If you're wondering how fast an e-bike can be, you've come to the right place because we're talking about speed and power. In general, the speed depends on the wattage of the motor, and it can be very high!
For example, electric bikes with 1000-watt motors or even more powerful units can be found.
But, unfortunately, you can't simply buy the most powerful motor or an e-bike with the highest speed; you have to choose a legal version built according to local laws, speed limits and rules.
Each country has different laws regarding maximum wattage and speed limits that are considered legal for the road: for example, in the United States, a Class 3 e-bike can have a 750W motor, and a maximum assisted speed of 28 mph. Instead, in Europe, motors are rated at 250 watts with a maximum speed of 15 mph.
Remember that if you're taking your e-bike on vacation in a foreign country, you should check local rules in advance. It's needed to avoid fees and troubles.
Let's go deeper in detail. Are you ready?
Pedaling assistance and Electric Mode
Ebikes are well known as electric bicycles, or bikes powered by an electric motor that helps the rider while riding, without even moving the pedals if the e-bike is equipped with a throttle.
In the market, you can find many kinds of e-bikes that can be equipped with only PAS (Pedal Assistance System) or/and with Full Electric Mode, i.e., bikes powered by electricity only like scooters.
In the better models, those two modes co-exist, and the cyclist can switch between them according to their needs and wishes. For example, they can pedal and enjoy the help of the motor (PAS) or just relax and sit while moving pushed by the motor (Full Electric Mode).
We also said that more watts mean more speed, so is it good to get an extra powerful motor? The answer is "unfortunately," no. Because we have to meet rules and regulations, otherwise the e-bike will be considered a gasoline vehicle and not a standard bike.
Is an e-bike considered a standard bike?
Generally, if an e-bike meets all local requirements, it is considered the same as a standard bike.
An e-bike that meets the legal road requirements is a standard bicycle propelled entirely by "human power": therefore, it will not be mandatory to have a license plate, insurance, or even a helmet. A legal e-bike is way close to a regular bicycle and far from a standard petrol engine vehicle.
However, to better acknowledge this argument, you may also be interested to know that there are classes of e-bikes in the U.S. have different speed limits and requirements and are considered standard bikes allowed on all roads.
So, let's quickly talk about legal e-bike regulations in the U.S.
U.S. e-bike speed regulations.
Things are changing in the U.S. regarding electric micro-mobility as the U.S. Department of Transportation has issued new regulations regarding using electric bicycles on public streets.
The new regulation removes e-bikes from the motor vehicle category, freeing them from use in non-motorized trails. In particular, the law states that:
Electric bicycles are no longer defined as motor vehicles or off-road vehicles but are properly defined within three categories:
Category 1: Pedal assist only / maximum assisted speed 20 mph;
Category 2: Throttle assists only / maximum engine speed 20 mph. Categories1 and 2 are regulated precisely the same as standard bicycles.
Category 3: Pedal assist only / maximum assisted speed 28 mph. Due to the higher speeds, this category has some restrictions on specific bike lanes and bike paths.
E-bike riders have rights, privileges, and obligations similar to traditional bicycle riders. Local area managers may authorize some or all categories of electric bicycles on roads, paths and trails where they are permitted.
According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the adopted rules largely finalize the existing federal definition of e-bikes as a two- or three-wheeled cycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of no more than 750 watts.
The rules reference the classification systems developed by most states to distinguish between different types of electric bicycles. If the e-bike is throttle-driven, pedals are required.
So, which one to choose?
As you have seen, according to the rules, as the best power and speed choice, you can choose a good e-bike that is powered by a 750-watt motor with a max speed of 20 mph if you want to be free to enter any path and trail.
We also recommend you choose a versatile model equipped with pedal assistance and throttle. For example, the new Gallop e-bikes, powered by a powerful 750W motor with 85 Nm, get a fast acceleration and power when going uphill.
Riding an e-bike is a great way to move around with less pollution and hassle, saving a lot of money. What are you waiting for if you haven't already bought one yet?
Do the right thing, go green and grab your new Gallop e-bike!