EBike - The Big Issues In The U.S. Is Regulation

Update:25 Dec 2018

It is redicted that hundreds of thousands would become […]

It is redicted that hundreds of thousands would become more regular bike riders if ebikes were deemed acceptable modes of transport and more widely available. The challenge will be fitting faster e-bikes, those that are faster than regular cyclists, yet still slower than cars, into the current transportation system in a way that keeps bikers safe. Although e-bikes are potentially disruptive to normal traffic patterns, if properly incorporated, their presence can multiply their impact.


Unlike other big cities, especially in Asia, municipalities in the U.S. tend to restrict e-bikes. Only a handful of states—North Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, California, and Vermont—have reasonable ratings and rules, and some cities, such as Portland, Oregon, have done a good job of figuring out how to incorporate these vehicles into traditional traffic flows. Other cities, including Baltimore and Birmingham, Alabama, have incorporated e-bikes into their bikeshare programs. But without widespread adoption and flexible rules, a market won’t develop to sell and repair e-bikes.


E-bikes that stay at 20 miles per hours or lower, roughly the speed at which an unassisted cyclists can attain, should be allowed to go wherever regular bikes can travel. Additional infrastructure and traffic rules could help faster bikes to travel safely alongside cars, more like scooters or mopeds.


Most cities are having a hard time getting higher bike share numbers, and getting more people to commit to being bike commuters.