Are Electric Bikes Legal In Canada?

Pedego Moto Duel Sport Ebike in Canada

We still get lots of questions about whether it is legal to ride your electric bike in Canada. We wrote this article two years ago, and it remains a popular resource. It’s important to be aware of what the laws are before purchasing an electric bike. Some manufacturers aren’t as concerned about whether their ebikes are legal for buyers to ride. Rest assured, Pedego cares about providing a road-legal ebike!

In this update we still answer the question are electric bikes legal in Canada and explain the legislation each province has enacted around ebikes. Then we delve into the detail of local policies for use of electric bicycles on non-motorised and recreational trails.

Are Electric Bikes Legal In Canada?

Yes, electric bikes are legal in Canada. The laws are not overly restrictive, but it’s essential to be aware of the specific rules and terminology, as they can vary between provinces. Here are some key points regarding electric bikes in Canada:

Motor Specifications:

  • Electric bikes are limited to a maximum output of 500 watts.
  • They cannot travel faster than 32 kilometres per hour on motor power alone when riding on level ground.

Age Restrictions and Safety:

  • Age restrictions may vary across provinces.
  • All riders are required to wear an approved helmet.
  • Some versions of ebikes (especially those capable of operating without pedaling) may have additional requirements, such as driver’s licenses and specific age limits.
  • Vehicle licenses and liability insurance are not required for ebikes.
  • Generally, ebikes are considered vehicles similar to regular bicycles and follow the same rules of the road.

Federal Requirements:

Since 2000, Canada’s Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR) have defined Power Assisted Bicycles (PABs) as a separate category.

  • PABs are defined as two- or three-wheeled bicycles equipped with handlebars, operable pedals, an attached electric motor of 500W or less, and a maximum speed capability of 32 km/h from the motor over level ground.
  • A permanently affixed label from the manufacturer must state that the vehicle is a power-assisted bicycle.

That’s the easy answer to the question “are electric bikes legal in Canada?” But it gets more interesting because provinces and municipalities have the right to restrict power assisted bicycles from some roads, lanes, paths and thoroughfares. Therefore, in order to best understand are electric bikes legal in Canada, we need to look at provincial requirements and then municipal laws. *Please note we keep this list as up to date as possible.

British Columbia

Electric bikes are classified as “motor assisted cycles” in British Columbia. A Standard Ebike must have a 500W motor or less and a top speed of no more than 32 km/hr. It can have a throttle. Riders of standard electric bikes must be at least 16 years of age and wear a helmet. A Light Ebike must have a 250W motor or less, no throttle, and a top speed of no more than 25km/hr. A light ebike can be ridden by a 14-year-old.

Further to these rules, regulations state that a motor assisted cycle (e-bike) must have:

  • Fully operable pedals (or hand cranks) capable of propelling the cycle, including when the motor is engaged and providing assistance propelling the device
  • An electric motor of a certain maximum output and no combustion engine
  • Safety features that stop the motor from propelling the device in certain instances (e.g. when braking or when not pedaling or applying the throttle)
  • Motors and batteries that are securely fastened to the cycle (must have insulated and covered electrical terminals)
  • Two or three wheels (must be at least 350mm in diameter)
  • A braking system capable of quickly bringing the device to a stop

E-bike riders in BC are required to wear helmets while operating their electric bicycles. This applies to all age groups.


Ebikes are referred to by Alberta legislation as “power bicycles” and the laws around them are consistent with the federal definition of “power-assisted bicycle.”

  • A powered bicycle is an e-bike with an electric motor that has a maximum power capacity of 500 watts.
  • The e-bike’s top speed must not exceed 32 km/h (20 mph) on motor power alone when riding on level ground.

There are some additional operating requirements for powered bicycles in Alberta:

  • The driver must wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet.
  • A passenger is permitted only if the ebike is equipped with a seat designated for that passenger.
  • Passengers must also wear approved bicycle or motorcycle helmets.
  • The minimum age for the driver is 12 years or older.
  • No valid driver’s license, insurance, or vehicle registration is required to operate a powered bicycle in Alberta.


Here are the regulations for electric bikes in Ontario. For more details, you can visit the official Ontario government page on ebikes.

Motor Specifications:

  • Ebikes must have a maximum assisted speed of 32 km/h.
  • The electric motor must not exceed 500 watts.
  • No modifications to the motor are allowed to increase power output or speed.
  • The battery and electric motor must be securely fastened to the bicycle frame.
  • Removing the pedals would classify the ebike as a motor vehicle, requiring a license, insurance, and registration.

Weight Limit:

  • The ebike’s maximum weight, including the bike and battery, should not exceed 120 kg.

Safety Requirements:

  • Riders must be 16 years or older.
  • An approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet must be worn.
  • Ebikes must have a minimum wheel width of 35 mm and a minimum diameter of 350 mm.
  • Two independent braking systems are necessary to bring the e-bike to a full stop within 9 metres at a speed of 30 km/h on level asphalt.

Where You Can Ride:

  • Ebikes are allowed on most roads and highways where conventional bicycles are permitted.
  • Exceptions include certain provincial controlled access highways (e.g., 400 series), municipal roads with bike bans, and sidewalks where ebikes are prohibited.

Newfoundland & Labrador

Electric assist bike owners must follow all federal legislation.

The ebike motors cannot be more powerful than 500 watts and the ebike’s top speed has to be maximum 32 km/h. Drivers must wear a helmet. They also must have fully operable pedals which means the engine must disengage when the operator stops pedaling. However, they are allowed to have an accelerator controller.


In Quebec power-assisted bicycles are permitted on the roads but riders have to be 14 years old and if they’re under the age of 18, must have a moped or scooter license.

Electric bikes must meet the following criteria in order to be operated on public roadways:

  • They must be considered a bicycle.
  • Their maximum power is 500 W or less.
  • The electric motor must cease to generate power once the bicycle reaches a speed of not more than 32 km/h. This speed can only be exceeded through the cyclist’s muscle power on a flat surface.
  • They do not have to bear a 17-character decodable identification number in compliance with Transport Canada Standard 115.

Learn more…


Legislation in Manitoba for electric bikes is a bit different than the federal government’s. In that province electric bikes can also be classified as scooters, mopeds or mobility vehicles depending on the power of the engine used and its top speed. If the engine on the electric bike does not exceed 50 km/hr, the rider is not required to have a motorcycle licence or any specific training. However, the operator is required to be 16 years of age and be enrolled in some stage of the Class 5 driver’s licence graduated licensing process. (Class 5 is the most common form of license and allows the holder to drive a normal vehicle.)


Power assisted bicycles are classified in two categories in Saskatchewan. An electric assist bicycle is a two or three-wheeled bicycle that uses pedals and a motor at the same time only. A power cycle uses either pedals and motor or motor only. Riders of power cycles require at least a learner’s driving license to operate. The electric assist bicycle does not require a license. Helmets are required for both.

New Brunswick

The province’s “policy on electric motor driven cycles and electric bicycles” abides by the federal legislation but goes on to stipulate that in order to be allowed on the road an ebike requires wheel rims larger than 22cm (9″), a seat at least 68cm (27″) off the ground and, if travelling at night, a headlight is required.

Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Motor Vehicle Act defines a power assisted bicycle as a bike with an electric motor of 500W or less with two wheels (one of which is at least 35cm or 13″) or four wheels (two of which are at least 350cm). PABs are permitted on the province’s roadways as long as the rider is wearing an approved bicycle helmet with chinstrap engaged.


Electric assist bike owners must follow Yukon’s Motor Vehicles Act. The municipality of Whitehorse has its own local ebike laws.