eBike Safety Allowances and Regulation in Albuquerque & New Mexico
Updated: Apr 22
Here at Free-to-Roam eBiking, our goal is for all New Mexicans to have access to safe, affordable, and fun transportation through eBikes and eBiking. This will not be possible until eBikes are safely classified as bicycles, and allowed for use on multi-use trails. Senate Bill 369 was introduced on February 11, 2021 by Senator Antionette Sedillo Lopez, this bill includes the PeopleForBikes 3-Class eBike System, defines electric bikes, and provides regulations and use guidelines for cities and state agencies, we are hoping this bill gets passed by 2023.
Key Facts About Electric Bikes (eBikes) in New Mexico
1. Laws prohibiting eBikes on bike paths are unsafe and #1 difficulty New Mexicans cite as reason to NOT to ride a bike more.
eBikes are safer riding with other cyclists on protected bike paths than on streets. Most eBikes are engineered not to exceed 20mph. Traditional cyclists average 10-25mph on a multi use trail. Motor vehicles on roads far exceed these speeds and accounted for nearly 700 cyclist deaths in 2020, even during the pandemic. On ABQ 2020 Annual Bike-to-Work Day Survey, all age groups report their #1 difficulty to ride more is “It feels unsafe riding around.”
2. Federal and neighboring state governments regulate eBikes as bicycles – not motor vehicles.
The Federal Department of Interior, including National Park Services and US Forest Services, and 28 states, including all New Mexico’s neighboring states, have adopted new regulations that classify an eBike as a bicycle – not a motor vehicle. PeopleForBikes anticipates 10 more states will adopt the same classification within the year.
3. eBikes are a healthier alternative to driving, ride-sharing, or other gas-powered vehicles – for riders, cities, and the environment.
eBiking has multiple public benefits. eBikers can efficiently travel farther while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and traffic congestion.
4. The U.S. House of Representatives recently introduced a bill to provide a refundable tax credit up to $1,500 for eBike purchases.
If the bill passes, the new legislation will make it easier for more people from all socio-economic levels to own eBikes and contribute to cutting our carbon output. Incentivizing the use of electric bicycles to replace car trips through a consumer tax credit will encourage Americans to transition to greener modes of transportation – directly addressing our climate crisis.
5. Use of eBikes is booming across the U.S. Aligning eBike regulation with federal and 28 other states would draw more riders to New Mexico parks and cities.
While the United States adoption of eBikes falsl far behind Europe and Asia, 2020 ushered in a new era of eBiking across the country with close to a 200% increase in market growth from June 2019 to June 2020. More than 130 million eBikes are expected to be sold between 2020 and 2023 – generating about $20 billion in revenue.
Proposed Solution: 3-Class eBike System & Senate Bill 369
On February 11, 2021, Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez introduced Senate Bill 369, which includes the PeopleForBikes 3-Class eBike System, defines electric bikes, and provides regulations and use guidelines for cities and state agencies.
Quick Facts about Senate Bill 369:
It includes the PeopleForBikes 3-Class eBike System
It calls for eBikes to be classified as bicycles
All eBikes distributed (or manufactured) in New Mexico must have a permanently affixed label visible on the eBike showing the eBike classification, top assisted speed, and wattage of the motor
It was proposed by Free-to-Roam eBiking to promote the safety of eBike riders in New Mexico
Only people 16 years or older may operate Class-3 eBikes
This is what passing Senate Bill 369 allows for:
eBikes on multi-use trails (way safer than the street)
People to enjoy the benefits of eBiking legally in New Mexico
Cities, counties, and state agencies can prohibit the operation of any or all classes of eBikes on specific bike paths, multi-use paths or dirt/natural paths within their jurisdiction
While the New Mexico Senate is currently in session, we are hopeful that they will pass this bill by 2023.
Stay Informed & Support the Cause
To learn more, receive updates and/or support this bill, go to:
If you’re interested in sending your representative a letter of support, click here.