(TRENTON) – The Assembly Transportation Committee released on Thursday legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Valerie Vainieri Huttle and Raj Mukherji to permit operation of low-speed electric bicycles on New Jersey roads.
The bill will go to the Assembly Speaker for further consideration.
E-bikes are defined as a “motorized bicycles,” and require registration, licensing, and insurance requirements that apply to motor vehicles under federal law. The New Jersey’s Department of Motor Vehicles, however, does not currently recognize e-bikes as vehicles with these requirements due the lack of a system in place to supply registration and licensing.
“Electric bicycles are growing in popularity,” said Vainieri Huttle (D-Bergen). “Requiring less effort than a pedal bicycle, these bikes are preferred more and more by residents and should be provided for under state law. E-bikes are great for riders with mobility concerns, bicycle delivery workers and those who are environmentally conscious and looking for an alternative mode of transportation.”
Under the bill (A-1810), low-speed electric bicycles may be operated on the streets, highways, sidewalks, and bicycle paths. An operator of a low-speed electric bicycle is not required to register the bicycle, furnish proof of insurance, or have a driver’s license.
“Permitting the use of low-speed electric bikes supports our efforts to protect the environment by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “By bringing our motor vehicle laws into the 21st century, we will enable the rollout of e-bikes in Jersey City’s bike share program and expand the transportation options available to New Jerseyans.”
The bill defines a low-speed electric bicycle as a two or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts, whose maximum speed on a paved level surface, when powered solely by a motor while operated by a person weighing 170 pounds, is less than 20 miles per hour.