Light Electric Vehicles – LEVs

October 2015

An Automobile Alternative for the City

New forms of personal transportation, known as Light Electric Vehicles or LEVs, are gaining interest among populations in urban areas as an alternative to automobiles. For congested areas of Toronto, LEVs are now part of the solution to traffic congestion and parking limitations.

LEVs are smaller, more economical and lack the horsepower of automobiles. They include a small electric engine and are well suited for travelling short distances except, in some cases, for the coldest and snowiest of months.

Light Electric Vehicles are typically available in three forms:

  • Bicycles with small motors which some call ebikes. These may be specially modified bicycles that include a battery, motor and console. Riders can pedal as much as they desire then activate the engine when assistance is necessary or desired.
  • Scooters which may look like a small motorcycle or moped.
  • Assistive scooters suitable for indoor or outdoor use by the elderly or for those with mobility issues. These can be found on sidewalks and inside condo buildings. They can usually fit inside elevators and doorways without difficulty. Some are portable and can be folded up for easy storage or transport in a car.

LEVs are environmentally friendly. They frequently replace automobiles and are a welcome addition to congested areas as a way to travel short distances.

Light Electric Vehicle batteries can run for over 100km of assisted riding per charge. For ebikes, batteries can recharge through pedalling and braking or removed and recharged overnight. One useful option is a portable and compact power supply for recharging during the day.

Light Electric Vehicles do not require a license or insurance. They are easier to park and don’t take up much space. They are an inexpensive way to travel to work, visit friends or for local shopping trips.

Light Electric Vehicles range in price from under $1,000 to about $5,000.


Electric Automobiles

For those who prefer or require a private mode for travel within the city, electric automobiles are an option.

Increasingly, condo buildings include the infrastructure necessary for recharging electric vehicles. An incentive of up to $1,000 for purchasing and installing an electric vehicle charging station is available. Program details can be found at

A typical electric vehicle will cost $706 per year for fuel whereas comparable gasoline vehicles cost between $1,500 and $2,000 per year to fuel.

Where to purchase Light Electric Vehicles:

Eco Motion

For more information on Light Electric Vehicles, contact the Toronto Electric Riders Association at