Electric bikes have grown in popularity all over the world, including but not limited to our favorite, the Lopifit – the electric walking bike.
According to Wikipedia, an electric bicycle, also known as an e-bike or booster bike, is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor which can be used for propulsion. E-bikes use rechargeable batteries and the lighter varieties (like the Lopifit) can travel up to 16 to 20 mph- the Lopifit bike goes up to 17mph.
Depending on local laws, many e-bikes are legally classified as bicycles rather than mopeds or motorcycles, so they are not subject to the more stringent laws regarding their certification and operation. E-bikes can also be defined separately and treated as a specific vehicle type in many areas of legal jurisdiction.
E-bikes are the electric motor-powered versions of motorized bicycles, which have been around since the late 19th century.
The support team at Lopifit has done research to determine the distinction between a traditional bicycle and an electric bicycle. Many communities have made regulations and restrictions based on city and county as well. Lopifit riders should contact your state particularly for exact clarification to ensure you are following the guidelines legally. It is the responsibility of the buyer/rider to know and abide by any and all bike laws in their respective state, country and or municipality. Although Lopifit is committed to stay up to date on all United States federal laws as well as and Lopifit US owned dealers however, laws and policies can change at any time rendering the below information outdated or non-applicable. Lopifit strongly encourages checking with city, county, state and other local agencies for the most recent laws governing the proper, legal use of electric bicycles in your area. Click here to check your state laws from our site.
In 2001, the U. S. Congress passed Public Law 107-319 which exempts electric bicycles under 750 watts/20 mph from the definition of a motor vehicle only “For purposes of motor vehicle safety standards…”, which means that the manufacturers of these bicycles don’t have to meet federal equipment requirements, and are instead governed by the manufacturing requirements of the Consumer Product Safety Act. There is no mention of exemption from other federal, state, and local traffic laws, or exemption from the definition of a motor vehicle for other purposes.
Lopifit riders should check specifics as they vary greatly across North America. California law states that no driver’s license, license plate, nor insurance is required. You must be 16 years or older and wear a standard bicycle helmet. Lopifit and all electric bikes are subject to all the rules of the road, and additional laws governing the operation and safety of electric bicycles may be extended by state or local governments. It’s legally a bicycle, so you can use it wherever and however you can use a bike – except on bicycle/pedestrian paths that are posted to prohibit “motorized bicycles”.
Federal law trumps all States’ laws. That is true with bicycle law, too. States cannot constitutionally pass legislation that reduces or eliminates Federal laws, they can only pass legislation that enacts additional (tighter) restrictions on its people. This means that no State can enact legislation that allows wattages or speeds greater than the Federal Government’s limit of 750 Watts and a top electric-powered speed of 20 MPH. States can only legislate LOWER wattages and top-speeds (which, to our knowledge has not been done by any state). An e-bike can go over 20 MPH, but not by means of the motor alone. In some states, bicycle speeds on public roads above 20 MPH cannot legally be motor-assisted. As a practical matter, police don’t notice bikes going too fast.
Are there special insurance requirements?
No insurance is required to ride an e-bike. However, if you want to insure it against theft, check your current homeowner’s insurance policy. To determine coverage, check with your insurance company or agent.
Is an electric bicycle considered a zero emission vehicle?
Yes. Electric bikes have qualified for electric vehicle credits in some communities. Check with your local environmental management group for clarification. Every time you take a short trip on your electric bicycle rather than a car, you delete a cold start that would have added a significant amount of pollution.
We hope you will get with this growing trend and try out a Lopifit e-bike today!
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