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excerpt about e-bikes

HF 493 – Low-speed electric bikes

HF 493 defines “low-speed electric bicycle” and establishes three different classes of low-speed electric bicycles and where those bicycles may operate.

The criteria for each class of low-speed electric bicycle is:

• Class 1: Low-speed electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases when the bicycle speed reaches 20 miles per hour or more.

• Class 2: Low-speed electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used to exclusively propel the bicycle and that is not operable when the bicycle speed reaches 20 miles per hour or more.

• Class 3: Low-speed electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases when the bicycle speed reaches 20 miles per hour or more.

The bill excludes low-speed electric bicycles from the definition of “vehicle,” thereby excluding them from license and permit requirements; requires that manufacturers or distributors of low-speed electric bicycles permanently affix a label to those manufactured or distributed after January 1, 2022, stating the class number of the bicycle, the top assisted speed and the motor wattage; limits the ability to modify a low-speed electric bicycle in a way that would disqualify it from the definition stated in the bill, and if modification would move a bicycle from one classification of low-speed electric bicycle to another, the bicycle must be labeled as the new classification; prohibits the bike from exceeding the posted or applicable speed limits, and if not posted, will not exceed 20 miles per hour; provides certain manufacturing requirements; and prohibits a person 16 or younger from operating a Class 3 low-speed electric bicycle. Scheduled violations are punishable by a fine of $25. [4/12: 46-0 (Excused: Hogg, Lofgren, Nunn, Rozenboom)]

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Want more information or want to get involved? contact the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.

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