ACT Minister for Environment and Sustainable Development Simon Corbell tries out an electric bicycle in Braddon. Photo: Graham Tidy
Higher-powered electric bicycles could be allowed on Canberra’s roads and cycle paths, with an amendment set to be introduced to the Assembly on Thursday.
Attorney-General Simon Corbell is pushing to bring Canberra into line with the European standards, which would increase the power of bicycles from the current 200 watt limit to a maximum continuous power rating of 250 watts.
The change is part of a national agreement across jurisdictions to allow the import, sale and use of European-style electric bikes.
Mr Corbell said the European-style bicycles, pedelecs, allow better performance on hills and extended range on journeys, but also had additional safety and design requirements.
Riders will still be required to adhere to bicycle road rules, including wearing an approved helmet.
Pedelecs have a motor that requires riders to continue pedalling in order for the motor to be activated, with power to the motor cut once the bike reaches 25km/h.
“Canberra has the highest level of cycling in any capital city with many already choosing to get on their bike to travel to and from work or for leisure, however, the ACT Government is working hard on policies and law changes that will make it easier for people to get around our city on a bike,” Mr Corbell said.
“Electric bicycles are an increasingly popular choice for people who travel longer distances, are ageing or suffer from physical injury.
“I am hopeful that this legislation will receive the support of the Assembly, and in turn empower Canberrans to make more sustainable and cost effective transport choices.”