Electric bikes and electric mopeds are fast becoming a popular mode of transportation worldwide. Amid this widespread adoption, people sometimes have difficulty in choosing between them.

Electric vehicles of every kind are becoming ubiquitous. Some of the major cities of the world are moving away from traditional vehicles and towards electric ones like electric bikes and mopeds. In this article, we will discuss the major differences between electric bikes and mopeds, in addition to some of the things that you need to consider before choosing between the two.

What is an electric bike?

An electric bike is similar to a standard bike but is equipped with a battery, electric motor, and controller, which provide additional help moving the bike. With these bikes, the rider has the option of pedaling, the frequency of which depending on the circumstances. There are different types of electric bikes, ranging from bicycles with small motors to powerful models that can go up to 30 mph.

Read: The 10 best electric bicycles you can get

An electric bike is not a separate invention; rather it is an evolution of a standard bike. Over the years, the quality of these bikes has improved to give riders the best riding experience. Today, more people are switching to electric bikes as a mode of everyday transportation. As the transport industry develops and advances, the electric bike industry will only expand further.

Electric bikes make use of pedals and handles just like regular bikes. The electric motor does not replace human power, rather it enhances it. This allows the rider to ride around hills and through headwinds easily and comfortably without getting tired.

What is an electric moped?

The word “moped” originates from the Swedish term called “trampcykel med motor och pedaler” and it means “pedal cycle with motor and pedals.” However, recently the term “moped” is being used to refer to a two-wheel bike or vehicle without pedals. Electric mopeds are often confused with scooters due to the similar structure of the two. Another reason for this confusion is that electric mopeds are not as popular as electric bikes are.

An electric moped is a relatively light bike or scooter. It contains a foot platform and a motor. Electric mopeds, as the name suggests, are powered by an electric motor and battery. Whereas, traditional or gas mopeds are powered by fuel or gas. Moreover, petrol-powered mopeds are soon going to become outdated due to excessive noise production and petrol usage.

An electric moped has a distinct design that sets it apart from other electric vehicles or bikes. It contains a step-through frame where you can place your feet in front of you on the floorboard while sitting on a low seat. The handles of an electric moped are slightly higher. This ensures a more comfortable position and riding style that is ideal for beginners. Electric mopeds are also perfect for short commutes.

Differences between an electric bike and electric moped

Electric bikes and electric mopeds have been proven to be cost-effective methods of commuting. Besides being cost-effective, they also contribute towards a cleaner, quieter, and more sustainable environment. They also help in avoiding traffic and public transport, which can help you arrive at work on time and sweat-free.

The major difference between an electric bike and an electric moped is that of pedals. Electric bikes require pedals, whereas, electric mopeds work without pedals. This means that an electric bike is perfect for keeping you fit and active as it requires some physical input. On the other hand, in an electric moped, you can just “twist and go” without any physical input which makes them ideal for the elderly or less fit persons.

We have compiled a list of differences between an electric bike and an electric moped to help you make the right choice:

  • Registration

The laws for electric bikes vary. Many states in the US do not require the registration of electronic bikes as motorized vehicles. Hence, you can ride your electric bike as soon as you buy it. But there are some places that consider electric bicycles as motor vehicles, so they require riders to register them.

Whereas for an electric moped, riders are required by the law to legally register their mopeds before they start driving them. The registration charges for mopeds can vary according to the region or state. On average, the registration of an electric moped can cost anywhere from $100 to $150 a year.

You can look up your state’s laws and regulations regarding registration or your electric vehicle on Peopleforbikes.org.

  • Insurance

Insurance is always a good idea for all types of vehicles. However, you don’t necessarily have to cover your electric bicycle if you don’t want to pay any extra money. With that being said, it is always a good idea to have some sort of protection or insurance in case you lose your bike or it gets stolen. If you don’t have a proper lock for your electric bike or forget to remove your battery, there is a possibility that someone may steal it.

Getting your electric moped insured is always a good idea. It can help you protect against any accidents or mishaps. Moreover, it is also important to get your moped insured if it has a larger engine. You don’t necessarily need to get your electric bike insured to ride it on the road; however, you can’t ride a moped without insurance.

Read: Electric bikes vs electric scooters vs electric mopeds vs electric motorcycles: What’s the difference?

  • Safety

Whether you are riding a simple standard bike or a proper motorcycle, safety is always important. Your state’s laws may not require you to wear safety gear while riding an electric bike, but it is always recommended to wear a helmet at the very least. This way you will be safe in case you face an accident or a fall.

