British Columbia, Canada: Policy designating Class 2 and 3 e-bikes as motorized vehicles goes into effect immediately

Timpo

Well-Known Member
I know there are a few Canadian members here, so I thought you might wanted to know.
Source: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-parks-ebike-policy-1.5262734

B.C. Parks rolls out new e-bike policy to protect sensitive ecosystems

Policy designating Class 2 and 3 e-bikes as motorized vehicles goes into effect immediately
The Canadian Press · Posted: Aug 28, 2019 11:46 AM PT

jasper-national-park-electric-bike-rider.jpg

An electric bike rider on the Valley of the Five Lakes trail pictured in Jasper National Park in May. B.C. Parks says electric bikes allow more riders to use trails and reach areas that were previously limited to a few visitors, leading to increased pressure on sensitive wildlife and ecosystems. (Mike Mahoney)

Electric bicycles are growing so popular that B.C. Parks has had to implement a new policy regarding their use to protect sensitive ecosystems.
The authority says e-bikes allow more riders to use trails and reach areas that were previously limited to a few visitors, leading to increased pressure on habitats.
North Shore Mountain Bike Association president Cooper Quinn said community advocates aren't surprised by the B.C. Parks e-bike policy because a similar one was put in place by Recreation Sites and Trails BC earlier this year.

Quinn said e-bikes allow people with accessibility issues to use trials they may not have been able to use before.
"They're a great tool for different people to get out and enjoy the forest in different ways," he said over the phone.
With potentially more e-bike users on the trails, Quinn said people could go father in the same amount of time or do more laps of the trails.
"If it's the same users able to do more riding, that potentially means more impact on the trails," he said.

The different e-bike classifications

The policy says that those with Class 1 e-bikes can ride on any B.C. Parks trail where mountain bikes or other cycling is already allowed, but those with Class 2 and 3 e-bikes can only ride on trails and roads designated for motorized vehicles.
Class 1 e-bikes are not considered motor vehicles under the Park, Conservancy and Recreation Area (PCRA) regulations. These e-bikes have motors that only work when the rider is pedalling, and have a maximum output of 500 watts.
The motors of Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are capable of providing partial or full assistance by throttle. Both are considered motorized vehicles under PCRA regulations.
B.C. Parks says its primary goal is to educate the public on the new policy to generate voluntary compliance. If riders are not willing to comply, tickets up to $575 may be issued.

But, Quinn said it's up to the government to also put more funding into park management and maintenance to keep the trails from damage and degradation.
"We need to make sure that the trails stay within their own carrying capacity and our environment stays within its carrying capacity so that we don't ruin our supernatural British Columbia," he said.

The policy goes into effect immediately.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
If you're interested, this was previously posted and is being discussed in the laws and regulations sub-forum.

 

Timpo

Well-Known Member
If you're interested, this was previously posted and is being discussed in the laws and regulations sub-forum.

Ooops.. I didn't know that
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
I have no problem with this policy. I do think the class 1 speed limit is too low in Europe and Canada. It should be moved up to 45kmh. This is a speed that acoustic bikes can easily achieve on a slight downhill. Who is with me?


I have no clue what the real difference is between an infinitely variable assist control like a throttle or a PAS on an ebike of equal power. I do agree that the assist limit needs to be increased on all ebikes to at least 45kph and maybe even 55kph to allow them to be effective transportation solutions. MID drive manufacturers want the assist speeds kept low because their technical advantages are gone at the higher speeds and hub drives would dominate that segment if 40-55kph became the customer expectation for an ebike. I'm 99% Bosch is the #1 sponsor People for Bikes efforts to establish Class 1-3 regulations in the US and even world wide.
 
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Dionigi

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Santa Cruz & Pittsburgh
I have no problem with this policy. I do think the class 1 speed limit is too low in Europe and Canada. It should be moved up to 45kmh. This is a speed that acoustic bikes can easily achieve on a slight downhill. Who is with me?
35kmh (20 mph) as a class 1 in USA works for 90% of my needs and is in the safe speed range in Pennsylvania for trails. Actually most trails here are posted 15 mph. 45 kmh (class 3) is great for urban commuters.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
35kmh (20 mph) as a class 1 in USA works for 90% of my needs and is in the safe speed range in Pennsylvania for trails. Actually most trails here are posted 15 mph. 45 kmh (class 3) is great for urban commuters.
Even my 67 year old wife says it should be at least 40 kmh and she is no speed demon. She points out that when you get to a gap in the cycling infrastructure and are sandwiched into a situation where you must share a lane with impatient drivers , you just want to get out of that pickle as fast as you can. I am not talking about disobeying the posted speed limits.
 
