What is a Power-Assisted Bicycle?
On PEI, a power-assist bicycle is defined as a pedal-driven bicycle of conventional exposed fork-and-frame bicycle design and appearance with an integrated electric motor used to assist propulsion. Power-assist bicycles are also called electric bikes or e-bikes.
On PEI, power-assist bicycles must have:
- steering handlebars;
- two or three wheels that touch the ground;
- functioning pedals;
- an electric motor (but not a gasoline motor) of 500 Watts or less;
- a maximum speed of 32 km/h;
- a maximum weight of 120 kg;
- wheels with a diameter not less than 406.4 mm; and,
- a label permanently affixed from the manufacturer in both official languages stating that the device is a power-assisted bicycle and adheres to provincial legislation.
On PEI, power-assist bicycles must be equipped with:
- a mounted integral head lamp and tail lamp;
- reflex reflectors;
- brakes on all wheels or on each axle;
- an operable bell or horn; and,
- a mechanism separate from the accelerator controller that allows the operator to turn the motor on and off while operating the bicycle or prevents the motor form turning on or off before the device attains a speed of 3 km/hr.
What is required to operate a Power-Assist Bicycle?
To operate a power-assisted bicycle, you need to:
- be 16 years of age or older;
- wear a properly fitted bicycle helmet with a chin strap; and,
- keep the power-assisted bicycle in good working order; and,
- follow the same rules of the road as regular cyclists.
To be compliant, no person shall operate a power-assisted bicycle on a PEI highway unless that person is wearing a protective helmet approved for use by the Canada Standards Association, or the standards as specified in the Highway Traffic Act Bicycle Safety Helmet Regulations (EC329/03).
What is not required to operate a Power-Assist Bicycle?
- a driver's license;
- vehicle registration and insurance; or,
- license plate.
Where can I operate a Power-Assist Bicycle?
You can ride your power-assisted bicycle on most roads, trails, active transportation pathways and highways where conventional bikes are permitted, with some exceptions.
You cannot ride a power-assisted bicycle:
- on any highway where access to pedestrians or bicycles is prohibited under any Act, regulation or municipal bylaw;
- on municipal roads, including sidewalks, where bicycles are banned under municipal by-laws;
- on municipal roads, sidewalks, bike paths, bike trails or bike lanes where power-assisted bicycles are prohibited.
Allowed in a public park?
No, but can be authorized according to municipal bylaws.
Allowed on a sidewalk or walkway?
Allowed on natural or paved bike lanes?
Allowed on a highway?
Yes, but only if a bicycle lane is provided
On the shoulder of the highway if no bicycle lane is provided
As close to the edge of the roadway as possible if there is no bike lane or shoulder.
Allowed on non-motorized, natural surface trails (mountain bike trails)?
No, but can be authorized
Allowed on the Confederation Trail?
Yes, but only if operating a power-assisted bicycle between April 1 and November 30th of the same year.
MOTOR-ASSISTED BICYCLE AND LIMITED SPEED MOTORCYCLE (LSM)
|Description||Combines bicycle pedal power with electric motor assistance.||
Are low-powered motorcycles (LSM) such as mopeds and scooters. Mopeds rely on motor power and may be equipped with pedals. LSMs rely on motor power and are generally not equipped with bicycle-style pedals.
“Motorcycle-style e-bikes” and “scooter-style e-bikes” are not power-assisted bicycles.
|Considered a Motor Vehicle||No||Yes|
|Age Range||At least 16 years of age.||At least 16 years of age.|
Electric motor (500 watts or less) and bicycle-style pedals.
|Gas engine 50 cc or less
Electric motor less than 1,500 watts.
|Maximum Speed||32 km/h on level ground.||50 km/h on level ground.|
|Registration, License Plate and Insurance*||
None required.(*insurance may be available under a homeowner's policy)
Yes.An LSM / Moped must be registered and insured as a motor vehicle.
