Understanding Florida E-Bike Laws & Subsidies

ebiking along water

Introduction

Electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for a good reason. These bikes offer an eco-friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional modes of transportation while still providing the convenience and freedom of cycling. If you’re considering purchasing an e-bike in Florida, you must know the state’s laws and regulations surrounding its use. Additionally, you may be eligible for subsidies that can help offset the cost of your new ride.

Florida E-Bike Laws

Classification of E-Bikes in Florida

Florida law [2] classifies e-bikes into three categories:

Class 1. Comprises e-bikes with a motor that assists the rider when pedaling only. The motor should cease to offer assistance if the e-bike reaches 20mph.

Class 2. E-bikes come with a motor that propels them without pedaling. The motor should cease to offer assistance if the e-bike reaches 20mph.

Class 3. The fastest category of e-bikes that have a maximum speed of 28 mph. They have a motor that assists the rider when pedaling only.

Florida E-Bike Regulations

As per Florida Statutes Section 316.20655 [1], e-bikes and their operators must be subject to the same rights, duties, and privileges as traditional bicycles and their operators. This includes complying with the same traffic laws and signals as bicycles. Additionally, e-bikes must be equipped with pedals and an electric motor with a maximum power output of 750 watts.

Where to Ride E-Bikes in Florida

Florida law permits Class 1 e-bikes to be ridden in most places. However, some local ordinances may restrict e-bike use in specific areas such as parks, bike paths, or sidewalks. Always check with the local government or parks website to confirm whether e-bikes are allowed in a particular location [3].

E-Bike Subsidies in Florida

The Federal Electric Bike Tax Credit

As of 2023, no federal tax credit is available for electric bike purchases. However, several bills have been introduced in Congress to introduce a tax credit for e-bike buyers. Keep an eye out for any updates in the coming years.

State-Specific E-Bike Subsidies in Florida

Currently, there are no state-specific e-bike subsidies available in Florida. However, the state offers incentives for clean energy vehicles, including electric cars. E-bikes may be included in these incentives in the future.

 

Electric Bike Sharing

Four towns have e-bike share programs in Florida.

  • Port St. Lucie has an e-bike sharing program that allows residents to pick up an e-bike at Town Square and recharge the bike with conveniently-located charging stations around the community.[1]
  • The City of Orlando has a bike share/scooter share program that allows users to rent devices, such as dockless bikes or scooters equipped with GPS technology, without the need to return them to a specific location.[2]
  • St. Augustine recently launched an app-based bike-share program through a partnership with the city government, Flagler Health+, and Bolt Mobility. The program provides 110 all-electric-assist e-bikes for public use.[3]
  • Tradition is introducing a complimentary e-bike share program (available for homeowners only), allowing residents to pick up an e-bike at Town Square and Talk-in-the-park, with conveniently-located charging stations around the community.[4]

Conclusion

Watch this space – the federal, state, and local governments all recognize the value of electric bikes, and many will be rolling out new programs in the coming months. We do expect the federal government to include e-bike subsidies in the 2023-2024 time frame.

Now check out how to choose the correct type of ebike article.

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