Personal mobility devices are gaining popularity. Electric bikes, electric scooters, electric mopeds, and electric motorcycles are accessible and efficient personal electric vehicles.
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Whether you are picking between an electric bike versus an electric scooter, or considering other forms of micromobility, it’s a win-win for you and the planet.
These electric vehicles can help you save money when you think of maintenance, gas, tolls, parking, insurance, and other costs of vehicle ownership. Of course, you can also contribute to saving the planet by lowering your carbon footprint.
If you are shopping for the best personal electric vehicle that meets your needs, we have prepared a quick comparison of these electric mobility devices.
Let’s dive in.
Electric bikes vs electric scooters: What’s the difference?
You have a good number of options if you are choosing between an ebike and an electric scooter. Both can be used as daily commuters, but come with their own sets of pros and cons.
Electric bikes or ebikes look like conventional bicycles, but they come with an electric motor that can propel the bike in case you need a push going uphill or during long commutes. You can go pedal-assisted or, for some models, completely electric.
Electric scooters are also two-wheeled EVs powered by electric motors, usually featuring a deck and a T-shaped handle. You need to kick start the motor before you are able to tap into its power. After the initial kick-off, you can enjoy a fun ride while standing on its deck or sitting on a saddle.
Let’s define the line when it comes to electric bikes vs electric scooters.
Electric bikes vs electric scooters: Top speeds
If you live in the United States, regulations say ebikes must have operational pedals and motors with a maximum power of 750 watts, able to reach a maximum speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). Electric bikes that stick to these rules can be used on bike paths and bike lanes. More powerful ebikes are only allowed for off-road use.
Most states also limit the speed of e-scooters to 20 mph (32 km/h). Riders are allowed to use e-scooters on bike lanes or bikeways when these paths are available. In most cases, electric scooters are prohibited on sidewalks and crosswalks.
Electric bikes vs electric scooters: Range
The range of all personal electric vehicles depends on factors such as the weight of the rider, the weight of the vehicle, the size of the battery, and the user’s driving style. However, on average, electric bikes can go between 30 to 50 miles (48 to 80 km) on a single charge.
The range of electric scooters available on the market today can go 35 to 40 miles (56 to 64 km) before running out of juice.
Electric bikes vs electric scooters: Price
You can buy entry-level ebikes for as low as $400. Meanwhile, more powerful e-bikes come with tag prices of $2,000 and above.
The average e-scooter price hits between the $300 and the $600 mark. However, there are electric scooter brands that go for as high as $3,000.
Comfort, convenience, and safety
When it comes to riding comfort, electric bikes have an advantage because you can sit comfortably on the saddle. Meanwhile, you have to stand on most electric scooters. Most electric bikes also come with suspension systems that make bumpy roads easier to negotiate.
Both scooters and bikes can be easily maneuvered indoors if you have to bring them into your apartment, though scooters tend to be more compact. Many scooters can also be folded if you have to put them in the trunk of your car. There are also foldable ebikes if you want something that you can bring every day in the car or on the train.
In terms of safety, bikes come with larger tires, which give them a better grip on the road. You are somehow more visible to other drivers on the road too when you’re riding an ebike.
Do you need a license and insurance?
You need to check your state and local laws when operating ebikes and electric scooters.
Most states do not require ebike license and registration, while some states require them. With regards to insurance policies, they are not generally required as long as your bike does not go beyond 28 mph (45 kph). However, experts recommend getting an ebike insurance because of the risk of getting injured on the road, injuring pedestrians, or colliding with other vehicles.
As for e-scooters, you will need to be at least 16 years old and to have a license to ride one since they are considered motorized vehicles, but you do not need a special vehicle registration for them. Escooter insurance is not required, too. Take note that laws governing e-scooters continue to evolve so it is wise to always check about the latest rules to avoid penalties or getting your license revoked.
Electric bikes vs. electric mopeds
In this section, we turn our attention to the differences between an electric bike and electric moped. Since we have outlined the basics of ebikes above, we can focus on electric mopeds.
While electric bikes provide some form of exercise because of their pedals, electric mopeds do not come with pedals but sport a platform where you can rest your feet.
Mopeds are generally allowed to go on street bike lanes but are not allowed on sidewalks. If you’re riding an electric moped, you cannot park in bicycle areas.
Speed of mopeds
There are states that set a limit of 50 cc-equivalent or 1,500 watts as the maximum engine size. They also set the maximum speed to 30 mph (48 km/h), but, of course, these machines are quite powerful when you look at the specs of the best electric mopeds you can buy today.
Range of electric mopeds
In terms of range, e-mopeds can go between 30 and 62 miles (48 and 100 km) on a single charge on average depending on the weight of the rider, the driving style, and the battery, plus other factors.
Price of electric mopeds
You can get entry-level electric mopeds for as low as $400, to the best ones that could go for several thousand dollars.
Comfort, convenience, and safety of ebikes vs mopeds
It may boil down to personal preference when it comes to riding comfort because both types of EVs have the same basic form of seat, pedal or footrest, and handlebar. However, in terms of convenience, electric mopeds are bulkier and therefore a far cry from ebikes that you can quickly bring indoors. Mopeds are also riskier because of their more potent engines, which is why most states require you to wear a helmet when riding one.
Do you need a license and insurance?
In the United States, most states require a driver’s license, some form of vehicle registration, and insurance.
Electric bike vs electric motorcycle
Just like comparing ebikes to conventional bikes, the same thing can be done to electric motorcycles. Most electric motorcycles look like traditional motorcycles but they sport smaller engines that run on battery power.
When compared to electric bikes, electric motorcycles are much bigger and don’t come with pedals like mopeds. They are not allowed on bike lanes and sidewalks. Generally, they are not for offroad traveling or exploration, though electric dirt bikes do exist.
Speed of electric motorcycles
Just like any electric vehicle, electric motorcycles also give you access to instant torque. These twist-and-go machines are quick and fast. They can go from 0 to 60 mph in a blink and the best ones can reach a top speed of 218 mph (351 km/h).
Range of electric motorcycles
As the battery technologies for EVs improve, the range of these EVs is also being stretched. On average, an electric motorcycle can go 40 to 100 miles (64 to 161 km) on a single charge. Some can go well beyond 220 miles (354 km) before running out of juice.
Price of electric motorcycles
You can grab a street-legal electric motorcycle for around $8,500 and for the higher-end ones, the sticker price can easily hit over $40,000.
Comfort, convenience, and safety of electric motorcycles
The comfort of the electric motorcycle will really depend on the fit of the ride. Considering the power of electric motorcycles, you are required to wear a helmet. It is also best to have protective gear from head to toe.
Read more: The best electric mountain bikes you can buy
Do you need a license and insurance?
Electric motorcycles are treated as motorized vehicles in most states. You will be required to have a license, registration, and insurance to operate one.
This concludes our quick comparison of these popular personal EVs. Whether you are considering buying an ebike, an electric scooter, electric moped, or electric motorcycle, there is one that fits your budget and needs.