|Driver’s License||No driver's license is needed.||You must have a driver's license.|
|Class||None||Minimum: Class 8|
|Helmet||Must wear a bicycle helmet.||Must wear a motorcycle helmet.|
|Rules of the Road||
Subject to the same rights and duties as the driver of a motor vehicle, such as obeying all traffic lights and control devices.
|Subject to the same rights and duties of a motor vehicle, such as obeying all traffic lights and control devices.
|Confederation Trail||Yes (with conditions)||No|
|Active Transportation Pathway Access||Yes (with conditions)||No|
|Public Streets or Highways Access||Yes (with conditions)||Yes|
What safety requirements are in place for power-assisted bicycles?
To operate a power-assisted bicycle on Prince Edward Island’s public roads, Confederation Trail and Active Transportation Pathway the following vehicle safety and operator requirements are in place:
- Power-assisted Bicycles must not weigh more than 120 kg (weight of bike and battery).
- All operators must be at least 16 years of age.
- All operators must wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet.
- All electrical terminals must be completely covered.
- The minimum wheel diameter is 406.4 mm.
- No modifications to the motor to allow it to exceed a power output greater than 500W and a speed greater than 32 km/h.
The battery and motor must be securely fastened to the vehicle to prevent them from moving while the e-bike is operating.
Can I remove the pedals from my power-assisted bicycle?
No. If you remove the pedals from your power-assisted bicycle, it is no longer considered to be a power-assisted bicycle because it does not conform with the Highway Traffic Act Power-Assisted Bicycle Regulations definition of a power-assisted bicycle. Removing the pedals makes it an illegal vehicle. You could be ticketed for operating a motor vehicle without registration and insurance.
Can I modify my power-assisted bicycle so it can go faster than 32 km/h?
No. Modifying your power-assisted bicycle to increase its speed beyond 32 km/h will no longer qualify it as a power-assisted bicycle. . You may then face moped or limited-speed motorcycle licensing, registration and insurance requirements.
Can I operate a power-assisted bicycle if my driver’s license has been suspended?
No. If your license is suspended because of a conviction that has resulted in a driving prohibition under the Criminal Code of Canada, you cannot legally operate a power-assisted bicycle. If your license is suspended or cancelled under the Highway Traffic Act, or if you are otherwise disqualified or prohibited from operating a motor vehicle or obtaining a driver’s license under the Act, you cannot legally operate a power-assisted bicycle.
Can I carry passengers on my power-assisted bicycle?
Yes, with conditions. You can carry passengers on your power-assisted bicycle if it was manufactured to do so. If the passenger is a child, the child must be 6 years of age or under, wearing a properly fitted safety helmet, and riding on an approved seat designed to carry a child on a power-assisted bicycle. Passengers are not allowed on a bicycle designed for one person.
Can I tow a child-trailer with my power-assisted bicycle?
Yes, with conditions. The operator of a power-assisted bicycle may tow (a) a bicycle trailer designed for transporting passengers, including passengers who are children; (b) a cargo trailer designed to be hauled by a power-assisted bicycle; or (c) an electric motorized cargo trailer that, in combination with the electric motor of a power-assisted bicycle, has a total continuous power output rating of 500 watts or less.
What are the penalties for riding a power-assisted bicycle while impaired?
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, a power-assisted bicycle is classified as a motor vehicle, so penalties for impaired driving under the Criminal Code of Canada do apply.
Can municipalities pass by-laws prohibiting power-assisted bicycles?
Yes. Municipalities have the ability to prohibit where power-assisted bicycles may travel on roads, paths, trails and other property under their jurisdiction.
NOTE: The information provided is intended as a summary of rules related to Power-Assisted Bicycles. For exact wording please refer to the PEI Highway Traffic Act, the Off-Highway Vehicle Act, the Trails Act and their associated Regulations (www.gov.pe.ca) or go directly to the Statutes and Regulations page.