In general, an electric bicycle can be used on roads and anywhere. In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of e-bikes (or “e-bikes”) in the U.S. UU. This manual deals specifically with low-speed e-bikes, as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Electric bicycles are usually “pedaling assistance” or “muscle assistance”, which means that the cyclist must be pedaling for the electric motor to activate. E-bikes can also be equipped with an accelerator that allows the bicycle to be propelled without pedaling. The bicycle's low-speed electric motor provides an increase in power for climbing hills, expanding the range of trips on which a bicycle can be used, allows current users to ride bicycles more frequently and farther, offers a new recreational option for people who want to ride a bicycle and, in general, extends the autonomy of any route. Low-speed e-bikes are as safe and robust as traditional bicycles and move at similar speeds to conventional bicycles.
E-bikes produce no emissions, are low-impact and operate silently. E-bikes vary greatly in terms of shape and size, but the different types align closely with those of regular bicycles. E-bikes resemble traditional bicycles in both appearance and operation and do not operate in a similar way to mopeds, scooters and other motorized vehicles. The reasons for buying an e-bike vary: some are looking for an affordable mode of transport and others are looking for a less physically demanding bicycle option or help for biking in mountainous areas.
E-bikes can also be a more attractive and feasible option for short trips. Data from the Department of Transportation survey, half of all trips in the U.S. They are three miles or less in length, a distance widely considered passable for most adults and even more feasible for electric cyclists. 72 percent of those trips are currently made by car and less than 2 percent by bicycle.
E-bikes also offer a new transportation and recreation option for people with disabilities and people with physical limitations. State legislatures have begun to study how to differentiate and define electric bicycles and regulate their operating and equipment standards on the roads and trails of their respective states. One of the challenges is the distinction between other motorized vehicles, such as scooters and mopeds, and the growing market and interest in electric bicycles as a cost-effective and environmentally friendly transport option. Cultural norms, law enforcement on speed limits, physical infrastructure, and other factors are likely to influence cycling speeds and other decisions about cycling operations that are made with traditional and conventional electric bicycles, and it's clear that more research is needed.
An electric bicycle that meets the federal definition of an electric bicycle and that is subject to bicycle product safety regulations. At the federal level, a 2002 law enacted by Congress, HB 727, amended the Consumer Product Safety Commission's definition of electric bicycles. The law defined a low-speed electric bicycle as “a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts (1 h, p. Federal law allows e-bikes to operate only with the motor (an electric bicycle with assisted acceleration) or with a combination of motor and human power (an “pedal-assisted” e-bike).
It should be noted that federal law only specifies the maximum speed at which an electric bicycle can travel only with motor power. It doesn't provide maximum speed when the bicycle is powered by a combination of human and motor power, which is how e-bikes are predominantly driven. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has clarified that federal law does allow e-bikes to travel at more than 20 miles per hour when using a combination of human and motor power. State traffic laws and vehicle codes remain the exclusive domain of states and state legislatures.
In other words, the manufacture and first sale of an electric bicycle are regulated by the federal government, but its operation on streets and bike lanes is under state control. Therefore, many states still have their own laws that classify electric bicycles with mopeds and other motorized vehicles, require a license and registration, or do not allow their use in facilities such as bicycle lanes or multi-purpose trails. Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. All of these states have different laws regarding the operation of e-bikes.
In the rest of the states, electric bicycles lack a specific definition and can be included in another class of vehicles, such as “moped” or “motorized bicycle”. Twenty-six states (Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming) have created a three-tier e-bike classification system designed to differentiate between models with varying speed capacities. These states have nearly identical language of definition for e-bikes, as well as similar safety and operating requirements. Both New Jersey and West Virginia established a two-tier ranking system.
In the case of New Jersey, the definition only includes the first two levels of classification. Later, the legislature amended its definition of “motorized bicycles” by establishing that such a device is one that operates at more than 20 MPH with a maximum speed driven by an engine of 28 MPH. This would generally meet the definition of a “class three” e-bike. In West Virginia, the law provides for “class one” and “class three” e-bikes, but not the “class two” e-bike, which can only be powered by an engine up to 20 MPH.
Any device outside of these definitions is not considered a low-speed electric bicycle that would be regulated as a bicycle. At least 25 states and D, C. Have some type of helmet requirement for cyclists and e-bike passengers. They often apply to cyclists under a certain age.
However, 25 states have no helmet requirements for any kind of e-bike. Of which, at least eight, including Arizona, Idaho, Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming, have enacted specific e-bike laws without such requirements. They have helmet laws that apply to all cyclists, including e-bike riders, under a certain age, between 12 and 18 years old. States with a three-level classification system typically exempt e-bikes from registration, licensing and insurance requirements to differentiate between e-bikes and other motor vehicles, such as mopeds and scooters.
All 26 states with a three-level rating system require e-bikes to have a label that indicates the classification number, maximum assisted speed and engine power. In general, at least six states (Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico and North Dakota) require a license to operate an electric bicycle, usually because they are still under the designation of another motor vehicle classification with licensing and registration requirements, and no specific law on electric bicycles has been created. Utah and Vermont are examples of states that recently eliminated licensing and registration requirements for e-bikes. However, some states, including Alabama and Alaska, that define e-bikes in some way, still require an operator's license to ride an e-bike.
Of the 43 states and D, C. This defines electric bicycles. Some state laws, such as those in Arizona, Minnesota, Utah and Washington, specifically allow the operation of electric bicycles in facilities such as bicycle lanes or greenways, with the exception that many establish exceptions for localities to enact stricter operating regulations in such facilities for bicycles and pedestrians. In Delaware, Iowa and Nebraska, e-bikes are defined within the existing definition of bicycle, so there is no distinction when it comes to operating on trails.
Vermont specifies that motorized bicycles are governed like bicycles and have the same rights and duties applicable to bicyclists. Hawaii law does not include restrictions on where e-bikes can operate. Assuming the continued solid growth of the e-bike industry, state legislatures are likely to continue their efforts to define electric bicycles, clarify operating, safety and equipment standards, and further differentiate them from motor vehicles, such as mopeds and scooters. For more information on e-bike laws, research, news and industry updates, visit People for Bikes.
The laws on e-bikes (e-bikes) are different in each state and can be confusing for cyclists, retailers, and suppliers. PeopleForBikes is making e-bike riding easy and accessible for everyone. See the regulations specific to your state below. Driver requirement Minimum age of 16 years Driver's license and registration required Helmet required for all ages Where can ride on street lanes Regulatory rules Maximum speed equal to that of the vehicle* Pedaling and accelerator assistance*Mopeds are not electric bicycles, but are shown for comparison purposes.
A low-speed e-bike is more comparable to a regular bicycle than to a moped, scooter, or other motorized vehicle. Local jurisdictions have the power to authorize any prohibition on the operation of bicycles and electric scooters on any bicycle or pedestrian path, provided that it is under their own jurisdiction. .