E-MTBs Excluded from Type-Approval


Active Member
Considering how well the current legislation has seemed to have worked in the EU, this seems like a dumb idea.


Well-Known Member
What do you expect from EU bureaucrats?

Try this one on for size:

"According to a report on the subject, in the European Union, “pedelec means a bicycle with a motor that only functions on condition the cyclist pedals,” whereas an e-bike refers to “a bicycle with a motor that functions by turning the throttle, so irrespective of the cyclist pedalling.”

I don't see the problem.

I would have added EAPC either in place of or additionally to pedelec. And I don't necessarily put an association between pedelec and ebike, as when fitted with a throttle (ebike) the two should be classified differently, and the bike fitted with a throttle should to my mind, then be classified as a motorcycle and not have the same rights of access that either EAPC, or analogue cycles do.

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
You would have a simple electric bicycle that has a throttle and possibly pedal assist mode that doesn't go over 20 mph a motorcycle? I've been in this electric industry for 16 years and a number of Moped style scooters were available; however, they barely reached 28mph, maybe 30mph but were classified as motorcycles. They didn't sell because it is an impractical setup. A basic street is marked at 30mph, with more heavily traveled and wider roads marked at 40-45mph. And these are throttle only scooters, not small slim ebikes. The issue was that riders did not and were not safe in regular street traffic since they lacked the ability to match the flow and speed of other drivers and had no extra speed available if they needed to do an emergency maneuver.

Why would you want to force a less protected ebike into regular car and truck traffic? Does not make sense. Our shop used to take small groups of ebike riders on tours that included local Austin trails where we moved in a safe manner with other cyclists & pedestrians. It was the mountain bikers on non-electric bikes that were rude and excessively speedy; going well over 20mph. So who's causing the problem and damaging trails?


Well-Known Member
To be fair here in the US Mopeds do enjoy their own classification on the Federal and state level but the big thing is that they come under the regulation of the DOT instead of the CPSC that set the guidelines for e bikes. The DOT is involved because they are registrable for use on the road and DOT type approval is much more comprehensive that what the CPSC requires. VIN #, approved rims/tires, full lighting package, licensing and insurance are the big ticket items in order to convert an e bike to a Moped to take advantage of the faster 30 mph speed limit. While the SpeedPedelec/ CA Class 3 is a 28 mph limit there really is no Federal law for e bikes that correlate to it in the US as the cap is 20 mph.

Apparently the Germans are not too keen on e bike tuning and putting the clamp on that process.


This reinforces my belief that you won't see any development of more powerful systems for the EU manufacturers and instead their US distributors will keep lobbying for laws here that more closely resemble those across the pond. Like the CA law does in effect by separating PAS from Throttles, even though there is no distinction as to their use at the Federal 20 mph level.


Well-Known Member
Much the same here in that state regs vary from Federal regs.

I still don't see any provisions at the Federal level and most of the states for class 3 pedelecs so one should not assume that their state will recognize it.

Ken M

Well-Known Member
If the regulations were truly about safety they would not be targeting product design (like limiting the assist speeds to 20 or 28mph) the would be focused on wearing a helmet, having speed limits on certain paths/sidewalks, etc. The fact is states really only have jurisdiction to regulate USE of a bike/eBike if there is a federal regulation that defines what is an acceptable eBike. The federal regulations state that under throttle mode only the ?bike? can only achieve 20mph with a 170lb rider on a flat surface (stupid way to regulate but we don't have the best and brightest in government as we all know). But so long as the rider is involved (ie the eBike is a pedelec) there is no assist speed limit (although strangely, they spec the power limit of the motor at 750W which is an ambiguous way to specify a drive system - anyone can just say this motor is a 750W motor and actually create a test to ?prove? it). I could put a 1500W nominally rated motor in a heated chamber such that it would burn out at 750W to claim it's max power is 750W and that would totally comply with the regulation.

Until we have lawmakers (and let's toss in DMV workers and Insurance companies) that recognize they are not intelligent enough to establish good regulations on eBikes the industry will never reach it's full potential of getting more people out of cars (safer for everyone by any measure and less liability to insurance companies that seem to think they need more revenue from eBikes by getting that as a legal requirement) and reducing congestion problems that are not solvable by just adding more traffic lanes.