Classifications of electric bikes in the U.S.

Electric bikes in the U.S. are classified at the state level, as there is a lck of federal regulation. This leads to confusion on behalf of e-bike riders, retailers and suppliers - outdated classifications at best, and no regular at worst.

The three-class system was introduced about five years ago, based on speed, wattage and operation.

Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed wherever regular bikes are allowed. More specifically:

Class 1: an e-bike with pedal assist; no throttle; maximum assisted speed of 20 MPH

Class 2: an e-bike with throttle assist; maximum assisted speed of 20 MPH

Class 3: an e-bike with pedal assist; no throttle; maximum assisted speed of 28 MPH

Note that all classes limit the motor's power to 750W.

Check on your state's website for its regulations on e-bikes, and support a national, non-profit advocacy organization like People for Bikes who are working for a more consistent classification system in the U.S. To learn more about where electric bikes can be ridden in the United States, visit https://www.peopleforbikes.org/.