Electric bicycles and scooters essentially serve the same purpose as day-to-day commuting. They can take you to and from work along with other nearby places using only electricity. Both electric bicycles and electric scooters are much cheaper than a car and are readily available worldwide. With that said, which of the two is a better option for you?
Both electric bicycles and electric scooters are fantastic transportations alternatives to cars, trucks, and motorcycles. When choosing between the two, it will mostly come down to preference. However, there are a few things you can look at when trying to decide.
Most electric bicycles require the rider to pedal in order to engage the electric motor. However, there is also a complete classification that only uses a throttle. On the other hand, electric scooters only use a throttle. With that said, both electric bicycles and electric scooters have a wide range of colors and different styles to choose from, with electric scooters possibly having a bigger range than electric bicycles.
As you continue to read this article, we will go much more in-depth with the differences between electric bicycles and electric scooters. Afterward, we will give you a list of pros and cons for both options.
What Is An Electric Bicycle
An electric bicycle is very similar to a traditional bicycle in looks and how it is used. However, the significant difference is the electric motor that is powered by a rechargeable battery. As a result, the motor on an electric bicycle allows users to go much faster than they could on a traditional pedal bicycle.
Most batteries on electric bicycles are removable, which has a few fantastic benefits. Firstly, removing the battery will allow you to easily recharge the battery instead of finding a way to maneuver your bicycle close to an outlet. Secondly, you can carry multiple batteries with you, which will allow you to travel much further for those times you need to visit family or friends who live beyond the maximum distance one battery could give you.
Price ranges for electric bicycles vary widely and cost over $10,000 or as little as $200. The $10,000 electric bicycles are absurdly expensive. Typically, suppose you are paying this much for a bicycle. In that case, you are paying for the name brand rather than the quality of the bicycle. There are plenty of $1,500 to $2,000 electric bicycles that are just as good or even better than the absurdly expensive ones.
With that said, the super inexpensive electric bicycles that are around $200 are not bad. However, the quality is not all there for these bicycles. The $200 electric bicycles tend to either have a shorter range or lower maximum speed.
Types Of Electric Bicycles
When operating an electric bicycle, there is one of 2 ways you can make it go; Throttle Assist and Pedal Assist.
- Throttle Assist is only used on one classification of electric bicycles, which is class 2. These electric bicycles can travel up to 20 miles per hour and do not require you to pedal at all. Think of this class of electric bicycles as a much slower motorcycle.
- Pedal Assist is the most common form of assistance from the electric motor on an electric bicycle. Pedal-assist consists of the two other classifications of electric bicycles; class 1 and class 3. Pedal-assist will only work to propel the rider forward if they are pedaling. These types of electric bicycles work exactly like traditional pedal bicycles, except they can go twice as fast.
Electric Bicycle Laws
Electrical bicycle laws can be quite confusing to understand. In the United States, electric bicycles are classified under 3 classifications. Each of these 3 classes require the electric bicycle to have certain specifications or equipment.
Not only that but each class of electric bicycle can have very different laws in each state.
For instance, in New Jersey, if you want to ride an electric bicycle of any kind, you will need to have a special kind of insurance and a driver's license that requires you to be at least 14 years old. Whereas in Arizona, there are virtually no laws restricting the use of electric bicycles.
Below will be the list of classifications for electric bicycles and what is required for them to be in each class:
- Class 1: A class 1 electric bicycle only provides assistance to the rider if they are pedaling. That assistance is stopped if the rider stops pedaling or if the bicycle reaches 20 miles per hour.
- Class 2: A class 2 electric bicycle is an electric bicycle that is equipped with a throttle that allows the rider to travel without pedaling. Class 2 electric bicycles can also have pedal assistance but are not required for travel. The pedal assist will stop once the rider stops pedaling or the bicycle reaches its maximum speed of 20 miles per hour.
- Class 3: A class 3 electric bicycle is an electric bicycle that is equipped with a speedometer and has pedal assistance but no throttle. The pedal assistance will stop assisting the rider once the bicycle reaches 28 miles per hour or if the rider stops pedaling.
With that said, if you are planning on getting an electric bicycle, learn the laws of the state or country you live in, and know what class of electric bicycle you are getting.
Electric Bicycle Pros
- Cheaper to own and travel with than a car
- It can be used to get some exercise
- Very easy to use
- An eco-friendly way to travel around fast
- Can travel further on an electric bicycle than a traditional pedal bike
- Can travel to work, friends, or families home without getting sweaty
- Can traverse hills and other obstacles easier than a traditional bicycle
Electric Bicycle Cons
- It can be costly to repair
- Replacement batteries are expensive
- Confusing laws
What Is An Electric Scooter?
