The Alaska Senate passed House Bill 8 on Monday, which excerpts low-powered electric bikes from most state motor vehicle regulation. The bill had earlier passed the House. HB 8 specifies that bikes with electric motors generating less than 750 watts of power will not be subject to motorcycle regulations, and will be permitted on sidewalks and bike trails where motorized vehicles are not allowed.
Most ebikes stop providing electric assist while the rider is pedaling after the speed reaches 20 miles per hour, or 28 mph for what’s called a Class 3 bike.
The publication Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reported that ebike sales grew 300% in the past five years making them the fastest growing segment of the bicycle industry.
According to Precedence Research, the global e-bike market size was valued at $17.56 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach over $40.98 billion by 2030, poised to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.6% from 2021 to 2030.
The House bill was the brainchild of freshman legislator Rep. Ashley Carrick of Fairbanks, a member of the Democrat minority. The Republican majority has been supportive of several minority-authored bills like this one, and several Republicans signed on as cosponsors.