Before the pandemic, personal mobility vehicles such as electric scooters and electric bikes have already grown in popularity globally. However, the pandemic pushed its popularity further as more people use it for health concerns. Because of this, more people are also seeing the convenience and practicality of riding an electric scooter and electric bike.
If you are considering getting a light personal vehicle, which of these two popular electric mobility vehicles should you get?
Why should you buy an electric scooter or electric bike?
Before anything else, what makes an e- scooter and e-bike worth buying? In a highly dense city, commuters face crowded public transportation, traffic, and high fare for taxis. It’s simply difficult and, at times, exhausting to commute daily. However, riding an electric scooter or electric bike eliminates these commuting pain points.
An electric scooter and electric bike offer a personal vehicle where you can go to your destination without queuing, waiting for traffic, or paying expensive fares. Moreover, commuters don’t need to worry about parking space and fees since electric bikes can be left on bike racks and electric scooters can be folded and carried inside buildings if permitted.
Overall, they are fast, efficient, practical, and cost-effective. That’s why it’s no wonder that more people are getting their hands on electric bikes and electric scooters for their daily commutes.
Electric vs Traditional
Are electric scooters and electric bikes better than their traditional counterparts? For some, they may appreciate the fact that riding e-scooters and e-bikes are less tiring. After all, you don’t need to pedal when using e-scooters, and e-bikes have a pedal-assist that helps riders pedal easier. Moreover, riding hills and long trips is easier. Traditional bicycles and kick scooters may be the most eco-friendly and practical of all, but e-scooters and e-bikes offer a convenience that these traditional vehicles can’t.
Electric Scooter vs Electric Bike Differences
Electric bikes offer more powerful motors, so their speeds are higher than electric scooters. E-bikes have an average top speed of 40-48 km/h, while e-scooters have an average top speed of 25 km/h. So when it comes to electric cycles vs electric scooters, e-bikes offer higher speeds.
Although off-road electric scooters can offer around 60-100 km of range, e-bikes of the same price can offer more range. In fact, it’s quite normal to see e-bikes with 64 km of range. This is possible due to the e-bike’s bigger battery.
However, e-scooter owners don’t need to worry about range since they can just take a cab and put the e-scooter inside the car trunk. You can’t really do that with an e-bike since it’s much larger. So, if the battery runs out, e-bike riders will need to pedal a heavy bike. Nonetheless, if you prefer a personal vehicle that can offer more range, then e-bikes are the logical option.
Both offer a comfortable ride, especially if your e-scooter or e-bike has suspension. However, both e-rides also have a disadvantage. When riding for too long, standing on the e-scooter or pedalling on the e-bike can cause fatigue to your legs. However, in general, you are more stable and comfortable when riding an e-bike since it has larger tyres that absorb shock well. Moreover, you are in a seated position while riding, which puts less strain on your body.
When it comes to size and portability, electric scooters win over electric bikes by a landslide. Although there are foldable e-bikes in the market, it is nothing compared to the compact size of an e-scooter when folded. E-scooters are also lighter than e-bikes, weighing around 11-22 kg. Meanwhile, e-bikes weigh around 17-31 kg. For daily commuters who need portable transport, then e-scooters are your best option.
Compared to when they entered the market, e-bikes and e-scooters are much more durable and reliable today. However, some companies that make e-bikes already have decades-long expertise in manufacturing bicycles. So, e-bike riders can have more confidence in the quality and durability of their ride.
On the other hand, most e-scooter manufacturers are fairly new, and the vehicle itself is still developing. So, more uncertainties surround electric scooters. However, many e-scooter companies are already developing premium and well-built e-scooters. So, as long as you choose the right manufacturer, then durability is not a problem.
If you need to bring items for every trip, then e-bikes offer more cargo space compared to an e-scooter. After all, riders can attach a basket in the front and back of an e-scooter. Meanwhile, you can only attach a basket in front of an e-scooter. Moreover, you can’t place larger or heavier objects in front of an e-scooter since the weight can affect your stability while riding. So, if you need storage space when riding, then e-bikes are a better choice.
This one is obvious. You get more exercise when riding an electric bike. Even if pedalling is easier with an e-bike, it still provides more physical activity to your legs compared to riding an e-scooter. However, if you want some physical activity with an e-scooter, it’s possible for you to manually kick your e-scooter. Just take note that some e-scooters don’t have a manual mode, so you won’t be able to use it when there’s no battery charge.
Both e-rides have their fair share of safety issues. There are more reports of accidents from e-scooter riders than e-bike riders. However, it’s important to note that these accidents rarely involve malfunctions from the vehicle. Rather, it’s mostly due to the rider’s recklessness. So, no e-ride is safe unless you ride it properly.
In general, electric scooters are more affordable than electric bikes. After all, budget electric scooters can cost around $300, while decent budget electric bikes cost at least $1,000. Some e-bikes sell for $600 to $900, but you will need to question quality when choosing from that price range. So, if you are looking for affordable mobile personal transport, electric scooters are the right fit.
One thing that’s holding some people back from using electric scooters is that it’s still not legal in most cities globally. In Australia, there are only limited cities where you can ride them. Moreover, guidelines are still unclear. However, electric bicycles can be ridden in public as long as they have a motor power of less than 200W.
Which Should You Ride?
Electric scooters and electric bikes have various pros and cons. Although electric bikes seem to have more good points, it all boils down to your needs and priorities. For example, if you prefer portability when commuting, then the e-scooter would be a better choice. Meanwhile, if you prioritise range, then e-bikes fit your needs.
Deciding between the two e-vehicles starts with knowing your purpose for buying them. Once you are clear with your needs, you can make a decision easily.