What are the Different eBike Classes

Electric (e-bikes) bikes, are becoming increasingly popular in Australia. As you explore the world of eBikes, you’ll likely come across classifications or ‘classes’ of these bikes. These classes are significant as they indicate the capabilities of the eBike and determine where they can be legally ridden.  Some bikes you see ridden around town may not be legal, best you under the classes and attributes of each.

Class 1: Pedal-assist eBikes

The Class 1 eBikes are also known as ‘pedelecs’. These bikes are equipped with an electric drive system that can only be activated through a pedalling action. In Australia, these eBikes cannot provide assistance when the bike reaches 25 km/h or more. This means that once you hit the 25 km/h limit, you must rely solely on pedalling, like a traditional bike. The power output of the motor for a Class 1 eBike in Australia is capped at 250 watts, according to the Australian Design Rules for Motor Vehicles.

Class 2: Throttle-assist eBikes

Class 2 eBikes, also known as ‘throttle on command’, can easily be associated with traditional scooters. Equipped with a motor that can propel the bike without pedalling, these bikes function through throttle use. Just like the Class 1 eBikes, Class 2 eBikes motor assistance is capped at 25 km/h and their power output is limited to 250 watts. This class is not eligible to be used on public roads in some Australian states due to the inclusion of the throttle.

Class 3: Speed Pedelecs

Class 3 eBikes, commonly known as ‘speed pedelecs’, can provide motor assistance up to a speed of 45 km/h. Unfortunately, these are not legally permitted in Australia. Often, they are considered in the same vein as mopeds and often necessitate a special licence, registration and insurance to operate on public roads in other countries.

ClassActivationSpeed LimitMotor Power
1Pedal-assist25 km/h Up to 250 W
2Throttle-assist25 km/h Up to 250 W
3Pedal-assist45 km/hNot permitted in Australia