What is an electric bike or ebike? Complete guide

We delve into "What is an electric bike" and clarify terms like ebike, EPAC, and PEDELEC.

Electric bikes have revolutionised how we experience cycling, providing an exciting and sustainable alternative to conventional, traditional, or muscle-powered bikes (whichever term you prefer). In this article, we will thoroughly explore what an electric bike is, different terminologies, how it works, and why it has become such a popular choice for urban mobility and leisure.



You’ve probably wondered, “What is an electric bike?” Well, let us tell you that these innovative gems on two wheels have arrived to change the way we experience cycling. In simple terms, an electric bike is not just a conventional bike; it’s your ally for traversing paths with an extra dose of excitement.

Imagine a conventional bike but with a magical touch: an electric motor that acts as if someone is pushing you while you pedal. This motor isn’t looking to replace your pedalling; quite the opposite! Its mission is to make each pedal stroke smoother and less exhausting. Are you facing steep hills or challenging terrain? The electric bike is there to make your life easier,smoothing out every turn of the wheels and turning your journeys into a breath of fresh air.

Make no mistake, an electric bike is not cheating! It’s more of a friendly boost that allows you to explore longer distances without ending up exhausted. However, the answer is affirmative! It also exercises your body and relaxes your mind.. Imagine being able to enjoy those longer rides without worrying about arriving drenched in sweat. The ebike is your perfect companion for discovering new horizons with a smile on your face.

Verificado: el ejercicio con una bici eléctrica supera al de la bicicleta tradicional


Let’s get a bit more technical here to clear up any doubts.

An electric bike, also known as an ebike, is a two-wheeled vehicle powered by an electric motor, drawing energy from a rechargeable battery. Essentially, these innovative machines blend the efficiency and simplicity of a traditional bicycle with the added power of an electric motor, providing a unique and enjoyable riding experience.

As we can see, there are two fundamental aspects to an electric bike: the motor and the battery.. However, as we delve deeper, it’s crucial to note that the concept of an electric bike is quite extensive. he specifications of an ebike can be understood differently depending on the country or region we reside in, primarily due to the norms and regulations of each area.



It is essential to clarify additional terms that often intertwine in discussions about cycling and sustainable mobility: electric bikes, ebikes, EPAC, and PEDELEC.

  • Electric Bikes or Ebikes: Beyond Pedal Assistance

The term ebike encompasses a variety of models, from those offering pedal assistance to those operating entirely with a motor, without the need to pedal. The latter are subject to stricter regulations in places like Spain and Europe, requiring registration and a licence.

  • EPAC and PEDELEC Bikes, Are They the Same?

It is crucial to distinguish the term ebike/electric bike from the term EPAC or PEDELEC, which adhere to specific regulations of the European Union.

“Pedelec” is a contraction of “Pedal Electric Cycle”al Electric Cycle” and EPAC stands for “Electronically Power Assisted Cycles.” Both terms refer to the same type of vehicle: an electric bike that provides pedal assistance only when the cyclist pedals, and the maximum speed at which the motor deactivates is 25 km/h.

Therefore, when referring to ebikes or electric bikes in Europe, we are talking about PEDELECs or EPACs.


In the Spanish context, the legislation for riding an eBike is governed by the European Directive 2002/24/EC and national regulations outlined in Article 22 of Royal Decree 2822.

These requirements include:

  • Motor Power:

The electric bike must have a motor with a maximum nominal power of 250W, with the nominal power decreasing progressively.

  • Motor function:

The motor can only be activated when pedalling, promoting an active and participatory riding experience.

  • Maximum Assistance Speed:

The maximum speed at which the motor can provide assistance is up to 25 km/h. his ensures safe travel consistent with the pace of urban circulation The motor must deactivate upon reaching this speed.

  • Automatic interruption:

The motor assistance must automatically interrupt once the vehicle’s speed reaches 25 km/h or if the cyclist stops pedalling; otherwise, it would not comply with regulations and be classified as a different type of vehicle.

By understanding and complying with these requirements, you not only ensure adherence to regulations set by the European Union and Spain but also contribute to a safe and harmonious riding experience on our streets and paths.



The heart of an ebike is its electric motor.. This motor can be located in the front wheel, rear wheel, or the bike’s center, activating when pedalling (remember that we are now referring to electric bikes as EPACs). Some bikes also allow adjusting the assistance level, giving cyclists greater control over the motor’s power.

The Bluetooth motor of the Ossby GEO is located in the rear wheel.

The key to ebikes is the seamless integration between human pedalling and electric assistance.. When the cyclist pedals, the motor activates to provide an additional boost. If pedalling stops or the assisted maximum speed is reached, the motor automatically shuts off. This intelligent design allows for a natural and comfortable riding experience.

Another crucial element in an ebike’s electric system is its battery.

At the core of every ebike is a rechargeable battery, the true energy center powering these modern wonders. Typically lithium-based, these batteries store the energy needed to drive the electric motor, turning each pedal stroke into a dynamic and efficient experience.

Electric bikes generally have a range or autonomy between 30 and 70 kilometres.

