Who knew they were illegal? Customers who placed orders, then canceled them after doing some research, a spokesperson for electric skateboard manufacturer Intuitive Motion told WSJ. What these customers found was a law passed in 1977 that banned gas-powered skateboards from operating on the street.
Because the ban was discouraging sales, Intuitive Motion brought Kristin Olsen, a California assemblywoman from Modesto, into its facilities for a tour. The electric skateboard makers showed her that their devices are different than motorized skateboards of the past; higher-capacity batteries allow for skateboards that produce virtually no noise and no emissions, convincing Olsen to introduce the bill.
The new bill is set to go into effect on day one of 2016, but it doesn’t necessarily make electric skateboards legal everywhere in the state. Instead, it gives local governments the authority to decide whether or not to allow the technology in their individual towns.