1.Does the ebike recharge whilst I am pedaling ?

No it does not. Some manufacturers do advertise that the bikes regenerate whilst braking or going down hill. To be honest this is mainly marketing talk, we looked into this a while back, you generally have to add resistance to generate extra energy, you also have to add weight to the bike for the regenerative components. The gains are minimal and not worth the extra cost / weight / resistance.
(1). EBikes with regen are not able to freewheel when pedaling without battery assistance
(2). Electric bicycles are far more efficient than cars because they do not have 1,000 lbs(450kgs) or more of mass & associated momentum that can be converted back to electricity
(3). Historically, the process of regenerating electricity has created a slight vibration that has loosened spokes and vastly increased maintenance costs.

2.How long does it take to recharge the battery ?

Charge times depend on the EBike’s battery capacity (rated in Amp Hours, Ah) and charger output (rated in Amps), A 10Ah battery with a charger that has an output of 1A will take 10 hours to complete a full charge. That being said, most of the bikes we sell can be charged in less than five hours.

3.I have seen cheaper electric bikes, what’s the difference ?

Its the same old saying – You pay for what you get. At kocass we have chosen to not deal with cheaper, more ‘rattly’ models. In fact, we only deal with quality machines that are built to perform the task in hand. Buy cheap, buy twice is our policy.

4.What warranty do you offer on your bikes ?

All of our electric bikes come with the best warranty possible. We offer 3 years on the frame, 1 year on all of the components & 2 years on the whole electrical system.

5.How fast?

All kocass Electric Bikes are governed at 15mph-20mph(25km/h-32km/h) in accordance with federal and state regulations.

6.How far?

Range varies between 15-60 mi(24km-96km). Depending on the battery, rider weight, terrain, weather, speed, and level of pedaling.

So we’ll go over some simple math that can help you objectively predict the range of any electric bike.

All batteries have both a voltage and amp-hour rating. If you multiply the two together, you get watt-hours. Watt-hours is an objective measurement of the actual amount of energy stored in a battery.

Volts x Amp-Hours = Watt-Hours

This is where it gets tricky, because there are so many variables. On average, you can expect to use between 12-24 watt-hours per mile. This number fluctuates so much because of differences in terrain, rider weight, weather, speed, and most importantly how much you pedal.

Here is a quick trip guide based on battery Amp Hours.

9AH > 30 to 40km
10AH > 35 to 45km
12AH > 50 to 65km
14Ah > 65 to 85
17Ah > 85 to 115km

It is important to emphasise that these distances are based on pedal assistance, not sitting on your butt and letting the ebikes do all the work. Obviously if you only used the ebiks to assist you on hills, and you only had a few hills on your journey, you could ride many km.

7.Do I have to pedal ?

No, there are many other modes of transportation available. For electric bikes, pedal-activated bikes require pedaling to engage the motor, whereas throttle-activated bikes do not.

Electric Bicycles come in a few different flavours when it comes to controlling the power of the motor.
The most simple is the Throttle only mode. Operating just like a motorcycle, a throttle can be found either on the left or right side of the handlebars and is spring loaded so when it is not used the default position is off. Some throttles are full grip twist ones, others use a half grip and our favourite is the discreet thumb throttle. Very easy position to activate.
More often than not the throttle activates the motor whether or not you are pedaling. This style of riding is not possible in Europe as electric bicycles are defined always as “electric assist”, you have to be pedaling at all times to get the benefit of power assistance. Currently in Australia we don’t have that requirement so it’s possibly to have throttle bike that could be ridden without pedaling. We don’t encourage that as the whole point of Ebikes in our mind is to get significant health benefits. Your range from your battery will also be drastically reduced.
The main reason people enjoy the Throttle only mode is to get some assistance moving away from a stationary position, especially on hills. This can also be achieved by the proper use of your gears and making sure to shift down to an easy gear before you stop, so we don’t see Throttle only mode as critical to the success of your ride.

8.Hub Motor vs. Mid Drive: Which is right for me ? 