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steve mercier

Well-Known Member
I have no clue what the real difference is between an infinitely variable assist control like a throttle or a PAS on an ebike or equal power. I do agree that the assist limit needs to be increased on all ebikes to at least 45kph and maybe even 55kph to allow them to be effective transportation solutions. MID drive manufacturers want the assist speeds kept low because their technical advantages are gone at the higher speeds and hub drives would dominate that segment if 40-55kph became the customer expectation for an ebike. I'm 99% Bosch is the #1 sponsor People for Bikes efforts to establish Class 1-3 regulations in the US and even world wide.
I agree with your first statement. The second part not so much.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Even my 67 year old wife says it should be at least 40 kmh and she is no speed demon. She points out that when you get to a gap in the cycling infrastructure and are sandwiched into a situation where you must share a lane with impatient drivers , you just want to get out of that pickle as fast as you can. I am not talking about disobeying the posted speed limits.
There are other options. Ebikes will never be all things for all people. I have a motorcycle and a pickup for other duties.

I bike in mostly rural areas. I commuted by conventional bike 34 miles round trip. It was rural with only a few stop signs and no traffic signals. I found ebikes to flatten the hills. My average speed was higher because hills didn't slow me down. Speed on the flats was a couple mph faster and the overall saved a lot of time. All with a 20 mph ebike.

I can see why many commuters want s-peds. I'm glad they exist. I may need one some day. @Dionigi said class 1 worked for 90% of his needs. Most of us don't want to see s-peds outlawed. For trail riding, 20mph is fast enough. 0 to 20 is just as fast, given the same wattage, for all 3 classes.
 
I do agree that the assist limit needs to be increased on all ebikes to at least 45kph and maybe even 55kph to allow them to be effective transportation solutions. MID drive manufacturers want the assist speeds kept low because their technical advantages are gone at the higher speeds...

Mid-drives might be even more useful on e-bikes that allowed 45-55km/hr assistance than 32km/hr (20mph) assistance. Motors tend to be inefficient when running below ~50% of their maximum speed. If the maximum speed is 32km/hr (20mph), then the efficiency drops below 16km/hr (10mph), but not too many people do too much of their riding below that speed, so hub motors don't end up too bad. However, if a motor is rated for 55km/hr (34mph), then it will be inefficient below ~27km/hr (16mph). Many people do quite a bit of riding below that speed. With a mid-drive, you just shift to a lower gear. Whether you use a mid-drive or not, you would want a very wide range of gears on a bike with a peak assist speed of 55km/hr.

However, you do need a powerful motor to run fast. Running at 55km/hr requires ~1600W* of output power, while 45km/hr requires ~800W. The first exceeds US limits substantially, while the latter slightly. The European specification (250W nominal, ~500W peak) mid-drives wouldn't work well.

* Based on https://www.ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html, with a 100kg total load (bike and rider), 26" wheels, MTB upright position.
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
Mid-drives might be even more useful on e-bikes that allowed 45-55km/hr assistance than 32km/hr (20mph) assistance. Motors tend to be inefficient when running below ~50% of their maximum speed. If the maximum speed is 32km/hr (20mph), then the efficiency drops below 16km/hr (10mph), but not too many people do too much of their riding below that speed, so hub motors don't end up too bad. However, if a motor is rated for 55km/hr (34mph), then it will be inefficient below ~27km/hr (16mph). Many people do quite a bit of riding below that speed. With a mid-drive, you just shift to a lower gear. Whether you use a mid-drive or not, you would want a very wide range of gears on a bike with a peak assist speed of 55km/hr.

However, you do need a powerful motor to run fast. Running at 55km/hr requires ~1600W* of output power, while 45km/hr requires ~800W. The first exceeds US limits substantially, while the latter slightly. The European specification (250W nominal, ~500W peak) mid-drives wouldn't work well.

* Based on https://www.ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html, with a 100kg total load (bike and rider), 26" wheels, MTB upright position.
Ask Alaskan how his de-limited Bosch CX performs at speed.
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
This is very interesting. The main reason I didn't buy an electric mountain bike is that I was worried that if I spent a lot of cash on one that it might get banned. This gives me some assurance that if I bought an eMTB that I would get to use it on trails.

