Electric Bike vs. Scooter — Which Should You Choose?
Electric-powered vehicles have soared in popularity around the world in the past few years.
This is evident in the number of privately owned e-bikes, electric scooters, and other types of devices. Additionally, there has been a huge increase in the amount of sharing services for this type of machine, including electric bike-sharing or e-scooter sharing.
There are three key reasons why we believe this has happened. Firstly, technology has become much better. Now, many people want one of these machines because they are high quality and work really well, including durability and great battery life.
E-Bikes and electric scooters are the most popular personal electric transporters.
Secondly, they have become much more affordable and readily available. They are not just niche products for “techy” people, they are widely available and affordable.
Finally, they allow us to greatly reduce our carbon footprint and save money on commuting when we switch over from regular motor vehicles.
Any of these cool electric things to ride can be fun, save you money, help the environment, and help you get out and active at the same time.
Why do you need a personal electric vehicle (PEV)?
There are various reasons to consider getting a PEV, depending on your current circumstances and needs. For example, people with cars will experience different motivations and benefits to an older person who wants to get out and active again.
Commuting using a PEV instead of a car will save you lots of money over time on running costs, parking, and fuel. It helps you reduce time spent searching for parking, avoid traffic jams, and regular trips to the mechanic. Additionally, an e-bike is more friendly for the environment and will help you get some exercise if you want to use it without pedal assistance.
Someone may also get a PEV if they want to get outdoors or be more active without the limitations of their fitness. E-bikes are also a great way to do traveling adventures like bicycle touring.
Popular reasons for using a personal electric vehicle:
- to avoid traffic jams;
- to avoid parking problems;
- to avoid crowded public transport;
- environmental friendly
E-Bike vs E-Scooter: Main Differences
In this section, we will discuss the differences between electric bikes and e-scooters in nine different categories. Before you make the decision to purchase one or the other, read this comparison and consider which are the most important factors for your life.
For example, price and portability may not be important to you, but range and comfort may be. This will make an e-bike the most favorable option for you.
In general, e-scooters are much more portable than e-bikes. This is because they are smaller, lighter, and have fewer moving parts. This allows them to fold up quickly and compact for easy transport and storage when needed.
There are some excellent folding electric bikes that can fold up into small packages for transport. However, these e-bikes are still quite heavy and are more complicated to fold up.
Many people value comfort if they’re going to be regularly traveling on a PEV. Of course, standing isn’t going to be as comfortable as sitting, so small e-scooters might be lower on the list for this type of person. However, some e-scooters do have seats that you can use when you prefer not to stand.
Another consideration worth noting is the size of the wheels on the device. This is a big factor in how bumpy and rough it feels on the road. For example, a commuter or a cruiser-style e-bike will have wider, shock-absorbent tires that smooth out road vibrations and make your journeys more comfortable. In general, e-scooters have narrow wheels which are not as comfortable to ride with.
Other important comfort factors to consider are the quality of the saddle, handlebar grips, and frame materials.
Many factors come into play when finding the average range, including, battery size, speed, weather, rider’s weight, and type of terrain.
The average e-scooter has a max range of around 25 miles. With ranges varying from 5 to 45 miles depending on the model.
The average e-bike will have a max range of around 45 miles on average. However, max ranges vary from 30 to 80 miles based on the manufacturer.
Most electric scooters have a top speed between 15mph and 25mph, however, some expensive models have crazy top speeds up to 80 mph. E-scooters are not currently subject to restrictions in most states. It is likely that further, more widespread restrictions will be common as popularity increases.
The e-bike classification system is broken into three types, Class 1, 2, and 3. Depending on where you live, there are different rules and restrictions on each class. Speeds are generally limited by manufacturers.
- Class 1: Top speed 20mph
- Class 2: Top speed 20mph + Throttle 20mph
- Class 3: Top speed 28mph + Throttle 20mph
It’s clear that electric scooters are more affordable than e-bikes. However, they are much more limited in their capability and are really only appropriate if your sole purpose is to do short trips without much cargo (just a backpack).
