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June 21, 2001
City's electric bike project a solution for reducing smog
  
The City of Toronto's Moving the Economy (MTE) celebrated Transport Canada's
new federal regulatory amendment to the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations by
inviting participants to test-drive power-assisted electric bicycles at today's
Smog Summit.

The amendment allows the introduction of power-assisted bicycles in Canada. The
Ontario Ministry of Transportation is still completing its review process on
how to safely integrate power-assisted bicycles with other modes of
transportation on the province's roadways.

"This is a move in the right direction in getting these vehicles out on the
streets, promoting environmental sustainability and next generation
transportation businesses," says Sue Zielinski, director of Moving the Economy
(MTE).

According to Transport Canada, power-assisted bicycles were classified as
limited-speed motorcycles prior to the amendment. However, the bicycles did not
meet the safety standards applicable to that type of vehicle, including
requirements for lighting, mirrors, horns and fuel controls, and were therefore
not for sale in Canada. The amendment to the regulation created a definition
specifically for power-assisted bicycles and applies separate technical and
safety requirements.

Power-assisted bicycles are electric bikes propelled by a combination of the
cyclist and a motor or by the motor itself. These efficient, economical and
low-emission urban vehicles are in high demand in Canada and around the world.

The federal regulatory amendment was partially shaped by feedback from 369 test
bike riders who participated in the Electric Bike 2000 Project co-ordinated by
CEVEQ (Centre d'Expérimentation des Véhicules Électriques du Québec) with
support from Transport Canada and several other partners including the City of
Toronto. The project was designed to promote the use of electric-assisted bikes
and to evaluate the performance, safety and potential market in an effort to
assist federal and provincial governments in regulating the use of these bikes.

The City's component of the project gathered feedback from 158 users who rode
nine electric bikes over a total of 862 kilometres in the summer and fall of
2000. This pilot project was organized by MTE and funded by the Toronto
Atmospheric Fund (TAF) and Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC).

MTE recently received funding from the Toronto Atmospheric fund to support
Phase 2 of the Toronto Electric Bike Project and is also in the process of
providing market performance and safety feedback to the province in support of
its review process.

The Electric Bike Pilot Project 2000 report is available on the www.ceveq.qc.ca or www.tc.gc.ca/tdc/summary/13700/13732e.htm Web sites.

For more information on the Smog Summit 2001 visit www.city.toronto.on.ca/taf/smog_summit.htm or call the Toronto
Atmospheric Fund office at 416-392-0271.

For information about other MTE events promoting sustainable transportation
initiatives in the City, contact Li-Lien Gibbons at 416-338-5047.


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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