Why is your motor in the crank rather than in the rear hub like most electric bikes?

A mid drive motor system is incredibly efficient. By providing power at the crank it takes full use of the mechanical advantage of the bike’s gearing. Mid motors are known for delivering higher performance and torque when compared to a similar powered traditional hub motor.

Taking advantage of the bike’s own gearing system multiplies the motor’s power up to 3.4 times. This makes it more efficient when climbing hills and also achieving top end speeds. Battery life is extended due to increased efficiency and it also centralizes weight distribution, which most importantly means more air when hitting those jumps!

Admittedly we’re really biased towards mid motors and that’s the point. We did plenty of research on them before the bike even took form on a drawing board. We think they’re far superior and that’s why we use them on our bikes.

A hub motor is the obvious choice for most people. The riding experience can’t be beat, and it’s the most affordable option. It’s the best of both worlds!

We speak from experience on this subject. The Stretch cargo bike was originally designed with a mid-drive motor because we expected it to perform better with heavy loads. We experimented with several of the top mid drive systems and compared them to our standard hub motor. The results were surprising.The mid drive motors were a huge disappointment. Their performance was no match for our hub motor, even climbing steep hills where mid drives are supposed to dominate. We also found that most people simply don’t like the way it feels to ride a bike with a mid drive motor, especially when comparing it to our hub motor.

Bottom line: You pay more and get less with mid drive motors.

Power and Freedom

Most quality mid drive systems come from Europe where strict laws limit the power to 250 watts and forbid the use of a throttle.

American’s are allowed (and prefer) more powerful motors and the freedom to use a throttle.Electric Bikes sport 500 watt motors with twice the power of a typical mid drive, and they provide full power on demand with a twist-and-go throttle.

Acceleration and Hill Climbing

Many years ago, when all hub motors were gearless, mid drives had an advantage because they could use the gears of the bike to help you accelerate and climb hills.

Today, hub motors have gears built into them, so they can accelerate and climb most hills just as well (or better) without all the downsides of mid-drive motors.

Maintenance

Mid drive motors are notoriously high maintenance. They put extraordinary strain on the drivetrain of the bike and cause the chain, chainring, derailleur, and cassette to wear out much more rapidly than usual. These parts are expensive and inconvenient to replace.

Hub motors are completely sealed and self-contained, and they require no additional maintenance.

User-Friendly

Mid drive motors use complicated electronics to coordinate the motor’s power with your pedaling and shifting. You are forced to constantly shift gears while riding, and it’s not as smooth as shifting a regular bike (or one with a hub motor). Many people are intimidated and/or annoyed by all this extra hassle.

Bikes with hub motors are far more pleasant and easy to ride. They seamlessly deliver power right where it’s needed – working totally independent of your pedaling and gear shifting. It’s almost like the difference between driving a manual and automatic car.

HUB MOTOR MID DRIVE
Throttle (Can be on all ebikes) No Throttle (usually)
Powerful (All booster motors are 500 watts) Underpowered (usually 250 watts)
Maintenance Free High Maintenance
Fun and Easy to Ride Constant Shifting Required
Affordable Expensive
These are all great reasons to prefer a hub motor over a mid drive, but the most important reason is impossible to describe. It’s the way they actually feel when you ride them…

We like hub motors better. Most people agree. We think you will too.

9.Are eBikes legal ?

European Union definition

European Union directive 2002/24/EC exempts vehicles with the following definition from type approval: “Cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25km/h (15.5mph) or if the cyclist stops pedaling.” This is the de facto definition of an electrically assisted pedal cycle in the EU. As with all EU directives, individual member countries of the EU are left to implement the requirements in national legislation.

European product safety standard EN 15194 was published in 2009. The aim of EN 15194 is “to provide a standard for the assessment of electrically powered cycles of a type which are excluded from type approval by Directive 2002/24/EC”.

National requirements

Finland

A bicycle can have a 250 W electric motor providing the top speed is limited to 25 km/h. Also the motor can only assist, rather than replace pedalling. 250-1000 W electric motors can be used, with proper insurance.

