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EBike / Pedal assist law changes in Texas

 During Texas session 86(R)  Alvarado and Taylor sponsered HB 2188 which brings Texas in line with other states in regulating E-Bikes also known as pedal assist bikes.   

Texas has joined a number of other states in creating a “3 class” system for Pedal assisted Bicycles.  The idea behind this legislation is to address electric bicycles on the public rode.  Electric MOUNTAIN bikes on the trail is not addressed at this time. (eMTB) 

SECTION 8. Subtitle G, Title 7, Transportation Code, was amended by adding CHAPTER 664. STANDARDS FOR ELECTRIC BICYCLE

The key takeaway from all this is the law categorizes Electric Bicycles within the framework of having motors of <= 750 watts of power and top speeds of <= 20mph as bicycles and weighing less than 100 pounds. . It does not determine where this class can be used. It should be anticipated that cities and municipalities will use these classes to further legislate behavior in parks, trails and other mixed use facilities

There are further requirements that have been outlined in the law 

Classes Sec.A664.001

Class 1: Pedal Assist
The electric drive system on the ebike can only be activated through a pedaling action and is limited to relatively low speeds. The sensor usually measures pedal movement, pedal torque or bicycle speed (sometimes all three) and sensors are located in the bottom bracket, rear hub or rear wheel.. This class is limited to a motor powered speed of 20 mph (32 kph) with motor wattage of <= 750 watts.

Class 2: Throttle On Demand
The electric drive system on the ebike can be activated through a throttle element such as a grip-twist, trigger or button and is limited to low speeds. The motor system may also be activated through a pedaling action as with Class 1.  The top speed is limited to 20 mph (32 kph) with motor wattage of <= 750 watts as with Class 1.

Class 3: Electric Bicycle 
The electric drive system on the ebike can be activated  by a throttle and through a pedaling action able reach higher top speeds. Human power must propels the bike above 20 mph with a maximum speed ~28 mph (~45 kph) also;  A person may not operate a Class 3 electric bicycle, unless the person is at least 15 years of age

Timing of legislative action

Stage 1 2/21/2019.

Bill introduced / Filed 

 

Stage 2 4/11/2019
Bill reported out of House committee on Transportation with vote of 10 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Present Not Voting, 3 Absent.

 

Stage 3 4/30/2019
Bill passed the House.

 

Stage 4 5/13/2019
Bill reported out of Senate committee on Transportation with vote of 8 Ayes, 0 Nays, 0 Present Not Voting, 1 Absent.

 

Stage 5 5/22/2019
Bill passed the Senate.

 

Stage 6 6/7/2019
Bill signed by the Governor.

 

Stage 7
Bill becomes law.  Effective on 9/1/19

Full link to the bill is here

Operation Sec. 551.107
A person may not operate an electric bicycle unless the 
electric motor disengages or ceases to function either: (1) when the operator stops pedaling; or (2) when the brakes are applied.

Label Requirements Sec. 664.002.

E-Bikes sold or manufactured after 1/2020 are required to have a sticker indicating their class, their motor capacity and top assisted speed.   

Converted E-Bikes homebuilders and others who convert bicycles or convert from one type to another have the same requirements

 

Example Label

Speedometer Sec. 664.004.
Speedometers are now required for Class 3
E-Bikes.  

E Bike Regulations vary by state — For more information and information about other states, please click here

 

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