Do you have to tax and insure an electric bike?

In the UK, no driving licence, registration or liability insurance is required. They are generally considered vehicles (like motorcycles and pedal cycles), so they are subject to the same rules of the road as regular bicycles. They are also known as “electrically assisted pedal cycles” (EAPCs)

Fortunately, however, consumers have been realizing the enormous benefits of riding an electric bike, as evidenced by the extraordinary demand and adoption rates of electric bikes and conversion kits over the past 12 months. You may be wondering if there is any noticeable difference between insuring your electric bike and the insurance you already have for your road bikes.

Many states have established classification systems for e-bikes to differentiate between similar types of vehicles, such as electric scooters and mopeds. At the federal level, a 2002 law enacted by Congress, HB 727, amended the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s definition of electric bicycles. The Electric Bikes for the Environment (E-BIKE) Incentives Act would create a 30% tax credit for the purchase of e-bikes in the United States. An e-bike that meets the federal definition of an electric bicycle and is subject to bicycle product safety standards.

Lectric eBikes is pleased to support the consumer tax credit proposed in the Electric Bikes for the Environment (E-BIKE) Incentives Act. Electric bicycles vary greatly in shape and size, but the different types resemble regular bicycles. An E-assisted e-bike can ride on bike paths and anywhere else a regular bike can ride. While these low-cost e-bikes don’t have the same longevity as high-end models, their ability to democratize e-bike ownership cannot be underestimated.

We reached out to several U.S. electric bike companies to get their opinions and perspectives on the proposed legislation. In general, at least six states, Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, and North Dakota, require a license to operate an e-bike, typically because they are still under the designation of another motor vehicle classification with licensing and registration requirements and have not had a separate e-bike law created.

This law distinguishes, at the federal level, e-bikes that can travel at 20 mph or less with engine power alone from motorcycles, mopeds, and motorized vehicles. The e-bike has the power to fundamentally alter climate change and urban congestion, but unlike electric cars, e-bikes improve health and fitness and are much more accessible to the economically disadvantaged.

To define e-bikes, some state laws, such as those in Arizona, Minnesota, Utah, and Washington, specifically allow e-bikes to operate in facilities such as bike lanes or greenways, with the caveat that many of them provide exemptions for localities to enact stricter operating standards in such facilities for bicycles and pedestrians.

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