Unlike road bikes, electric bikes come with motors programmed to reach a specific maximum speed. However, the speed of an electric vehicle is determined by more than just the motor. Other factors that impact an e-bike’s speed include pedal assist, accelerator, rider weight, terrain, and weather.
Electric bikes with pedal assist mode give riders the ability to reach top speed. Pedaling with the throttle on propels riders farther than completely automating the ride. Most pedal electric bikes stop providing electric assist at 20 miles per hour.
Different Classes of Electric Bikes in the United States
Not all electric bikes operate with the same form of motor assistance. In the United States, electric bikes are assigned to a class based on their motor, wattage, and speed.
E-bikes are designated as being either Class 1, 2, or 3, according to the laws of more than half of the country’s states. Interpretations of e-bike classes differ slightly across states, retailers, and manufacturers.
The class system is in place to determine if and where riders are allowed to ride. Although the system isn’t enforced by every state, it’s beginning to be adopted by states that haven’t recognized it in the past.
A Class 1 electric bike doesn’t have a throttle. It only functions through pedal-assist mode, meaning the rider has to pedal for the motor to propel the bike. Once the bike reaches 20 miles per hour, the motor stops assisting the rider. Class 1 bikes provide lower speeds than the other classes of electric bikes. Their maximum motor wattage is 750W.
A Class 2 electric bike is designed with pedal assist and throttle assist. Throttles on Class 2 bikes can propel riders to a top speed of 20 miles per hour when they’re pedaling. Without throttle assist, bikes of this class can still reach a speed of 20 miles per hour with pedal assist alone. Throttle assist can also work without pedaling, enabling bikes to propel themselves independently.
A Class 3 electric bike can reach a top speed of 28 miles per hour. Most e-bikes in this class feature 750W motors. These electric bikes are mostly pedal-assist, and only a few have a throttle. Some states don’t allow Class 3 bikes to have throttles. All bikes with this classification must have a speedometer.
What Is the Top Speed of an Electric Bike?
Regulations on electric bikes aren’t yet standardized across the US since not all states have adopted the regulations that use the classifications system.
However, the heaviest regulations fall on those from Class 3 in states that do place electric bikes into classes. Class 3 bikes are often allowed in bike lanes located on streets but prohibited from being ridden on the shared use paths found in parks and on paths designed for pedestrians and cyclists.
A growing number of fast electric bikes have the capacity to go faster than the 28 miles per hour limit, but laws are in place to prevent them from reaching their max speed. These bikes technically fit into the classification system due to their switchable setting.
The Top Speed of an Electric Bike in the United States
Florida and Mississippi are the only two states in the US that don’t have speed or power limits for electric bikes. Georgia, Virginia, Kansas, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Oregon are the only states that allow electric bikes to have 1000 watts of power. The speed limit in these six states is 20 miles per hour.
The Top Speed of an Electric Bike in the EU
In Europe, an electric bike is allowed to have a maximum speed of 15.5 mph and a maximum power of 250 watts. If your bike doesn’t meet these regulations because either the motor’s power is more than 250 watts or the pedal-assist functions when riding faster than 15.5 mph, it must be registered as a motor vehicle.
The Top Speed of an Electric Bike in the UK
Electric bikes ridden in the United Kingdom without a license are permitted to reach a speed of 15.5 mph assisted. If unlicensed riders want to go faster, they’ll have to do so without motor assistance. Registered bikes are allowed to go 28 mph.
Top Speed of Electric Bike for Different Motor
Electric bike motor wattage comes in varying amounts, with the most common being 250, 500, 750, and 1000. The higher a bike’s wattage, the more power it uses.
How Fast Does a 500w Electric Bike Go?
Electric bikes with 500-watt motors can reach a top speed of 20 miles per hour on flat ground. With a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour, bikes with motors at this wattage are in Class 1 and Class 2.
How Fast Does a 750w Electric Bike Go?
Electric bikes with 750-watt motors are usually in Class 3. Their maximum speed is 28 miles per hour.
How Fast Does a 1000w Electric Bike Go?
A 1000-watt electric bike can reach a top speed of roughly 35 miles per hour depending on factors like weight and preference. This bike is too powerful for regular daily commutes; thus, it’s typically used for off-roading activities on rough terrain. The legality of 1000-watt bikes tends to vary in different locations.
How Fast Does a 2000w Electric Bike Go?
2000-watt electric bikes can reach a top speed of between 30 and 40 miles per hour on flat ground.
How Fast Does a 5000w Electric Bike Go?
5000-watt electric bikes can reach a top speed of between 50 and 60 miles per hour. They aren’t very popular because many states’ wattage regulations make them illegal in certain areas. These bikes are banned due to the safety risks they cause because of their speed.
In the End
Now, you probably know the factor which affects electric bike speed and how fast do electric bikes go. The next time you plan to choose an e-bike, it will be better to consider the actual need due to the speed is a cause of injuries or accidents. If you want to know more benefits of electric bikes, check the 10 Benefits Of Electric Bikes to learn more.