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Ebike Buying Guide

Ebike Buying Guide

Electric bikes are one of the most popular forms of transportation these days. They're trendy and revolutionizing the way people get around. They make riding a bicycle up hills as easy as riding them on flat. They can help you ride farther and faster with more ease than ever before. For some cyclists, the idea of an electric bike will always be considered cheating, but what if having a little help opened up a whole new world of cycling possibilities? In fact, research has shown that people who ride ebikes get just as much exercise as those who ride regular bicycles! In this guide, we explain the different types of electric bikes and help you make an informed decision on which bike suits you best! Don't forget to take a look at the laws that govern electric bike useage on the Federal, State, and local level. At the bottom of this guide we have put a summary of these laws for your reference and this may also help you decide what type of electric bike to buy.

Formula for determining which Electric Bike is right for you:

Laws (See below) x Brand x Finances x Purpose x Style x Power = Best Ebike

There are certain guidelines to help you define which electric bike fits your needs. Certainly there ae financial considerations but with payment plans available, hopefully this reduces the importance of this criteria. 

Other elements emerge as being just as important or more important than price. What quality of ebike do you want to invest in? And how long do you want this ebike to last? And what about reliability and maintence? 

It safe to say that the higher quality the bike, the longer it will last with greater reliabillity, longevity, and least maintenance. The electric bike companies that offer one year warranties on their bikes are the best bikes on the road. They strive to improve their bikes every year in terms of materials and performance. We are proud to carry two excellent and time tested brands, Greenbikes, and X-treme electric bikes. You cannot go wrong in purchasing either of these brands. They have bee highl rated and reviewed by outside companies. 

The other electric bikes we carry are mostly imported from China, though that does not make them a poor choice. All of these bikes we carry from China have proven themselves and weign in at a lower price range and come without the one year warranty of the Greenbikes and X-treme bike. However, if you are not as concerned about a high performance bike, these are still a good choice. For example, the Qualisport and Samebike brands have good ratings, and cost less. They do not come with a warranty though.

So what are the other factors to consider to get a good fit for yourself.

1) Best to decide first on the major reason you want an electric bke.

  • Is it to go offroad and ride in tough terrain? Then you will want a mountain ebike with a strong motor, an especially tough frame and suspension designed for rough ground and climbing. 
  • You need an electric bike for commuting or riding on flat roads. You have several choices- cruisers, and folding bikes
  • Fat tire bikes - You want an electric bike to ride on bike paths, beach, or occassionally on roads. You may want the extra stabillity of a fat tire bike. Another good reason for fat tires is if yuu expect to ride on  sand, ice, or snow. The fat tires have much better traction so you can enjoy your ride more. 
  • Step-through electric bikes are not just for women, though it is suited for women who want to wear a dress while riding. Men who want an easy way to get on their bikes are just as suited to this design. It is expecially helpful for the elderly and anyone who has lower body injuries or a bad back. You will frequently see men now riding this style of electric bike. This is choice is often made for practical reasons. The step-through bikes have similar performance as their conterparts with the horizontal bar. 
  • Folding electric bikes are helpful to the commuter who wants to take their foldable bike on mass transportation. Or, they are helpful for people who want to put them in their car trunks, inside their trucks, or boats. People who want a foldable bike to store inside may prefer this type of electric bike. Again, this feature does not affect the perforance of the bike. 
  • The amount of power you need will depend on your weight, terrain, and cargo. If you are 120-220 pounds and plan on riding flat terrain you can get a 300-watt motor. However, if you live in a hilly city you may want to upgrade to a 36-volt battery that puts out 750 watts of power to climb steep hills. If you are over 220 pounds a 500-watt bicycle will be sufficient in a flat city but if you want to climb steep hills a 1000 watt bicycle is what you will need to get you up effortlessly.
  • Will you occassionally have a second rider? Several electric bikes are made for this purpose. 
 120-220 pounds Level
Mountain
Over 220 pounds Level Terrain

Mountain Terrain - Need at least 1000 Watts power

 

GREEN BIKE ENDURO PHAT 48 - 1200 Watts

 

How Does an Electric Bike Work?

An electric bike is simply a regular bicycle with a battery, motor, controller, computer, and switch integrated into the mechanics of the bike to offer an electrical assist and track performance.

Pedal Assisted Power

This option is included in almost every e-bike now as a standard mode of operation. There is a magnet sensor installed on the downtube and the crankset so that the bicycle controller will know when you start pedaling. After one or two rotations within a short period of time, the controller will tell the battery to send electricity to the motor and the motor will kick in. Some e-bikes have different levels of assist and some have just an on-or-off assist mode. This mode saves battery life and helps you ride further, but also lets you get exercise as your ride.

On-Demand Throttle

A bike with on-demand throttle-powered “twist-and-go” acceleration rides more like a motorcycle. Regardless of whether you pedal or not, the throttle triggers the motor and provides continuous power to move the bike forward.

Human-Powered

Most electric bicycles allow you to turn off the electric motor and ride like you would a traditional bike. People use this feature to get the exercise of riding a bike but have the option to switch on the motor when they encounter a hill difficult terrain. Electric bikes tend to be a bit heavier than a normal bicycle.

