Is this a Bicycle?

Question

Esver asked: The way I read the Florida Statutes the Whizzy Ride e-bike should be considered legal. It can be propelled by human power or the motor can run it under 20 MPH and the seat is above 25 inches. Our local police chief (Miami Beach) has deemed them illegal per those same statutes. How do you see it? Here is a link so you see what it looks like: https://www.whizzyride.com/shop/R1-electric-bike-p89468139

Answer

This is the statutory definition of a bicycle:

s. 316.003 – Definitions

(3) 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. The term does not include such a vehicle with a seat height of no more than 25 inches from the ground when the seat is adjusted to its highest position or a scooter or similar device. A person under the age of 16 may not operate or ride upon a motorized bicycle.

Lacking any case law or state precedents, I won’t venture an opinion about the legal status of this particular vehicle. A question I would have is whether the vehicle can be propelled by a combination of human power and motor power. I don’t know if either/or is within the definition.

Posted in Ask Geo, Motorized Bicycles
One comment on “Is this a Bicycle?
  1. Justin Matthew Erickson says:

    Judging by the picture in the link, there are no peddles attached to the “bike”. The general consensus is it must have peddles to classify as an “electric assisted bike”. The law states it must be capable of both at the same time. “propelled by a combination of human power and an electric helper motor”. It would be pretty hard to argue it is an “assisted” bike when you can only use either/or instead of both at the same time as electric bikes are “designed” to be run.

    I have a “moped” but it has peddles as well as a power assist motor so it classifies as an electric bike even tho it is moped in every way aside from the peddles. It is a grey area as to running it without peddles so I keep mine installed for legality reasons. I hope this helps.

    Put simply
    Can it be powered by both at same time? if yes, it is an e-bike
    Can it be powered by only one source at a time? It is a “moped” or “scooter” by definition as it can only be powered by one at a time instead of a “combination”.

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