The table below shows popular examples of entry-level products and high-end products from both categories. Although prices do vary even more than this.
|Entry-Level Model||High-End Model|
|Electric Bike||Electric Scooter||Electric Bike||Electric Scooter|
|Brand||Lectric XP 2.0||Xiaomi M365||Cannondale Tesoro Neo X 1||Dualtron Thunder|
|Speed||up to 28 mph||16.7 mph||28 mph||50 mph|
|Range||up to 45 miles||18.6 miles||105 miles||75 miles|
|Charging Time||4-6 hours||5 hours||5 hours||20 hours|
|Weight||63 lbs||27 lbs||55 lbs||95 lbs|
Safety when sharing the roads with other, more dangerous vehicles is very important. Neither choice here is significantly safer to ride once the rules of the road are obeyed and good driving habits are practiced.
Most good e-bikes and e-scooters come with battery-powered LED lights pre-installed on the front and rear which are important for safety. Additionally, helmets should be worn with both.
The solid construction of an e-bike with a longer wheelbase, wider tires, and less sensitive handling makes it slightly easier to control and safely ride an e-bike compared to the scooter. This is especially relevant when traveling at higher speeds.
There is no competition between e-bikes and e-scooters when it comes to general utility. Electric bikes, especially purpose-designed utility e-bikes, are the perfect tools for completing a wide variety of tasks.
- Have loaded pannier racks on the front and back
- Support child bike seats in various positions on the bike
- Pull trailers for pets, cargo, or kids
- Carry large payload capacities (up to 325lbs)
With an e-scooter, you are limited to carrying a backpack, and they generally do not have the power or payload capacity to be loaded heavily as e-bikes do.
In general, the durability of both products is quite good if you take good care and maintain them properly. The quality of the product and its parts is also a big factor in how long it lasts. In general, the budget models will not last as long as mid to high-end alternatives.
E-bikes have more moving parts and therefore more chance of having a part break or need maintenance. Additionally, you are more likely to subject your e-bike to heavy use such as on mountain trails and gravel paths. E-scooters are more limited in their use and therefore may not experience the same wear.
Lastly, the battery on these devices usually has a limited lifespan measured by total average charge cycles. This varies by manufacturer, the best ones being Samsung, Panasonic, Bosch, etc.
E-bikes are still an excellent way to get exercise and activity despite having a motor, as many do not have a throttle and require pedaling to activate the motor. To get the maximum range possible it is also better to pedal as much as you are comfortable with. Also, if you take on very steep gradients most e-bikes will still require quite a lot of pedaling.
Of course, they are not as good as a regular bike for exercise, but they allow those with injuries or limited fitness to get back into cycling.
With e-scooters, there is very little chance to get any meaningful exercise.
Benefits of E-Bikes
It’s clear that there are a lot of benefits to using an electric bike, especially when compared to a scooter. They are a great way to get exercise for many people who find it difficult to cycle, they allow you to take on many different jobs without breaking a sweat, they get you around quickly, and they are generally very comfortable to ride.
Here are a few of the advantages of e-bikes over e-scooters:
- Longer range
- Keeps you fit
- More practical and useful
- More comfortable
Benefits of Electric Scooters
Although not quite as useful as e-bikes, electric scooters allow many people who live in large towns or cities to ditch the car and save lots of money, time, and effort on their commuting, day-to-day living, and running errands.
These devices serve their purpose perfectly and make many people’s lives easier, and more enjoyable. What’s better is that they’re super-affordable and convenient to use, especially if you don’t have a lot of space in your apartment.
- Better portability and convenience
- Affordable prices
- Easier to store at home or the office
It’s clear from writing this article that both electric bikes and electric scooters are great products that can make your daily life a lot more convenient and enjoyable.
Cutting out the traffic, parking, expensive maintenance, and environmental impact associated with owning a car is a reason enough to get a PEV. Additionally, an e-bike is a great way to exercise and even see the world by bicycle touring.
We hope that after reading our comparison and having a better understanding of the key considerations, you can now make the choice that will best suit your individual needs.