Are you looking for a fun, unique way of getting around your town or city in Alberta? Then it may be the perfect time to consider trying out an electric bike, like a power bicycle or moped. Electric bikes are pretty commonplace across Canada; however, they’ve been growing in popularity in the province of Alberta over the past number of years.
But, just like traditional motor vehicles, like cars, trucks and motorcycles, there are several Alberta electric bike laws that cyclists need to respect and follow.
Continue reading to learn more about the electric bike and electric scooter laws Alberta has in place for riders.
What is an electric bike?
According to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (Canada), an electric bike or power bicycle is “a vehicle that is a power‑assisted bicycle”. This is a little bit vague, so let’s dive a bit deeper.
On July 1, 2009, the Alberta government officially fine-tuned the powered bicycle and moped definitions.
A powered bicycle is a bicycle that features an electric motor with a 500-watt maximum power capacity and has a top speed of no more than 32 km per hour.
The operating requirements for powered bicycles in Alberta are as follows:
- The driver needs a motorcycle helmet
- The passenger or passengers need a motorcycle helmet
- The driver is the age of 12 (or older)
Please note that you do not need a valid driver’s license, insurance or registration to operate a powered bicycle in Alberta.
Bonus — Want to learn how to register your motor vehicle in Alberta? Click here!
A moped is a specific type of motor vehicle that features an electric motor or is propelled by an engine (said engine can’t have a displacement of more than 50 cubic cm). Additionally, to qualify as a moped, the vehicle must have a maximum speed of 70 km per hour and have a minimum seat height of 650 mm.
The operating requirements for mopeds in Alberta are as follows:
- The driver needs a motorcycle helmet
- Passenger or passengers need a motorcycle helmet
- The driver is the age of 14 (or older)
- The driver has valid insurance and registration
- The driver has a minimum Class 7 driver’s license
Why did the government of Alberta change the definitions for powered bicycle and moped?
The Alberta government made these changes because they wanted to be less restrictive and be more in line with the national regulations. Doing this also eliminates confusion during the powered bicycle or moped-buying process, as buyers know exactly what they need.
E bike laws Alberta riders need to follow on the road
There are so many rules and regulations regarding electric bikes laws Alberta riders need to follow that it’s practically impossible to list all of them in a single blog. So, we’ve picked out some of the most important rules that you need to follow.
According to the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII), a cyclist may not:
“…operate the motorcycle, moped or power bicycle on a highway unless all the lamps that the vehicle is required to be equipped with are alight.”
This means that riders need to use all necessary lights while riding on a highway in Alberta.
To avoid issues, we suggest checking the status of your lights before hitting the road on your powered bicycle.
Passenger restrictions for young operators
As mentioned earlier, cyclists need to be at least 12 years old to operate a powered bike and at least 14 years old to operate a moped. However, this doesn’t mean that young operators can instantly drive with passengers.
In Alberta, drivers under the age of 16 may not operate a powered bicycle or moped if they have a passenger or passengers.
Cyclists operating an electric bike in Alberta are not allowed to use their horn unless they are in the following situations:
i) “Except for the purposes of giving notice to other persons that are on or approaching a highway or within the vicinity of the vehicle”.
ii) “So that it makes more noise than is reasonably necessary to give notice to other persons that are on or approaching a highway or within the vicinity of the vehicle.”
In layman’s terms, cyclists can only use their horns if they need to let another driver know that they are nearby (as a general safety precaution). You cannot use your horn to cause a disturbance or to distract other motorists on the road.
Do you need insurance for a powered bicycle or moped in Alberta?
As mentioned earlier, you do not need to get insurance for powered bicycles, but you do need to have valid insurance for a moped in Alberta.
Even though they are commonly referred to as e bikes, mopeds are technically classified as a type of motor vehicle. Because of this classification, you need to register and insure your moped before using it on the road.
If you want to insure your moped, you’ll need to reach out to your licensed insurance advisor about motorcycle insurance.
Surex can help you find the right insurance for your moped in Alberta
Do you need a hand finding insurance for your moped? Surex is here to help.
At Surex, we know a thing or two about finding insurance in Alberta, whether it be for your home, car, or even your moped! So, if you have any questions or concerns about your current insurance policy or are unsure how to go about finding coverage for your moped, we’ve got you covered.
Not to mention, we do things a little bit differently — instead of matching you with an advisor (our preferred term for insurance broker) in a first-come-first-serve manner, we permanently match you with your own personalized advisor.
So, what are you waiting for? Call or click today to receive a collection of insurance quotes for your moped in ten minutes or less!
Do you have unanswered questions about electric bike laws Alberta?
Few things are more entertaining than zipping around your town or city on a powered bike or moped. But, before you strap on your motorcycle helmet and hit the road, make sure that you understand all of the rules and requirements related to powered bike usage in Alberta.
If you have unanswered questions about finding insurance for your moped, don’t hesitate to start a conversation with one of our licensed advisors today.