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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 15, 2013 09:37 AM
From: Senator Matt Smith
To: All Senate members
Subject: Defining E-Bikes In The PA Vehicle Code
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that creates a new and separate definition in the vehicle code for electric-assist bicycles or E-Bikes. This definition will clarify that electric- assist bicycles are not motorized vehicles and are therefore not subject to vehicle inspection, vehicle registration, titling or required to be insured.

Pennsylvania law currently classifies electric-assist bicycles as motorized pedalcycles or mopeds and therefore requires them to be licensed, titled and insured. However, E-Bikes do not have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and therefore cannot be registered in the Commonwealth. I have heard from constituents who have been stopped by law enforcement and even cited because their E-Bikes are not registered. It is clear to me that some clarification is needed.

Under this legislation a new definition is established in the Vehicle Code: “Pedalcycle with Electric Assist.” Included in this definition are bicycles equipped with an electric motor not exceeding 750 watts, weighing not more than 100 pounds, are capable of a maximum speed of not more than 20 mph, and have operable pedals. This legislation also includes an age limit, stating that no individual under the age of 16 shall operate a pedalcycle with electric-assist.

Electric-assist bicycles offer many benefits to their riders and to the rest of the population. Very little electric power energy is consumed to operate them, but they provide the rider with assistance when peddling long distances or up hills and other slopes. The popularity of E-Bikes is growing and therefore it is important that the Commonwealth correctly classify electric-assist bicycles and exempt them from the requirements of motor vehicles.

Please join me is co-sponsoring this important legislation. If you have questions regarding this legislation please contact Tim Golding at 717-787-5839 or tgolding@pasenate.com.

Introduced as SB997