Electric Bike Batteries

When considering electric bikes, there are two main types of batteries. There's lithium-ion batteries, which gets used in cell phones and laptop computers, and sealed lead acid batteries which are similar to the batteries under the hood of your car.

Some high-quality electric bikes place the battery discreetly in the down tube, keeping the center of gravity low, improving balance, and all around aesthetics.

Lithium-ion

Lithium-ion batteries have many benefits including lighter weight, longer lifespan, safer to use, and the capability to charge faster. The only downside to this type of battery is the higher price tag. You'll find lithium-ion batteries in most high-quality electric bikes because of all their benefits. The price of manufacturing them has decreased significantly over the last few years.

Sealed Lead Acid

Sealed Lead Acid batteries are less expensive to manufacture and found in electric bikes under $800. They're much heavier and more dangerous due to the poisonous lead contained within the sealed cells. They're the same type that is under the hood of your car and requires the same safety precautions while handling. These batteries are less environmentally friendly and produce more waste after the batteries lifespan. The main benefit is affordability.

Volts

The battery voltage rating reflects how powerful the rush of electricity is sent to the motor. Entry level electric bikes typically come with a 24V battery, some people find this isn't enough to feel the "rush" of acceleration. Typically it requires 36V to give you a quick take off and give you that feeling of excitement when you pull the throttle. Some e-bikes come in 48 volts as well, which can give you great torque power for climbing hills, but 36 volts is all you need for a wide application of uses, hilly or flat.

Amp-Hours

The more amp-hours you have, the more range you will get with your electric bike, similar to a gas tank. The hours in amp-hours means how many amps there are per hour of usage. Often, you'll see 8AH, 10AH, 12AH batteries. We recommend a minimum of 10AH battery as this is enough to get your around 30-40 miles of flat or slightly hilly usage.

Comparing Your Battery Choices - 

Many buyers need help deciding what type of Battery to purchase, below we have created an easy to use guide to help you determine which battery is best for you!

STANDARD 36v/10AH - Most people are completely satisfied and it provides more than enough power and range, and it’s the most affordable option. Estimated Range: 15-30 miles.

LONG RANGE 36v/15AH - Best for trips over 20 miles or if you plan to pedal very little (or not at all). It can really come in handy to have excess capacity. Estimated Range: 22-45 miles.

POWERFUL 48v/10AH - Best for riders over 200 pounds and for overcoming steep hills or strong headwinds. This power makes it more fun and exciting to ride. Estimated Range: 20-40 miles.

PREMIUM 48v/15AH - This is the most popular option, it has all the power of the 48V 10Ah battery and the extended range of the 36V 15Ah. Estimated Range: 30-60 miles.

**All estimates are nonbinding; battery capacity and distance are subject to change with different battery manufacturers.


Electric Bike Motors

There are three main types of electric bike motors. Each design has its own strengths and the best option depends on your riding style.


Rear Hub Motors

This motor is located in the hub of the rear wheel and is the standard for electric bikes  The motor powers the rear wheel of the bicycle by activating an electromagnetic coil of wire with electricity. This type of motor provides the most traction because the bulk of the weight on a bicycle is located in the rear of the bicycle. However, the rider must be conscious of which gear they're in to make the best use of the electricity in the battery. These motors can be powerful but are often not the most efficient use of electricity.

Front Hub Motors

Front Hub Motors are the same as a rear hub motor, but they are on the front wheel instead. These are used on three-wheel e-bikes and some e-bike conversion kits.

Mid-Drive Motor

The mid-drive motor is located in the crankset of the bicycle where the pedals are. The electricity from the battery goes straight to the same place where the rider puts their energy to propel the bicycle. This doubling up of effort provides the best efficiency of the electricity used. Mid-drive motors offer the best torque capabilities for off-road electric bicycles as well.

Watts

A watt is a unit of power. You can determine the wattage of an electric bicycle by taking the voltage and multiplying it by the amps of the battery. They measure the potential output of a machine powered by a battery.

How Much Power Do You Need?**

The amount of power you need will depend on your weight, terrain, and cargo. If you are 120-220 pounds and plan on riding flat terrain you can get a 300-watt motor. However, if you live in a hilly city you may want to upgrade to a 36-volt battery that puts out 750 watts of power to climb steep hills. If you are over 220 pounds a 500-watt bicycle will be sufficient in a flat city but if you want to climb steep hills a 1000 watt bicycle is what you will need to get you up effortlessly.

 


Electric Bike Consoles

The console is usually located on the handlebars and gives you valuable information about your electric bike’s performance. More advanced displays (images below in the center and right) come with LCD display, an odometer, speedometer, energy meter, and output indicator. On cheaper bikes (image on the left), these consoles can be as simple as a couple blinking lights to indicate battery life which in turn you can use to gauge how much distance or time you have left. 

    


Different Electric Bike Styles 

There are many different styles of electric bikes designed for different kinds of riders. We've provided a brief explanation of each below.

Commuter / City

This could potentially be the biggest e-bike segment of all. They're lean, green commuting machines. They'll get you from one end of a congested city to the other and free you from unreliable public transport and arrive at your destination with all the buzz of a morning ride, minus the sweat.