Some bikes integrate the battery into their frame, like the Ossby GEO, while others carry them externally in backpacks. Some also allow for battery removal for indoor charging or security, especially for bikes left unattended.

Most electric bikes facilitate easy charging from any power outlet, without the need for special adapters or plugs.


Delving into the history and evolution of electric bikes is like embarking on a time-travel journey on two wheels, exploring how these pedalling companions have evolved from a curiosity to becoming the epicenter of a mobility revolution. oin us on this discovery-filled ride, where the past and present intertwine to narrate the exciting story of electric bikes.

  • Past: a Glimpse of innovation in the 19th century

The seeds of electric bikes were planted in the fertile ground of innovation during the 19th century. It was in this period, precisely in 1895, with Ogden Bolton Jr., that the first patents for electric-assist bicycles were recorded. However, as is often the case with pioneering ideas, the technology of the time was not ready to give birth to this new form of mobility.
It wasn’t until the last decades of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st century that electric bikes began to undergo their rebirth. Substantial advances in battery technology and electric motors provided the necessary boost for these revolutionary machines to claim their rightful place on the mobility stage.

Ebike in 1932 (Philips & Simplex)
  • Present: The electric bike boom today

Now, we find ourselves in the golden age of electric bikes. This is confirmed by manufacturers and the market: according to the 2023 bicycle sector report, electric bikes are the leading category in revenue within the bicycle industry in Spain. With an increasingly sustainability-conscious world seeking planet-friendly transportation options, ebikes have become the royalty of mobility. Cities, towns, and urban dwellers have embraced these electrified two wheels not only as an environmentally friendly solution but as the most exciting and efficient way to navigate our surroundings.

  • An electrifying future for electric bikes

The rise of electric bikes is more than a passing phenomenon; it is a continuous evolution that has unfolded over time and is still growing. Data from a Deloitte study confirms that ebikes are much more attractive and ahead of electric cars. These travel companions not only represent a more sustainable form of mobility but also an exciting experience for citizens looking for effective ways to navigate the city.


Now that we’ve unveiled the secrets behind the operation of electric bikes or ebikes, it’s time to dive into the fascinating world of variety. There are various types of bikes with their extra electric push, each designed to fit different lifestyles and riding preferences.

  • Mountain eBikes: elevating the adventure

Mountain eBikes are ideal companions for adrenaline enthusiasts looking to conquer steep terrains and challenging trails. With powerful motors, suspension in their forks, and high-performance batteries, these bikes allow you to explore nature with ease, taking your excursions to new heights.

  • Electric road bikes: speed and efficiency

Electric road bikes are the choice for speed and efficiency enthusiasts on paved terrains. With lightweight structures and powerful motors, these electric bikes enable you to cover long distances more quickly, turning your rides into a smooth and exciting experience.

  • Urban eBikes: Efficiency in the city

Designed with the urban pace in mind, urban eBikes are perfect allies for daily mobility. With a sleek design and features that make city life easier, these electric bikes take you from one point to another with style and speed, avoiding traffic and promoting a sustainable way of commuting.

  • Folding electric bikes: versatility in motion

For those seeking maximum versatility, folding eBikes are the perfect solution. Their compact design allows for easy folding, facilitating transportation and storage in confined spaces. Ideal for combining trips on public transport, storing in small spaces, or simply enjoying a bike that accompanies you in your daily life.

If you add sustainable frame characteristics, the world’s fastest folding, and a stylish “WOW!” effect, you get the Ossby GEO, which you can reserve here.

As this is our speciality, you’ll need to know what features the best folding bike should have and find out which are the best folding electric bikes with a brief comparison.. You’ll find all that information on our blog.

  • eBikes for Gravel: the unchartedpaths beckon

Gravel eBikes merge the robustness of gravel bikes with electric power, offering versatility to explore diverse terrains. Equipped with powerful motors and long-lasting batteries, these electric bikes allow adventures beyond the asphalt.

  • Cargo eBikes: power for transport heavy loads

Cargo eBikes are designed to carry your heavy load with ease. Whether for shopping, transporting gear, or making deliveries, these electric bikes come with additional space and loading capabilities, making them practical and sustainable solutions for freight transport.

It’s evident that there is an option for every lifestyle; we are confident that you’ll find the perfect ebike that suits you.


The Ossby GEO is a folding electric pedal-assist bike, commonly known as an e-bike in Spain, and complies with all the requirements and regulations of the European Union. Its powerful 250W Bluetooth motor offers 5 levels of assistance, adapting to the level of demand you desire, and features a EU-certified lithium-ion battery with a range of up to 50 km. As required, the assistance cuts off at 24 or 25 km/h, but you can continue pedaling without any problem or resistance.

In summary, an electric bike is not just a machine; it’s your companion for wheel adventures. So, the next time you wonder what an electric bike is, remember it’s your ticket to cyclist freedom, a unique experience that will transform your rides into unforgettable moments.

At Ossby, we always champion that feeling of freedom a bike gives you, the wind on your face, and being in direct contact with your surroundings. With our new model, we’ve managed to combine design, technology, and sustainability so you can reach your destination effortlessly on two wheels.

Get ready to pedal with a smile and discover the world of e-bikes with us!