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Who killed the electric scooter?

The answer to that question might in fact be: Quebec traffic regulations.
Apparently electric scooters face the same issues that have kept pioneering Canadian electric cars off Canadian roads (although they're doing brilliantly in Europe and the States): the traffic folks can't decide what box they fit into.
Here's some background:

Most electric bicycles (which are regular bicycles that have a lithium or regular electric battery that allow you to roll without pedalling, or move faster if you're pedalling up a slope). Electric scooters move just like regular scooters (except their riders giggle hysterically while scooting past gas stations and also they scoot slower. Like top speed 40 kmph).
So according to Quebec road laws, electric scooters qualify not as regular scooters, but as recreational vehicles. (Electric bicycles are okay because they have pedals. So you can even ride them on bike paths). Recreational vehicles aren't allowed on roads or bike paths. Which means you can only ride them (legally) on private land!
On the somewhat bright-ish side, the cops themselves don't have their story straight and I suspect they often let electric scooterists go as long as they're riding safely and with a helmet on.

I tried the electric bicycle at Maison des Scooters. Jay Issa offered me the sexy-looking scooter, but that might have been scary for the public. (I'm a bit of a motor menace). I have to admit I loved it. Smooth ride. Very soft, no trouble getting started. Quiet as a whisper; good brakes. And the locking and removing of the battery pack was easy enough even for a klutz like me. I love the idea that you can charge your battery on the go (at a restaurant or at the office), but I don't think I'll be buying one (even though at $595 some of them cost less than the non-motorized bikes I've been checking out on craigslist!) My own reasons are mundane: I sit at a desk all day and cherish the exercise I get from walking or cycling to work. I would hate to have to pay gym fees and try to scrounge up extra time because my commute got sedentary.
But for someone older or less active, this could be an excellent way to get to and from grocery shopping or city trips.
What do you think?

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Comments (6)

donovan alto


I think it's kinda cool. But I'm not going to buy it because it's pointless when i just got a brand new $300 bike. To Geeta, I like how you are ...
and to PJ Stock I love all of the hockey and all of that stuff and I think the goalie Fleurie is going down.

Posted May 27, 2008 06:57 PM

Elena Kozlova


Wow yeah!!! I didn't even know that those bikes existed!!! We really want to buy one for my grandmother now!
It will be really reaaally useful!!
Thank you so much for mentioning this!!

Posted May 27, 2008 08:59 PM




It was very nice to see your report on electric bikes.

I am 29 years old, and i use my car daily for commute to work.

With the rising prices of gas, I am very open to the idea of using a electric bike in the summer.

However, once winter is back, i doubt i will do that.

when will they make electric vehicles suitable for our winter conditions?

thank you


Posted May 27, 2008 10:34 PM

Ron Rancourt


The province of Quebec should legislate electric scooters the same way they do gas ones. That can't be so hard to implement! Call/write your political representatives.

Posted May 29, 2008 08:15 AM

Ron Rancourt


Why can't the Quebec regulators just treat them like the obnoxious gas scooters? The only difference is the drive train. Get these green quiet commuter vehicles approved.

Posted May 29, 2008 11:09 PM

L Zhang


Glad to see this news. In China, almost every family has an electric scooter. It is very convenient and economic for shot-distance traffic. I have one myself.

Posted October 4, 2008 04:53 AM

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