eBike, Moped or Motorcycle?
Cindy asked: I am a member of the Board of the Sarasota-Manatee Bicycle club. We are starting to have members join our group rides using E-Bikes. The Board has asked me to research E-bikes and come back with some guidelines on the use of E-Bikes in club group rides.
I see that the Florida State Law on E-bikes States that an E-bike is defined as a Bicycle and has all the same rights as a bicycle as long as it is being propelled by human power and has a maximum speed of 20mph.
The E-bikes coming to our rides are human propelled but have maximum speeds well over 30mph. What is the Florida State law for human propelled E-Bikes that have maximum speeds over 20mph?
A bicycle powered by an electric motor is considered a bicycle by the statutory definition if the speed under motor power is no greater than 20 mph. The statute is not clear whether that is only motor power or in addition to human power. See this post and make sure you read the comments.
If the speed under only motor power is greater than 20 mph, there is no question. The vehicle is not a bicycle. It is either a moped or a motorcycle, with both requiring a driver’s license and registration. See these posts for a full discussion of motorcycles and mopeds.
Geo, So a grey area remains with respect to ebikes with a helper motor that go above 20mph. That is, it’s neither a bike nor a moped/scooter, as far as FL law is concerned? Have any “legal minds” given an opinion on whether they’d potentially be considered a bicycle as long as the motor was assist only up to those higher speeds?
Like Cindy and the SMBC, we’re trying to come up with a club policy on eBikes. Of note, our insurance through the LAB believes that the higher speed eBikes (assist-only) would be covered under our policy.