The Difference between Class 1, 2& 3 Electric Bike

 As of January 2023, 40 states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) had passed laws that define 3 classes of electric bicycles in their traffic statutes.


Model Legislation

» States that have enacted PeopleForBikes’ model law, which defines and regulates 3 classes of electric bicycles within states’ motor vehicle codes give riderssimilar rights and duties to that of the traditional bicycleriders.


» Regulated as a bicycle

» Passengers allowed

» No age minimum

» No licensing or registration required

» Can use existing bike infrastructure


» Regulated as a moped or motor vehicle

» Confusing equipment + use requirements

» Confusing licensing + registration requirements

» Confusing access to bike infrastructure

These 3 classes determine factors such as maximum speed and assistance levels provided by the electric motor. So it's important to understand the differences between Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 electric bikes to help you understand their features and choose the right one for your needs. Make sure your vehicle complies with local codes and regulations.

Class 1 E-Bikes:
Class 1 electric bikes provide pedal assistance only and have a maximum speed of 20 mph. They do not have a throttle for motor-powered propulsion. These e-bikes are ideal for riders who prefer a traditional cycling experience with a boost. Class 1 e-bikes are allowed on bike paths and most trails where traditional bicycles are permitted.

Class 2 E-Bikes:
Class 2 electric bikes offer both pedal assistance and throttle assistance up to 20 mph. They can be propelled by an electric motor without the need for pedaling. Class 2 e-bikes are convenient for riders who may want to rely more on motor power, especially in situations where pedaling is not desirable or necessary. Favoto are all class 2 electric bikes. However, it's important to note that some jurisdictions may restrict the use of Class 2 e-bikes on certain trails or paths. Regulations may vary, so it's advisable to check local laws before riding.

Class 3 E-Bikes:
Class 3 electric bikes provide pedal assistance up to 28 mph. Similar to Class 1 e-bikes, the electric assistance is available only while pedaling. Some Class 3 e-bikes may also feature a throttle, but it should not provide assistance beyond 20 mph. These e-bikes offer increased speed and performance, making them suitable for commuters or riders who want a faster-paced cycling experience. However, they may have certain restrictions in some areas and may not be allowed on certain trails or bike paths.

Understanding the distinctions between Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 electric bikes is essential when choosing the right e-bike for your needs. Class 1 e-bikes offer pedal assistance up to 20 mph, while Class 2 e-bikes provide both pedal and throttle assistance up to 20 mph. Class 3 e-bikes have a maximum speed of 28 mph, but the electric assistance cuts off once that speed is reached. Regulations and restrictions regarding the use of these e-bikes may vary depending on local laws and trail policies, so it's important to familiarize yourself with the regulations in your area before riding.

To learn more about policies and laws and regulations about electric bikes visit Policies & Laws