Electric scooters come in many different styles. Some of the more traditional electric scooters have a similar look to mopeds. With that said, you also have electric scooters that look like racing motorcycles and even electric scooters that look like traditional push scooters. Unlike electric bicycles, electric scooters have a massive range of styles that you can choose from.
Like electric bicycles, most electric scooters have a removable battery which allows for an easier way to recharge them. However, in some cases where the battery is much too big, you will need to find a way to maneuver your scooter close to an outlet. For example, there are electric scooters that are specially made for disabled people. These scooters will have a cord that is attached to the scooter, which will attach to an outlet for recharging.
The only way that you can operate the electric motor in any electric scooter is through a throttle. While some scooters might have what looks like pedals, it is more of a place to place your feet rather than actual pedals safely.
Types Of Electric Scooters
As previously stated, there are tons of different electric scooter variations. However, all electric bicycles look at least somewhat similar to each other. Whereas electric scooters have a few different variations, they look similar to one another in those variations.
- Basic Electric Scooter
Starting off with the basic electric scooter. These electric scooters look almost the exact same as the traditional push scooters you might have had as a child. However, these scooters have two wheels connected by a flat platform where you would place your feet. On top of the front wheel is a bar that extends up and ends with two handlebars.
These are by far the most inexpensive electric scooter and will only cost you roughly $300. However, there are outliers like the Wolf Warrior 11, a massive, heavy-duty off-road electric scooter that costs over $2,500.
Mainly these types of scooters will have a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour. However, depending on the weight of the rider, these electric scooters can have an expected range of around 20 miles before needing to be recharged.
- Basic Electric Scooters, But With Seats
These types of electric scooters are almost completely identical to the previous ones, except for one thing. With the addition of a seat on a basic electric scooter, you can have a little bit of extra comfort of sitting down instead of standing while you ride one of these. However, with that said, the seated basic electric scooters are a little more expensive, adding around $50 to $100 to the price tag.
- Electric Scooters For Those Who Are Disabled
If you have ever walked into a grocery store and seen the electric scooters for the elderly and disabled, then you should have a good idea of what these are. These types of scooters always relied on electricity for movement instead of gas. Being one of the first types of electric scooters, these scooters are quite large and are able to hold huge batteries.
- Electric Moped
These types of scooters are extremely similar to mopeds in shape. However, instead of running on gas, they use electricity. Although these electric scooters are the most common variation, most of the time, you will not be able to tell the difference between a gas moped and an electric moped.
Some of the electric mopeds on the market have a removable battery for easier charging. However, most electric mopeds require you to plug them into the wall directly. With that said, most electric mopeds have a maximum range of around 45 miles before needing to be recharged. However, some electric mopeds have a maximum range of over 80 miles.
When talking about speed for these types of electric scooters, it can range widely. Usually, the more expensive they are, the faster they can go. For example, the BMW C-Evolution costs around $14,000, can travel up to 80 miles per hour and has a maximum range of 100 miles before needing to be recharged. Whereas something like the Segway eMoped C80 costs $1,900, has a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour, and can travel 45 miles before needing to be recharged.
Something to remember, in most countries, if an electric bicycle or scooter has a maximum speed of 28 miles per hour or higher, you will probably need to have a driver's license of some kind.
- Electric Scooters That Look Like Motorcycles
These types of electric scooters are possibly the most stylish of the bunch. Most of them look like racing motorcycles, which gives them a bit of a cool factor. However, while they may look like motorcycles, they definitely are not. However, like the electric mopeds, their maximum range, speed, and cost can vary widely. Also, like the electric mopeds, these scooters will most likely require that you park them near an outlet to be recharged.
Electric Scooter Pros
- Electric scooters are cheaper to own and travel with than cars
- You don't need a driver's license unless it goes over 30 miles per hour
- An eco-friendly way to travel around fast
- Easy to find parking spaces
Electric Scooter Cons
- Charging can be a hassle
- More dangerous than electric bicycles because you share lanes with cars
- It can be very expensive
When it comes to deciding whether you want an electric scooter or electric bicycle comes down to style and how much money you are willing to spend. While most electric bicycles will have everything you need for around $1,300, electric scooters will cost a lot more. But with that extra cost for electric scooters, you will be faster and able to travel much further.