Norway

In Norway, e-bikes are classified as ordinary bicycles, according to the Vehicle Regulation (kjøretøyforskriften) § 4-1, 5g. Hence, e-bikes are not registered in the Vehicle Registry, and there is no demand for a license to drive them. Still, there are constraints on the bicycle construction. The maximum nominal motor power output can be no more than 250 watts and the maximum performance speed of the vehicle when the engine is running is 25 km per hour (15 mph). A function that reduces motor power when vehicle speed exceeds 25 km per hour is mandatory. However, if the motor is not running, the e-bike, or any other bike, answer only to the constraints of the ordinary speed limits.

Being member of European Economic Area (EEA), Norway implemented the European Union directive 2002/24/EC. This directive defined legal ebikes for all EU and EEA countries to cycle “with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h or if the cyclist stops pedaling.” The definition became part of Norwegian vehicle legislation in 2003. A more detailed specification will become effective when the new European ebike product safety standard EN 15194 is published in 2009.

Sweden

In Sweden, e-bikes are classified as ordinary bicycles as long as the maximum nominal motor power output isn’t more than 250 watts and the maximum performance speed of the vehicle when the engine is running is 25 km per hour according to the Swedish Vehicle Regulation (Trafikverket).

Switzerland

Switzerland (not in EU) has led the way on speed e-bikes in Europe, liberalizing standards and allowing for an easier process of obtaining a license to use 45 km/h ebikes as an alternative to the common 25 km/h pedelecs found in the EU.

Turkey

The engine assistance of electric bike automatically cuts off at 25 km/h and enables safe driving.

United Kingdom

European Union definition is applicable

The tighter restrictions of the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983 (including a 200kg weight limit on solo bicycles) were removed on 6th April 2015 by the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (Amendment) Regulations 2015.”Information Sheet” .”The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (Amendment) Regulations 2015″ .

Riders must be at least 14 years of age, but no driving licence is required.

United States

Federal Laws and Regulations Pertaining to the Sale of Electric Bicycles

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act states that electric bicycles and tricycles meeting the definition of low-speed electric bicycles will be considered consumer products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has regulatory authority to assure, through guidelines and standards, that the public will be protected from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of electric bicycles.

Defined

The federal Consumer Product Safety Act defines a “low speed electric bicycle” as a two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals, a top speed when powered solely by the motor under 20 mph (32 km/h) and an electric motor that produces less than 750 W (1.01 hp). The Act authorizes the Consumer Product Safety Commission to protect people who ride low-speed electric vehicles by issuing necessary safety regulations. The rules for e-bikes on public roads, sidewalks, and pathways are under state jurisdiction, and vary.

In conformance with legislation adopted by the U.S. Congress defining this category of electric-power bicycle (15 U.S.C. 2085(b)), CPSC rules stipulate that low speed electric bicycles (to include two- and three-wheel vehicles) are exempt from classification as motor vehicles providing they have fully operable pedals, an electric motor of less than 750W (1 hp), and a top motor-powered speed of less than 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) when operated by a rider weighing 170 pounds. An electric bike remaining within these specifications is subject to the CPSC consumer product regulations for a bicycle. Commercially manufactured e-bikes exceeding these power and speed limits are regulated by the federal DOT and NHTSA as motor vehicles, and must meet additional safety requirements. The legislation enacting this amendment to the CPSC is also known as HR 727. The text of HR 727 includes the statement: “This section shall supersede any State law or requirement with respect to low-speed electric bicycles to the extent that such State law or requirement is more stringent than the Federal law or requirements.” (Note that this refers to consumer product regulations enacted under the Consumer Product Safety Act. Preemption of more stringent state consumer product regulations does not limit State authority to regulate the use of electric bicycles, or bicycles in general, under state vehicle codes.)

