Green / Eco-Friendly

CAA Auto "missing the boat" (battery-electric bikes)

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 26th, 2017 4:51 pm
Sep 7, 2017
1 posts

CAA Auto "missing the boat" (battery-electric bikes)

Per the CAA site:
Q: Do we cover motorized bicycles?
A: Yes provided they are conventional bicycles with standard pedals and chain and mounted with an external electric geared motor. Motorcycles, electric scooters & mopeds are covered under Plus and Premiere memberships only.
"conventional bicycles with standard pedals and chain and mounted with an external electric geared motor". Clearly written by someone that has NO CLUE what they are writing about.

Canadian (and provincial, like Ontario) define the "power-assisted bicycle". In Ontario, the Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations issued under the MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT:
Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations

NEVER ONCE mentions the word "chain". And in fast one common style of motor (a "hub" motor) CAN be pedaled via chain, but the motor itself needs no chain.

And "an external electric geared motor"? Another design of battery-electric bicycle uses an "INTERNAL" motor.

MEANWHILE, the "CAA" in Victoria, Australia:
RACV Bike Assist

Doesn't appear to need to make up their own WEIRD definitions.

Book author/"futurist" William Gibson pointed out that "the future is already here, just not evenly distributed". (New products and ideas need to start *somewhere*, then spread.)

Use of the battery-electric bikes is already in China in the hundreds of millions. The Europeans have their EPACs (electric pedal-assisted cycles). In 2012 the tiny country of the Netherlands reported then already ONE MILLION EPACs - population about 17 million - on their - vastly superior - cycling infrastructure. Use of the electric bike has "exploded" too in Germany, Austria, Italy... all over.

One recent estimate was over ten thousand "power-assisted bicycles" already in southern Ontario alone. Today one can actually finance the purchase of one new "ebike" (with a thing "good credit rating") where monthly loan payments are about HALF of a monthly pass for public transit.

So. It remains to be seen whether folks like getting around town faster than CLOGGED roadways while saving TONS of money vs car ownership, etc.

The CAA can perhaps update their sloppy Q&A re the power-assisted bicycle to better take advantage of the future? It's already here in China and in Europe. With younger folks becoming more "urban" and giving up car ownership. North Americans are "stone age" for their urban transportation needs.

2 replies
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Mar 23, 2008
6937 posts
Why the outrage? If a company choses to make their own definition of what's covered or not covered, it's a simple choice to purchase their services or not. It's not like CAA coverage is a requirement of any kind for owning a motorized bicycle or any other kind of vehicle. I suspect that many of the hundreds of millions of battery electric bikes in Chine are not covered, and it's not even a consideration for the owner.

Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 11, 2004
8113 posts
Montreal, QC
? CAA to tow a ebike? Provide boost and lock out assistance?!
To pull the bike out of a ditch? Why do you need road side assist on an ebike o_o