How Do Electric Bikes Without Pedals Work?

Within the brief period of their release, electric bikes have taken the world by storm. With the global market expected to reach 40,000 million USD in the coming decade, the electric bike industry will continue to play a pivotal role in revolutionizing everyday urban commute. 

There are usually two kinds of electric bikes available in the market. The more commonly available and highly sold type is the pedal-assist electric bike while the other is the pedal-free throttle electric bike.

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A pedal-assist electric bike requires that the rider keeps pedaling, while the pedal-free electric bike functions more like an electric motorbike and requires no pedaling.

Whether it is a pedal-assist electric bike or a pedal-free throttle electric bike, both have contributed considerably to reducing emissions and controlling global warming.

Hence, despite their high market prices, consumers around the world are eager to embrace the technologically advanced electric bikes and their many benefits with open arms.

Continue reading to learn about pedal-free throttle electric bikes. Moreover, the article will also compare pedal-free and pedal-assist electric bikes.

What Are Pedal-free Throttle Electric Bikes?

A pedal-free throttle electric bike is less commonly available, and not many electric bike brands manufacture it.

While some riders want to benefit from the daily pedaling cardio exercise, many riders choose to ride freely to achieve uninterrupted momentum and hence prefer the pedal-free throttle electric bike.

Just like a pedal-assist electric bike, a pedal-free throttle electric bike also has an electric motor, a charge-storing electric battery, energy transmitter, LCD display screen, a regenerative braking system, and connecting wires.

Despite its similarity to a pedal-assist electric bike’s design, a pedal-free throttle electric bike’s mechanisms and technology are actually much more similar to that of an electric motorbike.

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Unlike a pedal-assist electric bike, a pedal-free throttle electric bike does not have pedaling sensors to pick up on the pedaling motion of the rider.

Since the pedal-free throttle electric bike does not depend on a rider’s pedaling motion, its electric motor will not start automatically.

Instead, just like in a traditional motorbike, the rider has to manually turn a switch, pull a lever, or press a button to turn on the electric bike’s motor.

Once the electric motor is turned on, it takes up the stored chemical in the electric bike’s battery and converts it into kinetic energy.

The kinetic energy is transferred to the pedal-free throttle electric bike’s tires through the energy transmitters to get the tires to start moving.

If the pedal-free throttle electric bike does not have regenerative brakes, then a lot of the energy used in giving the electric bike mobility is wasted as heat energy.

However, if the bike has regenerative brakes, then the excessive heat energy is reconverted into chemical energy and stored back in the bike’s electric battery.

This mechanism allows the pedal-free throttle electric bike to have a higher range and travel at higher speeds for longer distances.

Moreover, the different switches and levers on the pedal-free throttle electric bike will allow the rider to choose the speed and acceleration that they prefer.

The LCD display screen allows the rider to monitor the level of battery charge, the electric bike’s speed, and the total distance traveled, along with the remaining range.

Since pedal-free throttle electric bikes do not require pedaling assistance, their energy usage is much higher.

As a result, their battery gets depleted more quickly, and they require more frequent battery recharges.

Furthermore, a pedal-free throttle electric bike’s ability to go freely without any pedaling dependency allows it to go at much higher speeds.

As a result, there are certain laws and regional restrictions that only apply to pedal-free throttle electric bikes.

On the contrary, there aren’t many legal limitations or laws concerning pedal-assist electric bikes due to their controlled speeds.

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Pedal-free Throttle Electric Bike Laws in Different Countries of the World

Different countries of the world have different sets of rules for electric bikes. These rules are mostly designed according to the country’s roads and traffic conditions and are meant to keep the rider and other pedestrians and vehicles on the road safe.

Although riding an electric bike does not require any form of legal licensing, the minimum age limit varies around the world.

Most countries (like the USA) require that the rider be at least fourteen years of age to legally ride an electric bike. In some countries, the minimum age is 16, 18, and even 21.  

If an underage individual wants to ride an electric bike, they can legally do so on private property.

However, riding an electric bike underage at a public location will likely lead to fines and penalties.

Moreover, it is important to know that the regional laws regarding pedal-free throttle electric bikes keep evolving and changing.

Hence, the rider needs to check the existing laws of their country or region prior to purchasing a throttle electric bike. 

Read on to learn about the different pedal-free throttle electric biking laws in different countries.

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Pedal-free Electric Biking Laws in the USA

The pedal-free throttle electric biking laws vary by state. Some states like New York do not permit the use of pedal-free electric bikes at all, and people are only allowed to use pedal-assist electric bikes.

In America, pedal-less throttle electric bikes are placed under the category of Class 2 electric bikes. The maximum speed allowed in most American states is 20 miles per hour.

Moreover, the size of the pedal-free electric bike’s battery pack will also affect the electric bike’s legality.

The majority of the American states do not permit the use of a pedal-free throttle electric bike with a battery pack size of 1000 Watts and above.

Only a few states like Florida have yet not introduced any battery-size limiting laws.

Oregon, Kansas, Georgia, Virginia, Minnesota, and Oklahoma are some states that permit the use of a 750-Watt pedal-free electric bike battery.

