Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by Faz » Mon, 03 Oct 2011, 00:51

SamD wrote: How long can you do an unpowered 40kph for Faz? How far then? 20km? Contador's average speed of 2009 tour de france was 40.32 kph. Should we all be like this? What is wrong with us mortals?


My $600 1100W bike fulfils my constraints - and I will wager many more other people would sign up if they could do the same. I openly promote my lawlessness and hope others will join me. I hope they will also get to the point of charging off grid.

If I get fined 10 times, I still have 20 grand in the bank from selling my car, and I don't feel morally bad about it. Not a single war will be fought over my power source, and no more carbon will make it into the atmosphere.

But I will make it to work/pub on time, in everyday work /leisure clothes that invite others to adopt same.


Not long at 40km/h. I was doing a 30km ride to work in 1 hour so I guess I can average 30km/h for 30km.
Would I spend $600 or more and the time fitting it to put 200W on my bike, Hell no!
Like yourself, if I did it I would put 500W or more on a bike and ignore the law.
I think that a 500W limit would be acceptable both from a safety and usability point of view. 500W's doesn't turn a bike into a motorbike it just makes a far more usable bicycle.

Out of interest what battery pack are you using on your 1100W bicycle?

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Post by SamD » Mon, 03 Oct 2011, 15:13

Hi Faz, currently using two of 5.8Ahr 8s Turnigy LiPos in parallel. Current discharge is 25c capable. About a hundred bucks each from Hobbyking.

When I went from 1 cell to two in parallel I saw a huge drop in the amount of voltage sag under higher loads. About to add a third unit - I expect to see another step up so I can ride really hard whenever needed. The windy September months make think this could be handy at times.

Cheers.
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Post by micart671 » Sun, 20 Nov 2011, 03:54

Hi all,

It's been a while since this debate was originally posted. I'd like to see how things have progressed since '09.
I service and sell eBikes in Adelaide and agree that the limit is dismal.
I also would like to think that if enough people are passionate about changing this we could form a group and email the appropriate government departments en masse.

cheers,
Last edited by micart671 on Sat, 19 Nov 2011, 16:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by electriker » Sun, 20 Nov 2011, 04:55

micart671 wrote: Hi all,

It's been a while since this debate was originally posted. I'd like to see how things have progressed since '09.


There have been a whole slew of scrummy electric motorcycles come onto the market, some with some pretty impressive performance figures. I'm almost getting to the stage of considering trading in my 650cc BMW petrol snorter on one. (But I'd still keep my electrikes.)

Image

Image


Image

I suspect that the 250 watt limit is going to stay, because people are going to see some of these beasties and say "Screw 500 watts, I want street iron" ;-)


Joe

Last edited by electriker on Sat, 19 Nov 2011, 17:57, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Faz » Mon, 21 Nov 2011, 20:20

Like comparing apples to oranges.

I can't see electric motorcycles taking any customers from the ebike market.

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Post by electriker » Mon, 21 Nov 2011, 21:07

Faz wrote: Like comparing apples to oranges.

I can't see electric motorcycles taking any customers from the ebike market.



That's exactly the point. It IS apples and oranges. As proposed in the legislation, there will be a limit of 250 watts, which is really only an "electric assist" function. If a rider wishes to arrive at work without sweating, that's going to need a much more powerful system (well over 500 watts). Thus this will then be overlapping with the envelope covered by electric motorcycle power bands. In my own experience it's not really possible to consistently arrive "unsweaty" with any sort of pedalling needed. At some periods during the year even riding my BMW motorcycle (with a mesh jacket designed specifically for hot weather riding) I can still turn up at my destination with blotches under my arms, and down my back. That's with NO pedalling at all.   And 500+ watts won't help when it's raining. Wet weather gear simply traps moisture, which will be exacerbated by pedalling. At least on my motorcycle I can wear "heavy duty" rain gear which keeps me reasonably dry, which I can't do on a bicycle that requires some exertion.

So if you try and put "no-sweaty" forward as a reason for wanting to have more than 250 watts legislated for, you are not going to impress the powers that be, because they'll simply say even with 500 watts you're going to be sweaty, so buy a motorcycle. You've got unrealistic expectations.

