What You Should Know About the Speed of Electric Bikes

What You Should Know About the Speed of Electric Bikes

Over time, technology has advanced over several industries. This includes various modes of transportation, such as the electric bike. Many people who get interested in it often have the same initial question: how fast does it go?

Sometimes shortened as e-bike, electric bikes can go all the way up to 28 miles per hour (mph) but are more often topped at 20 mph, unless going downhill. What follows afterward depends entirely on you.

Types of Electric Bikes

In Europe, e-bikes have a maximum speed of 32 kilometers per hour (kph) or 15.5 miles per hour. For the United States, the CPSA (Consumer Product Safety Act) refers to a "low-speed electric bike" with the following qualifications:

  • Maximum speed of 20 mph (32 kph)
  • A pedal that's fully operable
  • 750 watts maximum

It should be noted that there are other wattages available for e-bikes, though they are outside the CPSA's definition. Aside from what's already been mentioned, e-bikes have wattages of 500 and 1000.

  • Electric Bike With Throttle - Whether there's a thumb throttle or twist throttle involved, the speed on this e-bike can be controlled by a single hand. It's the perfect mode of transportation for commute trips that will require quite some time. With a speed of 30mph upwards, it's also ideal for longer distances.
  • Pedal Assist E-Bike - 20 mph is the usual maximum speed for this. It can serve as an amazing additional boost for riding uphill and is ideal for short distances.

Electric Bikes and Maximum Speed

E-bike speed depends largely on voltage; there is a possibility of being able to do more than 20 mph. This is why there are e-bikes which are considered more 'premium.’ They have motors of 500 watts. In those cases, a mode that's "off-road only" is typically available.

There is a common misconception that electric bikes are quite speedy. This is dependent on several factors since there are various comfort levels and wheel sizes across available bike types. When there's pedaling involved, the speed relies on pumping ability. The electric assist for the majority of e-bikes gives out at the 20 mph threshold. The entire point is to ensure not just the safety of the person on the e-bike, but also pedestrians.

That said, going well past 20 mph is possible, but that would be sheer pedaling and no motor support, or because you're on a decline like a hill. 

Electric Bike Battery Charge

As previously mentioned, the way a battery is charged has a lot to do with electric bike speeds. Naturally, the higher the charge, the higher voltages get produced. When there's manual pedaling involved, the default 20 mph can go up to 25 mph.

It should be noted that these effects apply to open areas, outdoor terrains, and similarly appropriate places. However, there is a dependence on factors such as jurisdiction; ask the people who are local to your intended area of travel.


Electric bikes (sometimes known as e-bikes) are a lot of fun. Their maximum speed is at an average of 20 mph. However, there are ways for them to go a bit faster, such as the use of a premium super-charged one. For a very speedy ride, manual pedaling will have to occur with no support from the motor.

Looking for electric bikes online? Shop at Espin Bikes today! Check out our electric bikes as we redefine urban mobility.

Reading next

Choosing Sustainability - What to Expect With an Electric Bike
Important Things to Know When Purchasing Your First E-Bike

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