I'm not crazy about the 32 km/hr. limit, and would like 45 km/hr. but I would be happy with about 38 to 40 km/hr. On my derestricted Juiced CCS, I find the riding position very upright and not aero at all. Once I hit about 35 - 40 km/hr. the wind resistance really increases and battery consumption goes way up with speed going up only slightly.

Now of course on some of the lightweight road bikes, then yeah give me 45 km/hr.
 

TimJohn

Active Member
It real funny to listen to people who want more speed out of their e-bikes. My Tern at 30 km/hr feels plenty fast and honestly I'll use my motorcycle if I want anything faster. I purposely stay off the busy streets that have lots of traffic and feel very vulnerable on the e-bike. Short wheel base, no riding gear like a motorcycle, open face helmet, and skimpy riding gloves make me wonder if I fall then I'm hurt.

Now I can totally understand the efficiency side of this argument ... higher speed requires more watts and more watts equals less range. Self defeating equation and why bother with a higher speed e-bike if it can't get 40 - 60 miles out of a charge.
 

Deacon Blues

Well-Known Member
It all depends how you ride. On my electric Pedego Ridgerider I often ride in the 30 to 35 kph range. Luckily, my Pedego's top motor cut-off has been adjusted to 40 kph.
I don't often ride over 35 kph, but when I want to it's nice to know I can.
For many, including myself, riding at a higher speed is more fun, but if I want to get 80km out of my battery I keep my speed down to conserve my juice.
 

Tars Tarkas

Well-Known Member
I think what BC did might make sense in terms of limiting access to sensitive eco-areas.

The speed issue, to me, is an entirely different discussion, at least mostly. Whatever one person thinks is the right, best, and correct speed to ride is exactly one person's opinion. If someone thinks 45 kph is right for them and someone else thinks 12 kph is as fast as they need to go, they are right. But when they start opining on how fast everyone else, including me, should go, not so much. The condtions and circumstances people ride in are infinitely varied. I lieu of a posted speed limit, bound by the fact I'm responsible for my own actions, and in consideration of others on the road or trail, I ought to be able to go as slow or as fast as I want. I'm sorry, but I don't care what people in Europe or anywhere else think is fast enough. There are a lot of places I ride where there is not much reason not to go 25 or 28 mph. I'm talking about MUPs, greenways, rails-to-trails, not the street.

All that said, I'm in favor of posting reasonable speed limits where appropriate. Regardless, what I said about consideration of others is paramount. I do not think it's appropriate to weave in and out of a group of walkers at 28 mph even if the posted speed limit is 28!

TT
 

Captain Slow

Well-Known Member
I think what BC did might make sense in terms of limiting access to sensitive eco-areas.

The speed issue, to me, is an entirely different discussion, at least mostly. Whatever one person thinks is the right, best, and correct speed to ride is exactly one person's opinion. If someone thinks 45 kph is right for them and someone else thinks 12 kph is as fast as they need to go, they are right. But when they start opining on how fast everyone else, including me, should go, not so much. The condtions and circumstances people ride in are infinitely varied. I lieu of a posted speed limit, bound by the fact I'm responsible for my own actions, and in consideration of others on the road or trail, I ought to be able to go as slow or as fast as I want. I'm sorry, but I don't care what people in Europe or anywhere else think is fast enough. There are a lot of places I ride where there is not much reason not to go 25 or 28 mph. I'm talking about MUPs, greenways, rails-to-trails, not the street.

All that said, I'm in favor of posting reasonable speed limits where appropriate. Regardless, what I said about consideration of others is paramount. I do not think it's appropriate to weave in and out of a group of walkers at 28 mph even if the posted speed limit is 28!

TT

Agree on almost all points.

Does this then lead into a discussion of ebikers needing a license just like one is required to drive? I think with electric motors now there is a concept of people riding too fast for public safety in some areas and how to do you regulate/control that?

My Juiced is unrestricted and while on the road I'm somewhat limited by the aerodynamics of the bike i.e. I can't really go much more than around 53-55 km/hr. because of the upright position just catches so much wind. Part of my commute takes me onto a MUP and I generally never go above 40 km/hr. on the path and if there are pedestrians that I'm coming up on I generally slow to about 25 km/hr. because that's what "feels" appropriate and safe.

I just had an interesting thought. The technology does exist for manufacturers to build ebikes with an integrated GPS, you could then restrict the ebike speed to whatever speed you want i.e. 25 or 32 km/hr. but then if you're on a road then the speed limit could change. I'm not sure how much it would cost, but it is possible.