However, unlike electronic bikes, you are always legally required to wear a helmet while riding your electric moped. This is because a moped is considered a registered vehicle and has a higher speed than an electric bike. Wearing a helmet and other safety gear while riding an electric moped protects you against any potential accidents or dangers.

  • Cost

When it comes to price, electric bikes and electric mopeds cost almost the same. You can get an electric bike or moped in the range of $600 to $3,000 depending on the quality. Besides the overall quality and manufacturing company, the things that make a difference in price are the power of the motor and the size of the battery.

If you want a bike with well-built components, a motor, and a lithium-ion battery, then you can expect the cost to be at least $2,000. Other models available are usually cheaper, but you will have to compromise on several important features and specifications.

In the case of electric mopeds, the price usually depends on the manufacturing company and brand. Generally, models that are bespoke and have low production cost more than other established brands. Moreover, batteries have a huge impact on the cost of both electronic bikes and electronic mopeds. If you want a spare battery then you can get one for about $500-$1,000, depending on its size.

  • Range

Electric bikes generally have smaller batteries which makes them lightweight. Furthermore, they take advantage of the added human power to provide a better range with a small battery. On average, depending on the added assistance, an electric bike can cover a distance of 30 to 100 miles on a single charge.

On the other hand, electric mopeds are usually heavier than electric bikes. This means that mopeds consume more power than electric bikes and as a result, require larger batteries. But keep in mind that electric mopeds are still lighter than petrol-powered mopeds or scooters.

  • Speed

Electric bikes do not require a license or registration as their speed is limited to 15.5 mph only with assistance. There is one exception, however, which is speed pedelec. They are called “pedal electric cycles” or bikes. These can go up to 28 mph.

There are different models of electric bikes and not all of them will have the same speed. Cheaper bikes will have slow motors, while some road bikes will have a much faster speed. It is always a good idea to take a test ride before you buy an electric bike.

An electric moped requires a license and it can go up to over 28 mph. Similar to electric bikes, there are different models of mopeds. Cheaper models or motors will go up to 28 mph only, while others can go up to 60 mph. This makes them ideal and suitable for commuting in suburbs or for on-road rides.

Despite the visible difference in speed, if you live in a city, an electric bike will be faster than an electric moped. This is because you can use a cycling lane with your electric bike to avoid traffic. But if your route is longer than an electric moped will be a better and faster option.

Read: Electric motorcycles: A buyer’s guide

Pros of electric bikes

  • They are cheaper means of transportation when compared to other types.
  • Electric bikes do not require any kind of license or registration and you don’t have to pay for parking, either.
  • Since they come with pedals they also contribute to your health and help in staying fit.
  • If you have a health condition that limits the amount of physical activity you can perform then electric bikes are perfect for you.
  • Recharging the battery of an electric bike is cheap.
  • The assistance due to the electric motor enables you to have a sweat-free ride.
  • The extra power from the electric motor allows you to climb hills and ride through headwinds.

Cons of electric bikes

  • Electric bikes can be more expensive than regular bikes.
  • They are also heavier than conventional bikes, which can be a problem if your battery runs out on the road or if you have to carry it back home.
  • While most parts of an electric bike are similar to those of a traditional bike, there are still some components that are unique and may be hard to find, repair, and replace.
  • There can be some confusion while determining the legal status of an electric bike. Some states do not require their registration, while some do.
  • It can take quite some time to recharge your electric bike.

Pros of electric mopeds

  • Due to their small size, electric mopeds can easily go in and out of traffic.
  • There are some jurisdictions that allow electric mopeds to travel in bike lanes.
  • Electronic mopeds come with a storage area or a seat compartment that comes in handy while running errands.
  • They are cost-effective and budget-friendly as compared to cars and other modes of transportation.
  • Unlike fuel-powered vehicles, electric mopeds do not cause any noise pollution.
  • Since electric mopeds do not require any fuel to run, they contribute to a sustainable future and environment.

Cons of electric mopeds

  • Electric mopeds are considered the same as scooters and require registration and insurance which can be an added cost.
  • Since electric mopeds are faster than electronic and other conventional bikes, they are often not allowed to travel in bike lanes.
  • If you want to get a bike to stay fit then an electric moped may not be the best option for you.
  • Electric mopeds are heavier than electric bikes, which makes them harder to carry.
  • They are not convenient for long distances or highway travel.

Read: The best electric mopeds (scooters) you can buy

Electric bikes and electric mopeds are both good options for everyday use. While electric bikes are lighter in weight and do not require any license or registration, mopeds are ideal for running errands and going to work. Ultimately, the option you will go with depends on your needs and budget.