Electric bicycle rules

An electric bicycle, also known as an e-bike, is a type of vehicle and can be assisted by power when riding.

You can ride an electric bike on all Queensland roads and paths, except where bicycles are prohibited. When riding, you have rights and responsibilities like all road users.

You must follow the bicycle road rules and obey the general road rules.

You don’t need a licence to ride an electric bike and they don’t need registration or compulsory third-party insurance.

Riding an electric bike

You propel an electric bike through pedalling with assistance from the motor. The motor is used to help you maintain speed while riding, and may be helpful when riding uphill or against the wind.

At speeds up to 6km/h, the electric motor can operate without you pedalling. The motor can help you when you first take off.

At speeds above 6km/h, you must pedal to keep the bicycle moving with the motor providing pedal-assist only.

When you reach a speed of 25km/h the motor must stop operating (cut out) and you need to pedal to stay above 25km/h like a bicycle.

Person riding an electric bike

Source of power

For an electric bike to be legally used on the road, it must have an electric motor and be one of the following:

  1. A bicycle with an electric motor or motors capable of generating no more than 200 watts of power in total, and the motor is pedal-assist only.
  2. A pedalec is a bicycle with an electric motor capable of generating up to 250 watts of power, but the motor cuts out at 25km/h and the pedals must be used to keep the motor operating. Pedalecs must comply with the European Standard for Power Assisted Pedal Cycles (EN15194) and must have a permanent marking on it that shows it complies with this standard.

Non-compliant electric bikes

Your motorised bike is non-compliant and can't be ridden on public roads or paths if it has any of the following:

  • a petrol-powered or internal combustion engine
  • an electric motor capable of generating over 200 watts (that isn't a pedalec)
  • an electric motor that is the primary source of power.

For example, if your bike has a petrol-powered engine attached before or after purchase, it is non-compliant. If your bike’s electric motor can help up to speeds in excess of 25km/h without cutting off, it is non-compliant. If your bike has non-functioning pedals that do not propel the bike, it is non-compliant. If you can twist a throttle and ride your bike using the bike’s motor power only, without using the pedals, it is non-compliant.

Non-compliant bikes may only be ridden on private property with no public access.

If a non-compliant bike is to be ridden legally on a road, it must comply with the Australian Design Rules requirements for a motorcycle and be registered.