Electric Bike & Electric Scooter Laws & Regulations in Canada

Owning an Electric Bike in Canada is easy. These vehicles are also known as power-assisted bicycles, electric scooters, e-bikes, and e-scooters, and the laws for them are very similar to a traditional bicycle. They require no license, plates, or insurance to own or operate. In Canada, Power Assisted Bicycles are classified under Federal law, and each province can make minor changes such as age requirements. Also, each municipality can make changes as to where they are permitted to be used.

We have put together a list below to some useful links to Federal, Provincial, and municipal government websites. Power Assisted Bicycles (electric bikes, electric scooters, e-bikes, and e-scooters) are encouraged by all levels of Government in Canada.

Overview of Electric Bike Laws in Canada

Electric bikes are accepted for use in eight provinces in Canada. These provinces include Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, and Saskatchewan. However, there are a number of regulations that are peculiar to all eight provinces. In Canada, Electric bikes are generally limited to an output of 500 W. Additionally; they are not allowed to travel at speeds higher than 32km/h.

Restrictions in the ages of drivers differ from province to province. Also, while some regions do not require a license to ride an e-bike, others require one. Another factor that is common to all provinces that allow the use of e-bikes in Canada is that every driver must wear an approved helmet to prevent accidents.

It is easy to procure an electric bike in Canada. Bicycles that are deemed to be power assisted can be exported and imported without any severe restrictions like those placed on cars and other vehicles. Although they are accepted for use in several provinces, their usage is still somewhat restricted. Depending on the province, electric bikes are not allowed on specific roads, paths, lanes as well as thoroughfares. This restriction is not due to a federal ruling. It usually depends on the stance of the local municipality towards e-bikes.

Province of Ontario – Frequently Asked Questions: Electric scooters, electric bicycles & e-bikes

The province of Ontario allows for the use of electric bikes. However, there are still a few questions that need to be answered concerning the legal ways to use them. They include:

What are the safety and weight requirements for an e-bike in Ontario?

To better safeguard riders, e-bikes have a weight limit of 120kg. Additionally, riders have to be at least 16 years old with all passengers wearing approved helmets. Finally, modifications that allow an e-bike to exceed speeds of 32km/h are not allowed.

Can I remove my electric bike’s pedals?

No. An electric bike without pedals is no longer accepted as an electric bike according to the Highway Traffic Act. This makes your bike illegal. You could be issued a ticket for using it on government property.

Can I use my e-bike if it weighs over 120kg?

Yes, you can still use your electric bike. However, it will no longer be considered an electric bike by law. You would have to obtain moped licensing, insurance, and registration requirements.

Can I ride an electric bike with a suspended license?

This depends on the reasons behind the suspension of your license. If your driver’s license is suspended due to a conviction that led to a driving prohibition, you can not ride an electric bike. However, if the circumstances behind your license been suspended are different, you can discuss with a licensed lawyer to examine your options.

Ontario Ministry of Transportation – Legalities of electric bicycles, electric scooters & e-bikes

Electric bikes are electricity powered bicycles that are made to look like conventional scooters or bicycles. However, there are many schools of thought as to what an electric bike constitutes. In Ontario, the legalities and the make-up of an electric bike are clearly defined.

In Ontario, a motorized bike is only considered to be an electric bike if it has:

  • Working pedals
  • Steering handlebars
  • A power output that is less than or equal to 500 Watts
  • Maximum speed levels of 32km/h
  • A weight of 120kg or less
  • A label designed by the manufacturer, stating that your electric bike conforms to federal definitions for a motorized bicycle

Additionally for riders:

  • You have to be 16 years or older
  • You always have to wear an approved helmet
  • You also have to obey the same road rules as other cyclists

Other essential legalities that you need to contend with include the fact that you can’t ride an electric bike:

  • On specific highways controlled by provincial authorities. Some of these highways include the Queensway, the Kitchener-Waterloo Expressway, and the Queen Elizabeth way.
  • On municipal sidewalks, roads, and paths where the use of bicycles is already banned by civil law.
  • On public sidewalks, roads, bike trails, and bike paths where the use of electric bikes has been prohibited.

For more info on frequently asked questions on electric bike usage in the province of Ontario, please visit:
Ministry of Transportation – Ontario: Frequently Asked Questions – Electric Bicycles

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