Statement Regarding Potential CPSC Ebike Law Preemption of 3-class Legislation

Asher

Well-Known Member
I didn't make that claim. I don't think it's a secret that insurance companies love insurance mandates and they will lobby to get any new product they can achieve that on. In Europe they were successful in getting speed pedelecs to require insurance and registration so I think it's very very plausible they will try to do that on Class 3 ebikes here in the US if the 3-class system legally stands / expands. With one federal definition for a LSEB that is "use" regulated by the states as a bike there isn't really much of a chance for the greed of the insurance industry to get a foothold to monetize bikes. Please let's not argue the virtues of the insurance industry and that they would never try to monetize class 3 / speed pedelec ebikes (insurance industry executives would sell their 1st born to monetize anything with mandatory policies...sorry but that is a universal truth).
What does P4B have to do with insurers?
 

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Vend equal sell? You are building to sale?
Right now I am US distributor for Denzel. My company is Hightail Electric Bikes. My website is hightailebikes.com
I am a manufacturer for electronic assembly equipment with my other company Versatec. This business is winding down, it is why I started Hightail. I am designing an electric bike now with hopes to manufacture them here. Of course some things are globally sourced including form China but my own design and planning to assemble here.
 
Region
USA
Compromise usually does end up with everyone being a bit satisfied and dissatisfied at the same time. It isn't the end, it is just the thin edge of the wedge. Personally I would like to see class 2 included where class 1 is allowed. People often see a throttle as a security blanket, just in case... Cheaper bikes often have throttle, so the price of admission is lower.

We originally set out to get all legal ebikes in the state included. At the beginning we didn't have any support, in the end I think it was a vote of 9 to 2 or 3 in support of class 1. There's a thread here about how it all went down. It was a compromise. They could have just kept the ban. To be completely honest, I expected a hostile relationship between us and them. The only hostility came from a couple members of the public, one or two of the board members and the guy who wrote the 2014 law legalizing ebikes in the state. Most of the board members, parks representatives and county commissioner were really nice. They wanted to learn about ebikes. They turned out for a demo ride event we set up. I was pleasantly surprised.
People being reasonable and listening to one another with open minds?...that's refreshing!
 
Region
USA
The 50cc land speed setting modified Aprillia RS50 motor makes 27hp. Your specs that a 49cc motor is same as 750W / 1hp ebike are way off.

I understand electric motor rating provides higher peak values, but the federal specification limits actual dynamic power above 20mph to only what can sustain 170lb rider on level surface (constants). The higher peak power below 20mph makes sense for cargo and utility ebikes which will be constrained pretty much to 20mph top assist speeds.
sorry...I had a brain fart. 750W is equivalent to 1HP but not to 49cc...not sure where I got the 49cc which should be closer to 3HP
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
Because of the reasons I mentioned. No one wants to go to a 2 or 3 day motorcycle safety course to learn to ride a 250 lb motorcycle so they then can ride there 1000W pedal assist ebike legally (once they register it, course). It's not to avoid the course. You don't go to Skip Barber racing school so you can get a drivers license.

Until yesterday I never heard of "class 4" which I don't believe actually exists anywhere other than as a concept. Trust me, if you were in the business of selling electric bikes over 750W you would know what I'm talking about. Every state has murky, conflicting, unclear definitions and laws regarding "scooters", "mopeds" etc...

Seems to me "LSEB" proponents don't care about anything other than the holy grail of being allowed to ride on federal land trails and bike lanes (and anywhere analog bikes are allowed) and motorcycle proponents couldn't really care less about anything that isn't a motorcycle. To say there is nothing in between is just sticking your head in the sand. This thread interested me but I can see that the shortsightedness that created the 3 class system is too ingrained. This may be the wrong place to talk about anything beyond 750W ebikes...that's the sense I'm getting...but it is also why the laws are so conflicting, because no one cares to solve the bigger puzzle first.
NTHSA states a motor-drive cycle is “a motorcycle with a motor that produces 5–brake horsepower or less.”[2] Since these mopeds are regulated by NHTSA, they cannot be imported into or sold in the United States without complying with the FMVSS.[3] I wonder if you can petition the NHTSA to expand this product category for the eMopeds/ecycles you sell but that allows a "motor rating" over 3,750 watts. The good news is that there does not seem to be a top speed capability identified as they probably know that 3,750 W (albeit a rating so peak can kick up speed a bit vs nominal) is going to keep this catagory as urban mobility.

