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Legislation classifies electric-assist bikes as bicycles, not motorcycles

Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 9:59 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - A new bill that just passed the Vermont Legislature is giving electric-assist bikes a boost.

It defines an e-bike as a bicycle, not a motorcycle or motor vehicle.

That means riders aren’t required to have a license, insurance or registration.

The bill, now ready for Gov. Phil Scott to sign into law, follows a national push to give e-bikes a place in statute, ensuring its classification as a bicycle is consistent across state lines.

Rep. Sarah Copeland Hanzas, D-Bradford, says it’s a great way to get people who live in hilly areas back in the saddle.

“I live about 6.5 miles away from my office and there are quite a few hills in there. So, lest I should be completely drenched in sweat or exhausted when I get to work, it’s really nice to have that e-bike because it gives me just a little bit of a boost,” Copeland Hanzas said. “I think it’s really a great tool for Vermonters who have those short commutes not to have to jump in the car every time they need to go somewhere.”

Copeland Hanzas says she hopes the convenience encourages more Vermonters to choose human-powered transportation, rather than carbon-emitting vehicles.

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New electric bike share program rolls into Burlington area

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