Federal Law Pertaining to Electric Bicycles

In the United States of America, Congress has defined a low-speed electric bicycle as any bicycle or tricycle with fully operable pedals, an electric motor not exceeding 750 W of power and a top motor-powered speed not in excess of 20 miles per hour (equivalent to the Canadian 32 km/h). An electric bike or trike that meets these limitations is regarded as a bicycle [8] by Public Law 107-319.[9] This Law defines electric bicycles only for the purpose of Consumer Product Safety and does not allow for their use on roads. It is a safety criteria that manufacturers should use in building electric bicycles, which helps protect manufacturers from the threat of lawsuits from within states that attempt to legislate more stringent safety requirements.


These are Federal regulations that put control of monitoring the safety of electric bicycles into the hands of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), which supersede any state law that is more stringent, but only regarding safety equipment required on electric bicycles and not regarding whether electric bicycles are street legal. The states still decide what vehicles are allowed to use the roads in their state.


The U.S. Department of Energy reports that “Since [1998, when federal rules regulating equipment on these vehicles became effective], 37 states have passed legislation allowing these vehicles to be driven on roads with posted speed limits of 35 miles per hour or lower.” [10]

 

TEA-21 and SAFETEA-LU Specify that legal Ebikes, as defined above, are legal on urban bicycle trail systems getting any federal funding unless states or local entities have passed laws specifically dis-allowing electric assist bicycles. Under Federal Law, Ebikes are NOT considered motor vehicles unless the state or local entity has passed a law otherwise.


There is a MISCONCEPTION that when "motor vehicles" or "motorized vehicles" are disallowed by law or by signage, that this always means ebikes are illegal on trails. This is UNTRUE in many states; these terms do not include "legal low power electric assist bicycles", and can only be banned by passing a specific state or local law. (See TEA-21 Federal DOT Law)

SAFETEA-LU is a 2005 Federal Re-authorization of the 1990s TEA-21, and renews the exclusion of legal ebikes from the classification of 'motor vehicles' from urban trail use unless a specific local ebike statute is passed.


http://www.house.gov/transportation_democrats/Bike%20Book%2006.pdf


"Motorized vehicles are not permitted on trails and pedestrian walkways EXCEPT FOR: maintenance purposes, motorized wheelchairs, and—when State or local regulations permit—snowmobiles and electric bicycles. Electric bicycles are defined for the purposes of this Act as a bicycle or tricycle with a low-powered electric motor weighing less than 100 pounds with a top motor-powered speed not in excess of 20 miles per hour."

(The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, P.L.109-59 Available from the Government Printing Office or online at www.dot.gov. Title 23, United States Code. Available from the Government Printing Office or your local library system.)


There is some debate as to if and where the 100 lb rule applies. On the surface it appears to be valid on trails. Check your state and local laws for any recent changes.

As always, unsafe operation may be a specific illegal or civil matter to be handled by local courts.


