As usual this press release raises more questions than it answers (for me anyway)
- “In addition, existing designs of machines will continue to be allowed.”
Does this mean my previously legal 200W, power available when not pedaling, power available over 25kph will remain legal? For how long? Is it legal to sell? Can shops sell them?
= "However, she said that changes to state and territory road rules may be necessary to allow use of the new electric bicycles and advised people to contact their state road authorities to confirm local provisions."
So until SA changes our laws the 250W bikes are still illegal?
It's a moot point as I think the police aren't overly interested in ebikes, but I do think 500W would be a more reasonable option - especially for those inefficient hub drives going up hills!
Hopefully this should see a much wider range of bikes introduced now that we are aligned with bigger markets, so overall I think it's a good thing.
I ride a Yuba Mundo cargo bike with a 200W hub motor in the front wheel and a thumb throttle. Whilst I'm happy with the proposed increase from 200W to 250W, there are several aspects of the new standard which don't suit the requirements of cargo bikes like mine:
I've tried pedelec and throttle motors on different bikes, and I think that throttle driven motors are very handy on loaded cargo bikes. This new standard won't support that, which is disappointing. Cargo bikes are growing in popularity, and it would be good to take their requirements into account.
I also have the question about "Existing designs of machines will continue to be allowed." - what does that mean?
Pedelec sensors I have met use a ring of magnets affixed to the pedal crank and detect rotation with a small coil on the frame. They are therefore suitable for front motor as well as rear motor drives. You could of course be back peadlling as the sensor doesn't care. The amount of assistance is dialled in by the rider or fixed, either fully on or off.
Torque sensing could easily be part of the chain drive too. A deflection sensor between two jockey wheels riding on the chain should be easy to arrange.
I read the new rules and they refer to throttle take-off available to 6km/h which is enough to get the pedals spinning past the pedelec sensor.
Existing designs refers to local rules for 200W motors and their drive systems. All older (legal) motor drives remain legal as well as the new 250W 25km/h limited motors.
My eLation (no longer available) can be fitted with sensors for pedelec functionality and speed limiting as well.
Mind you, now the seller has gone bust it will be good luck trying to find out how.
Link here for mid-mount (Chainwheel drive) systems, including pedelec and speed limiter. (batteries not inc.)