Wednesday, October 04, 2006

PABs finally legal in Ontario

Kyoto's electric-assist motor is now legal! The press release below was sent by Juergen.


October 4, 2006 (Toronto)
For Immediate Release

The Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa (EVCO) applauds today's announcement by Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield to permit electric-assist bicycles on Ontario roadways under a pilot project.

Electric-assist bicycles (officially called Power Assisted Bicycles or PABs) are bicycles with a small electric motor that are limited to a maximum speed of 32km/h and a maximum power of 500 Watts. Electric bicycles are zero-emission vehicles. Anyone in Ontario who is 16 years of age or older may ride an electric bike during the pilot project which is expected to last three years.

"Many Ontario citizens have been waiting eagerly to drive their electric bicycles legally or to acquire one" notes Etienne Gibeault, EVCO President. "We are thrilled that these electric vehicles are now legal."

Electric-assist bicycles are available, affordable and are as easy to use as a standard bicycle. The electric motor and battery pack provide cyclists with clean, quiet and non-polluting power -- ideal for hill climbing, extending one's range, assisting those with mobility impairments and reducing the effort associated with cycling (a bonus for those without shower facilities at work). Electric bike riders can get as much exercise as they choose without worrying about longer distances or over-exertion. Electric bikes allow the rider to pedal as much as desired while providing power-assist when required.

Electric bike riders are now able to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and stay fit without having to worry about breaking the law. EVCO congratulates the Minister for taking this step and looks forward to a time when a variety of electric vehicles are
legal on Ontario roads.

"Relatively inexpensive electric vehicles are now within reach of the average consumer," says Etienne Gibeault. "This is a viable alternative for Ontarians who want something more than the traditional means of transportation."


EVCO is a voluntary, non-profit organization that promotes the use of electric vehicles in applications where they are appropriate. Electric vehicles are viable transportation alternatives that are ecological, economical, practical and available. EVCO has been campaigning for the
legalization of electric bicycles in Ontario for over 3 years.

Spokesperson: Juergen Weichert (613) 746-7685

The Electric Vehicle Council of Ottawa
P.O.Box 4044, Station "E"
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K1S 5B1


Anonymous said...

Are they going to be allowed on the bike paths? I hope not! For the road it sounds great but I don't want power-assisted bikes on the recreational pathways and parks, some users are dangerous enough under their own steam.

Mark said...

Yes, because they are still bicycles.

I've had chats with Juergen about this, because I'm not entirely thrilled either. This is mainly because I've been hearing how many folks use their PAB like a moped, hardly ever pedaling. This makes for a different kind of mindset when on the paths, as I like to think that if you're going fast by pedaling you're alert and hyper-aware of your surroundings. But if you've simply got the throttle on full while half-awake then that's a very different (and much more dangerous) headspace.