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Electric Bicycles

Electric bicycle and electric scooter riders are exempt from motor vehicle registration and license requirements.  As of January 1, 2018, all electric bicycles in Colorado are required to conform to one of three classifications shown in the table below, and have a label showing the bicycle's classification, top assisted speed, and motor wattage.  Any modification to an electric bicycle that changes the speed capability or motor wattage requires an updated label.

 

Classification of Electric Bicycles

Class 1

An electric bicycle that only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling; the motor ceases at 20 miles per hour (mph).

Class 2

An electric bicycle that provides assistance regardless of whether the rider is pedaling; the motor ceases at 20 mph.

Class 3

An electric bicycle that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling; the motor ceases at 28 mph.  Class 3 electric bicycles must have a speedometer.

Source:  Section 42-1-102 (28.5), C.R.S.

 
Electric scooters.  An electric scooter is defined as a device:
 
  • weighing less than 100 pounds;with handlebars and an electric motor;
  • that is powered by an electric motor; and
  • that has a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour on a paved level surface when powered solely by the electric motor.
 
Local laws pertaining to electric scooters must be no more restrictive than those pertaining to class 1 electric bicycles.
 
Permissible routes for electric bicycles and scooters.  Unless otherwise restricted, Class 1 and Class 2 electric bicycles, and scooters are allowed on the same bicycle and pedestrian paths as conventional bicycles.  Class 3 electric bicycles may not be on a bicycle or pedestrian path unless the path is within a street or highway or permitted by the local jurisdiction.  Local jurisdictions have the authority to prohibit the operation of electric bicycles and scooters on any bicycle or pedestrian path under its jurisdiction.   
 
Age restrictions and helmet laws.  No one under the age of 16 may ride a Class 3 electric bicycle, except as a passenger.  Anyone on a Class 3 electric bicycle who is under the age of 18 must wear a helmet. 
     
Penalties.  Anyone who violates regulations pertaining to the manufacturing standards and classification of electric bikes and scooters is subject to a class B traffic infraction, with a fine of $15 and a surcharge of $6. 
 
For more information on Electric Bicycles, see this Legislative Council Staff Issue Brief.