Australia

In Australia the e-bike is defined by the Australian Vehicle Standards as a bicycle that has an auxiliary motor with a maximum power output not exceeding 200 W without consideration for speed limits or pedal sensors. Each state is responsible for deciding how to treat such a vehicle and currently all states agree that such a vehicle does not require licensing or registration. Various groups are lobbying for an increase in this low limit to encourage more widespread use of e-bikes to assist in mobility, health benefits and to reduce congestion, pollution and road danger. Some states have their own rules such as no riding under electric power on bike paths and through built up areas so riders should view the state laws regarding their use. There is no licence and no registration required for e-bike usage.

Since 30 May 2012, Australia has an additional new e-bike category using the European Union model of a pedelec as per the CE EN15194 standard. This means the e-bike can have a motor of 250W of continuous rated power which can only be activated by pedalling (if above 6 km/h) and must cut out over 25 km/h – if so it is classed as a normal bicycle. The state of Victoria is the first to amend their local road rules, see below.

Road vehicles in Australia must comply with all applicable Australian Design Rules (ADRs) before they can be supplied to the market for use in transport (Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 Cwth).

The ADRs contain the following definitions for bicycles and mopeds:

4.2. Two-Wheeled and Three-Wheeled Vehicles

4.2.1. PEDAL CYCLE (AA)

A vehicle designed to be propelled through a mechanism solely by human power.

4.2.2. POWER-ASSISTED PEDAL CYCLE (AB)

A pedal cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors having a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts.

4.2.3. MOPED – 2 Wheels (LA)

A 2-wheeled motor vehicle, not being a power-assisted pedal cycle, with an engine cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 ml and a “Maximum Motor Cycle Speed” not exceeding 50 km/h; or a 2-wheeled motor vehicle with a power source other than a piston engine and a “Maximum Motor Cycle Speed” not exceeding 50 km/h.

(Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule – Definitions and Vehicle Categories 2005 Compilation 3 19 September 2007).

There are no ADRs applicable to AA or AB category vehicles. There are ADRs for lighting, braking, noise, controls and dimensions for LA category vehicles, mostly referencing the equivalent UN ECE Regulations. An approval is required to supply to the market any road vehicle to which ADRs apply and an import approval is required to import any road vehicle into Australia.

  • No it does not. Some manufacturers do advertise that the bikes regenerate whilst braking or going down hill. To be honest this is mainly marketing talk, we looked into this a while back, you generally have to add resistance to generate extra energy, you also have to add weight to the bike for the regenerative components. The gains are minimal and not worth the extra cost / weight / resistance.
  • 1、eBikes with regen are not able to freewheel when pedaling without battery assistance
  • 2、Electric bicycles are far more efficient than cars because they do not have 1,000 lbs(450kgs) or more of mass & associated momentum that can be converted back to electricity
  • 3、Historically, the process of regenerating electricity has created a slight vibration that has loosened spokes and vastly increased maintenance costs.
Charge times depend on the eBike’s battery capacity (rated in Amp Hours, Ah) and charger output (rated in Amps)

A 10Ah battery with a charger that has an output of 1A will take 10 hours to complete a full charge. That being said, most of the bikes we sell can be charged in less than five hours.

Its the same old saying – You pay for what you get. At kocass we have chosen to not deal with cheaper, more ‘rattly’ models. In fact, we only deal with quality machines that are built to perform the task in hand. Buy cheap, buy twice is our policy.
All of our electric bikes come with the best warranty possible. We offer 3 years on the frame, 1 year on all of the components & 2 years on the whole electrical system.
All kocass Electric Bikes are governed at 15mph-20mph(25km/h-32km/h) in accordance with federal and state regulations.
Range varies between 15-60 mi(24km-96km). Depending on the battery, rider weight, terrain, weather, speed, and level of pedaling.

So we’ll go over some simple math that can help you objectively predict the range of any electric bike.

All batteries have both a voltage and amp-hour rating. If you multiply the two together, you get watt-hours. Watt-hours is an objective measurement of the actual amount of energy stored in a battery.

Volts x Amp-Hours = Watt-Hours

This is where it gets tricky, because there are so many variables. On average, you can expect to use between 12-24 watt-hours per mile. This number fluctuates so much because of differences in terrain, rider weight, weather, speed, and most importantly how much you pedal.