Folding

Folding electric bikes are perfect hybrid bicycles for the urban environment. For some commuters, this is the dream: an electric folding bike that can be compacted down small for storing in a small apartment, office, or the trunk of your car. 

One of our personal favorites is the Folding bike, GREEN BIKE CLASSIC HS 2021 EDITION, or the step through version, GREEN BIKE ELECTRIC MOTION CLASSIC LS. They are both have high ratings by independent reviewers. Make sure you watch the video below:

Cruisers

Cruiser electric bikes come with a big comfy seat and wide handlebars, both are provided to create a comfortable, upright riding posture and more enjoyable riding experience. Enjoy the benefits of an electric bike in style.

Grrenbike Big Dog Off Road Electric Bike - Mountain Or All-Terrain Bike Premium Bike

Mountain

An electric mountain bike is a powerful, all-terrain vehicle that can expand your riding range considerably, and help you get more riding done if you're pushed for time. Only got a couple of hours to spare? An electric mountain bike will let you speed up the climbs, so you can enjoy more of the downs.

RACE READY FAT TIRE FOLDER! Green Bike Electric Motion Big Dog Off Road electric bike review 2020

Fat Tire

Fat tire electric bikes are designed for off-road. The idea of riding on sand, snow, gravel, and other all-terrain surfaces seems like fun, that’s when the electric motor steps into the picture to pick up the slack.

Straight Frame vs. Step-through Frame

Electric bikes come with two styles of frame. Straight frames have a high top-tube, and step-through frames have a low cross-bar or none at all. They accommodate ladies wearing dresses and help everyone with back pain. These step-through frames are easily mounted and dismounted.

Enjoy Getting the Ebike for You!

With so many options it can be tough deciding on the perfect electric bike. By taking your size and riding style into consideration you will narrow down your search, by then the rest is up to personal preference! So have some fun with it, after all, purchasing an electric bike is an investment in yourself, and finding the perfect fit is key. Please feel free to call, live chat, or email our customer support team if you require assistance while shopping for your electric bike!

WHAT ARE THE FEDERAL E-BIKE LAWS?

Since 2002, e-bikes have been regulated under federal law, when Public Law 107-319 was passed, officially designating e-bikes as a consumer product, subject to the protections and standards of similar products, while explicitly separating them from motor vehicles. The law, however, does not override local and state traffic laws. Because of this, individual states are allowed to enact, or decline to enact, laws specifically for e-bikes.

To help regulate these varying laws, the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA) established three classes of e-bikes to differentiate between types and levels of power. This class system is useful because it gives more freedom to lower-powered e-bikes by allowing them in most places regular bicycles are used.

THE THREE CLASSES OF E-BIKES, ACCORDING TO THE BPSA ARE:

  • Class 1 electric bicycle. This is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. Essentially, a low-speed e-bike that performs much like a traditional bike. 
  • Class 2 electric bicycle. This is a bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the bicycle, and that is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour. Essentially, a mid-speed e-bike that carries slightly more power than a traditional bicycle.
  • Class 3 electric bicycle. This is a bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour, and is equipped with a speedometer. Essentially, a higher-powered e-bike that can outperform a traditional bicycle.

Electric Bike Laws: A State-by-State Breakdown

Did you know that not all states will let you use an electric bike in your town? Electric bike laws vary depending on the state you’re located in, and because e-bikes are motor-assisted cycles, most states have some sort of regulations on them.

Does that mean your dream of an e-bike is broken? Of course not! All it means is that you’ve got to know what to do to stay safe on the road and protected under the law. That’s where this guide comes in handy.

This complete go-to guide breaks down electric bicycle regulations by state so you’re ready to hit the road with peace of mind.

A State-by-State Breakdown of Electric Bike Laws

We can’t stress enough that all states have different laws regarding electric bicycles. Some states require licensing and/or insurance, other states have restrictions on motor size, and don’t us started on helmet laws.

Here you’ll find a breakdown of each state’s electric bike laws, listed in alphabetical order from Alabama to Wyoming. From helmet and motor requirements to licensing and insurance, we’ll walk you through the can’s and can’t’s around e-bikes where you live. Let’s get started:

Alabama

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Alabama, an electric bicycle is considered a “motor-driven cycle.” Under the law, electric bicycles are not required to follow the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • All electric bike riders are required by law to carry an operator’s license and must meet the state’s registration requirements. However, e-bikes are not subject to insurance requirements.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets must be worn by riders, and there is a 14-year age minimum for electric bicycle use.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes may be operated on roads, but must avoid sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Alabama’s electric bike laws, click here: Ala. Code §§ 32-1-1.1, 885-1-1-.5, 32-5A-245, 32-12-41

Alaska

This is a picture of an electric bike on a road.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Alaska, an electric bicycle is considered a “motor-driven cycle.” Under the law, electric bicycles are not required to follow the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • All electric bicycle riders are required by law to carry an operator’s license and must meet the state’s registration requirements. However, e-bikes are not subject to insurance requirements.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets must be worn by riders, and there is a 14-year age minimum for electric bicycle use.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes may be operated on roads, but must avoid sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Alaska’s electric bike laws, click here: Alaska Stat. § 28.90.990

