E-bike Regulations of the United States 

The United States E-bike regulations

Ebikes are a fun, easy and convenient way to get around. They are perfect for those who need a vehicle with speed but can’t stand the idea of being tied down to a car all the time.  It’s such an exciting experience to get your hands on a new piece of technology like this!

But it’s important not to get too ahead of ourselves in all the excitement!

There are some important things you should know before you begin your ebike journey. One very important one is ebike regulations. As you might know, different countries have different regulations for ebikes. It’s important to know what kind of ebikes you can drive in your area, as all areas are different.

Here we explain the key things you need to know about all things regulations when it comes to ebikes.

Most of our customers are in the United States, which has quite a complicated legal arrangement when it comes to ebikes. Here we will give you the key facts regarding federal and state legislation when it comes to ebikes.

Federal

There are a few important federal regulations regarding ebikes. First, the motor must be less than 750w. To comply with this standard, the ASTRO and ASTRO PRO use a BAFANG 750w hub motor.

Second, the top speed using the throttle must be capped at 20mph when using the throttle alone. Notably, the law does not specify the maximum speed that the bike can go when using a combination  of peddling and the throttle. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission specifically clarified this issue by stating that e-bikes can travel faster than 20mph when using pedals and the throttle.

 

 

State

There are also some regulations that vary by state. The state regulations mostly focus on whether ebikes are classified as scooters, mopeds or traditional bikes.

Only 44 states have definitions for ebikes in their legislation distinguishing them from other vehicles. The other 6 states classify them simply as mopeds or motor vehicles, meaning the same rules that apply to mopeds or motor vehicles apply to them.

In 26 states, ebikes are categorized ebikes into 3 standard classes. The remaining 18 states use unique classification systems.

States using the standard 3 classes:

Arizona, Arkansas, California*, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

States using unique definitions:

Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Minnesota, Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington DC, Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island

States with no definition:

North Dakota, Missouri, New Mexico, Alabama, Massachusetts, Alaska

The 26 states have pretty much the same definitions and regulations for the different classes of ebikes. The only exception is *California, where all ebikes cannot have a throttle. In all the other 25 states, including New York, a throttle is permitted.

Things get a bit trickier with the states that have unique definitions. Each one is different and it’s worth looking up the specific legislation of these states if you need to drive an ebike there.

For instance, Kentucky and Mississippi treat all ebikes as traditional bicycle that can be used freely on bicycle and multi-use paths. No license, registration or insurance is required. Whereas West Virginia does not recognise class 2 ebikes, only allowing the use of class 3 and class 1 ebikes.

New Jersey has a more complicated two-tier system, where ‘Low Speed Electric Bicycles’ that go below 20 mph (like ‘Class 1) are treated as traditional bikes, while ‘Motorized bicycles’ that can go between 20mph and 28mph are treated more like motor vehicles that require a driver’s license, registration, insurance, and a helmet.

 

What about the ASTRO and ASTRO PRO?

C3STROM’s ASTRO is a class 3 bike. It has a BAFANG 750W motor, which is the maximum wattage allowed for this class. It has a setting with an initial speed limit setting of 28mph, along with a pedal assist system (PAS) so you can switch between riding it like a normal bike and riding it fast. Therefore, when riding in the initial mode, license and insurance is not required.

It also has another setting called ‘OFF-ROAD’ mode which can be used off-road at a higher speed. As the bike is designed for speed-seekers, we decided to include this off-road mode for those who enjoy the thrill of riding.

For our future EU customers, we have a different riding mode called ‘pedelec mode’. Every time the user starts the bike, it will be set automatically in pedelec mode with a 25km/h speed limit. In pedelec mode, when a speed of 25km/h is reached, the pedal assistance cuts out.

 

What about licenses and insurance?

If the bike comes under the standard three tier classification system used in the 26 states mentioned above, then generally it does not need a licence and insurance. As for the 14 states with unique definitions, it varies state by state. Generally, ebikes are classed as traditional bicycles or class 3 ebikes in these states so will not require licences and insurance with the exception of New Jersey (see above). But make sure to check your states guidelines for more details, as legislation is often nuanced in these states and subject to frequent changes and revisions.

Ebike Classes of the United States

US ebike classes

When you first discover ebike, the whole concept just seems fascinating! An electric bike that can function both like normal bike and a motor powdered vehicle just seems convenient and modern. You might very quickly get carried away looking for your dream bike.