Here is a quick trip guide based on battery Amp Hours.

9AH > 30 to 40km
10AH > 35 to 45km
12AH > 50 to 65km
14Ah > 65 to 85
17Ah > 85 to 115km

It is important to emphasise that these distances are based on pedal assistance, not sitting on your butt and letting the ebikes do all the work. Obviously if you only used the ebiks to assist you on hills, and you only had a few hills on your journey, you could ride many km.

No, there are many other modes of transportation available. For electric bikes, pedal-activated bikes require pedaling to engage the motor, whereas throttle-activated bikes do not.

   Electric Bicycles come in a few different flavours when it comes to controlling the power of the motor.
The most simple is the Throttle only mode. Operating just like a motorcycle, a throttle can be found either on the left or right side of the handlebars and is spring loaded so when it is not used the default position is off. Some throttles are full grip twist ones, others use a half grip and our favourite is the discreet thumb throttle. Very easy position to activate.
More often than not the throttle activates the motor whether or not you are pedaling. This style of riding is not possible in Europe as electric bicycles are defined always as “electric assist”, you have to be pedaling at all times to get the benefit of power assistance. Currently in Australia we don’t have that requirement so it’s possibly to have throttle bike that could be ridden without pedaling. We don’t encourage that as the whole point of Ebikes in our mind is to get significant health benefits. Your range from your battery will also be drastically reduced.
The main reason people enjoy the Throttle only mode is to get some assistance moving away from a stationary position, especially on hills. This can also be achieved by the proper use of your gears and making sure to shift down to an easy gear before you stop, so we don’t see Throttle only mode as critical to the success of your ride.

Why is your motor in the crank rather than in the rear hub like most electric bikes?

A mid drive motor system is incredibly efficient. By providing power at the crank it takes full use of the mechanical advantage of the bike’s gearing. Mid motors are known for delivering higher performance and torque when compared to a similar powered traditional hub motor.

Taking advantage of the bike’s own gearing system multiplies the motor’s power up to 3.4 times. This makes it more efficient when climbing hills and also achieving top end speeds. Battery life is extended due to increased efficiency and it also centralizes weight distribution, which most importantly means more air when hitting those jumps!

Admittedly we’re really biased towards mid motors and that’s the point. We did plenty of research on them before the bike even took form on a drawing board. We think they’re far superior and that’s why we use them on our bikes.

A hub motor is the obvious choice for most people. The riding experience can’t be beat, and it’s the most affordable option. It’s the best of both worlds!

We speak from experience on this subject. The Pedego Stretch cargo bike was originally designed with a mid-drive motor because we expected it to perform better with heavy loads. We experimented with several of the top mid drive systems and compared them to our standard hub motor. The results were surprising.The mid drive motors were a huge disappointment. Their performance was no match for our hub motor, even climbing steep hills where mid drives are supposed to dominate. We also found that  most people simply don’t like the way it feels to ride a bike with a mid drive motor, especially when comparing it to our hub motor.

Bottom line: You pay more and get less with mid drive motors.

Power and Freedom

Most quality mid drive systems come from Europe where strict laws limit the power to 250 watts and forbid the use of a throttle.

American’s are allowed (and prefer) more powerful motors and the freedom to use a throttle. All Pedego Electric Bikes sport 500 watt motors with twice the power of a typical mid drive, and they provide full power on demand with a twist-and-go throttle.

Acceleration and Hill Climbing

Many years ago, when all hub motors were gearless, mid drives had an advantage because they could use the gears of the bike to help you accelerate and climb hills.

Today, Pedego hub motors have gears built into them, so they can accelerate and climb most hills just as well (or better) without all the downsides of mid-drive motors.

Maintenance

Mid drive motors are notoriously high maintenance. They put extraordinary strain on the drivetrain of the bike and cause the chain, chainring, derailleur, and cassette to wear out much more rapidly than usual. These parts are expensive and inconvenient to replace.