It's not a case of "e-bike market" versus "e-motorcycle market", it's the "250 watts and under market" versus "e-motorcycle market".

I think the best way to encourage more people to use a bicycle (with or without e-assistance) is for building designers and city planners to include end-of-commute facilities such as showers and secure bicycle parking as standard.

As for the adequacy of 250 watts, I had a good demo yesterday, when I cracked my trike's derailleur on a rock (16" wheels - very low to the ground) and had to ride nearly 40 km (including ascending a 5km, 6% hill) almost entirely on my 200/400 watt motor and my "on-board" solar panels. I averaged 17.9 km/h over the whole 75 km ride. It would never have worked with 500+ watts, simply because it would have flattened the batteries too quickly for the solar panels to recharge adequately. (I'd been averaging about 25 km/h when the derailleur cracked.) Because of the panels I found when I had to get off and push the trike up the steeper sections, the batteries would recharge slightly.

Joe

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Post by micart671 » Tue, 22 Nov 2011, 02:08

I Really don't get where the 'sweat' came into this equation at all??

200W is dismal and not enough... for many reasons. While we are pushing for a higher limit, why not go for 500W? The reason 500W would not have worked for you is because of your battery capacity. Besides you would need a lot of solar panels to replace your energy used even with 200W. (Joe... i do like the fact that you have a set-up like this)
Australia Post are changing over to eBikes... London bobbies are adopting eBikes... when Aussie Police take it up is possibly when they will realise they need more power to catch all the crooks!
It's not worth debating really. What we (meaning the people that realise this is not enough power) need to be doing is gathering support and bombarding the powers that be with emails in support of this.
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Post by electriker » Tue, 22 Nov 2011, 05:35

micart671 wrote: I Really don't get where the 'sweat' came into this equation at all??
I don't want to shower at work! I want to wear a suit straight to the boardroom in a regional location that lacks public transport. I don't want to invest money in lycra that could go to charity or my mortgage. I don't want to turn up sweaty and heaving.
(page 2 of this thread)

200W is dismal and not enough... for many reasons.
And what are some of these reasons? (The best ones are the ones that don't involve wanting to turn up for work unsweaty, don't involve riding at high speed on cycle paths and mixing with non-assisted cyclists and pedestrians, and don't involve not wanting to pay registration or insurance or have a licence.)

Having worked in and around politics and law since about 1975, I know that whilst soundly based reasons are not always enough to convince politicians (or the courts), they certainly are very useful for convincing some of the "general public", probably your best target market. Sheer volume of emails to politicians will not achieve much. (You may find it difficult to believe, but I'm actually very open to persuasive argument. It's really made me much money over the decades.)
The reason 500W would not have worked for you is because of your battery capacity. Besides you would need a lot of solar panels to replace your energy used even with 200W.
Since my motor is only "electric assist" and not full propulsion (except for yesterday's effort), there's no point in having bigger batteries because 98% of my riding time is spent pedaling. I only use the motor for hills and taking off at the traffic lights. Bigger batteries would be more dead weight. (Physically, financially or both.)

On yesterday's ride, I observed that the ammeter from the photovoltaic panels was peaking at about .45 of an amp (which was actually one of the reasons I did the ride, to see how well the panels worked). The system is 24 volts so full charge on the battery is 28 volts. A quick arithmetical manipulation shows that the panels were generating roughly 12 watts of power, easily sufficient power to keep the batteries fully charged, which proved to be the case since for quite significant part of the 75 km ride (say roughly 30%) the ammeter showed zero, which meant that the battery was charged, and the regulator had cut off feed. Having larger PV panels would have been pointless, since it's not possible to fill the batteries past their capacity, and they'd be extra wind resistance (as well as a traffic hazard). Even under yesterday's extraordinary circumstances the panels were adequate for the task. The fact that they haven't fully recharged the batteries today is pretty well meaningless, since I can't ride that trike until I've replaced the derailleur and the chain. But I have a second trike with PV capacity for exactly that reason. Image

I currently use SLA batteries, as they are cheap, reliable and readily available (but heavy). As battery technology improves I will probably find myself going to lighter, greater capacity batteries, which will obviously improve my performance because (a) I'll be able to travel further with the same panels and more importantly (b) I'll be cranking against less weight, so I'll be able to travel further faster since I can already crank faster than my motor will propel me. The system I've built works well now and will only get better as time goes on. A win-win situation.

