Modes of Transportation

On an Electric Bike

Electric bikes do not need to be registered. However, the Highway Safety Code sets out specific rules regarding their use, including the obligation to wear a helmet.

What is an electric bike?

Electric bikes, or e-bikes, officially called “power-assisted cycles,” are equipped with:

  • an electric motor (but not a gasoline motor) of 500 watts or less and a rechargeable battery. When the electric motor is not being used, the bike must allow the rider to pedal as though on a regular bike
  • handlebars and pedals
  • 2 or 3 wheels that touch the ground

The Highway Safety Code sets out specific rules that apply to those who operate electric bikes, including the obligation to wear a bike helmet.

Wearing a helmet that meets standards is mandatory

The helmet must be made of a rigid shell with a padded interior and be equipped with a chin strap.

To be compliant, your helmet must meet one or more of the following standards:

  • CAN/CSA-D113.2 (Canadian Standards Association)
  • 16 CFR Part 1203 (U. S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
  • ASTM F1447 or ASTM F1898 (American Society for Testing and Materials)
  • EN 1078 (European Committee for Standardization)
  • B-90 and B-95 (Snell Memorial Foundation)

In addition to being illegal, a helmet that does not meet one of these standards could fail to give you adequate protection.

Electric bikes and helmets: you could be fined!

If you do not comply with the rules set out in the Highway Safety Code, you could be fined between $60 and $100.

Adjusting your helmet

Head injuries can be fatal. Make sure you adjust your helmet properly.

Electric bike accessories

Electric bike accessories must comply with the Automobile Insurance Act and the Highway Safety Code, particularly with respect to reflectors.

Electric bikes must bear the label affixed by the manufacturer.

Riding an electric bike on public roadways

  • You must obey the rules that apply to all cyclists, including the Highway Safety Code and the obligation to wear a helmet.
  • You must adopt safe practices, including riding at a safe and reasonable speed.
  • You may cycle on all public roadways, except on highways and their access and exit ramps.
  • You do not need to register an electric bike.

In the event of an accident

Injuries sustained in an accident involving an electric bike (or a motor-equipped bicycle or tricycle) are not covered by the public automobile insurance plan, unless the accident involves a moving vehicle that is covered by the plan.

Minimum age for riding an electric bike

You must be aged 18 or older to ride an electric bike.

However, people aged 14 to 17 who hold a Class 6D (moped or motorized scooter) licence are also authorized to ride an electric bike.

Bikes equipped with combustion engines are prohibited

Operating a bicycle equipped with a combustion engine (such as a gasoline engine) on the road network or on bikeways is prohibited.

Adding such an engine converts the bicycle into a hand-crafted moped or scooterA 2- or 3-wheel passenger vehicle equipped with an electric motor or a gasoline-powered engine with a cylinder capacity of no more than 50 cc and an automatic transmission. or into a hand-crafted motorcyclePassenger vehicle, other than a power-assisted bicycle, having two or three wheels that has at least one characteristic different from the characteristics of a moped..

The Highway Safety Code prohibits such conversions.

Differences Between Electric Bikes and Electric Mopeds

There may be some confusion between electric mopeds and electric bikes.

They have a similar appearance, especially when the removable pedals are taken off an electric bike. However, electric mopeds must be registered, whereas electric bikes do not need to be.

Electric bikes

  • Maximum power is 500 W.
  • Maximum speed is 32 km/h.
  • They bear a specific compliance label.
  • They do not have to bear a 17-character decodable serial number in compliance with Transport Canada Standard 115.
  • They cannot be registered.
  • Wearing a bike helmet is mandatory.

Electric mopeds

  • Maximum power is unlimited.
  • Maximum speed is 70 km/h.
  • They must bear a Transport Canada compliance label.
  • They must bear a 17-character decodable serial number in compliance with Transport Canada Standard 115.
  • They must be registered.
  • Wearing a motorcycle helmet is mandatory.


Last update: September  7, 2022