To be classified as an electric bicycle (or eBike) a bike must have the ability to be pedaled. An electric bike which cannot be pedaled is classified as an electric motorcycle.
Another distinguishing factor is that an electric bike is mostly constructed from components found on traditional pedal bicycles. Mopeds, scooters and motorbikes use components designed specifically for motor vehicles.
By complying with local power and speed limitations an eBikes can be legally classified as a bicycle.
You do not need to undertake any formal training or testing to ride an electric bike that has been classified as a bicycle. No licence is required. Furthermore, you do not need to be registered or insured.
Generally, a ‘street-legal’ electric bicycle can be ridden anywhere a regular bicycle can be ridden. They are allowed to travel in bike lanes and bike paths. In addition, they are allowed to be parked in bicycle parking areas.
Bikes that do not comply with the local regulations for ‘street-legal’ electric bicycles are either not permitted on public roads or they need to be registered, licenced and insured in a similar way to motorcycles.
Note: Although ‘Moped’ is an amalgamation of MOtor and PEDal, most modern mopeds cannot be practically pedaled. To avoid confusion the term ‘Moped’ is generally avoided when referring to eBikes.