|Electric transportation developer ZAP today issued praise for a new law that would reduce the regulatory burdens on electric bicycles.|
According to legislative reports, the United States Senate has approved H.R. 727 and President Bush has signed it into law. The bill, introduced by Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Ocala, Florida), passed the house in 2001. Currently, low-speed electric bikes are regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which subjects these bicycles to the same standards as motor vehicles.
"Low-speed electric bicycles offer consumers the convenience of assisted power," explained Stearns. "These bikes give their riders, often seniors, the disabled, and law enforcement officers, some extra help in pedaling long distances and uphill. These are bicycles and should be regulated as bicycles. Under NHTSA's jurisdiction, electric bikes will be required to have additional equipment such as those on trucks and cars. These requirements would upset the weight and balance of the bicycles, as well as increase their prices."
H.R. 727 will transfer jurisdiction over low-speed electric bikes from NHTSA to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which regulates consumer products such as bicycles. The legislation applies to low-speed electric bikes with less than one-horse power and a maximum of 20 miles per hour.
"This new law represents a tangible step forward for clean transportation technologies," said ZAP spokesperson Alex Campbell. "An actual human-electric hybrid vehicle, the electric bicycle is one of the most energy efficient forms of transportation available today, achieving the equivalent of 1000 miles per gallon in terms of fueling costs. We are pleased that governments around the world are starting address these forms of transportation."
Campbell added that ZAP helped pioneer the electric bike market back in 1994 and in addition to being a sponsor of HR 727 also helped pass legislation for electric bikes and scooters in California. Today ZAP has several new electric bike designs starting at $399 as well as motor systems that you can add to your conventional bicycle for $179. For more information, visit http://www.zapworld.com or call 1-800-251-4555.www.zapworld.com