Hub motors are completely sealed and self-contained, and they require no additional maintenance.

User-Friendly

Mid drive motors use complicated electronics to coordinate the motor’s power with your pedaling and shifting. You are forced to constantly shift gears while riding, and it’s not as smooth as shifting a regular bike (or one with a hub motor). Many people are intimidated and/or annoyed by all this extra hassle.

Bikes with hub motors are far more pleasant and easy to ride. They seamlessly deliver power right where it’s needed – working totally independent of your pedaling and gear shifting. It’s almost like the difference between driving a manual and automatic car.

HUB MOTORMID DRIVE
Throttle (On all Pedegos)No Throttle (usually)
Powerful (All Pedego motors are 500 watts)Underpowered (usually 250 watts)
Maintenance FreeHigh Maintenance
Fun and Easy to RideConstant Shifting Required
AffordableExpensive

 

These are all great reasons to prefer a hub motor over a mid drive, but the most important reason is impossible to describe. It’s the way they actually feel when you ride them…

We like hub motors better. Most people agree. We think you will too.

European Union definition

European Union directive 2002/24/EC exempts vehicles with the following definition from type approval: “Cycles with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25km/h (15.5mph) or if the cyclist stops pedaling.” This is the de facto definition of an electrically assisted pedal cycle in the EU. As with all EU directives, individual member countries of the EU are left to implement the requirements in national legislation.

European product safety standard EN 15194 was published in 2009. The aim of EN 15194 is “to provide a standard for the assessment of electrically powered cycles of a type which are excluded from type approval by Directive 2002/24/EC”.

National requirements

Finland

A bicycle can have a 250 W electric motor providing the top speed is limited to 25 km/h. Also the motor can only assist, rather than replace pedalling. 250-1000 W electric motors can be used, with proper insurance.

Norway

In Norway, e-bikes are classified as ordinary bicycles, according to the Vehicle Regulation (kjøretøyforskriften) § 4-1, 5g. Hence, e-bikes are not registered in the Vehicle Registry, and there is no demand for a license to drive them. Still, there are constraints on the bicycle construction. The maximum nominal motor power output can be no more than 250 watts and the maximum performance speed of the vehicle when the engine is running is 25 km per hour (15 mph). A function that reduces motor power when vehicle speed exceeds 25 km per hour is mandatory. However, if the motor is not running, the e-bike, or any other bike, answer only to the constraints of the ordinary speed limits.

Being member of European Economic Area (EEA), Norway implemented the European Union directive 2002/24/EC. This directive defined legal ebikes for all EU and EEA countries to cycle “with pedal assistance which are equipped with an auxiliary electric motor having a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kW, of which the output is progressively reduced and finally cut off as the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h or if the cyclist stops pedaling.” The definition became part of Norwegian vehicle legislation in 2003. A more detailed specification will become effective when the new European ebike product safety standard EN 15194 is published in 2009.

Sweden

In Sweden, e-bikes are classified as ordinary bicycles as long as the maximum nominal motor power output isn’t more than 250 watts and the maximum performance speed of the vehicle when the engine is running is 25 km per hour according to the Swedish Vehicle Regulation (Trafikverket).

Switzerland

Switzerland (not in EU) has led the way on speed e-bikes in Europe, liberalizing standards and allowing for an easier process of obtaining a license to use 45 km/h ebikes as an alternative to the common 25 km/h pedelecs found in the EU.

Turkey

The engine assistance of electric bike automatically cuts off at 25 km/h and enables safe driving.

United Kingdom

European Union definition is applicable

The tighter restrictions of the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycle Regulations 1983 (including a 200kg weight limit on solo bicycles) were removed on 6th April 2015 by the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (Amendment) Regulations 2015.”Information Sheet” .”The Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles (Amendment) Regulations 2015″ .

Riders must be at least 14 years of age, but no driving licence is required. 

United States

Federal Laws and Regulations Pertaining to the Sale of Electric Bicycles

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act states that electric bicycles and tricycles meeting the definition of low-speed electric bicycles will be considered consumer products. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has regulatory authority to assure, through guidelines and standards, that the public will be protected from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of electric bicycles.

