Christian Angelo 9-21-21
Just before the summer of 2019, New Jersey adopted a new set of e-bike laws that allows certain classifications of e-bikes to be regulated like regular bicycles. The new legislation promotes e-bike as an alternative mode of transportation, and helps in reducing traffic and emissions of the state.
Many people were delighted with the new e-bike laws because it is a significant step toward mitigating climate change, minimizing traffic congestion, and increasing availability of more affordable alternative commuter vehicles. With new e-bike regulations, riders feel safer and more comfortable in the streets.
An electric bicycle looks similar to a regular bike but its distinctive feature can be found in its integrated electrical system that gives you a new riding experience. It provides an electric assist to help you pedal easily, climb hills with minimal effort, and ride longer without running out of stamina. E-bikes allow a wider range of people to enjoy bicycling.
The electric assist comes in two forms: pedal assist or pedelec, or throttle mode. Pedelec e-bikes only give additional power when you are already pedaling. Throttle mode can be used to propel the bike forward whether or not you are pedaling. There are e-bikes which have both modes.
Prior to the new legislation, e-bikes belong to the same vehicle group where motorized bicycles like mopeds are categorized. Motorized bicycles must be registered but the MVC system would not allow e-bikes to be registered because only gas-powered vehicles can be registered. Due to this, e-bikes are left in a legal gray area.
A new definition was applied to electric bicycles because of the new law. A low-speed electric bicycle is now defined as a two or three-wheeled vehicle equipped with fully operable pedals and an electric motor below 750 watts, and belongs to the following classes:
You may have noticed that New Jersey only incorporates a two-class tier system. Other states usually use the three-tier class system. In New Jersey, the usual Class 3 e-bikes are added to the definition of “motorized bicycles”.
A motorized bicycle is defined as a gas-powered vehicle or an electric bicycle that can achieve speeds between 20 and 28mph. Any vehicle that falls under this category is subject to license and registration requirements. Helmet use is also required.
In short, the first and only two classes of electric bicycles in New Jersey are called “low-speed electric bicycles”. The usual class 3 e-bike in other states belongs to “motorized bicycles” category. The differences between these e-bikes is that low-speed e-bikes are not subject to license and registration requirements while the e-bike that belongs to the motorized bicycle category are subject to such. Helmet requirements also vary depending on the e-bike.
Now that you know the e-bike laws in New Jersey, it’s time to learn about e-bike safety tips. Here are safety guidelines that you can follow:
E-bikes offer a whole new riding experience for a wide range of people. The new e-bike law in New Jersey has given more specific guidelines for e-bike safety in general. There are only 2 classes of e-bike in New Jersey, which are considered “low-speed electric bicycles”. Remember to follow the law at all times and keep safe! A safe ride is a fun ride!