You might want to take a quick look at Wikipedia for a quick overview of the e-bike laws in various states, and in countries other than the USA. Bear in mind, “you can’t lie on the internet” LOL.  The summaries of the laws on the wiki are just your starting point, to get an idea what your states attitude to e-bikes is. Many other sites have edited versions of your local laws,  and many of them will be incomplete. They may not mention things like use of a helmet, needing a registration, etc.

Artwork: One of the first electric bicycles. Two artworks from US Patent 552,271: Electrical Bicycle by Ogden Bolton, courtesy of US Patent and Trademark Office. Please note that we’ve colored the original artwork and edited it slightly to improve clarity.

Electric Hybrid Bikes- As the name suggests, these bikes combine the properties of mountain and fat-tire bikes. They are built to be fast and, at the time, tough. They are lighter than electric mountain bikes, so you don’t have to deal with the excess weight when going up hills. You can use the bike to carry heavy luggage or cycle through rough trails.

The Stromer ST1 Platinum may look less decked out than the other models, but this e-bike is pretty high-tech. It looks like something a Storm Trooper might pilot and has a futuristic computer readout to go with it—showing speed, odometer, trip time, and battery level, among other things. The battery is built into the down tube, and the speed tops out at 28 miles per hour. It also has fender and rack mounts if you want to make it a great commuter bike in the winter and can go up to 55 miles on a single charge.

“It’s happening in every major city, and a lot of secondary cities around the country, and it’s causing people to think differently about getting around on two wheels,” says Pizzi. “If you don’t have safe infrastructure, people don’t feel as if biking is safe and secure.”

Add a device to control speed.  One example is a three speed switch.  Some controllers have a plug for it, or there are types that just modify the throttle signal.  If your controller comes equipped with a cycleanalyst plug, then the CA can have its speed limiting function set to 20-MPH.  Lastly, some controllers have a jumper wire that limits potential speed. In most cases this jumper wire, when connected, will result in speed a lot slower than 20-MPH. So that may not be the first choice.  However you get it done, it beats having to comply with the moped laws, particularly if you have no drivers license.

Photo: 1) The hub motor of an electric bike with its workings revealed! Note the thick copper coils of wire that convert electric power from the battery into the movement that pushes you along. Picture by courtesy of Fabian Rodriguez, published on Flickr under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License. 2) Usually, the coils are not exposed and the hub motor looks much like an ordinary hub, only somewhat more bulky.

NuVinci® makes manual shifting a thing of the past with its continuous variable transmission. Watch the display simulate the terrain you are on as you turn a dial to smoothly shift gears. It is intuitive with no learning curve.

The more modern and up to date electric bikes like Juiced Bikes Crosscurrent S; allows one to use what is called “eco mode”; this basically neutralizes the extra weight of ones bike and the big fat tires and wheels and gives one enough compensating torque so that one in fact feels as they are pedaling a normal road bike;

Even in Ohio, the laws between federal, state, and local on electric bicycles are a joke. I have a 100% tao tao electric power assisted bicycle and I have been ticketed in both Cleveland and Lakewood, where I live. Here is a picture of my electric bicycle and this has bicycle pedals.

The best Electra Townie Go! design I’ve tested to date, better weight distribution, increased efficiency and greater power thanks to the Bosch Performance Cruise drive system. Available in six different colors with matching aluminum fenders, chain guard, rims and carry rack,……

“There’s tremendous opportunity to get a generation of people for whom suffering isn’t their thing,” Cocalis said. “Ebike riders get the enjoyable part of cycling without the massive suffering of climbing huge hills.”

In the geared motor, a small and lightweight motor spins very fast inside. The electric bike motor then uses a planetary reduction gear inside the motor to reduce the rpm to the correct speed for a bike wheel. Electric Bike Motor An electric bike motor on an electric bike can be any kind of electric motor. There have been some very creative home brew e bikes that used any motor…

  Summarizing the three states we just looked at, the example e-bike is not a “bike” in any of the three states.  It’s not a bike in Texas and California because it can motor to 23-MPH.  In New Mexico, there simply is no such thing as an electric bicycle.

China is the world’s leading manufacturer of e-bikes, with 22.2 million units produced in 2009. One of the biggest manufacturers of E-bikes in the world is Geoby. Production is concentrated in five regions, Tianjin, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Shandong, and Shanghai.[71] China exported 370,000 e-bikes in 2009.[72]

Fast custom built 2 wheel drive electric bicycle by CORBINFIBER electric cycles. capable of high speeds on level roads with 37 mile range. Charge time is 2 hours. He’s not selling the fast ones, only street legal ones. His contact info is below. https://www.facebook.com/pages/CORBIN…

We also crossed the 1kWh barrier by combining it with 21 Ah capacity. This is 95% more range than the standard e-bike battery. We added real-time GPS tracking and topped it off with a 8A fast charger capable of special programmable charging protocols that allow for over 1,500 recharge cycles to be extracted from your lithium battery.

With clear rules on how and where to ride an e-bike, everyone stands to benefit. Local bicycle shops and manufacturers will see increased business and their customers will no longer be confused; people who already ride e-bikes can more easily understand where to ride; and new bicyclists who may be discouraged from riding a traditional bicycle due to limited physical fitness, age, disability or convenience will have new transportation alternatives.

Free to Roam the Road: According to California state law, any pedal-driven e-bike with a max speed of 20 mph can use any of the state’s bike lanes, bike paths, bike trails or off-street bikeways. (E-bikes are still pretty new, so in many areas, the CA law is the accepted standard in absence of local regulations.) 

NOTE FOR ELECTRIC MOUNTAIN BIKE RIDERS: This map represents how e-bikes are interpreted in each state’s vehicle code, and where e-bikes are allowed to go on the road, bike lanes, bike paths, or other paved or hard-surface bicycle infrastructure. The vehicle code does not apply to electric mountain bike access on motorized and non-motorized trails typically used for hiking, biking, and other singletrack or doubletrack trail experiences. eMTB access on singletrack is different than access to paved and soft surface bike lanes and bike paths; eMTBs are not allowed everywhere traditional mountain bikes are; and on federal, state, county and local trails, eMTB access varies significantly. Always consult with your local land manager for access questions.

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.