electric bike Purchased Recently:
48v1000w26 front wheel electric bicycle motor kit e bike cycling hub conversion, refurbished electric bike 24inch 250w power bike 15mph, 36v500w 26 front wheel electric bicycle motor kit e bike cycling hub conversion, cyclamatic electric motor power plus bicycle mountain bike lithium battery white, gio h2 volt electric folding city bicycle bike lithium ion 250w, 26 electric bicycle front wheel conversion kit new 48v 1000w e bike motor hub, 48v1000w 26 rear wheel electric bicycle lcd display motor kit e bike conversion, 36v500w 26 rear wheel electric bicycle motor kit e bike cycling hub conversion, gio h1 volt electric mountain bicycle bike lithium ion 350w, igo electric bicycle urban model black bike with samsung lithium battery, xb 300li electric mountain bicycle by x treme e bikes, e guruma electric bike 16 folding bike 24v 12ah, izip e3 vibe low step lithium battery electric bike red 250w 36v, 48v 1000w electric bicycle cycle e bike 26 conversion kit hub motor rear wheel, x treme xb 305li lithium battery electric mountain bicycle silver 7 speed bike, 36v 250w 26 front wheel electric bicycle light motor cycling hub conversion kit, prodecotech phantom x2 v35 folding electric bicycle e bike 36v 12ah 500w, 48v1000w 26 front wheel electric bicycle lcd display motor e bike conversion, 26” electric bike bicycle motor conversion kit ebike rear wheel 48v 1000w , x treme xb 305li lithium battery electric mountain bicycle black 7 speed bike, 500 watt electric moped bicycle scooter black, burgundy, blue brand new bt6, electric bicycle x treme xb 504 no dl needed moped motorcycle scooter ebike , 48v1000w 26 rear wheel electric bicycle e bike conversion, schwinn world gse electric mens bike, refurbished yukon trail electric bike navigator sm24 power bike, fat tire electric bike, ebike, electric bicycle, beast fat tire electric bike e bike conversion kit heh human electric hybrids , aowa electric bicycle very inexpensive transportation ecology friendly, new 48v 1000w 26rear wheel electric bike bicycle motor conversion kit ebike, lithium battery powered folding electric mountain e bike bicycle 300 watt 20mph, trike adult 3 three wheel electric bike trike tricycle bicycle litening trike, schwinn tailwind electric mens bike 700c not working battery, electric bike nylon battery case new, heh massif electric fat tire bike ebike electric bicycle e bike, raleigh electric powered bikeawesome, electric bike vintage the electric bicycle corporation of america, inc, electric bike ebike fat tire 48v 1000 watt include battery free shipping, stromer elite 27 speed electric bike medium black, electric bike, schwinn transit electric mens bike 700ccharcoal, prodeco technologies outlaw se hi power electric bicycle e bike 48v 9ah 750w, electric bike yukon trail ebike electric bicycle ms eb, 26 electric bicycle rear wheel conversion kit new 48v 1000w e bike motor hub, new 2015 street legal safe electric bike ebike 48v 750w with battery , homcom 48v1000w 20 rear wheel electric bicycle motor conversion kit lcd display, 36v 250w 26 rear wheel electric bicycle light motor kit cycling hub conversion, schwinn continental electric mens bike 700c 2007, electric bike ebike trike 48v 1000wmax w battery free shipping, refurbished electric bike 24inch 250w power bike speed at 15mph, electric single speed road bike 36v, 350w, 20mph, 15 30 mile range, 26 rear wheel 48v 1000w electric battery powered bicycle motor conversion kit, 1000w electric fat tire bike 26x4in tires 28 mph black aluminum fast, 500 watt electric moped bicycle scooter black, burgundy, blue brand new in crate, 26” 48v 1000w electric bicycle cycle e bike conversion kit hub motor geared, homcom 24 rear wheel 48v 1000w electric bicycle hub motor conversion kit lcd, refurbished electric bike 24 inch navigator powered bicycle, revolve electric bikes daytripper ii, ebike mountain bicycle electric scooter unicycle conversion e bike white 20 in, schwinn searcher e8 24 volt electric bicycle women battery not working, new 36v 500w electric bicycle e bike rear wheel conversion kit cycling motor hub, refurbished electric bike 24 inch navigator power bike campus bicycle , 36v 500w electric bicycle motor conversion kit 26 e bike cycling front wheel, 28rear wheel 48v1000w electric battery bicycle motor conversion kit lcd display, asea brown bovero electric bike kit 24 36 volt controller, homcom 2648v1000w electric battery bicycle motor conversion kit rear wheel lcd, heh snow beast electric fat tire bike ebike electric bicycle e bike, yukon trail urban street electric bike male 24inch red ms eblam24 new, prodecotech phantom x 500 folding electric bicycle ebike mountain 36v 9ah 500w, watseka xp cargo electric bicycle 26 6 speed adult young adult black, iride 26 electric hybrid cruiser bike upto 18mph, 27 miles on one charge, e bike mountain bicycle electric scooter unicycle black 26 in, cyclamatic electric motor power plus bicycle mountain bike lithium battery black, refurbished electric bike power bike campus bicycle eco friendly e bike, 48v 1000w electric bike ebike bicycle lithium 20ah battery alloy charger , 20” 48v 1000w electric bicycle cycle motor conversion kit hub geared w lcd, izip e3 zuma 500 watts electric bike 36v 114ah 410whpedal assist, 2014 conway e rider electric bike, xb 310li x treme folding electric mountain e bike bicycle, e guruma electric bike motorized folding bike egu2 free delivery in so cal only, electric bicycle prodecotech mariner 8 folding e bike e scooter 36v 9ah 300w, electric bicycle by x treme, new x treme trail maker electric silver motor mountain bicycle motorized bike , electric bicycle, electric bike ebike 1000w 48v free shipping free battery only $999 sale, cyclamatic electric motor power plus bicycle mountain bike amp lithium ion battery, electric bicycle ford think bike fun, electric bicycle prodecotech stride 500 black cruiser e bike 36v 12ah 500w, new x treme xb 310li electric bike mountain bike 20mph {black}, folding electric mini e bike lee iacocca ev global electric bicycle folding,