ‘Pedalecs’ to be classified as bicycles, rather than motor-bikes.
The Victorian Minister for Transport Terry Mulder says:
“The change in law means that a Pedalec can be used without the need for registration or licensing.
The European Pedalec operates with a maximum of 250 watts, with a safeguard allowing the power assistance to kick in only when the bicycle is travelling at less than 25km/h and the rider is pedalling.
This means the Pedalecs are safe to be used in a cycling environment, while at the same time allowing riders to travel further and ride with less effort.
They will also provide some options for older bike riders, or those who may not be as fit as they once were but still want to use pedal power.
Other types of power-assisted cycles with auxiliary motor power that exceeds 200 watts are classified as motorcycles, and therefore must comply with registration and licensing laws. This new definition – allowing the use of Pedalecs – is in response to changes in technology and a growing demand for low-powered, efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles.
The uptake of Pedalecs will have an environmental benefit to the community, with drivers being given the opportunity to substitute car travel for Pedalec travel.”
Great – now what about Segways asks Jon Faine!