Can electric bicycles be brought into transportation?

Aug 09, 2022

Can electric bicycles be brought into transportation?

Can ebike be brought into planes?

Sinar foldable electric bicycles can be brought on the plane, but according to FAA regulations, high-power batteries cannot be brought on the plane, so if you want to carry an electric bicycle on the plane, you must remove the battery.

Size limits: Lithium metal (non-rechargeable) batteries are limited to 2 grams of lithium per battery. Lithium ion (rechargeable) batteries are limited to a rating of 100 watt hours (Wh) per battery. These limits allow for nearly all types of lithium batteries used by the average person in their electronic devices. With airline approval, passengers may also carry up to two spare larger lithium ion batteries (101–160 Wh) or Lithium metal batteries (2-8 grams). This size covers the larger after-market extended-life laptop computer batteries and some larger batteries used in professional audio/visual equipment. (FAA: Pack Safe: Batteries, lithium)

Batteries Allowed in Airline Passenger Baggage in the US. (FAA: Batteries Carried by Airline Passengers FAQs)

Batteries Allowed in Airline Passenger Baggage in the US

If you are carrying a 160 - 300 Wh battery, you can ask for special assistance to bring it on the plane with the permission of the airline. (American Airlines: Restricted items)

Can I bring an electric bike on the train?

If you want to bring an electric bike on a train, the following conditions must be met:

  1. Weight: Electric bicycles under 50 lbs. are allowed in checked baggage and on trains with walk-on bicycle service. Gas-powered motorized bicycles are prohibited.
  2. Folding Ebike: Folding bikes under the dimensions of 34" x 15" x 48" (860 x 380 x 1120 mm) are permitted on all trains in lieu of a piece of carry-on luggage. Only true folding bicycles (bicycles specifically designed to fold up into a compact assembly) are acceptable. Generally, these bikes have frame latches allowing the frame to be collapsed and small wheels. In some limited cases, an Amtrak crew member will have you check your folding bicycle in the baggage car if luggage space is extremely limited or unavailable.
  3. Wheel Width: Currently, AMTRAK's bike rack hooks only accommodate tires a maximum of 2" wide. They are working on ways to accommodate fat tire bikes as well as non-standard sized bicycles like trikes and recumbents.

Other means of transport

In New York City, you can take your ebike on the subway, ferry boats, commuter rails(Only a certain number of bikes are allowed per train, depending on the time.), but can't take your bike on a bus. (NYC DOT: Bikes on Transit; MTA: Taking your bike on MTA subways, buses, and trains)

Bikes are not allowed on most NYC buses. However, S53 and S93 buses are equipped with bike racks going between Bay Ridge, Brooklyn and Staten Island and Q50 and Bx23 buses equipped with bike racks going between Flushing, Queens and Co-op City in the Bronx.

In Colorado: The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority serves 70 miles in and around Aspen, CO, and does not allow any e-bike or fat bike class. In Denver, the Regional Transportation District policies do not allow for e-bikes aboard their buses or bicycles over 80×40 inches.(RTD: BIKES ON RTD'S LIGHT RAIL SYSTEM)

In Los Angeles: The Metro buses do not permit motorized bicycles or any bicycles over 55 lbs. However, folding bikes with wheels 20 inches or less are allowed onboard. ( Reasons to Bike with Metro)

In California: The Transit Agency has opened its arms to e-bikes, encouraging riders to bring them along as they use the city’s bus system. They limit the use of the racks to bicycles with sealed gel, lithium Ion, or NiCad batteries and have standard tires.

In Portland: Portland’s TriMet busing system allows e-bikes onboard as long as they meet the safety requirements of having a sealed battery compartment which isn’t likely to be a problem.( Types of Bikes Allowed on Board)

In Seattle: E-bikes that fit on the bike racks are permitted in Seattle, providing the battery is removed and kept with the bike owner inside the bus.( Bike loading & unloading)

In Vancouver, Canada: Vancouver’s TransLink’s bus bike racks began allowing e-bikes onboard. No additional costs, but with these restrictions: the bike must weigh less than 25 kg (55 lbs), wheels must not be too wide to fit properly in the bike rack, and the sealed lithium battery must be removed and brought onto the bike rack bus.( Bikes on Transit)

ebike can ride on street

Why are Lithium Batteries Regulated in Transportation?

The risks posed by lithium cells and batteries are generally a function of type, size, and chemistry. Lithium cells and batteries can present both chemical (e.g., corrosive or flammable electrolytes) and electrical hazards. Unlike standard alkaline batteries, most lithium batteries manufactured today contain a flammable electrolyte and have an incredibly high energy density. They can overheat and ignite under certain conditions, such as a short circuit, physical damage, improper design, or assembly. Once ignited, lithium cell and battery fires can be difficult to extinguish. Additional, although infrequent, events can result in lithium cells and batteries experiencing thermal runaway, a chain reaction leading to a violent release of stored energy and flammable gas. This thermal runaway can propagate to other batteries or combustible materials nearby, potentially resulting in large scale thermal events with severe consequences.