In October, Governor Brown signed legislation into law which clarifies how electric bicycles (e-bikes) should be operated in the state of California.
The law, which takes effect January 1, creates three classes of e-bikes. Class 1 consists of pedal-assist e-bikes while Class 2 consists of e-bikes with throttles. Both classes are limited to motor-assisted speeds of 20 miles per hour and will be allowed to use the same lanes, paths & roadways as traditional (non-electric) bicycles.
Class 3 consists of pedal-assist bikes which can reach assisted speeds of up to 28 miles per hour. This class is restricted to roadways and bike lanes on roadways – they are not permitted on bike paths. Helmets for Class 3 e-bikes are mandatory and riders must be at least 16 years old to use them.
The new law is designed to ensure that e-bikes are treated like traditional bicycles instead of mopeds. As with traditional bicycles, no one riding an e-bike from any of the three classes will be required to have a driver’s license or license plate for their bicycle.
Visit the People for Bikes blog for more on this story.