Arizona

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Arizona, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Electric bicycles are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required, and there is no minimum age required to operate an electric bicycle.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on sidewalks and bike paths. However, local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of electric bicycles using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on Arizona’s electric bike laws, click here: Ariz. Rev. Stat. 28-10124, 28-10140, 28-819, 28-256C2

Arkansas

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Arkansas, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are required for all Class 3 electric bicycle riders under the age of 21. Individuals 16 years of age or younger are not allowed to ride a Class 3 e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • There are some access restrictions for Class 3 e-bike riders. Local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of electric bicycles using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on Arkansas’ electric bike laws, click here: Ark. Code §§ 27-20-101, 27-20-106

California

This is a picture of an electric scooter on a bike path.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In California, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Class 3 electric bicycle riders are required to wear helmets. Individuals under the age of 16 are prohibited from riding Class 3 e-bikes (unless as a passenger).

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • There are some access restrictions for Class 3 e-bike riders. Local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of electric bicycles using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on California’s electric bike laws, click here: Cal. Veh. Code. § 312.5; § 21200 – 21212; § 21207.5; § 24016

Colorado

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Colorado, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Electric bicycles are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are required for all Class 3 electric bicycle riders under the age of 21. Individuals 16 years of age or younger are not allowed to ride a Class 3 e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • There are some access restrictions for Class 3 e-bike riders. Local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of electric bicycles using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on Colorado’s electric bike laws, click here: Colo. Rev. Stat. § 42-1-102 (28.5); § 42-4-1412; § 42-4-111

Connecticut

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Connecticut, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • All electric bicycle riders are required to wear helmets. Individuals under the age of 16 are prohibited from riding Class 3 e-bikes (unless as a passenger).

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited from riding on bicycle trails or paths or multi-use trails or paths. Local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of e-bikes using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on Connecticut’s electric bike laws, click here: Public Act 18 – 165 (HB 5313, 2018 Session)

Delaware

This is an image of an e-bike rider putting on a helmet.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Delaware defines an electric bicycle as a “bicycle.” As long as the motor is under 750w, has a maximum speed of 20 mph, and has operable pedals, the electric bike falls into the bicycle category. Both e-bikes and traditional bikes must follow the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles require all riders and passengers under the age of 18 to wear helmets. There is no minimum age requirement to ride an electric bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Delaware’s electric bike laws, click here: Del. Code tit. 21 § 1-101(2); tit. 21 § 41

Florida

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Florida, an electric bicycle falls under the definition of a “bicycle” as long as it is capable of being operated by human power and has a maximum speed of 20 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required for electric bicycle riders. However, there is a minimum age requirement of 16 to operate an e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are prohibited from being used on sidewalks, and are only allowed on bike paths when under human power alone.

For more information on Florida’s electric bike laws, click here: Fla. Stat. §§ 322.01, 316.003

Georgia

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Georgia, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are required for all persons who operate or ride as a passenger on a Class 3 electric bicycle. You must be at least 15 years old to operate a Class 3 e-bike, although a person under the age of 15 may ride as a passenger on a Class 3 e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Class 3 e-bikes are not allowed on a bicycle path or shared use path unless it is located adjacent to a highway or roadway, or they are specifically allowed by the local authority or state agency that has jurisdiction.

For more information on Georgia’s electric bike laws, click here: Ga. Code § 12-13-114 40-1-1, 40-6-294, 40-6-300, 40-6-301, 40-6-302, 40-6-303, 40-6-351, 40-6-352

Hawaii

This is a picture of an e-bike rider on a bike trail.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Hawaii, an electric bike is defined as a “low-speed electric bicycle.” The maximum speed on a paved level surface when powered solely by a motor must be less than 20 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Electric bicycle owners must pay a $30 registration fee at any city hall satellite location or the state business registration unit in Honolulu. There is a minimum age requirement of 18 to register.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are required for electric bike riders 16 years of age or younger.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed everywhere that traditional bikes are allowed, including bike paths.

For more information on Hawaii’s electric bike laws, click here: State of Hawaii, Thirtieth Legislature, 2019: H.B. NO. 812, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, C.D. 1

Idaho

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Idaho, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on bike paths. However, local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of e-bikes using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on Idaho’s electric bike laws, click here: Idaho Code § 40-616, 49-106, 49-114, 49-123, 49-310, 49-720, 49-725, 49-726, 49-727, 49-728, 49-729

Illinois

This is a picture of an e-bike rider on a city sidewalk.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Illinois, an electric bicycle is defined as a “low-speed electric bicycle.” Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes cannot be operated on sidewalks. However, they are allowed on bike paths. Keep in mind that local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of e-bikes using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on Illinois’ electric bike laws, click here: Illinois Code § 625 ILCS 5/1-140.10; 625 ILCS 5/11-208; 625 ILCS 5/11-1517

Indiana

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Indiana, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are required for anyone under the age of 18 who operates or rides as a passenger on a Class 3 electric bicycle. Persons 15 years or older are allowed to operate Class 3 e-bikes. However, a person under the age of 15 may ride a Class 3 e-bike as a passenger.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Class 3 electric bicycles cannot be operated on trails, bicycle paths, or multipurpose path unless it is within or located adjacent to a highway or roadway, or they are specifically allowed by the local authority or state agency with jurisdiction.

