Nevada’s E-Bike Laws Explained

Electric bikes (e-bikes) have boomed in popularity in recent years. According to the Office Of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, 1.1 million e-bikes were sold in the United States in 2022, representing almost four times the number of sales in 2019. If you plan on riding an e-bike in Las Vegas or anywhere in Nevada, it is important to know and obey the state’s e-bike laws.

What Is an E-Bike? 

An electric bicycle is defined in Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Section 484B.017 as “a device upon which a person may ride, having two or three wheels, or every such device generally recognized as a bicycle that has fully operable pedals, a seat or saddle for the rider, an electric motor which produces not more than 750 watts.”

There are three different classes of e-bikes under Nevada law. A class 1 electric bicycle is equipped with a motor that only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling and ceases when the bike reaches a speed of 20 miles per hour (mph). 

A class 2 e-bike is equipped with a motor that can be used exclusively to propel the bicycle that ceases when the vehicle reaches a speed of 20 mph. A class 3 e-bike has a motor that only provides assistance when the rider is pedaling and ceases at a speed of 28 mph.

E-Bike Users Have the Same Rights and Responsibilities as Drivers

NRS 484B.763 states that every bicycle and electric bicycle rider in Nevada has all the rights and is subject to all the duties applicable to the driver of a motor vehicle, except where the laws do not apply due to the nature of an e-bike. 

Anyone operating an electric bicycle must abide by the same traffic laws and roadway rules as motor vehicle drivers in Nevada. This includes traffic signs and signals, speed limits, right-of-way laws, following and passing rules, and signaling.

Roadway Rules on an E-Bike 

NRS 484B.777 states that when operating a bicycle, electric bicycle or electric scooter on a roadway, an individual must ride as near to the right-hand side of the roadway as practicable, except when preparing to make a left turn, when traveling at a lawful rate of speed that matches nearby traffic and when doing so would not be safe. 

Unsafe circumstances can include a road hazard, animal, parked vehicle, fixed or moving object, or when a lane is too narrow for a bicyclist to ride adjacent to a motor vehicle. E-bike riders in Nevada cannot ride more than two abreast with one another except when they are riding on parts of the road designated for the exclusive use of bicycles.

Required E-Bicycle Equipment 

Under NRS 484B.783, all electric bicycles are required to have working brakes. When used at night, they must be equipped with a white lamp visible from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front, a red reflector visible from 50 to 300 feet to the rear and reflective material on both sides of the bicycle. Helmets are not legally required for e-bike riders in Nevada. However, wearing one can drastically decrease your odds of suffering a traumatic brain injury in an accident. 

Motor vehicle drivers have duties of care when it comes to preventing e-bike accidents. If you have been injured in an e-bike accident, contact the Las Vegas bicycle accident attorneys at Koch & Brim, LLP for a free consultation about your legal options.