FL Regulation, 750W, discussion

banshee28

Member
So here in Florida looking to get my first street legal commuter bike. I know many say they have never had an issue with authorities regarding the watts of the motor, 350/500/750/1000/etc...

I am considering a 750W and thought I read somewhere they updated the law to state "above 750" vs below 750. However looking now, I see everything showing "under 750", which would mean no 750 motors which of course is a huge market share for hub motors!

I also highly agree with the idea that motor watts should not matter just as cars with 150 vs 1000 HP can all ride on the same road as long as they follow the posted speed limit. IMO bikes and scooters should be no different. Allow ebikes/scooters to go say 28 but not regulate down to the motor power, throttle vs non, etc.

Any specific advice on the 750W issue in FL?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
In Florida Motor Vehicle Code in the Definitions Section it says:
(23) ELECTRIC BICYCLE.—A bicycle or tricycle equipped with fully operable pedals, a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, and an electric motor of less than 750 watts which meets the requirements of one of the following three classifications:
(a) “Class 1 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
(b) “Class 2 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the electric bicycle and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
(c) “Class 3 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.

This is the standard 3-class boilerplate language used in the People for Bikes model ebike legislation, so less than 750w/1hp. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice but don't know if anyone has tested in a US court how this affects controller programming, afaik that's nominally rated, unknown if that means there is a cap on peak power unless or until a court rules otherwise, but definitely a hard cap on top speed.
 
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Bobber

Member
Region
USA
You can buy wattage stickers on eBay, just put one on your motor and the problem is solved.
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
So here in Florida looking to get my first street legal commuter bike. I know many say they have never had an issue with authorities regarding the watts of the motor, 350/500/750/1000/etc...

I am considering a 750W and thought I read somewhere they updated the law to state "above 750" vs below 750. However looking now, I see everything showing "under 750", which would mean no 750 motors which of course is a huge market share for hub motors!

I also highly agree with the idea that motor watts should not matter just as cars with 150 vs 1000 HP can all ride on the same road as long as they follow the posted speed limit. IMO bikes and scooters should be no different. Allow ebikes/scooters to go say 28 but not regulate down to the motor power, throttle vs non, etc.

Any specific advice on the 750W issue in FL?
No one seems to understand that the 750W in HR727 is a "rating" not a max power specification for the motor or drive system. Motors do not have a max power per say so EVERYONE claiming it's a limit is simply not technical.

If interested in understanding why thinking 750W is a power limit is wrong you should read this article: https://ebikes.ca/learn/power-ratings.html

There will be plenty of members that will claim the intent was for 750W to be a limit but the guy that drafted HR727 was a PhD electrical engineer and he knew what he was specifying. Essentially he provided for more power below 20mph so ebikes could have more utility and they put constraints on the drive system power above 20mph to be what can sustain a 170lb rider on a level surface

When Europe established their ebike regulation it appears they did intend to have a drive system power limit at 250W but even there the manufacturers are considering it a continuous max and allowing temporary power levels to be much higher. The sad part is there are politicians involved in regulations and they should know to allow technical people to guide them to a good regulation but their egos are pretty big and sensitive.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
You can buy wattage stickers on eBay, just put one on your motor and the problem is solved.
View attachment 125900
The enforcement by "stickers" is one of the reason I am so negative towards the 3-class regulatory system pushed by People for Bikes. They were too focused on getting the auto industry lobby money that they failed to really comprehend how bad the regulatory draft they were likely provided was poorly conceived and written.

I know someone that bought a very expensive class 3 ebike and the sticker peeled off in less than a month. What a great system and yet plenty of members on EBR praise it but my guess is they have other motivations besides wanting good regulation of ebikes.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
In Florida Motor Vehicle Code in the Definitions Section it says:
(23) ELECTRIC BICYCLE.—A bicycle or tricycle equipped with fully operable pedals, a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, and an electric motor of less than 750 watts which meets the requirements of one of the following three classifications:
(a) “Class 1 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
(b) “Class 2 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that may be used exclusively to propel the electric bicycle and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 20 miles per hour.
(c) “Class 3 electric bicycle” means an electric bicycle equipped with a motor that provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and that ceases to provide assistance when the electric bicycle reaches the speed of 28 miles per hour.

This is the standard 3-class boilerplate language used in the People for Bikes model ebike legislation, so less than 750w/1hp. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice but don't know if anyone has tested in a US court how this affects controller programming, afaik that's nominally rated, unknown if that means there is a cap on peak power unless or until a court rules otherwise, but definitely a hard cap on top speed.
You mention of this being settled / challenged in court is likely the only way the power issue and differences between the federal Low Speed Electric Bicycle definition and the 3-class ebike definitions gets resolved. The classes are actually interstate commerce violations but the CPSC will not step in and lead until there is a court case. Then the problem is lawyers are involved and they never fix anything in reality.