If you are not interested in debating the topic then I won't suggest you visit the Bicycle Network Australia forum, where there's a very active "e-bicycle" sub-forum.

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewforum.php?f=51

Otherwise, you might find a larger audience but possibly a bit more argumentative* (in both directions). Image

Joe

Last edited by electriker on Mon, 21 Nov 2011, 18:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by micart671 » Tue, 22 Nov 2011, 16:26

Ok Joe, Someone who likes a good debate.

My electric Postie bike is approx 4.2kW
A 50cc scooter approx 1.5kW

500W eBike a far cry from motorcycle/scooter status
I just believe while we are trying to change things why not go for a limit that is reasonable.

You seem like an intelligent person, how can you help make this change.
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Post by electriker » Tue, 22 Nov 2011, 17:47

micart671 wrote: Ok Joe, Someone who likes a good debate.



You seem like an intelligent person, how can you help make this change.


You're asking the wrong question. You've given me no reason why I should help you. You have to ask yourself "What reason(s) can I give Joe to come round to my way of thinking and support me?" Simply asking is not enough. At the very least, you'd have to show how your proposal would benefit ME.

As it stands I don't see any reason to change the legislation.

500 watts is a very ambiguous cutoff point. It's too powerful to use on the existing cycling infrastructure, and not powerful enough to be used safely on the road with other motorised vehicles. I've no objection to a 1.5kW electric motorcycle which is registered, insured and requires a licensed rider.

I don't know about your own state, but in WA my "rego" for a 650cc BMW motorcycle for 12 months totals $195.45, which breaks down as follows:
Licence fee $29.60
Insurance $126.32
GST on insurance $12.63
Stamp duty on insurance $13.85
Recording fee $13.05


Assuming the "recording fee" is split 50:50 between "registration" and "insurance" $158 of the total $195 applies to insurance, which obviously relates to likelihood of the vehicle causing damage in the event of a crash and the severity of that damage. The severity of the damage can be considered to be a combination of speed and mass of the vehicle. A bigger vehicle traveling faster has a greater likelihood of causing severe damage ergo the necessity for insurance. (These figures are derived from statistical tables, not just plucked out of the air. Insurance companies are in the game to make money so they do whatever it takes to be accurate.)

If a 500 watt e-bicycle is ridden at top speed on a cycle path with, as I say, un-electric bikes and pedestrians, it is much more likely to cause damage than a less powerful machine. (In WA it's illegal to operate power assistance on a dual use path anyway.) If the 500 watt machine is not ridden at top speed then there ceases to be any valid use for it. Riding a 500 watt machine on a roadway in the same manner as one would ride an ordinary motorcycle is asking for trouble. Whilst I ride mine on the road, (a) the roads here seem to be much more cycle friendly than in other places (b) the tricycle has a much bigger visual imprint on the scenery/driver's field of vision than a standard bicycle and (c) I've worked out alternative, less frantic routes for my major rides. (My 85 km ride I mentioned has probably got about 10-15 km on the "road", and of that probably about 5-10 km is on two lane each way, with a cycle path painted on the road.)

As far as riding an "illegal" bike goes, I wouldn't be concerned too much about getting fined by the courts, I'd be much more concerned about riding a machine which SHOULD be registered and insured, and having a crash, then being sued in a civil court. Unlike in a criminal court where the standard of proof is "beyond reasonable doubt", the civil standard is "on the balance of probabilities". In other words, even if you are found not guilty in the criminal system, you face a much more difficult task if you are involved in a civil suit. If you lose that case, you can possibly kiss goodbye to your house, your life savings, your car, your superannuation. Further, if you are not insured, then you face the possibility of having to represent yourself in court, or hire legal representation which might otherwise have been supplied by your insurer. Even if you win your case, you could still be stuck with legal fees, which costs are not always granted by the court.

