craigsj wrote: ↑
Oct 30 2018 9:16am
I would correct one point. In Texas there is no "max motor assisted speed", there is only a max "throttle only" speed (although not stated like that). The motor can continue to assist as long as you pedal. For that reason, I see nothing wrong with the 20 mph value since a bicycle is a human powered vehicle
A 30 mph, 1500W pedalec is perfectly legal in Texas provided it doesn't have an unconditional throttle override. A 120 pound "e-bike" with vestigial pedals is not. Perfect.
You make a good case for the motivation behind this pedelec requirement, but not the idea itself. When you talk about pedaling here, would you make a distinction between just going through the motions of rotating the cranks, vs. providing a significant human input power? And if so, would you be able to draw the line somewhere, as to how much input power?
I'm not saying anyone does this today (and as I have no experience with pedal assist, I could be way off about the possibilities), but I could imagine this system "evolving" to a 30mph, 1500W pedelec where you "mock pedal" to control speed. You could call my setup a 30mph 1500W bicycle, and I sure do pedal. Usually, I have no way to know for sure but I think my input is very loosely in the 100W range. Reported inputs from the motor routinely vary from 0 to 700, occasionally much higher. At the higher end, the motor input dwarfs my human input, so whether I'm pedaling or not at that point has very little to do with anything, practically speaking. Whether it's 100W or 2W, for practical purposes I'm a mime.
If we had the option to write the rules, would it be sensible to require that the bicycle can practically be operated with the battery disconnected? That somewhat addresses weight, vestigial pedals, etc. and goes straight to "is this a bicycle." I wouldn't require the operator to be the one to prove it either - I think it's fair to let people who for example have fewer than the usual number of legs to operate an e-bike within the same limits as the rest of us, i.e. as long as it's a bicycle.