Electric bikes, Segways and small motorised vehicles
Riding electric bikes, Segways and other small motorised vehicles in the countryside is not included in the Right of Public Access (Allemansrätt). This means that at this time you are not permitted to ride/drive these vehicles on trails, paths or over off-road terrain without permission from the landowner. In some cases proof of an exemption is also required.
Electric bikes with a maximum motor capacity of 250 w
There is no motorised right of public access. Therefore, if you want to ride an electric bike on trails, paths or over off-road terrain you need permission from the owner of the land – otherwise you must stay on the road. If you have received permission from a landowner you should, as always, show consideration and be careful not to disturb or destroy anything.
Riding an electric bike in the countryside is a relatively new phenomenon. Neither the current off-road driving laws nor the Right of Public Access were developed taking these vehicles into consideration. The Swedish EPA’s interpretation of electric bikes with a maximum motor capacity of 250 w in off-road terrain is based on multiple government bills, inquiries and commentary on laws having established that there is no motorised public right of access. As electric bikes have motors they fall outside the current interpretation of what is included in the Public Right of Access.
Electric vehicles with a motor capacity exceeding 250 w
If the motor capacity exceeds 250 w and pedal support amounts to more than 25 km/h, the vehicle is classified as a motorised vehicle and falls under the categories of class 1-2 moped and light or heavy motorcycle, depending on the maximum capacity/speed. In addition to permission from the landowner, these vehicles also require an exemption from the ban contained in the Off-Road Driving Act on driving off-road over snow-free ground. Read more under quads, ATVs and off-road motorcycles.
What the law says
The Swedish EPA defines “motorised vehicles” as various types of electric-assisted bicycles with a maximum motor capacity of 250 w. Various government bills, commissions and commentary on laws (including bill 2009/10:238, bill 1995/96:226, SOU 1993:51, commentary on Section 17 of NVL, commentary on Chapter 7 Section 1 of the Environmental Code) have established that there is no “motorised public right of access”.
There is no law that gives any person the right to ride/drive a motorised vehicle on any other party’s land without permission from the landowner.
It is permitted to cycle in the countryside as long as no disturbance or damage is caused. Please be aware that cycling in the countryside may cause damage, particularly if the ground is wet or soft. The risk of damage increases if you cycle frequently along the same route and/or in larger groups.