Electric Bicycles in New Jersey by Elizabeth Harvey, VTC

Report
Electric Bicycles in New
Jersey
What are electric bicycles?
 Any type of bicycle with an integrated electric motor that can be used for
propulsion. In some models, the motor does not work without pedaling,
while in others the motor can be used exclusively to power the bicycle.
 Top speeds vary, up to over 25 mph.
 Local and state laws vary. Some e-bikes are classified as bicycles, some as
motorcycles, and some as their own e-bike classification.
What are electric bicycles?
Electric Bicycle Classification
Two main types of electric bicycles:
 Pedal-assist: motor is engaged only by pedaling and supplements the
pedaling rider’s efforts
 Power-on-demand: motor is activated by a throttle
Some e-bicycles have both pedal-assist and power-on-demand options
Motorized Bicycles Under NJ
Law
A pedal bicycle with a helper motor with cylinder capacity of less than 50 CC
AND no more than 1.5 brake horsepower AND has a max speed of no more
than 25 mph on the flat
Motorized bicycles/MOPEDs must be titled and registered in New Jersey. Since
only MOPEDs approved by the MVC can be registered, and since e-bikes are
not approved, they cannot be registered in New Jersey. Effectively, this means
that state laws prohibit electric bicycles from being used on public roads.
Thus, there is a grey area regarding electric bicycles . . .
Automatic Assist (with pedaling)
Human –powered
Top speed of ~25
mph
No motor
Throttle Power (without
pedaling)
Top speed of 20+ MPH
Range approx. 20 – 45 miles
Top speed of ~25
mph
Top speed of ~
60mph
Range approx. 10
miles
Range approx. 85
miles
600W motor
5,000W motor
500W motor
Bicycle
E-Bike
E-Bike
Moped
Motorized Scooters Under NJ
Law
A miniature motor vehicle and includes scooters, mini-scooters, motorized
skateboards and other vehicles not manufactured in compliance with Federal
Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and which have no permanent Federal Safety
Certification stickers affixed to the vehicle by the original manufacturer. Illegal
to drive on public roads or sidewalks.
Specifications
Top speed of ~25 mph
Range approx. 10 miles
600W Motor
Pocket Bikes Under NJ Law
Small-scale motorcycles with gasoline engines less than 50 CCs that can
reach speeds of 45 mph. Pocket bikes are considered toys. Because pocket
bikes cannot be titled, insured or registered they cannot be used on public
property. However, municipalities now can designate areas where they can be
used.





To operate a pocket bike, you must:
Be at least 12 years old
Have liability insurance
Wear a helmet
Register bike with municipality
Low-Speed Electric Bicycles
Definition Under Federal Law
Two- or three-wheeled vehicle with pedals AND an electric motor with less
than 750 watts (1 horsepower) AND with a maximum speed of 20 mph when
driven by a 170 pound person. Considered a bicycle, not a motor vehicle.
Commercial e-bikes that exceed these requirements are considered motor
vehicles and must meet additional safety requirements. Does not apply to ebikes assembled by an individual.
Electric bicycles are permitted on federally-funded bicycle or pedestrian paths
unless state or local laws prohibit it. The federal definition of an electric
bicycle supersedes state laws that are more stringent.
Low-Speed Electric Bicycles in
Other States
New York:
Cannot register the following, or operate them on sidewalks or public streets:




Motor-assisted bicycle: a bicycle that has a small motor attached
Motorized scooter: a scooter with a motor attached
Mini-bike: a small bike with a motor created for off-road use
Dirt bike: similar to a motorcycle but created for off-road use
A MOPED is defined as a low speed vehicle with 2 or 3 wheels – must be
registered.
Low-Speed Electric Bicycles in
Other States
Massachusetts:
Motorized Bicycle: a pedal bicycle with an assisting motor, OR a non-pedal
bicycle with a motor AND a cylinder capacity not above 50 CC AND an
automatic transmission AND a max speed of no more than 30 mph.
Requirements:
 May not be operated over 25 mph
 Operator must be at least 16 years old
 Must register bicycle and have a driver license or learners permit
 May use public roads except limited access or express state highways
 Must follow road rules specifically for motorized bicycles
 May be operated on bike lanes but not off-street recreational paths
 Must wear helmet
PROBLEM STATEMENT
A d v a n c em e n t s i n p o r t a b l e b a t te r y te c h n o l o g y h av e e n a b l e d b i c yc l e m a n u f a c t ur e r s to
p r o v i d e e l e c t r i c m o to r s o n b i c yc l e s t h a t a r e u s e d to ‘ a s s i s t ’ b i c ycl i s t s w i t h p r o p ul s i o n .
Tw o t y p e s o f t h e s e b i c yc l e s c u r r e n t ly ex i s t: P e d a l - a s si s t e l e c t r i c b i c yc l e s , a n d P ow e r o n - d em a n d e l e c t r i c b i c yc l e s . T h e f o r m e r a s s i s t s a b i c yc li s t i n c i rc um s t a n c e s w h e r e i t i s
d e s i r e d , s u c h a s a s te e p g r a d e o r d u e to f a t i g ue . T h e s e b i c yc le s r e q u i r e c o n s t a n t
p e d a l i n g b y t h e u s e r f o r t h e e l e c t r i c m o to r to r e m a i n e n g a g e d . T h e l a t te r c a n f u n c t i o n
i n t h e s a m e w ay, b u t t h e i m p o r t a n t d i f fe r e nc e i s t h a t i t c a n a l s o o p e r a te s o l e l y
t h r o ug h t h e p o w e r o f t h e m o to r v i a t h e u s e o f a t h r o t t l e , r e n d e r i ng t h e p e d a l s u s e l e s s .
B i c yc l e s s u c h a s t h e s e a r e c u r r e n t ly u n d e fi n e d i n t h e N J M o to r Ve h i c l e C o d e a n d c a n
b e c l a s s i fi e d a s i l l eg a l to u s e o n N J r o a d s i n m a ny c i rc ums t a n c e s . H o w eve r, e l e c t r i c
b i c yc le s a r e n o t i l l e g a l to s e l l i n N J d u e to c o n s ume r p r o te c t io n l aw s . D u e to e l e c t r i c
b i c yc le s ’ r e c e n t a d d i t i o n to t h e m a r ket a n d t h e i r c o n t i n ue d i n c r e a s e i n p o p ul a r i t y, t h e
n e e d to p r o p e r l y d e f i n e t h e b r o a d r a n g e o f v e h i c l e s t h a t c o n s t i t utes a n e l e c t r ic b i c yc le
s h o u l d b e a h i g h p r i o r i t y.

similar documents