It can get a bit confusing, though, once you start thinking about what kind of vehicle an ebike is though. You might be thinking is it a motorcycle, a traditional bike or somewhere in between? More importantly, what are the rules that apply to an ebike?

Luckily, in most places there is classification system that helps deal with this problem.

In the United States, the state law of 26 states divides ebikes into three different classes. Each class of ebike caters to a different type of user with certain needs, but also come with a different set of regulations governing their use. Which class a user wants to choose will be mainly based on whether they want to travel in urban or rural environments. It will also depend on how fast the rider needs the bike to go and if they need to be able to use the bike in all the places a traditional push bike can be used.  

 

ebike classes in the US

In twenty-six states of the US, there are three different classes of ebike. There are eighteen states that use unique classification systems. There are five states, there is no legal definition for ebikes (meaning they are classed as other types of vehicles).

Here are the 26 states that use the standardized three tier classification:

Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Each class defines ebikes by three things: (1) if they have a throttle, (2) how fast they can travel and (3) if they have a PAS (Pedal Assist System, which gives an extra electric ‘boost’ to the bike when you pedal).

Class-1

The first class of ebike has a top speed of 20mph. It does not have a throttle, so it relies totally on the PAS for power. It’s best to think of this kind of ebike as similar to a traditional bike with just a little bike of electrical assistance, as it cannot go to very fast speeds. These ebikes are treated by a lot of states like traditional mountain or pavement bikes, so they are most suited to dedicated bike lanes, roads, and trails.

Class-2

The second class of ebikes also has a top speed of 20mph. However, it also has a throttle used in combination with the PAS. It can’t go any faster than the ordinary class one, but it is a bit easier on the rider as they can choose if they want to use the pedals. Again, these ebikes are often treated like normal traditional bikes and can often go wherever those ones can, but it depends on the state. Some states like New York and Michigan State have restrictions.

Class-3

The third class of ebikes has a top speed of 28mph. There is also another regulation on the motor for this class – it must be less than 750 watts.

Whether or not it is allowed a throttle depends on the local regulations. In somewhere like California, for instance, throttles are not allowed. Whereas in New York, a throttle is totally fine. It also has PAS, so the rider can switch between PAS and throttle.

These ebikes are often more suitable for roads and on-road bike lanes, but often cannot be used on standard off-road bike lanes and trails because they are too fast.

 

What class is our ASTRO and ASTRO PRO?

C3STROM’s ASTRO is a class 3 ebike. It has a BAFANG 750W hub motor, which is the maximum wattage allowed for this class of bike. Initially, when you turn on the bike, the maximum speed is capped at 28mph with pedals and 20mph on throttle only – which is the maximum speed for this class. When riding in this default riding setting, the bike fits the standards of the class 3 ebike category mentioned above in this article, meaning the bike does not require a license or insurance (in most states).

 

As the bike fits the requirements for a class 3 ebike, legally, that means it is in a special class of vehicles which has a unique set of regulations that apply to it. As mentioned above, the rules and regulations vary by state; some states do not even use this classification system and others use a modified version of it. Subsequently, it’s important to check rules and regulations for ebikes in your own state before riding. In most states, however, the ASTRO and ASTRO PRO will be treated as a special type of vehicle that is closer in legal status to a traditional bike than a motor vehicle like a car or motorcycle. That’s why you won’t need a special license or insurance in most cases.

For our future EU customers, we will have a different default riding mode called ‘pedelec mode’. In pedelec mode, when a speed of 25km/h is reached, the pedal assistance cuts out automatically. The bike will be in line with EU legal requirements for ebikes, as the requirements specifically state that bikes must not go beyond 25mph with pedal assistance. Therefore, the bike will not require any special license or insurance.

Hi Bikers

To bikers,

This is a late letter, given that C3STROM is a new brand and bikers know almost nothing about us, we should have introduced ourselves and ASTRO‘s development to you a long time ago. We had no choice but to work 13 hours a day as our team was in its start-up phase, and after finishing basic everyday work, we finally have time to chat with everyone here, sincerely, rather than officially and formally.

