Electric bicycles (e-bikes) play an important role in Eugene's transportation landscape. They provide a low cost, energy efficient, and emission-free transportation option. They also provide physical and health benefits. Using an e-bike to complete daily trips, such as to the store or to a place of work, is a great way to help the City meet its goals for reducing community fossil fuel use and greenhouse emissions. Growing in popularity, they also help the City meet its goal of increasing the use of active modes of transportation!
Types of E-Bikes
An e-bike is a bicycle that has an electric assist motor that makes riding easier. Different models of e-bikes offer different options for assistance, with the most common being either throttle or pedal assist. The maximum speed an e-bike can achieve via assistance provided by the electric motor is 20 MPH (H.R. 727 - 107th).
A throttle is a mechanism on the handlebars of the bike that activates the electric motor.
Throttle is usually activated by either twisting one handlebar or pressing a lever with your thumb.
Propels the rider forward without the rider needing to pedal.
Electric motor is only activated while pedaling.
Rider can choose level of assistance; similar to selecting which gear to ride on.
Reduces physical exertion of pedaling, especially uphill.
Oregon State E-Bike Laws
Speed Limit: E-bikes may not exceed 20 MPH when being powered by the electric motor. It may exceed 20 MPH when being powered by human effort.
Minimum Age: Age minimum for e-bike riders is 16 years old.
Helmet Requirement: Helmets not required for e-bike riders.
License and Registration: Riding an e-bike does not require a license, insurance, or registration.
Where Allowed: E-bikes are considered a bicycle by Oregon Vehicle Code. They are allowed on any roadway, lane, or path that bicycles are allowed on, including bike paths. E-bikes are not allowed on sidewalks.
Eugene City Code
Where Allowed: Oregon State Law applies, with the additional restriction that e-bikes are not allowed to operate within East Alton Baker Park while the electric motor is on. They are allowed in East Alton Baker Park if the electric motor is off and it is being powered by human effort.
Shift to E-Bikes Workshops
Shift to e-bikes workshops were offered in April and May 2021 exploring the basics of e-bikes. Local e-bike experts covered topics such as:
Different types of e-bikes
Battery range and speed capabilities
The benefits of owning an e-bike
Key considerations when shopping for an e-bike
Recordings of the two workshops are available to watch online. While the content is the same, questions posed by guests to our knowledgeable local e-bike shop representatives vary between the two workshops.