Wisconsin Electric Bicycle Law/Bill

2019 SENATE BILL 129
March 20, 2019 - Introduced by Senators Roth, Risser, Bewley, Kooyenga,
Larson, Miller, Olsen, Ringhand and Smith, cosponsored by
Representatives Rohrkaste, Goyke, Anderson, Billings, Bowen, Crowley,
Duchow, Hutton, Jagler, Myers, Pope, Ramthun, Sinicki, Spreitzer,
Steffen, Subeck, Swearingen, C. Taylor, Tusler, Vorpagel and Vruwink.
Referred to Committee on Transportation, Veterans and Military Affairs.

1An Act to repeal 340.01 (30) (b); to consolidate, renumber and amend 340.01
2(30) (intro.) and (a); to amend 23.335 (1) (q), 70.111 (1), 194.01 (7), 340.01 (29m)
3(bm), 340.01 (35), 340.01 (74p) (c), 341.05 (23), 346.02 (4) (title) and 346.02 (4)
4(a); and to create 340.01 (15ph), 346.806, 347.02 (1) (em), 347.489 (3m) and
5349.18 (4) of the statutes; relating to: electric bicycles and providing a penalty.

Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
This bill regulates the operation of electric bicycles.
Under current law, a motor bicycle is “a bicycle to which a power unit [that is]
not an integral part of the vehicle has been added to permit the vehicle to travel at
a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour with a 150-pound rider on a dry, level,
hard surface with no wind and having a seat for the operator” or “a 2-wheeled or
3-wheeled vehicle that has fully operative pedals for propulsion by human power
and an electric motor of less than 750 watts and that is capable, when powered solely
by the motor, of a maximum speed of less than 20 miles per hour with a 170-pound
rider on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind.” In general, a motor bicycle is subject
to the same rules as other bicycles and an operator of a motor bicycle is subject to the
same rules and is afforded the same privileges as operators of other bicycles. An
operator of a motor bicycle, however, must posses a valid operator's license.
This bill eliminates the second type of motor bicycle and establishes a similar
definition for electric bicycle. Unlike an operator of a motor bicycle, however, an
operator of an electric bicycle is not required to hold an operator's license.
Under this bill, an electric bicycle is “a bicycle that is equipped with fully
operative pedals for propulsion by human power and an electric motor of less than
750 watts.” Electric bicycles are divided into three classes, as follows:
1. Class 1 electric bicycles provide assistance only when the rider is pedaling
and cease to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per
hour.
2. Class 2 electric bicycles may be powered solely by the motor and are not
capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per
hour.
3. Class 3 electric bicycles provide assistance only when the rider is pedaling
and cease to provide assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per
hour.
In general, an electric bicycle is subject to the same rules as other bicycles and
an operator of an electric bicycle is subject to the same rules and is afforded the same
privileges as operators of other bicycles, with the following exceptions:
1. Persons under the age of 16 years may not operate a class 3 electric bicycle.
2. A manufacturer or distributor of an electric bicycle must affix a label
containing the classification number of the electric bicycle, the speed at which the
motor will cease to provide assistance or power, and the wattage of the motor
equipped to the electric bicycle.
3. Either the motor must cease to provide assistance or power when the brakes
are applied or the motor must cease to provide assistance or power when the rider
stops pedaling.
4. A person may not operate a class 3 electric bicycle unless the electric bicycle
is equipped with a speedometer.
5. The Department of Transportation or local authorities may prohibit the
operation of electric bicycles, with the power unit in operation, on designated
bikeways.
For further information see the state and local fiscal estimate, which will be
printed as an appendix to this bill.

