Maryland ebike Laws **Update**

Bike_On

Well-Known Member
Not sure where to put this....

The 2014 General Assembly has passed new definition and clarified some requirements for the electric bike community.

The good:
An electric bike is classified as a bicycle, if it has 2-3 wheels, 14" diameter or greater, can go 20mph using the motor, and has a rated brake horsepower of 500W or less.

The above was passed and signed by the Gov. It does give a bicycle classification for the majority of the ebikes. It is, however, too restrictive. In my lobby and letters, I advocated 750W. 750W was in the initial bill, but an amendment was added and reduced it to 500W. I don't know how or why.

There is a lengthy updated definition of a Moped. Basically, they rate a moped as a bicycle with a motor or 1.5hp or less, or 49cc or less ICU. The law still requires Mopeds to be titled and carry insurance. They expect a Moped to travel up to 30mph.

This is unfair to the ebike consumer and industry. First, a 49cc scooter/moped can have 2-4 HP, and travel 25-40mph.

The 2012 law called out scooters up to 2.5HP, and required title and insurance. The new legislation makes no mention of a scooter. It is unclear where the line is between a scooter and a motor cycle.

Maryland seems to have played it safe. They want Mopeds titled and insured. They were unwilling to allow the 20-30mph ebikes to fall under the definition of a bicycle.

I plan to re-address this next year and hopefully get the power limit rasised to 1hp, 750W. With the federal law defining ebikes at 750W, it will be difficult to get MD to raise the rating to 1.5hp, but it needs it's own category.

Dan
 

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Appreciate your work on this stuff Dan! It's important for people in this industry, and consumers who enjoy the freedom that ebike offer, to voice their opinions on legislation. Neat to hear your update and clarification of the issue, hopefully it can serve as a reference point for others who are becoming aware and sorting through the laws. I'm going to move this post to "Other" vs. Q&A and if we get lots of legal discussions in the future maybe I can create another section somewhere ;)