I recall reading over a decade ago that Nissan designed their GTR to have a speed limit of something like 130 or 150 mph, can't remember the exact limit. But then if the car was taken to a racetrack then the car knew where it was and the speed limiter was removed for the racetrack. I can see there aren't that many racetracks in the world so it's a lot easier to implement this concept on a car than on an ebike, but I would think it is possible.

Maybe that would resolve a lot of debate over what an appropriate speed limit is. Because I agree that how fast I want to go depends a lot upon whether I'm riding on the street or not. In fact, thinking about my commute and when I want to go over the 32 km/hr. and it's only on the road that I want to go that fast. Hmmm, well actually if there's no one else on the MUP then ............. :) - But that's rare and I can live with a 32 km/hr. limit, just let me go as fast as I want on the road. When I pull into traffic then I want to be able to go 50 km/hr. because then cars don't drive as dangerously around me. They don't try to pull around me and they treat me like another vehicle.
 

Afren

Active Member
It real funny to listen to people who want more speed out of their e-bikes. My Tern at 30 km/hr feels plenty fast and honestly I'll use my motorcycle if I want anything faster. I purposely stay off the busy streets that have lots of traffic and feel very vulnerable on the e-bike. Short wheel base, no riding gear like a motorcycle, open face helmet, and skimpy riding gloves make me wonder if I fall then I'm hurt.

Now I can totally understand the efficiency side of this argument ... higher speed requires more watts and more watts equals less range. Self defeating equation and why bother with a higher speed e-bike if it can't get 40 - 60 miles out of a charge.
Exactly.
 

BBassett

Active Member
I have no problem with this policy. I do think the class 1 speed limit is too low in Europe and Canada. It should be moved up to 45kmh. This is a speed that acoustic bikes can easily achieve on a slight downhill. Who is with me?

The reason I think that maximum ebike speeds should be increased (from 20 to 25 mph in America) is that if I can ride at 25 mph legally then cars aren't trying to get around me on roads posted for 25 mph. It's much safer for me to "own" a spot on the road surface than to try and share it with a vehicle 10 or 20 times my weight.
 

BBassett

Active Member
Mid-drives might be even more useful on e-bikes that allowed 45-55km/hr assistance than 32km/hr (20mph) assistance. Motors tend to be inefficient when running below ~50% of their maximum speed. If the maximum speed is 32km/hr (20mph), then the efficiency drops below 16km/hr (10mph), but not too many people do too much of their riding below that speed, so hub motors don't end up too bad. However, if a motor is rated for 55km/hr (34mph), then it will be inefficient below ~27km/hr (16mph). Many people do quite a bit of riding below that speed. With a mid-drive, you just shift to a lower gear. Whether you use a mid-drive or not, you would want a very wide range of gears on a bike with a peak assist speed of 55km/hr.

However, you do need a powerful motor to run fast. Running at 55km/hr requires ~1600W* of output power, while 45km/hr requires ~800W. The first exceeds US limits substantially, while the latter slightly. The European specification (250W nominal, ~500W peak) mid-drives wouldn't work well.

* Based on https://www.ebikes.ca/tools/simulator.html, with a 100kg total load (bike and rider), 26" wheels, MTB upright position.


I think mid-drives are "more useful" than hub-motors period. Electric motors are most efficient spinning at the speed they are designed for, usually very fast. But your forward speed isn't dictated by the motor or how fast it's turning as much as the bike gearing. I often (even usually) ride through parks and heavily congested areas at 6 to 8 mph. However the motor isn't lugging out, it's spinning at max speed and I am just in a very low gear. The motor doesn't dictate speed, the gearing does.

Not sure where you get your numbers but I use a 1000W BBSHD and can hits speeds of 35 mph on level surfaces pretty easily and way over than on declines. That's with 26 X 2" wheels on a heavy steel frame full suspension expedition tour bike, 80+ lbs of gear, motor, battery, and my heavy 185 lbs ass.

They don't limit h.p. on cars they just set a speed limit and enforce it. The same should be done with ebikes.

https://imgur.com/a/3w6izz7 - Bike and Trailer
https://imgur.com/a/DKpcF0a
https://imgur.com/a/zXXlyuv
Check out 70 miles w/front panniers & trailer on Relive! https://www.relive.cc/view/g37290970278