The people of the state of Wisconsin, represented in senate and assembly, do
enact as follows:
1Section 1 . 23.335 (1) (q) of the statutes is amended to read:
223.335 (1) (q) “Off-highway motorcycle" means a 2-wheeled motor vehicle that
3is straddled by the operator, that is equipped with handlebars, and that is designed
4for use off a highway, regardless of whether it is also designed for use on a highway.
5“Off-highway motorcycle” does not include an electric bicycle, as defined under s.
6340.01 (15ph).
1Section 2. 70.111 (1) of the statutes is amended to read:
270.111 (1) Jewelry, household furnishings, and apparel. Personal ornaments
3and jewelry, family portraits, private libraries, musical instruments other than
4pianos, radio equipment, household furniture, equipment and furnishings, apparel,
5motor bicycles, electric bicycles, bicycles, and firearms if such items are kept for
6personal use by the owner and pianos if they are located in a residence.
7Section 3. 194.01 (7) of the statutes is amended to read:
8194.01 (7) “Motor vehicle" means any automobile, truck, trailer, semitrailer,
9tractor, motor bus, or any self-propelled or motor driven vehicle, except a motorcycle,
10moped, motor bicycle, electric bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device,
11personal delivery device, or vehicle operated on rails.
12Section 4. 340.01 (15ph) of the statutes is created to read:
13340.01 (15ph) “Electric bicycle” means a bicycle that is equipped with fully
14operative pedals for propulsion by human power and an electric motor of less than
15750 watts and that meets the requirements of any of the following classifications:
16(a) Class 1 electric bicycle is an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that
17provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide
18assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
19(b) Class 2 electric bicycle is an electric bicycle that may be powered solely by
20the motor and is not capable of providing assistance when the bicycle reaches the
21speed of 20 miles per hour.
22(c) Class 3 electric bicycle is an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that
23provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide
24assistance when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.
25Section 5. 340.01 (29m) (bm) of the statutes is amended to read:
1340.01 (29m) (bm) “Moped" does not include a motor bicycle or electric bicycle.
2Section 6. 340.01 (30) (intro.) and (a) of the statutes are consolidated,
3renumbered 340.01 (30) and amended to read:
4340.01 (30) “Motor bicycle" means any of the following: (a) A a bicycle to which
5a power unit that is not an integral part of the vehicle has been added to permit the
6vehicle to travel at a speed of not more than 30 miles per hour with a 150-pound rider
7on a dry, level, hard surface with no wind and having a seat for the operator. “Motor
8bicycle” does not include an electric bicycle.
9Section 7. 340.01 (30) (b) of the statutes is repealed.
10Section 8. 340.01 (35) of the statutes is amended to read:
11340.01 (35) “Motor vehicle" means a vehicle, including a combination of 2 or
12more vehicles or an articulated vehicle, which is self-propelled, except a vehicle
13operated exclusively on a rail. “Motor vehicle" includes, without limitation, a
14commercial motor vehicle or a vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained
15from overhead trolley wires but not operated on rails. A snowmobile, an all-terrain
16vehicle, a utility terrain vehicle, and an electric personal assistive mobility device
17shall be considered motor vehicles only for purposes made specifically applicable by
18statute. “Motor vehicle” does not include an electric bicycle.
19Section 9. 340.01 (74p) (c) of the statutes is amended to read:
20340.01 (74p) (c) An operator of a moped, electric bicycle, or motor bicycle.
21Section 10. 341.05 (23) of the statutes is amended to read:
22341.05 (23) The vehicle is a motor bicycle, electric bicycle, or bicycle, except as
23provided in s. 349.18.
24Section 11. 346.02 (4) (title) of the statutes is amended to read:
1346.02 (4) (title) Applicability to persons riding bicycles, electric bicycles,
2and motor bicycles.
3Section 12. 346.02 (4) (a) of the statutes is amended to read:
4346.02 (4) (a) Subject to the special provisions applicable to bicycles, every
5person riding a bicycle upon a roadway or shoulder of a highway is granted all the
6rights and is subject to all the duties which that this chapter grants or applies to the
7operator of a vehicle, except those provisions which that by their express terms apply
8only to motor vehicles or which that by their very nature would have no application
9to bicycles. For purposes of this chapter, provisions which that apply to bicycles also
10apply to electric bicycles and motor bicycles, except as otherwise expressly provided.
11Section 13 . 346.806 of the statutes is created to read:
12346.806 Special rules applicable to electric bicycles. (1) Except as
13otherwise expressly provided, an electric bicycle and an operator of an electric bicycle
14shall be afforded all the same rights and privileges, and be subject to the same duties,
15provided in chs. 340 to 351 as a bicycle or an operator of a bicycle. An electric bicycle
16shall be considered a vehicle to the same extent as a bicycle.
17(2) A person operating an electric bicycle is not subject to the provisions under
18ch. 341, 342, 343, or 344 relating to financial responsibility, operator's licenses,
19registration, or certificates of title.
20(3) (a) A person may ride, with the power unit in operation, an electric bicycle
21upon a bikeway, as defined under s. 84.60 (1) (a), under the jurisdiction of the
22department of natural resources, subject to any restrictions specified in a rule
23promulgated by the department of natural resources under s. 349.18 (4) (b), or under
24the jurisdiction of a municipality or county, subject to any restrictions specified in an
25ordinance enacted under s. 349.18 (4) (a).
1(b) A person may ride, with the power unit in operation, an electric bicycle upon
2a bikeway, as defined under s. 84.60 (1) (a), under the jurisdiction of the department,
3subject to any restrictions specified in a rule promulgated by the department.
4(4) No person under the age of 16 years may operate a class 3 electric bicycle.
5A person under the age of 16 years may ride as a passenger on a class 3 electric bicycle
6that is designed to accommodate passengers.
7Section 14. 347.02 (1) (em) of the statutes is created to read:
8347.02 (1) (em) Electric bicycles.
9Section 15. 347.489 (3m) of the statutes is created to read:
10347.489 (3m) (a) 1. After January 1, 2018, a manufacturer or distributor of
11electric bicycles shall permanently affix to the electric bicycle a label containing all
12of the following information in Arial font of a minimum size of 9 point:
13a. The classification number of the electric bicycle.
14b. The speed at which the motor will cease to provide assistance or power.
15c. The wattage of the motor equipped to the electric bicycle.
162. If a person modifies an electric bicycle so as to change the speed at which the
17motor will cease to provide assistance or power, the person shall prepare and affix
18to the electric bicycle a revised label satisfying the requirements of subd. 1.
19(b) An electric bicycle shall meet the requirements of 16 CFR Part 1512.
20(c) An electric bicycle shall operate so that the motor ceases to provide
21assistance or power when the brakes are applied or the motor ceases to provide
22assistance or power when the rider stops pedaling.
23(d) No person may operate a class 3 electric bicycle unless the electric bicycle
24is equipped with a speedometer that with reasonable accuracy registers the speed
25of the electric bicycle in miles per hour.
1Section 16. 349.18 (4) of the statutes is created to read:
2349.18 (4) (a) The governing body of a municipality or county may by ordinance
3prohibit the operation, with the power unit in operation, of electric bicycles on
4bikeways, as defined under s. 84.60 (1) (a), under its jurisdiction.
5(b) The department of natural resources may promulgate rules prohibiting the
6operation, with the power unit in operation, of electric bicycles on bikeways, as
7defined under s. 84.60 (1) (a), under its jurisdiction.

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