I should mention here that in 1990 I was trained as a court reporter and until I moved into semi-retirement about 3 years ago, I spent almost every working day in court transcribing every word that was said, so I'm pretty familiar with what goes on in a court room.

So looked at from that perspective your task is to convince the legislators that your preferred power option is unlikely to cause more damage or injury than say a 250 watt machine. Obviously the legislators already believe that 250 watts is statistically unlikely to cause a significant level of damage. You have to supply sufficient information to them to get them to change their mind(s).

Joe


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Post by Faz » Thu, 24 Nov 2011, 20:41

electriker wrote:If the 500 watt machine is not ridden at top speed then there ceases to be any valid use for it.


Bullsh*t, ascending hills would be one very valid use for it.

You seem to be pushing this connection of fast ebike = motorcycle. Fair bit of difference between a 500W ebike (which has less performance from the motor than an everyday rider is capable of without assistance) and my 134kW, 160km/h in first gear, 280+km/h capable 1000cc sportsbike. Or any 250cc+ motorcycle on the road for that matter.

You think 500W is light speed, fine don't use it. Having a 200-250W limit makes ebikes almost pointless.

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Post by Richo » Thu, 24 Nov 2011, 21:04

electriker wrote:   It would never have worked with 500+ watts, simply because it would have flattened the batteries too quickly for the solar panels to recharge adequately.


Ah the bike only consumes what it needs to.
If you use 200W going 20kph you still only use 200W with a 500W motor at 20kph.

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Post by electriker » Thu, 24 Nov 2011, 22:30

Richo wrote:
electriker wrote:   It would never have worked with 500+ watts, simply because it would have flattened the batteries too quickly for the solar panels to recharge adequately.


Ah the bike only consumes what it needs to.
If you use 200W going 20kph you still only use 200W with a 500W motor at 20kph.


Ah, Who's going to restrict the output to 200 watts when there's 500 watts available? The 6% slope I was ascending reduced my speed (with the motor only - no pedaling) to about 3-4 km/h, when it wasn't so steep I had to get off and push. No doubt if friend Faz has his way he'd be wanting to ascend (without pedaling) at about 15-20 km/h.    (And that would flatten the battery, as I say, much more quickly.)

If I wanted to ascend that hill at 20 km/h, I'd simply get on my motorcycle. (I have been able to ascend the same hill at 16 km/h with pedal assist, so I still don't see a need for 500 watts.)


I'm still getting the same message. People want to travel as fast as the rest of the motorised traffic, but without making any effort or paying any costs such as registration and having a licence. As I've said before, if you want the legislation to be changed, you'll have put forward a far more convincing case.

I'm 61 years old, I've got injuries to my feet and knees that prevent me from walking more than 100 metres without walking sticks, a crippled old pensioner, I should be the perfect case for pushing for an increase to 500 watts. But I won't. Because it's not necessary.

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Post by Faz » Fri, 25 Nov 2011, 22:44

20km/h = motorcycle? I think its time to get yours serviced!

By your argument most motorcycles should be banned. If a motorcycle is not driven to top speed there ceases to be a reason for it. All motorcycles greater than 110cc should be banned because they can't be ridden legally on the freeway at their top speed.
Hmmm wait that might force more people on to bicycles, increasing bicycle accident rates. Ban all bicycles! Oh that will force people to run, increasing accident rates on foot.
See the pattern? Increasing the ebike power limit may increase bicycle related accidents but only due to increased participation. Should fit riders be banned or regulated because they can pedal more than 20km/h (motorcycle speed apparently)? Of course not.

On a serious note; do you really think 500W on a push bike will allow any one to travel as fast as the rest of motorised traffic? Come on.
You are pushing your point with the same nonsense that 500W = motorcycle. 500W doesn't even = 50cc scooter and a 16 year old or anyone with a car license and no specific bike training can legally ride a scooter.
Suggesting that it's about people not wanting to pay rego or have a license is also nonsense. It's very simple (and a point you have already agreed with) people that can't have more than 200W will just drive a car/motorcyle. If you raise the power to a more usable/convenient level it will get more people out of cars. Perhaps you don't care about the environmental benefits of getting more people out of cars.

