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Victorians get the power to pedal

Victorian Minister for Roads Terry Mulder gives a Pedalec a spin.  

 

Victorian Government Media Release

Victorians are the first bike riders in Australia to get access to a new type of pedal power Minister for Roads Terry Mulder announced today.

The Victorian laws have been changed to enable European style, power-assisted ‘Pedalecs’ to be classified as bicycles, rather than motor-bikes.

“The change in law means that a Pedalec can be used without the need for registration or licensing,” Mr Mulder said.

The European Pedalec operates with a maximum of 250 watts, with a safeguard allowing the power assistance to kick in only when the bicycle is travelling at less than 25km/h and the rider is pedalling.

This means the Pedalecs are safe to be used in a cycling environment, while at the same time allowing riders to travel further and ride with less effort.

“We’re hoping this will encourage more Victorians to take up bike riding as a healthy and sustainable alternative to the car,” Mr Mulder said.

“They will also provide some options for older bike riders, or those who may not be as fit as they once were but still want to use pedal power.”

Other types of power-assisted cycles with auxiliary motor power that exceeds 200 watts are classified as motorcycles, and therefore must comply with registration and licensing laws. This new definition – allowing the use of Pedalecs – is in response to changes in technology and a growing demand for low-powered, efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicles.

“The uptake of Pedalecs will have an environmental benefit to the community, with drivers being given the opportunity to substitute car travel for Pedalec travel,” Mr Mulder said.

VicRoads Manager of Vehicle Safety and Policy Ross McArthur supported the change as a safe way of encouraging sustainable travel.

“Victorians should consider the use of a Pedalec as a safe alternative mode of transport – a Pedelec is fun, efficient and convenient.

“However, riders need to remember to adhere to bicycle road rules, such as wearing a bicycle helmet which meets the Australian Standard and riding in a bicycle lane if there is one on the road,” Mr McArthur said. 

Cycling grew across Melbourne by 53 per cent between 2005 and 2011.

The Coalition Government will spend approximately $22.5 million on infrastructure and other bike projects in 2012/13.

For more information about Pedalecs please see www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Pedalecs and for more information on bike rider road rules please see www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/bicycles.

 

Media release from Bicycle Industries Australia 

Victoria leads the way on electric bikes.

Bicycle Industries Australia (BIA) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Minister for Transport that Victoria will be the first state or territory in Australia to allow a greater range of electric bicycles to be ridden on public roads.

The Australian Government expanded the design rules in May this year, requiring states to change local road laws to allow their use on public roads.

The new bicycles, or ‘pedalecs’ will meet European standards and have an increased maximum power of 250watts with the motor limited to a speed of 25km/h. The bicycles are power assisted which means the rider must be pedalling for the motor to go.

The Australian Bicycle Industry has applauded the commitment of the Victorian Government to adopt the new design rules to make ‘Pedalecs’ legal on the road.

David Cramer, chairman of Bicycle Industries Australia said the change to the road laws will promote greater use of electric bikes and introduce a whole new audience to riding.

‘The growth of e-bikes across the globe has been rapid, but less so in Australia,’ said Mr Cramer.

“The addition of the additional range will open our market to an enormous range of new and innovative e-bikes currently produced for the European market and provide more choice for people looking for ways of building physical activity into their daily lives.

’The new range will be attractive to those who would like some level of assistance, whether that’s because of age, injury, fitness or those who just don’t want to get too hot on their ride to work.

 ‘When people are looking to save money, get out of the traffic and improve their health, these bikes will provide a very real alternative to driving a car.’

‘The expected increase in people riding will provide many community benefits, through individual health gains, independent mobility, cost savings from reduced transport costs, and congestion, increased trip time reliability and less impact on the environment,’ said Cramer

As well as positive for the riders, the new changes are expected to be extremely positive for the industry, supporting the Australian shops through sales as well as for mechanics setting up the bikes up before the head out the door.

Main points:

  • these changes are an addition to the types of electric bicycles already allowed on Victorian roads
  • the bicycles will fulfil the needs of most users with a distance of 40km from battery life
  • power increase to 250W continuous rated power
  • ‘twist and go’ to 6kph allows easy take off from standing start
  • power assisted pedalling reduces loads over hills, in hot weather

-ends-

FAST FACTS Annual costs to the Australian Economy Congestion - $13 Billion annually (lost productivity) Physical Activity - $13.8 Billion Environment - $9.8 Billion (through private transport) 1,084,000 – number of bicycles sold last year in Australia

Dated - 18.09.2012

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