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Home / News / E-cargo bikes are hitting the streets: here’s what you need to know

E-cargo bikes are hitting the streets: here’s what you need to know

E-cargo bikes are a great way to commute to work, run errands and deliver goods and packages. They also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and traffic and contribute to an active lifestyle. Thanks to new legislation, e-cargo bikes can be used for commercial and personal use on Ottawa roads, starting Wednesday, September 22.

Before your inaugural trip, make sure you know what type of e-cargo bike to purchase and how to safely ride it throughout the city. While an e-cargo bike might seem similar to an e-bike, their design, function and rules for riding are different.

E-cargo bike versus e-bike: what’s the difference?

In Ontario, a bike that weighs more than 55 kilograms may be considered an e-cargo bike if it has all the necessary components of a conventional bicycle, like pedals, a steering handlebar, two or three wheels, and includes the following features:

  • A platform, basket or container for carrying cargo, parcels or goods
  • An electric motor 1,000 watts or less that does not exceed speeds of 32 kilometres per hour
  • Wheels that are between 35 millimetres and 350 millimetres wide

If the bike has a conventional fork-and-frame design, weighs under 55 kilograms, has an electric motor 500 watts or less that does not exceed speeds of 32 kilometres per hour, a steering handlebar and two or three wheels, it is considered an e-bike.

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