For more information on Indiana’s electric bike laws, click here: Ind. Code § 9-13-2, 9-21-11-13.1, 14-8-2-185

Iowa

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Iowa defines an electric bicycle as a “bicycle.” As long as the motor is under 750w, has a maximum speed of 20 mph, and has operable pedals, the electric bicycle falls into the bicycle category. Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must follow the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required for e-bike use, and there is no minimum age requirement to operate an electric bicycle.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Electric bikes are prohibited from being used on sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Iowa’s electric bike laws, click here: Iowa Code § 321.1

Kansas

This is a picture of a bicycle traffic light.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Kansas defines an electric bicycle as an “electric assisted bicycle.” To be placed in this category, the motor must be under 1000w, have a maximum speed of 20 mph, and have pedals that can be operated by human power. Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required for electric bike use, and there is no minimum age requirement to operate an e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are prohibited from being used on sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Kansas’ electric bike laws, click here: Kan. Stat. §§ 8-1489, 8-1592B

Kentucky

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In the state of Kentucky, an electric bicycle is considered a “bicycle” if it has operable pedals and can be operated using a combination of both human and motor power. Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required for e-bike use, and there is no minimum age requirement to operate an electric bicycle.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Kentucky’s electric bike laws, click here: Ky Admin. Reg. 601 § 14:020(1)(a)

Louisiana

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Louisiana defines an electric bicycle as a “motorized bicycle” as long as it reaches a maximum speed of 25 mph. Electric bicycles do not have to follow the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Electric bike riders must carry an operator’s license and meet all registration requirements to legally operate an e-bike. However, e-bikes are not subject to any insurance requirements.

Helmet Law

  • A helmet is required while operating an electric bicycle. There is a minimum age of 15 to operate an e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are prohibited from being used on sidewalks. Local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of e-bikes using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on Louisiana’s electric bike laws, click here: La. Rev. Stat. §§ 32:1(41), 32:401(19), 32:198, 32:190, 32:203; 47:501

Maine

This is a picture of an e-bike rider on a sidewalk.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Maine, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Electric bike riders or passengers under the age of 16 are required to wear helmets. No person under the age of 16 may operate a Class 2 or Class 3 electric bicycle unless it is designed to accommodate passengers.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Class 3 electric bicycles may not be operated on a bike path unless it is on a highway or roadway, or Class 3 operation is allowed by the local authority.

For more information on Maine’s electric bike laws, click here: Me. Rev. Stat. tit. 29-A §101-1(22-B), 29-A §2063 (14)

Maryland

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • Electric bicycles are regulated the same as traditional bicycles. Both must follow the same rules of the road as stipulated by the local governments.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Class 3 e-bikes are prohibited from being ridden on bicycle paths unless they are adjacent to a highway or right-of-way, or they are specifically allowed by the local authority or the state agency that holds jurisdiction.
  • E-bikes are allowed on sidewalks, unless otherwise stated.

For more information on Maryland’s electric bike laws, click here: Md. Code Trans. Law § 11-117.1, 11-104, 21-1205.1, 21-1205.2, 22-420

Massachusetts

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Massachusetts defines an electric bicycle as a “motorized bicycle” as long as it reaches a maximum speed of 25 mph. Electric bicycles do not have to follow the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Electric bike operators are required to carry a license and may be subject to certain registration requirements.

Helmet Law

  • A helmet is required while operating an electric bicycle, and there is a minimum age requirement of 16 to legally operate an e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are not permitted on sidewalks or bike paths.

For more information on Massachusetts’ electric bike laws, click here: Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 90-1, ch. 90-1B through 90-1D

Michigan

This is a picture of an e-bike rider on a street.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • Electric bicycles are regulated the same as traditional bicycles. Both must follow the same rules of the road as stipulated by the local governments.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to. A permit is required to ride an electric bicycle within Mackinac Island State Park.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are required for all e-bike riders under the age of 18. No one under the age of 14 is allowed to ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless riding as a passenger.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Class 1 e-bikes can be operated on bike paths and linear trails. Class 2 and Class 3 e-bikes, however, cannot, unless the local agency provides authorization.

For more information on Michigan’s electric bike laws, click here: Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 257.32b, 257.216, 257.312a, 257.801e, 750.419

Minnesota

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Minnesota defines an electric bicycle as an “electric assisted bicycle.” To be placed in this category, the motor must be under 1000w, have a maximum speed of 20 mph, and have pedals that can be operated by human power. Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required to operate an electric bicycle. However, riders must be at least 15 years of age to operate an e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are prohibited from being operated on sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Minnesota’s electric bike laws, click here: Minn. Stat. §§ 169.011(27), 169.011(4), 168A.03, 160.263

Mississippi

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Mississippi defines an electric bicycle as a “bicycle with motor attached.” Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required for e-bike use, and there is no age minimum to operate an electric bicycle.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on both sidewalks and bike paths; however, local regulations may require that the motor be disengaged.

