MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Bikes with small rechargeable electric motors that are gaining in popularity would be regulated in a new way under a bill the Wisconsin Legislature has passed.
Electric bikes, or e-bikes, are now considered “motor bicycles,” a designation subjecting them to regulations for old-fashioned gas-powered motor bikes. The new legislation would instead treat them like regular bikes, while also giving local governments the ability to restrict their use on some bike paths.
Under current law, e-bikes are banned from being on bike paths. Anyone operating them must also carry a valid driver’s license.
But as sales of e-bikes have gone up, so has the effort to bring the regulation of them into line with their use.
The new legislation has already been approved by the state Assembly. With the Senate’s vote on Tuesday, it now goes to Gov. Tony Evers.