The RTA's Gabriel Denoury has just announced that the changes to regulations on E bikes, which are so long awaited, are about  to happen. Basically, the allowable motors size will be lifted to 250 watts to bring us into line with Europe. Secondly, the motor assist will cut off as 25kms an hour, and the throttle which most E bikes now have, some along with the Pedelec system will become illegal.
Pedelec, a European term applies to a motor assist which comes automatically and only when you pedal

There will be a limited throttle under the new rules  to get you away from the lights which will allow you to twist and go up 6 kph. but that's it. As someone who rides an E bike as my main transport in a hilly area, I regard the  removal of the simple foolproof throttle as a backward step.

The thottle allows the most ecomical use of the battery, very important when bike ranges are not that great. But generally, the  relationship between bike and rider should be as simple as  possible,  and as much in control of the ride as possible,  too. Any fear that the bikes with throttles might be used as hoon machines, as mini motorcycles,  are removed by the  assist limit of 25 kph, one would think.

I know few cyclists here ride these bikes , but those that do, any opinion?  E bikes will be big here when utility cycling takes off, I  predict, following European and Asian trends, I guess further  that  the majority  of bikes used as transport will be power assisted within five years.

A quote in USAToday gives some idea of what's  ahead. "The E bike is the forerunner of the electrification of all personal transport."  Our course if you ride mainly to go fast or work out,  this is not relevant to you. Adding an E assist to your bike makes as much sense as adding  electric motors at Fitness First, no sense at all!

But just  getting about, not working out, will become a major part of cycling and then the E bike,  in the sit up configuration, will the bike of choice.

mike Rubbo

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I am unable to get over my feelings of amazement that so much time and deliberation is happening over something as harmless as an electric bicycle. It really is quite absurd. This is bureaucracy and the nanny state gone mad. The basic principle of controlling the use of motor vehicles on the roads to ensure safety is sound, but it has been corrupted into something entirely different that has nothing whatever to do with safety and common sense, but a lot of interfering busybodies massaging their idiotic egos and trying to convince themselves they are not simply a waste of space, which of course they are. And the biggest laugh is how they refer to societies such as ours as "free countries", when we are all up to our ears in tens of thousands of nit picking regulations - we are drowning in a sea of red tape. Soon we will have to obtain a license to tape a crap. The people at the RTA are idiots. How they got their jobs I cannot begin to imagine. Well I suppose its not really that hard to figure out - they were employed by other idiots.


Well put Phil. They went to town over the capacity of motorcycle engines too in regard to Ps and Ls and rego cost, but how very interesting it is that no one amongst them has even whispered a word about car engine capacities.

Vehicles– You must not drive any vehicle with:

  • Eight or more cylinders (except Diesel).
  • A turbocharged or supercharged engine (diesel powered engines exempt).
  • Modifications that increase engine performance.
  • Any other vehicle identified by Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) – further details available on Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) website.

Vehicles– You must not drive any vehicle with:

  • Eight or more cylinders.
  • A turbocharged or supercharged engine (diesel powered engines exempt).
  • Modifications that increase engine performance.
  • Any other vehicle identified by Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) – further details available on Roads and Maritime Services (replacing Roads and Traffic Authority) website.

I find it highly amusing that today we have these ultra high tech cars, with these amazing engines that look like something out of a sci-fi movie, with 4, 6 or more valves per cylinder, computer controlled ignition systems, and power outputs capable of putting the car into a low earth orbit. Yet typically they are being driven 2 to 3 kms to the local supermarket to in effect function as a 2 ton shopping trolley. Maximum speeds in town are being reduced around the world  more and more with areas in Australia now going down to 50 kmh and I believe in some cases below that, and in the UK there is mounting pressure to reduce their in town speed limit to 20mph. What a joke.

Do you think that the car industry lobby might have an influence on this?  I do!  Imagine if people in numbers started to buy/ride electric bikes for short/medium trips in preference to their 1 1/2 tonne shopping trolley.  Car and fuel sales would drop, and the whole world would come to an end.  Imagine the governments salivating to save the automotive industry if this was to happen!

RMS has a vested interest in building more roads.  Maintaining them does not employ enough people and consequently the empire and tax dollar (which equals political clout) become smaller.

The best thing for the community does not figure anywhere in the whole equation.


OK... now this is ridiculous.


This is what happens when people don't pay attention in physics classes at high-school:

"Wind (?) Powers Cyclist's (?) World Record Bid"



This fool doesn't understand much about physics and conservation of energy. The 'bicycle' appears to have no pedals (what appear to pedals, can't possibly rotate) and the electric motor is appears oversized (at least 500W) - it's not a bicycle; it's an electric motorbike... I wonder what helmet he'll choose to wear? Hmm...
Not to mention the 'wind' generation... good grief.
These same idiots see Hydrogen as a 'energy source' or worse... 'compressed air - it's a miracle!' 
Talk about greenwashing. I just can't believe he got sponsorship for this.
Hahn makes biodiesel among other things but it would make far more sense (and use less energy) to just run the motorbike on biodiesel... but that's already been done.


"I want people to see that one person really can make a difference, even a small difference."


Yeah... so if everyone just makes 'a small difference' then when compared to the entire population, the overall difference will be small. This is precisely why we're in trouble... everyone needs to make a big change to the way they live, especially the most wasteful. Tinkering around the edges & painting things green does nothing other than puff up the egos of the ignorant.

Couldn't agree more Paul, nicely put. I am tired of hearing about 'changing your light globes' and 'just doing ten small things', it really is time we started getting beyond our willful ignorance of the physics behind the very severe problems that are unfolding.......... Guys like Mr No Pedals above, do nothing more than turn the whole thing into a circus.



The same goes for these terribly designed, badly constructed 'green homes' which are only green because they've slapped some solar panels on the roof, put some CF bulbs in and thrown a water tank out the back. In summer they're hot boxes and fridges in winter... so you need all that extra power (and some) just to make it bearable.


They would get better bang for their buck by having an architect design & build something sensible (for a particular location - not a copy-paste routine that many developers use) that means that you don't have a heating or cooling bill. It is what we did.


When a home is designed and built *properly* you discover that it is expensive - probably the true cost of what a home should be. The problem is that most people want massive houses but then complain about what it costs to run them - and it is always 'someone else's fault' that they can't have it all. Meanwhile architects around the country are struggling to find work, some are working second jobs (non-archtectural). They don't earn much despite what people think - I know this - I have a few in the family.


Visitors to our small townhouse are surprised when we tell them how small it really is (100m2 internally) - well designed space makes it feel big - and how little energy we use to live in it. Passive solar for heating and cooling is much more sensible but less 'sexy' than something your neighbours can see on the roof...


Some people get it, most people don't. Even when faced with the solution they still often don't understand. They want to continue Business As Usual and look to techno-fixes to allow this to happen - the more visible, the better. Meh.

+1 to this.


The ban on traditional tungsten light globes is a classic.


Previously a medium sized room in a home would have been lit by a central hanging globe of say 75 or 100watts,


You now typically find six or even eight 50 watt recessed halogen down lights being used in this scenario.


(Yes that's 400watts to light the same room)


Talk about the law of unintended consequences.

I concur. They last nowhere near what is claimed - not even close. Also, I find about 1 in 8 of them fail very early indeed - sometimes after only a few weeks.

The same is true of rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries and the like. They claim up to 1000 recharges but I think 100 is much more like it.

Its so easy to make claims about things like this which are almost impossible to verify. Who makes meticulous records of how long each light in their house is switched on or how often a remote control using AA batteries is used? The manufacturers know this and know they can get away with almost any outlandish claim. Its really all BS.


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