Cycling: E-Bike and E-Mobility Devices

The District of Tofino is working to develop a policy and related regulations for the use of e-bikes and other e-mobility devices within our boundaries and, in collaboration with Parks Canada, extending along the Multi-use Path into the Pacific Rim National Park. Explore the project timeline, current context, project objectives and the differences between e-mobility, e-bikes and electric adaptive mountain bikes below.


The project began in February with the development of project objectives based on existing policies and plans, and with input from key stakeholders. This first phase of the project informed the development of draft policy directions, which are now online for community input (details below) that will be gathered over the summer. Community input will then inform the final policy and regulations that will be developed starting this fall.


TELL US WHAT YOU THINK – Online survey open now until August 31 

Please take the survey before 11:59PM on August 31 and tell us what you think about e-bikes, e-devices and the draft policy directions for Tofino. Your input will help shape the final policy and regulations.

E-Bike and E- Mobility Devices Policy Development FAQ

Current Contex
  • E-bikes and other e-devices are already here and their use is increasing.
  • Effective policies are required to manage potential impacts and the experience of residents, visitors and businesses.
  • Enforcement will be challenging.
  • E-mobility technology and provincial regulations will continue to advance and evolve, and there are some types of e-bikes and e-devices that may be more appropriate than others for our community.
  • E-bikes and e-devices allow more people of varying ages and abilities to recreate outdoors and choose more active forms of transportation 
Project Objectives

The objectives below, along with community input, will be used to guide the development of the final policy and regulations. They were developed based on existing District of Tofino policies, bylaws and plans, and with input from key stakeholders. 

  1. Protect the natural environment, including Tofino’s unique rural coastal areas, natural ecosystems, old-growth features and wildlife. Where natural areas are accessed and enjoyed for recreation and overall wellbeing, we do so in a responsible way.
  2. Reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions.
  3. Reduce vehicle use, and traffic and parking congestion.
  4. Support and enable active citizens of all ages and strong social connections, resulting in overall physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing
  5. Enable accessibility options for persons with mobility restrictions.
  6. Support the safety of all road, trail and beach users, working towards zero transportation related fatalities or serious injuries.
  7. Minimize conflicts for all trail and beach user groups, including wildlife.
  8. Minimize trail impacts and required maintenance.
  9. Contribute to a diverse and resilient economy, exceptional visitor experiences and a diversity of recreation offerings that enable visitors to interact with the natural environment with minimal impact.
  10. Help to maintain to the unique small-town, natural, and relaxed character of the community.
  11. Maximize clarity and consistency for bike and trail users within the region and around the province.
What’s an e-mobility device?

There are a wide range of electric mobility devices, which can use 100 per cent human power, 100 per cent motor, or a combination of both. These include:

  • several classes of e-bikes (see below)
  • motorized wheelchairs and mobility scooters
  • other electric personal mobility devices (e.g. e-scooters, e-skateboards, e-Segways and non-bike e-devices).
Classes of E-Bikes

Class 1 – Pedal Assist (lower speed)

  • Requires human effort for motor to engage
  • Motor shuts off at 32 km/h
  • Classified as a Motor Assisted Cycle in B.C.

Class 2 – Throttle Activated (lower speed)

  • Does not require human effort for motor to engage
  • Motor shuts off at 32 km/h
  • Classified as a motor vehicle in B.C.

Class 3 – Pedal Assist (higher speed) 

  • Requires human effort for motor to engage
  • Motor shuts off at 45 km/h
  • Classified as a motor vehicle in B.C.
Electric Adaptive Mountain Bikes (aMTBs)

Electric aMTBs are highly adapted for users with limited mobility in their limbs from spinal cord injuries or other disabilities. They are exempt from e-bike restrictions according to provincial e-bike legislation and as such they are permitted on all off-road trails where bikes are permitted. They are exempt from e-bike restrictions as long as they meet the following criteria:

  • Must have three or four wheels;
  • Must have the ability to propel the aMTB with hand cranks when without electric power;
  • The maximum nominal power wattage is set at 800W or less; and
  • The aMTB may have pedal assist and/or direct throttle power.

For more about B.C. regulations regarding low-powered vehicles, visit this ICBC site, and for the provincial policy related to e-bike classifications and use on established recreation trails, click here.

Project Contact

If you have questions about the project, please contact:

April Froment
Manager of Public Spaces, Cultural and Visitor Initiatives
250-725-3229 ext 613