Often referred to as electric scooters, electric mopeds (e-mopeds) come with a back-heavy step-through frame and are paired with a less powerful motor and smaller wheels than your traditional motorbike. However, sometimes that is exactly why they are the perfect choice for frequent city commuters.
Most e-mopeds have an average power range of 2HP and a top speed of 25 mph (40 km/h). E-mopeds, which are larger than most electric mobility vehicles, operate like a motorbike but have the simplicity of an electric scooter. They’re perfect for avoiding traffic while commuting to work and picking up last-minute groceries, for example. E-mopeds are also cost-effective and great for the environment since they are powered by batteries.
Here are the top considerations to keep in mind if you’re looking to buy an electric moped.
Top things to know before getting an e-moped
1. Range and commute distance
The primary consideration when getting a moped-style electric scooter is whether or not it has enough range to cover your commute to a location you regularly visit. Many of them will be perfect for 20 miles, or 30 km, drive but if you want to travel a longer route, look into different models or types of transportation. The range will also affect your battery charging times.
2. Maintenance and safety equipment
As with any vehicle, parts deteriorate over time and will often need maintenance or replacement. The category of micro-mobility vehicles is no different in this regard. This is particularly true for the battery, as the range diminishes over time because of multiple recharges. Before making a purchase, look for mechanic stores that can fix any issues with your vehicle and see whether they have replacement parts readily available.
3. Top speed and acceleration
Different moped-style electric scooters feed in different levels of power to their motors. This is often looked at through peak power in kW (kilowatts) or the wattage in a motor’s power. To make this easier for ourselves, we can just look at the rated top speed of a bike. Most ordinary 15-20 mph e-mopeds will struggle on steep hills due to their weight, but higher specialized models manage that smoothly. This is why it is important to evaluate whether there are any hills or steep inclines on your regular commute route, to make a purchase accordingly.
4. Battery and portability
The bigger the battery your electric moped has, the more range you will be able to get out of your e-moped. Some models come with dual batteries placed underneath the seat and the feet, which help increase the range. You should also be on the lookout whether the battery in your e-moped is removable, in case you need to charge it separately at home. This is to make sure that both apartments and homeowners have their charging covered when it comes to their e-moped. Recent models of e-mopeds now come with fast charging capabilities that allow you to get your range back in under three hours.
5. Storage and passenger space
If you want to use your e-moped to run quick errands and grab groceries, make sure that you get one with sufficient storage space to cover your needs. This varies with every vehicle, so early research would do you some good here. There is usually space underneath the seat, for the limited amount of storage you might require in this type of vehicle. It is also worth seeing whether or not your scooter is intended for one passenger or two.
If it is intended for two, investing in a back mount for safe-sitting would be advisable. Each scooter can only carry a certain weight, so you should look up the weight limit on your specific model.
6. Utilities and additional features
While most models come equipped with a display that functions as a speedometer and hub for useful information, some electric mopeds come with their custom apps and a host of convenient features. This includes but is not limited to anti-theft location tracking, a virtual checkup of all the mechanical systems within your bike, and battery status.
The pros and cons of buying an electric moped
- Traffic skipping – The narrow designs of moped-style electric scooter frames allow them to easily navigate their way in between lanes and save you tons of time that you would have spent in traffic otherwise. Of course, we would only suggest this if lane splitting is legal in your area, but it can be a handy time-saver if it is. Some riders have even reported that it can almost cut their commute times in half.
- Environmental concerns – With the help of electric mopeds, you immensely lower your carbon footprint and move further away from fossil fuel-based energy sources. As the climate change reality grows bleaker, every reduction in carbon emissions counts. In this regard e-scooters can help. It’s not just environmental pollution either, this applies to noise pollution too as e-scooters are virtually silent.
- Legal restrictions – However, no vehicle is perfect. In some regions of the world, moped-style e-scooters are limited when it comes to their maximum speed. Due to the fact that they are somewhere in-between bicycles and motorbikes, they are not allowed on sidewalks either. In addition to this, these vehicles are not allowed on most highways as well.
- License – In the United States, e-mopeds and e-scooters riders are usually not required to have a motorcycle-grade license, instead, a valid driver’s license is sufficient. For example, e-mopeds in Massachusetts must be registered with the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Service Center and must be renewed every two years. In other areas of the world, you will find that a CBT or a form of provisional license is necessary to ride them due to their high-speed factor, as it poses a threat to road safety regulations. China, the country with the most e-scooters in the world, recently instituted license plate and helmet requirements in many cities.
The bottom line
If this article has sparked your interest to purchase an electrical moped, check out our list of best e-mopeds here.
If you are willing to deal with some legal restrictions and potentially a license, we think electrical scooters are one of the best options you can get for daily city commuting. Their noiseless and utilitarian design, paired with top speeds ought to make your journey to fossil-fuel freedom an absolute joy.