If you want to have more power and not be a motorcycle you would likely have to petition the NHTSA to consider an increase in power but I think that would be unlikely to happen. Take that definition and focus on IDing the states that have friendly registration and insurance requirements for motor-drive cycles. Your "off-road" Denzels can be whatever power level you want to promote them as but your street use Denzels really need to comply with the 5-brake hoursepower limit.

I 100% agree that neither street or off-road models with that level of performance should be lumped in with LSEBs or motorcycles. I think you'll find that most states do have some tolerable regulation of sub 5-bhp motor-drive cycles.

Fairly recent legal "opinion" article on this subject: https://www.retailconsumerproductsl...sdiction-over-certain-micromobility-products/

Be cautious because some on this tread will claim that these "motor-drive cycles" will end up denying them trail riding prevledges ... they think anything you can get on besides a class 1 ebike will somehow deny them their trail riding. They are pretty nutty that way.
 
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Nutella

Active Member
Most are governed and maintained by the parks departments, where they are located. Rail trails, canal towpaths, bike and hike trails, cycle paths, multi use paths are all controlled by parks departments or their equivalent in the department of conservation and natural resources. If you go to a few meetings you'll understand the governing bodies. The only item not included are bike lanes and even some of those are the parks department purview.
Yep, and they aren't looking to the feds for guidance.
 

Nutella

Active Member
Until yesterday I never heard of "class 4" which I don't believe actually exists anywhere other than as a concept. Trust me, if you were in the business of selling electric bikes over 750W you would know what I'm talking about. Every state has murky, conflicting, unclear definitions and laws regarding "scooters", "mopeds" etc...
Class 4 doesn't exist, as you surmised, it's just used as a placeholder for everything that isn't Class1-3
 
Region
USA
NTHSA states a motor-drive cycle is “a motorcycle with a motor that produces 5–brake horsepower or less.”[2] Since these mopeds are regulated by NHTSA, they cannot be imported into or sold in the United States without complying with the FMVSS.[3] I wonder if you can petition the NHTSA to expand this product category for the eMopeds/ecycles you sell but that allows a "motor rating" over 4,000 watts. The good news is that there does not seem to be a top speed capability identified as they probably know that 4,000W (albeit a rating so peak can kick up speed a bit vs nominal) is going to keep this catagory as urban mobility.

If you want to have more power and not be a motorcycle you would likely have to petition the NHTSA to consider an increase in power but I think that would be unlikely to happen. Take that definition and focus on IDing the states that have friendly registration and insurance requirements for motor-drive cycles. Your "off-road" Denzels can be whatever power level you want to promote them as but your street use Denzels really need to comply with the 5-brake hoursepower limit.

I 100% agree that neither street or off-road models with that level of performance should be lumped in with LSEBs or motorcycles. I think you'll find that most states do have some tolerable regulation of sub 5-bhp motor-drive cycles.

Fairly recent legal "opinion" article on this subject: https://www.retailconsumerproductsl...sdiction-over-certain-micromobility-products/

