With the onset of environmental issues, more expensive gas, and the need for exercise, there has been a tremendous increase in the number of electric bikes that are purchased and used every day. The increase in sales of this product has caused many countries and states to look at their legislation in regards to the differences between an electric bike and a motor scooter. The objective of these regulations is to ensure that electric bike users, and other vehicle users, remain as safe as possible while out on the road.
The reason why there is so much controversy comes from deciding safety issues in regards to electric bikes. In recent years, countries like Canada, the United States, and even the United Kingdome have had to pass new laws to include electric bikes. Most state and federal laws recognize that these are not actually a moped or a motorcycle, and they are more like bicycles than anything else. Still some states did need to change certain laws with regards to safely using electric bikes.
Electric Bikes in New South Wales
For instance, in New South Wales motorized bicycles only need to be registered if they run on over 200 watts of electric energy. If the bike is exempt from registration, then the rider must take the same precautions as other normal bicycle riders.
Canadian Regulations
In Canada electric assisted bikes are not considered motorcycles and are limited to only electric motors of at most 500 watts. These bicycles are only allowed to reach speeds of 32km an hour. They are allowed within most jurisdictions and do not have the same restrictions that mopeds or motorcycles have. Therefore just about anyone can use them.
Electric Bike Regulations in China
This bike was recognized as a non-motorized vehicle in 2002 but it was not allowed to be used in certain areas of Beijing until recently. The reason it was banned was because of certain concerns about environmental and safety issues. Those safety issues have to do with vehicular impact.
Electric Bikes in the UK
The maximum power that is allowed on an electric bike, without requiring that it be registered as a motor bike, is 250 watts with a maximum speed of 25 km.
In the U.S.A.
In the United States, electric bikes have the same regulations as regular bikes as long as the power does not exceed 750 W and a speed of 20 miles per hour.
As you can see most battery-powered bicycles function in most countries under the same laws and regulations that govern the use of normal bicycles. This means they don't have to be registered as motorcycles and they don't have any special licensing requirements. This makes them easier to use, less worrisome, and great for kids and adults alike.
All in all, government regulations believe electric bikes to be as safe as bicycles but suggest that they be used only where bicycles are used, and that the same precautionary measures such as wearing helmets and knee pads take place.

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