BPSA Successful in US E-Bike Advocacy
BOULDER, USA – The potential of the US e-bike market can best be illustrated by the ‘e-bike update page’ in the first ever annual report of the BPSA (Bicycle Product Suppliers Association). In close cooperation with the PeopleForBikes, the two US advocacy organisations took the initiative to introduce progressive laws in as many states as possible to enhance the legitimacy of e-bikes.
The BPSA/PeopleForBikes program resulted this year in new e-bike legislation in three more states; Colorado, Illinois, and Arkansas. They joined California, Tennessee and Utah who introduced this legislation at an earlier stage. The so called ‘three-class system’, which is now part of several e-bike manufacturer labeling programs, has significantly reduced consumer and retailer confusion about where to ride. According to the BPSA, bills are also pending in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
The US consumer is seriously starting to embrace the e-bike. Between January and July the total market doubled in units and value, as claimed in a BPSA study.
Explain what e-bikes are
“Passing these bike-friendly bills is an important step, but the follow up with retailers and agencies, people connected to riders, is also critical,” explains BPSA President Adam Micklin. “So we have published downloadable 50 state-by-state e-bike guides, which include suggested rides in every state. We work with retailers on messaging around e-bikes, and we attend local government meetings to explain what e-bikes are and where they are allowed.
“As BPSA we are the voice for progressive e-bike policies and educational resources. This work requires broad support from a coalition of retailers, suppliers, advocates, state legislators, and land managers.”
The BPSA report also addresses the controversy that e-MTBs have in the US with their trail access ban. This prohibition for combustion engined powered two-wheelers to ride the numerous trails in the country is also applied to e-MTB’s. This is blocking sales of this new category in the US. BPSA President Adam Micklin says “The BPSA strategy centers around two things: First, building a user base of e-MTB riders who can speak as a common voice for improved access for e-MTBs, and second, working with all levels of government, local, state, and federal agencies, to advocate for common sense e-bike policies that are in line with the current user base and technology.
“For both of these objectives, we highlight great places to ride, and provide tools for land managers to understand and manage e-MTB use. Our work with land managers has resulted in local and state parks opening up to e-MTBs; the development of studies and data that help land managers better understand the social and physical aspects of e-MTBs on trails; and positive discussions with the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management.”