Furthermore, Washington, Colorado, Utah, and Pennsylvania have even stricter electric bike restrictions and only a pedal-free throttle electric bike with a 500 Watt or smaller sized battery.

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Pedal-free Electric Biking Laws in Europe

Different European countries also have different pedal-free throttle electric bike laws that restrict the maximum speed, a rider’s minimum required age, and battery pack size.

In general, most European countries require that the speed of a pedal-free throttle electric bike should not cross 15.5 miles per hour (25 km/h).

Moreover, the throttle electric bike’s battery pack size should not be larger than 250 Watts. 

Lastly, in order to ride a pedal-free electric bike in most European countries, a rider has to be 14 or above. Riders below this age limit can legally ride an electric bike on private property only.

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Pedal-free Electric Biking Laws in Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand allow the use of most pedal-free throttle electric bikes; however, their usage and battery size are heavily regulated in both countries.

The United Kingdom also has very similar laws regarding throttle electric bikes.

In order to ride a pedal-free throttle electric bike in either Australia or New Zealand, the electric bike’s battery pack size should ideally not cross 250 Watts.

Suppose a person wishes to own and ride a throttle electric bike with a larger battery pack. In that case, they will need to go through the process of getting the legally required registrations and procedures in order to acquire a driver’s license. 

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How Are Pedal-assist Electric Bikes Different from Pedal-free Throttle Electric Bikes?

A pedal-assist electric bike is the most popular type of electric bike available in the market. To ride a pedal-assist electric bike with electrical assistance, the rider has to continue pedaling their electric bike.

Unlike a pedal-free throttle electric bike that needs the pull of a lever or a press of a button to start the electric bike’s electrical motor, a pedal-assist electric bike’s motor turns on automatically as the rider begins to pedal. Read on to understand how that works.

When a rider begins pedaling the electric bike, the bike’s built-in electrical sensors are able to pick on the rider’s pedaling motion.

Once the pedaling is detected, the sensors pass the signal to the electrical motor, causing it to turn on automatically.

The motor then uses the electric bike’s charge that is stored in the form of chemical energy and converts it to kinetic energy. The kinetic energy is transferred to the e-bike’s tires, and the bike begins to move.

Like in the pedal-free throttle electric bike, the presence of the regenerative braking system reconverts the heat energy that would otherwise be wasted back to chemical energy.

The chemical energy gets moved into the electric bike’s battery, and the battery receives a bit of a charge boost.

The rider’s pedaling motion will help save the bike’s battery charge. The more the rider pedals, the less the electrical assistance they require.

As a result, the electric bike will be able to move at higher speeds, cover longer distances, and will require less frequent recharges.

Moreover, a rider can change the level of electrical assistance offered by the electric bike manually through a switch, a lever, or the LCD screen.

Increasing the level of electrical assistance will increase the electric bike’s speed and reduce the need for aggressive pedaling.

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The Pros and Cons of Pedal-free Throttle Electric Bike Versus Pedal-assist Electric Bikes

In order to evaluate which electric bike is better, one needs to be informed regarding the different advantages and disadvantages that each bike type offers.

Advantages of Pedal-Free Throttle Electric Bike

  • A pedal-free throttle electric bike helps reduce the overall carbon footprint of a rider.
  • Pedal-free throttle electric bikes offer convenient commuting that reduces a rider’s total transportation costs.
  • Since a pedal-free throttle electric bike’s mobility is not dependent on a rider’s pedaling motion, the rider can enjoy a refreshing leisurely ride without breaking a sweat.
  • A throttle electric bike can reach higher top speeds, allowing the rider to reach their destinations in less time.
  • Since the rider does not have to pedal, people with disabilities can also ride these bikes.

Disadvantages of Pedal-Free Throttle Electric Bike

  • The motors of most pedal-free throttle electric bikes are attached to their rear or front wheels. As a result, the bike’s center of gravity gets disturbed, and inexperienced riders may find it challenging to maintain balance.
  • Since there’s pedaling involved, the battery of a pedal-free electric bike gets depleted quickly.
  • Pedal-free throttle electric bikes are costly.
  • Pedal-free throttle electric bikes have a greater number of legal restrictions around the world.

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Advantages of Pedal-assist Throttle Electric Bike

  • Pedal-assist electric bikes also help reduce the total carbon footprint of an individual.
  • Pedal-assist electric bikes lead to reduced transportation costs.
  • Pedal-assist electric bikes offer riders a daily cardio workout, helping them remain physically healthy and active.
  • Pedal-assist e-bikes require less aggressive pedaling and hence allow older and physically incapable people to make use of their many benefits.
  • Pedal-assist electric bikes allow riders to enjoy a calm and therapeutic biking experience.
  • There are very few global legal restrictions that limit the use or speed of a pedal-assist electric bike.

Disadvantages of Pedal-assist Throttle Electric Bike

  • Pedal-assist electric bikes have a high purchase price, making them unaffordable for some people.
  • If the battery of the pedal-assist electric bike dies, the rider’s journey will come to a stop.

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Final Thoughts

Pedal-free throttle electric bikes may be more expensive than most electric bikes, but their high speeds and uninterrupted momentums have made them a popular purchase. To ride a pedal-free throttle electric bike, the rider needs to be aware of the regional e-bike laws.