As the e-bike market grows, I bet you didn’t realize that in 30 states in the U.S., they are technically illegal.  recently passed a bill to reclassify e-bikes into three tiers, and considers the lower speed e-bikes to be similar to human ed bikes. This opens the door for municipalities and other organizations to roll out project to expand cycling in new ways in  communities. Many hope for this bill will serve as a model for other states that currently have regulations against e-bikes.

Full press release below.

Shimano's Total Electric Power System as seen on the Surly bikes they had on hand for mechanics to use at the Richmond World Championships. Photo by
’s Total Electric  System as seen on the Surly bikes they had on hand for mechanics to use at the Richmond . Photo by

 Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1096, legislation that clarifies the regulation of electric  (e-bikes) in . This new  is the result of a coordinated campaign between the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association (BPSA), PeopleForBikes, and the  Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) to refine how and where cyclists can ride electric .

Assemblymember David Chiu (D-) introduced the legislation, and played an instrumental role in the bill’s success. A.B. 1096 passed the Legislature with unanimous support in both chambers and takes effect on January 1, 2016.

The legislation updates   to reflect the progression in  around electric . The bill designates three classes of e-bikes and distinguishes lower speed electric  that reach motor-assisted speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, from higher “speed pedelecs” which have motors that provide assistance up to 28 miles per hour. This class system allows the use of lower-speed e-bikes on bicycle paths, and also provides local authorities with the flexibility to regulate different types of e-bikes based on their needs.

In addition to modernizing e-bike , with A.B. 1096, e-bikes are no longer regulated like mopeds, and the same rules of the  will apply to both e-bikes and human-ed . E-bikes are also no longer subject to the registration, licensing, or insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles.

“The US bicycle industry is very pleased that Governor Brown signed AB 1096 into ,” said Larry Pizzi, Chair of the BPSA’s  Committee. “We believe that these new regulations will serve as a model for many other states to follow and provide safe and appropriate access to bicycling infrastructure for the wide variety of low-speed electric  that are being marketed today. From the onset of our involvement in drafting the concept for the bill,  has been our primary concern. With a multi-class structure established, states, municipalities and land management agencies can regulate effectively and clear a path for the proliferation of electric , which we believe will provide access to bicycling for many more Americans.”

The BPSA and PeopleForBikes are grateful to Assemblymember David Chiu for sponsoring this legislation and his staff for successfully shepherding it through the legislature, as well as all of the stakeholders who came together in support of this bill. They would also like to thank the Executive Director of CalBike, Dave Snyder, and the entire CalBike staff for their significant contributions to this effort to get more people riding .