E-Bikes get Classifications in Chicago

On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced an ordinance regulating “E-bikes and mobility devices.”

This ordinance clarifies specifically where electric bicycles and scooters are allowed on Chicago's streets. The new ordinance also clearly defines (low speed) electric bikes as "bicycles".

The new ordinance classifies "low speed e-bikes" into 3 classes, according to the streets blog:

  • Class 1: Weighs less than 125 pounds, motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and stops providing assistance when the bike reaches 20 mph
  • Class 2: No weight limit stated, motor can be used as the sole means to propel the bike, tops out at 20 mph
  • Class 3: motor provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling, and stops providing assistance when the bike reaches 28 mph; or else a Class 1 bike that weighs 125 pounds or more

The new electric bike laws are nearly identical to Washington's e-bike laws and California's e-bike laws which are "model legislation" according to People for Bikes.

Most everyone can agree that the definitions and classes are a step in the right direction as they will protect pedestrians on sidewalks and cyclists in bike lanes. There are already production bikes topping 50MPH such as the Neematic FR/1.

Filed under: Bike News

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