E-Bikes in Eugene
Electric bicycles (e-bikes) play an important role in Eugene's transportation landscape. They provide a low cost and energy efficient transportation option with low-to-no emissions. 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!
Why E-Bikes / Benefits of E-Bikes
- Cheaper Than A Car: No need to pay for registration, insurance, or gasoline. Cost of maintenance and repairs is substantially lower for an e-bike than a car.
- Low Barriers: No insurance, license or registration required. Reduces physical exertion, making it easier to carry cargo and/or children, ride uphill, and go further faster.
- Low Emissions: E-Bikes emit approximately 96% less CO2 than gasoline-powered cars for the same distance traveled.
- Health Benefits: Riding an e-bike provides moderate exercise, which in turn improves cardiovascular and heart health, increases muscle tone and metabolism, boosts the immune system, reduces stress, and contributes to quality sleep.
What is an E-Bike? / 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). Each e-bike model falls into one of three e-bike classifications, depending on the type of assistance integrated the bike and its speed capability.
- 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.
Conversions are possible in some cases by adding a motor, battery and electric controls to a non-electric bike. Adding these elements, if done carefully and correctly, effectively transforms the non-electric bike into an electric one. This is a financially and environmentally friendly route. It can also be helpful for people who ride adaptive bikes.
Professionally installed electric bicycle conversions may qualify for EWEB’s E-Bike Rebate Program. See whether your bike qualifies for a professional conversion by getting it evaluated at one of the following local bike shops that offer conversion services [Note - Only conversions performed at one of the below listed shops may qualify for EWEB's Rebate Program]:
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:
Eugene City Code
- Where Allowed: Oregon State Law applies, with the additional restriction that class 1 and 2 e-bikes mist follow electric micromobility speed limits in East Alton Baker Park. Class 3 e-bikes are not allowed on any shared-use paths. See aerial photo below of speed limits in East Alton Baker Park / Whilamut Natural Area.
New EWEB Rebate Program!
EWEB is offering a new E-Bike Rebate Program as part of it's Green Options Program! Residential electric customers with an active account, or authorized individuals under the account, are now eligible to receive a $300 rebate. The program allows for TWO rebates per household! The goal of the rebate program is to increase access to more affordable, zero emission electric bicycles and to support the community's commitment to transportation options. All types of e-bikes, including professional conversions, are currently eligible in the program. Learn more about the rebate program on the program website.
Registering and Insuring Your Bike
- While it is not required to register or insure an e-bike, it is recommended. Registering your bike increases the likihood of it being recovered in case of theft.
- Registry sites are free, convenient, and easy to use
- Insurance policies may be obtained through homeowner, renter, or motor vehicle insurance companies to help cover collisions, theft, and liability.
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
- Cargo-carrying options
- 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.