What You Need to Know Before Riding an E-Bike in US/Europe
Electric bicycles are taking the world by storm in recent years. You've probably seen them on bike paths, and you've seen them on the road. You've probably seen them on mountains, at traffic lights, on off-road trails, and everywhere you look. Both the US and Europe are bike-friendly countries.
In addition to avid cyclists, e-bikes also provide a commuting option for the less active, older generations, and even those recovering from injuries. It's fun, fast, and eco-friendly.
But, like with all new things, there are some issues that need to be worked out. With no licenses and registrations required, many are speeding on sidewalks, speeding between pedestrians, and even texting while riding e-bikes. Moreover, compared with ordinary bicycles, the consequences of accidents with electric bicycles are more serious. Therefore, many countries have promulgated electric vehicle laws to regulate the use of electric bicycles. The most important thing in the middle is to limit the speed of electric bicycles.
US Electric Bike Regulations
In the US, electric bikes are categorized into three legal classes as on the type of electric bike motor they use:
● Class 1 eBike – Pedal-assist eBike (aka. Pedelec, Spedelec, Speed Pedelec)
Max. assisted speed limited to 20mph, motor power limited to 750W
● Class 2 eBike – Throttle-assist eBike.
Max. assisted speed of 20mph. Motor power limited to 750W
● Class 3 eBike – Pedal-assist (+optional throttle)
Speed limited to 28mph on pedal-assist, 20mph on the throttle.
● Class 4 eBike – *An unofficial term of an electric bike with pedals that’s more powerful than Class 3 eBikes.
Motor power over 750W
Maximum assisted speed over 28mph
The Federal Consumer Product Safety Act defines a "low-speed electric bicycle" as a two- or three-wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals that has a top speed of less than 20 mph (32 km/h) when powered only by an electric motor, and the electric motor produces Less than 750 watts (1.01 hp). The act authorizes the CPSC to protect people who ride low-speed electric bicycles by issuing the necessary safety regulations. Electric bike rules on public roads, sidewalks, and sidewalks are governed by the state and vary. For example, in New York, Class 3 electric bikes must be limited to 25 mph. Class 3 e-bikes at 28 mph are not allowed on the streets of New York.
EU Electric Bike Regulations
EU Directive 2002/24/EC lays down the rules applicable to all Member States: "Pedal-assisted bicycles equipped with an auxiliary electric motor with a maximum continuous power rating of 0.25 kW, the output of which is gradually reduced until the final speed of the vehicle reaches 25 km/h [15.5 miles /hour] or faster, if the cyclist stops pedaling, the power is cut off". It means that for an electric bicycle to be legal in the EU, it should: have a motor with a continuous input of no more than 250W, and only use the motor as an assistant, and the top speed cannot exceed 25 kilometers per hour. There are slight differences in the basis of this regulation between different countries in Europe.
If you need to commute in the city on weekdays, but also want to pursue the speed and passion on the mountain trails on the weekends. An adjustable speed e-bike will do what you need. The KAKUKA K26 is an electric mountain bike with off-road tires that allows you to roam freely on mountain trails. At the same time, its custom parameter function can adjust the speed, The optional speed setting range from 12 km/h to 32 km/h., transforming into an electric commuter bike without worrying about breaking the law. The KAKUKA K70 electric road bike also has this feature.
As you've read, laws regarding e-bikes vary depending on your area.
Hope this can help you to know some relevant regulations before buying an electric bike and buy a really practical electric bike.