How to Ride an E-Bike Legally and Safely in North-Carolina

North Carolina Law Summary 2023

North Carolina Stte Flag


E-bikes are growing in popularity in North Carolina. E-bikes are a fun and convenient way to travel, but they also come with legal responsibilities and limitations that you should be aware of. In this document, we will give you an overview of the laws and regulations for e-bikes in North Carolina and some best practices for e-biking.

North Carolina PDF from PeopleForBikes

North Carolina E-Bike Rules and Regulations Summary

The following are highlights from the North Carolina Electric Bicycle Law Handouts:

-Electric bicycles are considered bicycles, not motor vehicles, and are subject to the same rules and regulations as regular bicycles.

-Electric bicycles must be equipped with a motor that is no more powerful than 750 watts and a battery that is no more than 36 volts.

-The motor must be disengaged or turned off when the electric bicycle is ridden on a public road or path.

-Riders must be at least 16 years old and wear a helmet when riding an electric bicycle.

-Electric bicycles are not allowed on sidewalks, in crosswalks, or bicycle lanes.

-Electric bicycles are allowed on roads with a speed limit of 35 mph or less and on paths and trails open to bicycles.

North Carolina E-Bike Trail Specifics

There are three classifications of e-bikes:

Class 1: Pedal-assist only, maximum speed of 20 mph

Class 2: Throttle-assist only, maximum speed of 20 mph

Class 3: Pedal-assist with the throttle, a maximum speed of 28 mph

E-bikes are allowed on all trails unless posted otherwise.

Top North Carolina  Trails on AllTrails to get you started! is a website that helps you find and explore hiking, biking, running, and more trails. You can browse by location, difficulty, length, rating, and activity type. You can also create custom maps and routes, track your progress and share your adventures with others.

You can select trails by difficulty, length, and other options – a great place to learn where to ride your new ebike. My wife and I use Alltrails every week to ride in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.


E-bikes are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get around in North Carolina. However, you need to be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to them and the best practices for e-biking. By following these guidelines, you can have a fun and safe e-biking experience in North Carolina.

For more information on e-bikes in North Carolina, you can visit these websites:

  • PeopleForBikes:
  • North Carolina Department of Transportation:
  • AllTrails:

Before your go, check out our E-Bike Maintenance Checklist to ensure your e-bike is in peak shape.

These datasheets are provided by  

People For Bikes Org


"We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites."