Most ebikes are now exempt from PST in B.C. The change brings electric bicycles (and tricycles) in line with how all other bicycles are taxed in the province.
The change is designed to increase accessibility for ebikes and increase the use of active transportation alternatives.
There are some limitations, though. The bike must have pedals or hand cranks that “allow for the cycle to be propelled by human power.” E-bikes must have a maximum assisted speed of 32 km/hr and a maximum 500 W output and must not have a combustion engine.
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Ebikes also must not be marketed as, or designed to look like electric motorcycles or electric mopeds. This last clause is a result of a recent B.C. Court of Appeal decision that e-bikes designed to look and function like mopeds do not meet the provinces definition of a motor-assisted cycle. I.e., they are not e-bikes.
The changes to B.C.’s PST are effective as of April 21, 2021.
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The full changes, as per B.C.’s PST Bulletin:
Effective April 21, 2021, electric bicycles and tricycles (ebikes and e-trikes). To qualify, an e-bike or e-trike must meet the following requirements.
– Has pedals or hand cranks that allow for the cycle to be propelled by human power
– Wheels that measure 350mm or more in diameter (13.8 inches)
– The electric motor or motors are not capable of propelling the cycle at a speed greater than 32 km/hr on level ground and do not have a continuous output power rating that exceeds 500W in total
– Does not have a combustion engine
– Is not marketed as, or designed to look like an electric motorcycle, electric moped,
electric scooter or another similar device
Read the full bulletin on B.C.’s PST update here.