Be cautious because some on this tread will claim that these "motor-drive cycles" will end up denying them trail riding prevledges ... they think anything you can get on besides a class 1 ebike will somehow deny them their trail riding. They are pretty nutty that way.
The bikes I import are "not for use on public roads" so not required to comply with FMVSS. And has been suggested, the bikes I will build here can be built the same way leaving it up to the end user to attempt to register if they want. Thank you for that input BTW. It is a consideration now to stay below the 5 BHP (3700W?) based upon this information. It's not a concern about power, moreso about torque. With single speed belt drive the ratio is difficult to achieve...but not impossible. Now I need to research Motor Driven Cycle restrictions so far as possible gears, whether they are allowed or not. As I stated previously, I have no agenda to get higher powered bikes on trails. The people who buy my bikes ride them elsewhere. Who wants to have a bike like that and putz around on crowded trails? Gimme some open space!...or a dirt road in middle Merica!
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
8People being reasonable and listening to one another with open minds?...that's refreshing!
The director of the county parks department has been with the department for some ~40 years, I can't remember how long as director, but a long time. She was in charge of 5000+ acres of forest and parkland which includes 2 rail trails totaling more than 50 miles, park paths and many single track mtb trails. She made it clear at the outset ebikes were banned from all park land. In the end she voted to allow ebikes. She retired in 2020 and in an interview with our largest paper, she was asked about the things she was proud of during her tenure. She named 3 things, the second was the inclusion of class 1 ebikes.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
The bikes I import are "not for use on public roads" so not required to comply with FMVSS. And has been suggested, the bikes I will build here can be built the same way leaving it up to the end user to attempt to register if they want. Thank you for that input BTW. It is a consideration now to stay below the 5 BHP (3700W?) based upon this information. It's not a concern about power, moreso about torque. With single speed belt drive the ratio is difficult to achieve...but not impossible. Now I need to research Motor Driven Cycle restrictions so far as possible gears, whether they are allowed or not. As I stated previously, I have no agenda to get higher powered bikes on trails. The people who buy my bikes ride them elsewhere. Who wants to have a bike like that and putz around on crowded trails? Gimme some open space!...or a dirt road in middle Merica!
I grew up riding motorcross dirt bikes all over the place (not really possible these days and I respect that) and then rode a 1983 Honda V65 Magna for many years until I finally decided that too many drivers just never see motorcycles. I had a friend making prototype ebikes like 15 years ago and while they were pretty cool the range was horrible so like many I didn't think they would be viable products until the battery issue could be solved. The range of ebikes is now "good enough" and will only get better with next generation batteries so I think the urban mobility potential is significant and only just being touched on in the US. Most ebikes I believe are still being bought for recreation, fitness and leisure use and only a few OEMs seem to have even tried to make a great "transportation-grade"ebike. I sent you an email via your website so hopefully we can have an off-line discussion. Thanks.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
The director of the county parks department has been with the department for some ~40 years, I can't remember how long as director, but a long time. She was in charge of 5000+ acres of forest and parkland which includes 2 rail trails totaling more than 50 miles. Park paths and many single track mtb trails. She made it clear at the outset ebikes were banned from all park land. In the end she voted to allow ebikes. She retired in 2020 and in an interview with our largest paper, she was asked about the things she was proud of during her tenure. She named 3 things, the second was the inclusion of class 1 ebikes.
Why not just CPSC compliant ebikes? Class 1 is still not even recognized in 20+ states and from a 1st sale point of view they will likely be preempted. I do understand that it's great some ebikes were granted trail access but I think it's just some smoke and mirrors from PFBs that really wasn't needed.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Why not just CPSC compliant ebikes? Class 1 is still not even recognized in 20+ states and from a 1st sale point of view they will likely be preempted. I do understand that it's great some ebikes were granted trail access but I think it's just some smoke and mirrors from PFBs that really wasn't needed.
Circular logic. I've told you about our state law. I posted about liability. I stated what we attempted to get included. It's called a compromise. It's also called states rights and the 10th amendment.
 

Ken M

Well-Known Member
So PA essentially adopted the 2002 federal "low speed electric bicycle" definition in 2014 and called them "pedalcycles with electric assist. (PWEA_" Very cute, I sure some lawmakers were feeling really smart that they could invent a new name for the same thing federally defined 12 years earlier (apply for copyright). Lightning fast adoption rate that any state resident should be proud of. I wonder if ebikes were actually illegal prior to VEHICLE CODE (75 PA.C.S.) but we don't need to go backwards or it could take decades for PA to get caught up again.

So then along come the land managers and they look at the state law and freak out over the fact that it allows throttles. I can only imagine the horror they felt as no one should have to endure that suffrage (we should all pitch in and buy them the full video series of Duck Dynasty). I'm sure the stress of thinking about the massive trail damage and human carnage on the paths if they just accepted the states definition for trail use kept them up for weeks. Then one day, one of them thought wow "we just need to keep the throttles off our trails and everything will be alright"...and so the stage was set for the compromise and the PA Class 1 trail PWEA was defined and everyone had class 1 trail access. Happy ever after.