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Post by micart671 » Fri, 25 Nov 2011, 23:25

Blah Blah Blah,
Pointless,
who ever mentioned riding "illegal" and all the court rubbish and bragging, skimming over reading, not interested anymore.

Thanks for your time
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Post by electriker » Fri, 25 Nov 2011, 23:33

Faz, you seem to be missing several points.

Firstly, you seem to think arguing the matter with me will achieve something. Even if you do convince me (of anything), what good will it do you? I'm not in a position to alter the legislation. By all means keep writing your rather pointless "arguments" in this forum, it merely consumes your time and prevents you doing something which might be useful to you.

If you want to ride a 500+ watt bike, fine, you're quite entitled to say that's what you want. But when you've done that, what have you achieved? Nothing.

By your argument most motorcycles should be banned. If a motorcycle is not driven to top speed there ceases to be a reason for it. All motorcycles greater than 110cc should be banned because they can't be ridden legally on the freeway at their top speed.

Why should they be banned? They're all quite legal, 500 watt e-bikes are not. End of story.

Increasing the ebike power limit may increase bicycle related accidents but only due to increased participation.

If you ride 500+ watt machines on a dual use path, you increase the SEVERITY of crashes as well as frequency, due to the speed differential.

On a serious note; do you really think 500W on a push bike will allow any one to travel as fast as the rest of motorised traffic?

Again you missed the point. I didn't say it would. What I said was:

Riding a 500 watt machine on a roadway in the same manner as one would ride an ordinary motorcycle is asking for trouble.

Suggesting that it's about people not wanting to pay rego or have a license is also nonsense.

That (and wanting to arrive at work without sweating) are probably the two most common reasons I hear for people wanting to change the legislation. You should hang around the debates on the cycling forums a bit more. And you still haven't put forward any good reason why the legislation should be changed.



It's very simple (and a point you have already agreed with) people that can't have more than 200W will just drive a car/motorcyle.

That's not the point I made. What I said was if people wish to travel faster than 250 watts will take them then they should buy a motorcycle.

If you raise the power to a more usable/convenient level it will get more people out of cars.

So in almost your last words, you put forward a reason for wanting more than 250 watts. It's "convenient". Ah, that should be very convincing to the legislators.


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Post by electriker » Fri, 25 Nov 2011, 23:34

micart671 wrote: Blah Blah Blah,
Pointless,
who ever mentioned riding "illegal" and all the court rubbish and bragging, skimming over reading, not interested anymore.

Thanks for your time


And thank YOU for starting the debate rolling.   Image

Now at least you know how it's progressing.

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Post by micart671 » Sat, 26 Nov 2011, 02:23

No Sweat Joe. Only in the bedroom. Image
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Post by electriker » Sat, 26 Nov 2011, 02:25

Image Image Image Image

Joe

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Post by Faz » Tue, 29 Nov 2011, 17:02

electriker wrote: Faz, you seem to be missing several points.

Firstly, you seem to think arguing the matter with me will achieve something.
I see your tendency to jump to conclusion extends beyond predicting accident statistics to Psychology as well.
electriker wrote:By all means keep writing your rather pointless "arguments" in this forum, it merely consumes your time and prevents you doing something which might be useful to you.
Thanks for your permission and I appreciate your concern about my time. But like you, I have nothing better to do.
electriker wrote:Why should they be banned? They're all quite legal, 500 watt e-bikes are not. End of story.
For the same reason you have created that 500W e-bikes shouldn't be legal. (Thought that was pretty clear)
electriker wrote:If you ride 500+ watt machines on a dual use path, you increase the SEVERITY of crashes as well as frequency, due to the speed differential.
Proof? 50cc Scooters survive on the road alongside vehicles capble of 300km/h. So instead of making up these facts please show some supporting evidence.
electriker wrote:That (and wanting to arrive at work without sweating) are probably the two most common reasons I hear for people wanting to change the legislation.
This argument leaves no conclusion other than these "people" you have spoken to are going to sell there cars/motorcycles when they get an e-bike? How absurd.

electriker wrote:So in almost your last words, you put forward a reason for wanting more than 250 watts. It's "convenient". Ah, that should be very convincing to the legislators.
Actually I said it would get more people out of cars. But why worry about facts at this point in your argument.

