Electric bikes are nothing like mopeds or scooters, they are exactly what their name implies, traditional bicycles that just happen to also have an electric motor to assist the pedals in providing power. How electric bikes work now is to provide extra power for the rider, only when they require it but if they do not require any extra power, they can use the bike in the more traditional way, something that neither a moped nor scooter can offer. Not only do electric bikes have this advantage over mopeds and scooters but they also have the added advantage of not being heavy and clumsy like mopeds or scooters. The three added components that an electric bike has which a traditional bike does not are an electric motor, a battery and a control, all of which only have a total weight of 20 pounds. Each of these components is relatively small and as they are fitted discreetly onto the bike, they only slightly alter the overall appearance of the bike.
This means that an electric bike can be just as conveniently stored or parked, as a regular bicycle and it can be ridden on bicycles paths or other roads specifically designed for bikes but do not allow mopeds or scooters to be used on them. The motor of course can power the bike whilst the battery is needed to provide the motor with current but the controller is needed in order to set the motor in one of three different modes of use. In the first of the modes, the pedal only mode, the electric motor lies dormant and isn’t used at all, allowing the rider to get whatever exercise they feel they may need. However, if the rider finds themselves with a hill to climb, they can easily switch the controller to pedal assist mode. In this mode, the motor will start any time that the pedals turn and so provide additional power to easily negotiate the steepest of hills or ride against the strongest of winds.
The third mode is motor only, sometimes referred to as electric only and in this mode the electric motor does all the work, powering the bike up to speeds as fast as 20 MPH without the need for any pedalling or other exertion from the rider. The motors for electric bikes comes in a variety of sizes, usually ranging from 200 watts to 1000 watts but as a 250 watt motor can provide a bike with a speed of 20 MPH, they are the most popular as they also allow the battery’s life to be longer without the need for a recharge. By using a 250 watt motor there is no need to apply for or have a special licence in most states. As the licence requirements of the federal government can differ from state laws in some states though, it is always best to check the regulation requirements in the state where you live or intend to use the electric bike.