Why we decided to design ASTRO

Our founders are e-bike engineers, designers, and passionate riders, the majority of our members have more than 10 years of experience in the industry. Under the influence of the COVID-19, we like any other people gave up driving and public transportation and chose to commute by e-bike concerning the economic situation and safety. When we started selecting e-bikes, we were surprised that even though there are many brands and models on the market, we seem like just can’t pick out a satisfactory model. There are some cool-looking models with a high price and low configuration, some moderately priced models with good configuration but not cool looking, and some ordinary-looking models with low price and configuration. In short, we couldn’t find the e-bike we wanted, so we thought, why don’t we design our own cool-looking, super-equipped, and affordable e-bike?

ASTRO‘s Marketing Positioning

When we had the idea, we couldn’t wait to make it live. I still remember the excitement on everyone’s face at that time, after the passionate collision of ideas, we decided to design an e-bike with modern motorcycle features: cool appearance, fast speed, long mileage, and comfortable riding, at the same time it must comply with the law, no license plate needed. The appearance must be unique so that people can not forget at first glance, high configuration, conquer the most critical bikers, reasonable design, good quality, can cope with complex riding road conditions, after about two months of design and repeated modifications, ASTRO’s design drawings came out, it’s that gorgeous of our dreams!

 

 

 

How do we make the dream come true?

Because of the unique appearance of ASTRO, the development of mechanical parts is the most difficult to achieve. Many accessories require individual mold development, including the frame, saddle, front and rear lights, rear rack, carry bag, mudguard, mudguard connectors, etc… The hardest part is the frame, although we claim that the sample has gone over two generations of development, the frame has at least three generations of manual proofing. To adapt to the battery, and extended silicone saddle, we adjusted the size and appearance of the frame design, and to strengthen the frame, we added more design, the final product differs from the initial design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Specification

Mechanical parts determine the strength and riding comfort of an e-bike, while electrical parts determine the smoothness of an e-bike. A perfect e-bike must be one with quick acceleration, fast speed, and long mileage. Riders can check the riding data at any time to understand the current status of the e-bike. we have detailed the configurations and data of ASTRO in the specification. Here I would like to explain the considerations behind ASTRO and related accessories from another perspective.

  • Fast

          Bafang 750W motor with 80n.m torque, 2000W peak power; 18mosfet 35A big controller, solid frame

  • Long range

          Samsung 21700 780/1080Wh battery

  • Safety

          4 piston motorcycle brake system, The same high and low beam, turn signal, brake light system as the car, super         solid frame

  • Convenience

          4A leading charger, removable battery, USB charging port, and smart battery BMS & controller could transport every data to display through a customized APP.

  • Riding experience

         Extented silicone saddle, 56T big crown, 20”frame size

Why hard-tail?

I know you must still have questions. ASTRO is a hard-tail e-bike, only the front fork has shock absorption. About this part, we discussed repeatedly during the design phase, that the hardtail is more efficient for speed, on the other hand, the soft tail is better at shock absorbing and more comfortable to ride, but the soft tail version takes longer to develop and costs more. We couldn’t wait to introduce ASTRO to everyone, as a startup team we had to learn the trade-offs. After the release of ASTRO, most bikers are very satisfied with ASTRO’s exterior design and most of the configurations, and of course the price.

Dissatisfied? The hardtail version was brought up the most, followed by the mention of the chain and footpegs being too close to the ground and the lack of protective cover. We have considered all these issues and hope you will support C3STROM so that we can afford to develop V2, a soft tail version based on V1, and other minor issues.

At last, we are very happy that ASTRO is successfully released, you may be attracted to join the C3STROM community by ASTRO’s appearance or the early bird price of crowdfunding. It doesn’t matter, I believe most of you and geeks can see the strong technical background of the C3STROM team through the design and specification of ASTRO. At present we have achieved mass production, we are different from some of the projects released on Indiegogo, we are ready for production and development. We chose to debut on Indiegogo, from the perspective of marketing, so this is almost a project without the risk of receiving goods. The first stage price during the crowdfunding has been released, and we hope that you will seize the opportunity to buy the Super Early Bird perk, because the cost of ASTRO development is very high, and we can only provide a limited number of super early bird perk as a real benefit for the initial C3STROM riders.

In the next post, we will further introduce the story behind the project. We have invited experts in the cycling industry to review it and some of the videos are already online. If you would like to learn more about C3STROM, we invite you to visit the following channels, in particular the C3STROM Youtube channel.

C3STROM Official Website: www.c3strom.com

YouTube: C3STROM

Instagram: c3strom

C3STROM Team

2022 May 25