Christian Angelo 9-28-21
In 2018, the state of Washington implemented a new legal framework, in line with national standards, that is dedicated to the electric bicycle industry. This new legislation paved the way for a more secure environment for the e-bike community. Electric bicycle enthusiasts were delighted when the law was finally implemented.
E-bikes are now clearly defined because of the new law. E-bike use is more regulated and the local authority has been given the right to enforce or manage e-bike operations on streets and trails under its own jurisdiction.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about the new e-bike law.
The new bill includes e-bikes in the definition of a bicycle. Previously, there was no specific definition for e-bikes, which made cyclists and the local authority hesitant. The state now adapts the three distinct classes of e-bikes, which is recognized by more than 20 other states. Furthermore, rules around the operation of e-bikes have been updated.
According to the Washington State Legislature, an electric-assisted bicycle is:
“a bicycle with two or three wheels, a saddle, fully operative pedals for human propulsion, and an electric motor. The electric-assisted bicycle's electric motor must have a power output of no more than seven hundred fifty watts. The electric-assisted bicycle must meet the requirements of one of the following three classifications:
No, you cannot ride your e-bike anywhere because there are certain roads or pathways that do not allow e-bikes. It also depends on what e-bike you are using. Generally, class 1 and 2 e-bikes may go everywhere regular bikes can. E-bikes may also have access to state highways. E-bike parking is also the same with regular bicycles.
Class 1 and class 2 e-bikes are allowed on shared-use paths and roads that are designated for bicycle-riding. Class 1 and 2 may be ridden on sidewalks as well. However, the state agencies or local authorities may limit the access or prohibit the use of e-bikes on facilities, properties, and rights-of-way- under their own jurisdiction and control.
A class 3 e-bike is allowed on roads within or adjacent to a highway. You cannot ride a class 3 on sidewalks, unless you are left with no other safe option to travel to. You cannot ride a class 3 on a shared-use path, unless it is permitted by local authorities. Local authorities also have the right to regulate or prohibit the use of class 3 e-bikes on roads under their own jurisdiction.
For trails, e-bikes are not allowed on trails that are designated for non-motorized activities, unless granted permission by the local authority.
NO, there is no need for a driver's license if you are at least 16 years old. People below the age of 16 are prohibited from operating e-bikes. E-bikes are not licensable for street use.
Your e-bike must have the following equipment:
E-bikes can accelerate faster than traditional bikes because of the electric assist. There is a 0-5 mph difference between an e-bike and a traditional bike. It is also easier to pedal on e-bikes because of the electric motor.
The power output limit is 750 watts because it is in line with federal consumer protection regulations. A vehicle with a wattage of more than 750 will be classified as a motor, and will be subject to licensure and registration.
No, manufacturers and distributors are now subject to a labeling requirement. They are required to permanently affix a label, in Arial font and at least 9-point type. This label must be visible in a prominent location and must indicate the top assisted speed, classification number, and motor wattage.
E-bikes that were purchased before the implementation are not subject to the new requirements.
E-bikes offer a whole new riding experience to a larger range of people. If you are not physically fit to ride a traditional bike, you may want to give an e-bike a chance. Riding e-bikes requires less effort because of the availability of electric assist. By opting for an e-bike, you will be able to travel easily, ride longer, and climb hills with minimum effort.
Ebike regulations in the United States varies from state to state. Washington adopted the new e-bike law in 2018. It gave a clearer definition for e-bikes and where e-bikes can be operated. It also included additional rules like safety equipment and manufacturing requirements. Helmets must be worn all the time. You do not need a driver's license if you want to ride an e-bike. However, you must be at least 16 years old.
E-bikes may be faster compared to traditional bikes. The power output of e-bikes is restricted so that it will retain its definition. An e-bike that is purchased prior to the implementation is not subject to the new rules. E-bikes bring a lot of advantages that you will surely enjoy!