For more information on Mississippi’s electric bike laws, click here: Miss. Op. Atty. Gen. Nos. 2007-00602, 2011-00095; Miss. Code §§ 63-3-103, 63-7-51(2)

Missouri

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Massachusetts defines an electric bicycle as a “motorized bicycle” as long as it reaches a maximum speed of 30 mph. E-bikes do not have to follow the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bike riders are required to carry an operator’s license. However, e-bikes are not subject to any registration or insurance requirements.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required to operate an electric bike. However, there is a minimum age requirement of 16 to operate an e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are not allowed on sidewalks. E-bike riders should consult with their local government to determine if e-bikes are permitted on bike paths.

For more information on Missouri electric bike laws, click here: Mo Rev. Stat. §§ 300.010(17), 300.347, 301.010(36), 307.180, 307.195

Montana

This is a picture of an e-bike on a dirt path.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Montana defines an electric bicycle as an “electric assisted bicycle.” To be placed in this category, the motor must have a maximum speed of 20 mph. Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required to operate an electric bicycle, and there is no minimum age requirement for e-bike riders.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on both sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Montana’s electric bike laws, click here: Mont. Code § 61-8-102(2)(g)

Nebraska

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Nebraska defines an electric bicycle as an “electric assisted bicycle.” To be placed in this category, the motor must be under 750w, have a maximum speed of 20 mph, and have pedals that can be operated by human power. Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • E-bike riders are not required to wear helmets, and there is no minimum age requirement for riders.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are not permitted on sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Nebraska’s electric bike laws, click here: Neb. Rev. Stat. § 60-611

Nevada

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Nevada defines an e-bike as an “electric bicycle.” To be placed in this category, the motor must be under 750w, have a maximum speed of 20 mph, and have pedals that can be operated by human power.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Electric bike riders are not required to wear helmets, and there is no minimum age requirement for riders.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on bike paths, but are not permitted on sidewalks.

For more information on Nevada’s electric bike laws, click here: Nev. Rev. Stat. § 484B.017; § 484B.777; § 484B.117; § 483.090

New Hampshire

This is a picture of an e-bike rider on a park trail.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • Electric bicycles are regulated the same as traditional bicycles. Both must follow the same rules of the road as stipulated by the local governments.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are required for both riders and passengers of Class 3 e-bikes who are under the age of 18. Riders must be at least 16 years old to operate a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless the e-bike is designed to accommodate passengers.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Both Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are permitted on bicycle or multi-use paths. Class 3 e-bikes are only allowed on the roadway, unless otherwise indicated by the local authority.

For more information on New Hampshire’s electric bike laws, click here: N.H. Rev. Stat. §259:6, 259:27, 265:144-a

New Jersey

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In New Jersey, an e-bike is defined as a “low-speed electric bicycle.”
  • The state designates two classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
  • Both class 1 and class 2 electric bicycles are regulated the same as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are not subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Both Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed on bicycle paths. However, they cannot be operated on sidewalks designated for pedestrian use, unless noted otherwise.

For more information on New Jersey’s electric bike laws, click here: N.J. Rev. Stat. § 39:1-1, P.L.1951; c.23, Title 39

New Mexico

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • New Mexico defines an electric bicycle as a “moped.” As such, e-bikes are not required to follow the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Since e-bikes are categorized as mopeds, they are subject to meeting the same licensing and insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Riders must be at least 15 years old to operate an e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are not permitted on sidewalks.

For more information on New Mexico’s electric bike laws, click here: N.M. Stat. § 66-1-4.11; § 66-1-4.2; § 66-5-2

New York

This is a picture of a person riding an electric bike.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In New York, an electric bicycle is considered a “motor-driven cycle” and is subject to the same rules as traditional motor vehicles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • New York’s Department of Motor Vehicles does not recognize e-bikes as vehicles, meaning that they are not subject to registration and licensing.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are permitted on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk, or other area that is open to public motor vehicle traffic.

For more information on New York’s electric bike laws, click here: N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law §§ 102, 123; N.Y. City Admin. Code §§ 19-176, 19-176.2, 20-762; Rules of the City of New York, Title 34, Chapter 4, Sections 4-01(b), 4-12(p)(5)

For further details on motorized vehicles that cannot be registered in New York, see the New York DMV website here: https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/motorized-devices-cannot-be-registered-new-york

North Carolina

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of North Carolina defines an e-bike as an “electric assisted bicycle.” To be placed in this category, the motor must be under 1000w, have a maximum speed of 20 mph, and have pedals that can be operated by human power. Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required for electric bicycle use. However, there is a minimum age requirement of 16 for e-bike riders.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on sidewalks, but only if bicycles are allowed. Bike paths are not specifically mentioned under the law; therefore it’s best to consult with your local authority or agency for clarification.

For more information on North Carolina’s electric bike laws, click here: N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-4.01 (7a & 49)

North Dakota

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of North Dakota defines an e-bike as a “motorized bicycle.” Electric bicycles must follow the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • As motorized bicycles, e-bikes must follow specific vehicle laws, including licensing, registration, and insurance requirements. Riders must be at least 14 years old to legally operate an electric bicycle.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are not permitted on sidewalks. Bike paths are not specifically mentioned under the law; therefore it’s best to consult with your local authority or agency for clarification.

