The past few years have seen a marked increase in the number of electric bicycles (or “e-bikes”) in the U.S.
This primer deals specifically with low-speed electric bicycles as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. E-bikes are most frequently “pedal-assist” or “muscle-assist,” meaning the rider must be pedaling for the electric motor to engage. E-bikes may also come equipped with a throttle that allows the bike to be propelled without pedaling.
The bicycle’s low-speed electric motor provides a boost of power to climb hills, extend the range of trips where a bicycle can be used, allow current bicycle users to bike more often and farther, provide a new recreation option for people who want to bike and in general, extend the range of any ride.
Low-speed e-bikes are as safe and sturdy as traditional bicycles and move at speeds similar to conventional bikes. E-bikes