Riding e-bikes and petrol-powered bicycles to and from school

E-bikes are growing in popularity. It’s important for schools to be aware of the laws, rules and regulations around the use of these devices.


In NSW, there are two types of permitted e-bikes:

1. A power-assisted pedal cycle:

  • has one or more motors attached with a combined maximum power output of up to 200 watts
  • can't be propelled only by the motor/s
  • weighs less than 50kg (including batteries)
  • has a height-adjustable seat.

2. Electrically power-assisted cycle:

An electrically power-assisted cycle has a maximum continued rated power of up to 500 watts. This power output must be:

  • progressively reduced as the bicycle’s speed increases beyond 6km/h
  • cut off when:
    • your bicycle reaches a speed of 25km/h
    • you stop pedalling and the speed exceeds 6km/h.

The rider must primarily propel these bikes – a motor can't be the only source propelling it. The motor should only help the rider, like when going uphill or facing strong winds.

Petrol-powered bicycles

All petrol-powered bicycles are illegal on NSW roads and road-related areas like footpaths, shared paths, cycle ways and cycle paths.

This includes bicycles that:

  • have a petrol-powered engine attached before or after purchase
  • are powered by other types of internal combustion engines.

Petrol-powered bicycles are faster than regular bicycles, reaching moped and small motorcycle speeds.

Action required:

If you have students riding to and from school using petrol powered bicycles or e-bikes that don't comply with legislative standards, principals should:

  • inform the student and their parents/carers that it is illegal to ride these bicycles outside private property
  • not provide the storage of these petrol powered bicycles on school property.

Support Materials:

Stage 4 teaching and learning activity – Exploring e-bikes in NSW

Students will critically analyse the regulations surrounding e-bikes in New South Wales, exploring the distinctions between power-assisted pedal cycles, electrically power-assisted cycles, and the prohibition of petrol-powered bicycles.

Transport for NSW brochure – Bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters (PDF – Brochure)

Share this information with parents and carers via school communication channels.

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