Ok, I'm sorry for dry humor but I didn't really absorb earlier that you did say that PA was not even a 3-class state. So did they really say in front of others that a 20mph pedalcycle was OK but a 20mph throttle-assist ebike was not. Did anyone asked the obvious physics questions as to how they are really different or did the echo chamber just engulf the room? Given that PA allowed the trail managers to define their own "legal ebike" for trail use maybe they can keep that in place even if the CPSC preempts the 3-class system in all 28 adopted states. Maybe the state should import the 250W 15mph EU ebikes just for trail use.

I understand it was a compromise and if everyone is happy with it I hope it doesn't change but my guess is it will change in the next year or two. Just a hunch.

Our country should be proud....while we are fighting over trail access China is moving fast forward on artificial intelligence, solid state batteries, quantum computers, etc.
 
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Ken M

Well-Known Member
Nice but again they are claiming only class 1 ebikes will be allowed without any explanation why. Since some of these are trails are entirely national forest land you would think the federal "low speed electric bicycle" definition would be recognized for use on the trails. I think PFBs has done such a great lobby and publicity effort on the 3-class system that they have everyone koolaid drunk believing it legit law (when in fact on 9/15/2020 PFBs presented it to the CPSC as a voluntary system....tell that to the 28 states that adopted it into law).

Here is their exact presentation wording:

VOLUNTARY E-BIKE STANDARDS
» Three class state regulatory system:
» Clarifies an important ambiguity in federal product safety law, which does not specify a
maximum pedal-assisted motorized speed that e-bicycles may travel.
» Addresses and enables local government use regulation.

I'm bothered by this because this is not how they present 3-class on their website or during other presentations. But they know the CPSC owns the true legal standard for a "low speed electric bicycle" thru 1st sale / introdution into interstate commerce.
 

kmccune

Active Member
I grew up riding motorcross dirt bikes all over the place (not really possible these days and I respect that) and then rode a 1983 Honda V65 Magna for many years until I finally decided that too many drivers just never see motorcycles. I had a friend making prototype ebikes like 15 years ago and while they were pretty cool the range was horrible so like many I didn't think they would be viable products until the battery issue could be solved. The range of ebikes is now "good enough" and will only get better with next generation batteries so I think the urban mobility potential is significant and only just being touched on in the US. Most ebikes I believe are still being bought for recreation, fitness and leisure use and only a few OEMs seem to have even tried to make a great "transportation-grade"ebike. I sent you an email via your website so hopefully we can have an off-line discussion. Thanks.
It took Me about 15 minutes to decide would get killed quickly on a Motorcycle.( sorry about the grammer)
 

kmccune

Active Member
The director of the county parks department has been with the department for some ~40 years, I can't remember how long as director, but a long time. She was in charge of 5000+ acres of forest and parkland which includes 2 rail trails totaling more than 50 miles, park paths and many single track mtb trails. She made it clear at the outset ebikes were banned from all park land. In the end she voted to allow ebikes. She retired in 2020 and in an interview with our largest paper, she was asked about the things she was proud of during her tenure. She named 3 things, the second was the inclusion of class 1 ebikes.
Our Female "Rangers" seem sympathetic, on the other hand by conversing with them"I see no inclination to make waves"( I went pretty close to the top as well)
 

kmccune

Active Member
Right now I am US distributor for Denzel. My company is Hightail Electric Bikes. My website is hightailebikes.com
I am a manufacturer for electronic assembly equipment with my other company Versatec. This business is winding down, it is why I started Hightail. I am designing an electric bike now with hopes to manufacture them here. Of course some things are globally sourced including form China but my own design and planning to assemble here.
Checked them out, pretty doggone awesome( would like the specs) one question ,"where does one get these "mag wheels"( sorry I am a young old man { as are so many hereabouts} and do not like to fiddle with things like spokes,) thank you.
 
Region
USA
Checked them out, pretty doggone awesome( would like the specs) one question ,"where does one get these "mag wheels"( sorry I am a young old man { as are so many hereabouts} and do not like to fiddle with things like spokes,) thank you.
The "mag wheels" are actually carbon fiber wheels and are optional on some of the Denzel models. Just installed a set on a Samurai for a customer. Really nice wheels, but pricey.
 

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