NH E-Bike Laws & Information
What is an e-bike?
Electric bicycles (or e-bikes) look like classic bicycles but are equipped with an electric motor that assists the rider. Pedal-assist bikes simply give the rider a boost while pedaling. Other bikes have throttles that allow riders to choose between pedal power or electric motor power. While there are several types of e-bikes, none of them use gasoline or emit exhaust. They are also relatively quiet during operation.
The State of New Hampshire has established the following classes for bikes that have electric motors less than 750 watts:
Class 1 - bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
Class 2 - bicycle equipped with a throttle-actuated motor that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 20 mph.
Class 3 - bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the e-bike reaches 28 mph.
What are NH’s e-bike regulations?
In June of 2019, New Hampshire passed House Bill 148 relative to electric bicycles (see HB148). The new regulations took effect in August of 2019. For a good summary of NH’s e-bike law, please review the People for Bikes poster.
- the term “bicycle” includes e-bikes.
- The state of New Hampshire defines electric bikes as any motor-driven cycle whose speed attainable in one mile is less than 20mph. The cycle must have functional pedals and a motor that has less than 750W.
- Mopeds do not include e-bikes.
- Most importantly: “Except as otherwise provided… electric bicycles and operators of electric bicycles shall be afforded all the rights and privileges, and shall be subject to all the duties, of a bicycle or the operator of a bicycle. An electric bicycle is a vehicle to the same extent as a bicycle.” In turn, the State of New Hampshire considers all bicycles, including e-bikes, as vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities of vehicle drivers when using our roadways.
- E-bikes do not require licensing any more than traditional bikes do.
- Riders must remain as far right as practical, except when making a left-hand turn.
- Class 1 and Class 2 bikes are allowed on bicycle paths unless specifically posted otherwise.
- Class 3 bikes are not permitted on multi-use paths.
- Helmets are required for all riders under 16 years of age.