There’s a transportation revolution happening as new electric-powered vehicles enter the market. They’re environmentally friendly, technologically advanced, and super cool to see riding down the street!
Especially in large cities, electric bikes and electric scooters have become extremely popular, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone whizzing down the street in one of these.
But if you’re looking to decide which one is right for you, there are some key differences that you should know about before making your purchase decision.
So, which one is actually better: electric bikes or electric scooters?
Differences Between E-Bikes and E-Scooters
When deciding between an e-bike and e-scooter, there are a few areas that you should take into consideration. This information is to help you make the best choice for you and your specific needs.
First of all, you’re going to want to look at what you can afford. It sounds obvious, right? Initial pricing for e-bikes is typically more expensive than scooters.
Electric Scooters run in the $1,500 to $3,000 price range while electric bikes can start just under $1,000 but can quickly escalate to $3,000 or $4,000 depending upon your model. If you intend to ride your e-bike often or want to take it off-roading this can easily add up.
Why are e-bikes so expensive?
This technology is still relatively new, and e-bikes are made from heavy high-quality materials so they can support a motor. As electric bikes become more popular, you’ll likely see the prices start to drop in the next few years.
You have to consider maintenance and energy costs related to running either your e-bike or e-scooter. Maintenance is generally easy to take care of with an e-bike.
When it comes to running costs, charging your e-bike only costs less than two cents per mile in the United States. While e-scooters may be similar, you actually get further on your two-cents with an e-bike. You’re pedaling along, using your own energy to get you to where you want to go.
Not so much with an e-scooter. You’re relying on pretty much on one electric charge to get you to and from your home, which doesn’t last too long.
Another consideration when choosing between an e-bike or e-scooter is traffic laws and restrictions.
Unfortunately, e-scooters are facing bans and limits throughout the world due to careless behavior and scooter overload. Some folks on e-scooters have a blatant disregard for the safety of others, paying no attention to traffic signals or pedestrians and riding on both roads and sidewalks.
Depending on where you live, e-scooters are considered a motor vehicle and may require registration and insurance.
On an e-bike, however, if you’re maintaining a safe speed and pedaling, you’ll be left alone. The country is actually starting to embrace the use of e-bikes rather than looking to regulate them.
Thanks to a law passed earlier this year, you can now use your e-bike in National Parks throughout the U.S..
As popularity increases, you’ll start seeing that an e-bike can go wherever a mountain bike goes, and they’ll be just as popular and accepted!
Both e-bikes and e-scooters are comparable when it comes to top speeds in public spaces. You catch that? Public spaces. That means that while riding either of these in a public space, you are restricted to the speed you can go because of U.S. laws, which usually means while riding in the city. When you’re outside the city and not having to abide by the speed laws, e-bikes are the clear winner when it comes to speed.
According to U.S. laws, to ride an e-bike in public, the motor can only have a maximum power of 750 watts and a maximum speed of 20 MPH.
The average speed of most electric scooters range between 6MPH and 20 MPH. However, with e-scooters, you’re limited to what your battery and motor power can do because there’s no option to self-propel.
With e-bikes, you can add your own power to go faster, if you ride in the great outdoors for hunting, mountain biking, camping or just to get out of the city.
While the motor controls maximum speed and power on an e-bike, you can go beyond that by pedaling along.
When you stop pedaling, your electric motor would kick in and keep you at the max speed it can do. If you’re interested in getting a high-powered e-bike, there is usually an off-road option that can get you up to 28MPH and some models can even go up to 30MPH!
However, remember you would not be allowed to go this fast on any public streets or within the city limits.
When it comes to choosing between an electric bike and an electric scooter, you should consider the typical range of your commute. While an e-scooter can get you where you need to go, you’ll be standing the whole time - and no one wants to stand for 10+ miles.
Additionally, because e-Scooters rely solely on the battery with no pedal assist mode, you automatically have a shorter range for your commute when using an e-scooter.
If you want to go further, an e-bike would be your best option. The average e-bike battery typically ranges from 20 to 35 miles, and with pedal-assist mode, it’ll last even longer.
Plus, as you scale up, the battery will start getting higher ranges out of every charge. Some e-Bikes are used for hunting that can go up to 80 miles on a single charge!
Clearly, one of the most important issues when choosing your primary mode of transportation is safety! E-bikes are considered safer than e-scooters because you actually sit up higher and are more visible to other vehicles.
With e-scooters, they typically have more built-in lights and indicators, so that you’re visible at night.
Unfortunately, the primary problem when it comes to safety is with e-scooters. Many people don’t treat them with the respect they deserve and leave them lying about.
Often people don’t wear safety equipment when they ride e-scooters. And because they’re an unregulated form of transportation, and slower than other vehicles, many folks tend to drive less cautiously.
While this may not apply to you and how you operate, it’s something to keep in mind about the perception of e-scooters, and the people you may have to watch out for on the sidewalk.
When it comes to the impact on the environment, both e-scooters and e-bikes are winners!
Neither run on gas and have zero-emissions. However, since an e-bike allows you to pedal it to get it going along with the battery, you actually need to charge it less. Less charging is less use of grid electricity!
Moving towards a mode of transportation that requires a bit of exercise is an added perk. A lot of folks choose to walk or bike to work because they get out there, and are exercising while they’re commuting.
With an e-scooter, other than the first kick to get it started, there isn’t much exercise going on. You just glide your way through the streets until you reach your destination.
If getting your heart pumping is essential to you, pedal-assist electric bikes are the way to go. You have to keep pedaling to keep the motor on. Even though you’re getting assistance from the motor, continuous pedaling gives you more exercise than walking, while also keeping the sweat at bay!
So, Which One is Better?
Both e-bikes and e-scooters are great options for commuting, but which one is the better choice for you?
Ultimately it comes down to your priorities and your location. If you’re only going short distances and live in an urban area, an e-scooter would probably work for you.
But if you’re commuting more than 15-20 minutes per day and want to improve your health and remain active, e-bikes are the way to go!
You can go farther, have better control over your speed, and you can use it anywhere - from beach cruising and commuting to off-roading and hunting. For an all-in-one option that keeps you healthy and is environmentally friendly, get an e-bike.