For more information on North Dakota’s electric bike laws, click here: N.D. Cent. Code § 39-01-01 (48); 39-06-14.1

Ohio

This is a picture of an electric bicycle rider on a mountain trail.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Ohio defines an e-bike as an “electric bicycle.” Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Riders and passengers of Class 3 e-bikes must wear helmets.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are permitted to be on bike paths. However, local authorities can restrict the use of e-bikes on bike paths, so it’s best to consult with your local authority or agency for clarification.

For more information on Ohio’s electric bike laws, click here: Ohio Rev. Code § 4501.01(B); § 4509.01(I); §4511.01(B), (H), (RRR); § 4511.522

Oklahoma

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • Electric bicycles are regulated the same as traditional bicycles. Both must follow the same rules of the road as stipulated by the local governments.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to. Riders must be at least 16 years of age or older to operate a Class 3 e-bike. Anyone under the age of 16 may ride a Class 3 e-bike as a passenger only.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Class 3 e-bikes are not allowed on a bicycle or multi-use path unless located adjacent to a highway or roadway, or approved by the local authority or state agency with jurisdiction.

For more information on Oklahoma’s electric bike laws, click here: Okla. Stat. tit. 47 § 1-104; tit. 47 § 1-134; tit. 47 § 11-1103; tit. 47 § 11-1209; tit. 47 § 12- 701

Oregon

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Oregon defines an e-bike as an “electric assisted bicycle.” To be placed in this category, the motor must be under 1000w, have a maximum speed of 20 mph, and have pedals that can be operated by human power. Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Electric bicycle riders are not required to wear a helmet. The minimum age requirement for e-bike riders is 16.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are permitted to be on bike paths but are not allowed on sidewalks.

For more information on Oregon’s electric bike laws, click here: Or. Rev. Stat. § 801.258; § 814.405; § 814.410; § 807.020

Pennsylvania

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Pennsylvania defines an electric bicycle as a “pedalcycle with electric assist.” An electric bike qualifies under this category if the motor is under 750w, if the e-bike has a maximum speed of 20 mph on a level surface when powered solely by the motor, if the bike weighs no more than 100 pounds, and if it features operable pedals. The electric bicycle must follow the same rules of the road as a traditional bicycle.

Licensing And Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are permitted on sidewalks; however, restrictions may apply.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s electric bike laws, click here: Senate Bill 997; 75 Pa. Cons. Stat. §102, 3508, 3514

Rhode Island

This is a picture of an e-bike rider in the city.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • Rhode Island defines e-bikes as “electric motorized bicycles.” These e-bikes have a maximum power output of 1491w, and a top speed of 25 mph with fully operable pedals.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • There are no registration requirements for electric bicycle use.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • State law does not specify whether or not e-bikes are allowed on bike paths. Reach out to your local authority or state agency for further clarification.

For more information on Rhode Island’s electric bike laws, click here: R.I. Gen. Laws § 31-1-3; § 31-3-2.2; § 31-5-1(b); § 31-19-3

South Carolina

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • There is no specific classification for electric bikes under current South Carolina traffic laws. However, since e-bikes are technically vehicles, they are required to follow the same rules as standard vehicles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Electric bikes that are equipped with a 750w motor are exempt from being classified as mopeds. Therefore, e-bikes do not have to meet the licensing and registration requirements that apply to mopeds. They must, however, follow the same rules of the road as traditional vehicles.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • State law does not specify whether or not e-bikes are allowed on bike paths. Reach out to your local authority or state agency for further clarification.

For more information on South Carolina’s electric bike laws, click here: S.C. Code §§ 56-1-10(26), (28)

South Dakota

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of South Dakota defines an e-bike as an “electric bicycle.” Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of low-speed e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to. You must be at least 16 years of age to ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless riding as a passenger.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Class 1 or 2 electric bicycles are allowed on any bicycle path or multi-use path in the state. However, Class 3 electric bikes are not permitted on bicycle trails, paths, or multi-use trails or paths. Class 3 e-bikes are only allowed on roadways.

For more information on South Dakota’s electric bike laws, click here: S.D. Codified Laws § 32-20B, § 32-3-1, § 32-20-1; § 32-35-1, § 32-38-2, § 26-21.1

Tennessee

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Tennessee defines an e-bike as an “electric bicycle.” Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of low-speed e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Both riders and passengers of Class 3 e-bikes are required to wear helmets. Riders must be at least 14 years old to operate a Class 3 e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are not permitted on sidewalks. Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes can be operated on bike paths. However, local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes.

For more information on Tennessee’s electric bike laws, click here: Tenn. Code §§ 55-8-101(40), 55-8-301, 55-8-302, 55-8-303, 55-8-304, 55-8-305, 55-8-306, 55-8-307

Texas

This is a picture of an electric bike rider on city streets.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Texas, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to. Class 3 e-bike riders must be at least 15 years old unless riding as a passenger.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of electric bicycles.