Defined

The federal Consumer Product Safety Act defines a “low speed electric bicycle” as a two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals, a top speed when powered solely by the motor under 20 mph (32 km/h) and an electric motor that produces less than 750 W (1.01 hp). The Act authorizes the Consumer Product Safety Commission to protect people who ride low-speed electric vehicles by issuing necessary safety regulations. The rules for e-bikes on public roads, sidewalks, and pathways are under state jurisdiction, and vary.

In conformance with legislation adopted by the U.S. Congress defining this category of electric-power bicycle (15 U.S.C. 2085(b)), CPSC rules stipulate that low speed electric bicycles (to include two- and three-wheel vehicles) are exempt from classification as motor vehicles providing they have fully operable pedals, an electric motor of less than 750W (1 hp), and a top motor-powered speed of less than 20 miles per hour (32 km/h) when operated by a rider weighing 170 pounds. An electric bike remaining within these specifications is subject to the CPSC consumer product regulations for a bicycle. Commercially manufactured e-bikes exceeding these power and speed limits are regulated by the federal DOT and NHTSA as motor vehicles, and must meet additional safety requirements. The legislation enacting this amendment to the CPSC is also known as HR 727. The text of HR 727 includes the statement: “This section shall supersede any State law or requirement with respect to low-speed electric bicycles to the extent that such State law or requirement is more stringent than the Federal law or requirements.” (Note that this refers to consumer product regulations enacted under the Consumer Product Safety Act. Preemption of more stringent state consumer product regulations does not limit State authority to regulate the use of electric bicycles, or bicycles in general, under state vehicle codes.)

 Australia

In Australia the e-bike is defined by the Australian Vehicle Standards as a bicycle that has an auxiliary motor with a maximum power output not exceeding 200 W without consideration for speed limits or pedal sensors. Each state is responsible for deciding how to treat such a vehicle and currently all states agree that such a vehicle does not require licensing or registration. Various groups are lobbying for an increase in this low limit to encourage more widespread use of e-bikes to assist in mobility, health benefits and to reduce congestion, pollution and road danger. Some states have their own rules such as no riding under electric power on bike paths and through built up areas so riders should view the state laws regarding their use. There is no licence and no registration required for e-bike usage.

Since 30 May 2012, Australia has an additional new e-bike category using the European Union model of a pedelec as per the CE EN15194 standard. This means the e-bike can have a motor of 250W of continuous rated power which can only be activated by pedalling (if above 6 km/h) and must cut out over 25 km/h – if so it is classed as a normal bicycle. The state of Victoria is the first to amend their local road rules, see below.

Road vehicles in Australia must comply with all applicable Australian Design Rules (ADRs) before they can be supplied to the market for use in transport (Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 Cwth).

The ADRs contain the following definitions for bicycles and mopeds:

4.2. Two-Wheeled and Three-Wheeled Vehicles

4.2.1. PEDAL CYCLE (AA)

A vehicle designed to be propelled through a mechanism solely by human power.

4.2.2. POWER-ASSISTED PEDAL CYCLE (AB)

A pedal cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors having a combined maximum power output not exceeding 200 watts.

4.2.3. MOPED – 2 Wheels (LA)

A 2-wheeled motor vehicle, not being a power-assisted pedal cycle, with an engine cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 ml and a “Maximum Motor Cycle Speed” not exceeding 50 km/h; or a 2-wheeled motor vehicle with a power source other than a piston engine and a “Maximum Motor Cycle Speed” not exceeding 50 km/h.

(Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule – Definitions and Vehicle Categories 2005 Compilation 3 19 September 2007).

There are no ADRs applicable to AA or AB category vehicles. There are ADRs for lighting, braking, noise, controls and dimensions for LA category vehicles, mostly referencing the equivalent UN ECE Regulations. An approval is required to supply to the market any road vehicle to which ADRs apply and an import approval is required to import any road vehicle into Australia.