PeopleForBikes’ work on electric bicycle policy is focused on recognition of the three classes of low-speed electric bicycles as a type of bicycle. U.S. laws should permit reasonable access to bicycle infrastructure for the three classes of low-speed electric bicycles, ensure that riders of electric bicycles can enjoy the same duties, protections and rights as riders of traditional bicycles, and clarify that owners are not subject to vehicle laws that might apply to more powerful devices. PeopleForBikes does not advocate for or against other policy frameworks to regulate devices that do not meet the requirements for these three classes of low-speed electric bicycles, nor does it work on related industry issues for these products. Manufacturers and industry associations for these goods should develop appropriate regulatory frameworks that are designed for their specific products and their uses.
We do not support alteration of the three classes of low-speed electric bicycles to include other types of devices. We understand that a broad and constantly evolving range of electrically powered devices are entering the marketplace and that their use is growing nationwide. However, the three class system and its accompanying model legislation was specifically designed to facilitate the regulation of low-speed electric bicycles that closely resemble traditional bicycles in their equipment, handling characteristics, size, and speed. As such, we do not think it is appropriate to insert other types of devices into this bicycle regulatory structure. Accordingly, we have not been supportive of modifying the low-speed electric bicycle class system to regulate devices that: 1) are dissimilar to bikes in their functionality (for example, products that lack two or three wheels, a seat or pedals); 2) exceed the motor-assisted speed limitations of the class system or federal law; or 3) exceed the power limitations of the class system or federal law.
More information on PeopleForBikes Electrically Powered Devices statement can be found here.