The most climate-friendly motor vehicle that is can be conceived in the mind of man is prohibitied on Australian roads.
Australian regulations outlawed the use of engines on bicycles 40 years ago by limiting auxiliary power-assistance to 200 watts. Beyond bicycles, the Australian Design Rules for mopeds and motorcycles kick in and the overall vehicle weight starts at about 100 kg and pedals are useless.
Hybrid Pedal Power bicycles and other pedal cycles with auxiliary power assistance greater than 250 watts are capable of carbon footprints equivalent to 1/3rd or less of a light motor scooter. These are caught in this regulatory dragnet in Australia.
The NSW Centre for Road Safety, a division of the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, has been conducting a project on behalf of Australian regulators to review the regulatory framework for power-assisted pedal cycles, being any pedal cycle fitted with auxiliary power.
Advocacy Position Statement by HybriPed has developed over close to 18 months when the RTA first circulated a draft paper for discussion.
Take the time to browse through the following resources and papers. I'd be pleased to get any feedback.
Resources and Papers
Web version of HybriPed's response to the RTA discussion paper - Discussion - Hybrid Pedal Powered cycles
HybriPed has used a motorized bicycle as a genuine hybrid pedal bicycle for over 2 years. Read more about his views in this link - Tell me more about Hybrid Pedal Power
Road safety is a core issue. HybriPed's view is that the research strongly suggests that the more pedals on the road, the better it is for all cyclists. Read more Cycling - There is safety in numbers
HybriPed's position is not radically new. The Ministry of transportation, Ontario, Canada can take credit for being real pioneers. Visit the [MOT New and Alternative Vehicles page].
Myself, Heath Young of Sydney and others went through the RTA discussion paper with a fine tooth comb. Here is the result HybriPed and friends critique of the RTA paper (June 2009)
HybriPed organised a public forum on 24 June 2009 in Hobart to gauge public sentiment. The middle of winter, short notice and two other transport and bicycle events on the same evening did not help attendance, but the 30+ attendees were very supportive of HybriPed's position. PAPC forum poster and Forum notice.
This is HybriPed's original response to the RTA discussion paper: Submission to RTA 29 June 2009 (2.6 MB)
What sorts of vehicles are/will remain prohibited on Australian roads? Here are some examples of Prohibited Alternative Vehicles
The NSW Centre for Road Safety discussion paper (called the RTA Paper): Power-Assisted Pedal Cycles - Proposal for a new AB Vehicle definition-May 2009.pdf