The Federal e-bike law
Electric bike or e-bike is a bicycle equipped with an electric motor, pedals, and a maximum non-pedaling speed of 20 mph. The law treats them the same as an ordinary pedal bicycle.
California 2016-2018 electric bike law
We shall describe three classes of e-bikes.
A class 1 e-bike is a motor equipped bicycle which provides help only when the biker is pedaling. It doesn’t offer any support when the bike gets to the speed of 20 mph.
A class 2 e-bike is a bike equipped with an engine that can be used solely to propel the bicycle, while not capable of providing support when the bike reaches 20 mph.
Note: Class 1 and class 2 bikes are pretty much identical. They are the same as the ordinary bike in the eyes of the law.
A class 3 e-bike is a motor-equipped bicycle which provides support just when the driver is pedaling. It ends the assistance when the bike reaches the speed of 28 mph. It’s also has a speedometer.