Tao eBike?

Question

Mark asked: The Tao Tao ATE 501 has functioning pedals and an electric motor. The specifications show that the motor has a top speed of 20 mph. Would this model be considered a bicycle with no license required since it can be operated by pedal and electric motor? While it does not look like a traditional bicycle, it seems to meet the requirements.

http://www.taotao.us/index.cfm/electric-vehicles/ate-501/

Answer

We can’t make that determination based on the information here. All we can do is provide the definitions for your use. On the surface, it does seem to meet the definition, but there may be other considerations.

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(2) Bicycle – Every vehicle propelled solely by human power, and every motorized bicycle propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on level ground upon which any person may ride, having two tandem wheels, and including any device generally recognized as a bicycle though equipped with two front or two rear wheels.

We might question the mechanical operation of the drive system. As you can see from the following definition of moped, it appears to be a different system than the “bicycle” above.

(77) Moped – Any vehicle with pedals to permit propulsion by human power, having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels; with a motor rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground; and with a power-drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting gears by the operator after the drive system is engaged. If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement may not exceed 50 cubic centimeters.

If in doubt, I recommend taking the vehicle, this information and other information your dealer may provide to your local law enforcement agency for their assessment.  Ideally, your dealer will have already done what is necessary to answer your question.

If your vehicle were a “bicycle”, there would be no requirement for a driver’s license or registration. Other requirements apply to a moped. See the post on “Mopeds” in the tag cloud.

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Posted in Ask Geo, Motorized Bicycles
3 comments on “Tao eBike?
  1. SpecialFX says:

    That is the only Taotao “ebike” that actually meets the definition for a bicycle in the statutes.
    Just realize that if you run out of battery power, that pedaling a 220+lb bicycle is NOT fun.

    Also realize that you MUST pedal, IF you are on the sidewalk.

    You also have to make sure (I would call the manufacturer), that it has a limiter to cut the motor if it goes over 20mph..

    A lot of times, the manufacturer will state something on their website to make it “legal”, but in actual use, it may be something a little different.

    You want to make sure, because if you get stopped and they impound it and find out that it’s CAPABLE of more than 20mph, you be getting a lot of fines. (More than the bicycle itself is worth!)

  2. SpecialFX says:

    From the information provided from the manufacturer it does seem like it’s legally a bicycle (in Florida).

    But given the above caveat, make sure to contact the manufacturer and ask specifically about the top speed and HOW they limit it to 20mph.

  3. SpecialFX says:

    I spoke with the manufacturer…
    There IS a speed limiter wire that limits the speed.
    I watched a few videos about the limiter function too.
    The bike, when you receive it, needs to be put together somewhat..
    Make SURE that you connect that speed limiter wire and you’ll be good to go!

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