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Post by electriker » Tue, 29 Nov 2011, 18:00

Your "arguments" are totally irrelevant. The proposed legislation is entitled

"Power Assisted Pedal Cycles"

"Proposal for a new AB Vehicle Definition"


You are not addressing this in any way.

This is the legislation we are discusing.

http://www.bv.com.au/media/vanilla/file ... y%2009.pdf

Have you read it?

To quote from it:

Firstly, this Paper is looking specifically at PAPC and is not investigating the practicality of power assisted cycles without pedals. These vehicles are currently considered as mopeds, however Jurisdictions may wish to develop a new category for powered assisted cycles without pedals.

Why do you not put your time and energy into assisting with developing this "new category"?

Further down:

Is there a need to pedal to obtain assistance from the motor?
Objective: To make sure that PAPCs are fundamentally pedal cycles, vehicles designed to be propelled through a mechanism solely by human power, to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors.


And on page 9:


Existing power limits allowed overseas are evaluated for their relevance in Australia. The existing limits, with an indication of the resulting unassisted speed on level ground, are:
200 watts: This is the current situation in Australia. This definition limits the possibility to import overseas products designed to comply with overseas standards that allow higher power output limits. No recent documented case showing a direct relation between a power assistance of this amplitude and the cause of a serious crash in New South Wales has been found.
Typical unassisted speed: 23.5 km/h.

250 watts: This is the limit in Europe, and all Japanese models are understood to comply with that limit.
Typical unassisted speed: 25.5 km/h.

300 watts: This is the limit allowed in New Zealand. No safety analysis has been found to justify this level of assistance.
Typical unassisted speed: 27.5 km/h.

500 watts: This is the limit allowed in Canada. Transport Canada’s Regulatory Impact Statement says that ‘500 watts is a level that well-trained athletes can maintain for a short period of time’3. The NSW Centre for Road Safety believes that 500 watts is far beyond a sustainable power output for an average cyclist, therefore it would provide PAPCs with a level of performance superior to a standard bicycle.
Typical unassisted speed: 33.0 km/h.

750 watts: This is the limit allowed in the United States. Canada’s Regulatory Impact Statement says that ‘750 watts would not be representative of a cyclist’s actual performance and could prove dangerous’. The same arguments used for the 500 watt limit apply for the 750 watt limit, with the safety risks proportionally greater.
Typical unassisted speed: 37.6 km/h.

It is recommended that the maximum allowed power output in Australia be increased to 250 watts continuous. It is specified that the power output is continuous to regulate the effective power, not the peak power in the case of electric motors where the short duration of its effect has limited effect on maximum speed. The analysis on the next page shows that this power limit maintains the maximum speed within the limits of most unassisted pedal cycles while providing an acceptable level of performance uphill compared to unassisted pedal cycles. This level of assistance does not require a maximum assisted speed for an average cyclist, however to prevent motor assistance at speeds above typical cycling speeds, a maximum assisted speed can be introduced. A
motor assistance cut-off in function of speed would increase the design complexity of PAPCs, however this technology is readily available to accommodate for the European and Japanese definitions.


Getting sidetracked into arguing with me (or anybody else) about matters not relevant to the legislation gives your credibility a serious hit.

If you do read through the document there are points which you could seriously argue to the legislator, some of which I alluded to in previous posts. But I'm not here to educate you.

It's your time, and your desire for change that's at stake.

Joe

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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by micart671 » Tue, 29 Nov 2011, 18:46

Nothing about sweat at all there Joe. Do you get the point? Australia is a Nanny State!
MiC

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electriker
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by electriker » Tue, 29 Nov 2011, 18:50

If that's what you think then that's what you think.

Joe

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SamD
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Ebike Power limits, proposed legislation

Post by SamD » Wed, 30 Nov 2011, 17:04

Silence is golden. Duct tape is black.

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