For more information on Texas’ electric bike laws, click here: Tex. Trans. Code §502.143; 541.201; 541.202; 551.001; 551.106; 551.107; 664.001

Utah

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Utah, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are allowed on bike paths but are not permitted on sidewalks.

For more information on Utah’s electric bike laws, click here: Utah Code § 41-6a-102 (7-9, 16); § 41-6a-1115.5; § 41-6a-1505

Vermont

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Vermont categorizes e-bikes as “motor-assisted bicycles.” Under Vermont law, electric bicycles are subject to the same laws as traditional bicycles.
  • E-bikes that qualify as motor-assisted bicycles or tricycles have pedals that are fully operable, a motor with a power output of no more than 1000w, and a maximum speed of 20 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Riders of electric bicycles are not required to meet registration and operator’s license guidelines. This means that e-bike riders are also exempt from insurance requirements.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are not permitted on sidewalks. State law does not specify whether or not e-bikes are allowed on bike paths. Reach out to your local authority or state agency for further clarification.

For more information on Vermont’s electric bike laws, click here: Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 23 § 4 (45)(B); tit. 23 § 1136; tit. 23 § 800(a)

Virginia

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • E-bikes with a motor under 1000w and that feature operable pedals are classified as “electric power assisted bicycles.” Under Virginia law, electric bicycle riders are not allowed to travel faster than 25 mph. This rule applies to both e-bikes and traditional bikes.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Helmet Law

  • Helmets are not required for electric bicycle use, but there is a minimum age of 14 for e-bike riders.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are permitted on both sidewalks and bike paths.

For more information on Virginia’s electric bike laws, click here: Va. Code § 46.2-100; § 46.2-903; § 46.2-908.1; § 46.2-906.1

Washington

This is a picture of an e-bike on a dirt trail.How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • In Washington, electric bicycles are regulated in the same way as traditional bicycles. Both vehicles must follow the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Both Class 1 and Class 2 e-bikes are allowed on bicycle paths. However, Class 3-bikes are not allowed on bicycle paths unless authorization is provided by the local state agency. Electric bicycle riders under the age of 16 are not allowed to operate an e-bike, but they are allowed to ride as a passenger.

For more information on Washington’s electric bike laws, click here: RCW 2 46.04.169, 46.04.071, 46.20.500, 46.61.710 and 46.37

West Virginia

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • An electric bicycle is defined as a “moped.” Because of this, e-bikes are not required to follow the same rules of the road as traditional bicycles.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Since e-bikes are categorized as mopeds, they are subject to meeting the same licensing and insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles. Riders must be at least 15 years old to operate the e-bike.

Helmet Law

  • All e-bike riders are required to wear helmets.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • E-bikes are not permitted on sidewalks. State law does not specify whether or not e-bikes are allowed on bike paths. Reach out to your local authority or state agency for further clarification.

For more information on West Virginia’s electric bike laws, click here: Va. Code §§ 17A-1-1(c), 17B-1-1, 17C-1-5a, 17C-15-23, 17C-15-44

Wisconsin

This is a picture of an electric bike rider going uphill on his e-bike.

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Wisconsin defines an e-bike as a “motor bicycle.” As long as the motor is under 750w, has a maximum speed of 20 mph, and has operable pedals, the electric bike falls into the bicycle category.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • Anyone operating an electric bicycle must have a valid license. By law, e-bikes are considered bicycles for vehicle registration purposes.

Helmet Law

  • There is no requirement that electric bicycle riders wear helmets; however, riders must be at least 16 years old to operate an e-bike.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • Although e-bikes are not allowed on bike paths, the rules regarding sidewalks vary by city.

For more information on Wisconsin’s electric bike laws, click here: Wis. Stat. § 340.01; § 346.806

Wyoming

How an Electric Bike Is Defined

  • The state of Wyoming defines an e-bike as an “electric bicycle.” Both electric bicycles and traditional bicycles must adhere to the same rules of the road.
  • The state defines three classes of low-speed e-bikes.
    • Class 1: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor, that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.Class 3: Bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.

Licensing and Registration Requirements

  • E-bikes are not required to meet the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that standard motor vehicles are subject to.

Where Can I Ride My Electric Bike?

  • All three classes of e-bikes are allowed on bike paths. However, local governments have the power to impose restrictions on the use of e-bikes using motor power while on bike paths. It’s best to check with your town, city, our county for clarification on local electric bicycle rules and regulations.

For more information on Wyoming’s electric bike laws, click here: W.S. 31-5-707, W.S. 31-1-101, W.S. 31-5-102, W.S. 31-5-109, W.S. 31-5-119, W.S. 31-5-203, W.S. 31-5-702, W.S. 31-5-901

Familiarize Yourself with Your Local Electric Bike Laws

It’s important to note that certain counties and cities have their own electric bike laws in place, so you may need to visit your local DMV or city hall for further information on local e-bike laws and restrictions.

This is a picture of an e-bike road sign.

Since electric bike laws are constantly changing, it can be difficult to keep up with all of the rules, even for expert riders. It’s important to familiarize yourself with your state’s e-bike laws. By staying up-to-date with the rules set in place by your state and local government, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of riding your electric bicycle.

Can you feel the Electric Bike Revolution?! 



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