With the rise in pollution and traffic, many people are looking for a faster and eco-friendly way to commute daily, so here we are with this very interesting question: Electric bike vs Electric scooter, what is the best solution?
In recent years, there has been a lot of development in this field and the use of electric bikes and electric scooters has increased many folds. This trend started in Asian countries but now it is making its way towards North America. If you don’t know what these vehicles are, I will give you a brief description.
An e-bike looks like a traditional bike but it has a motor and sensors attached for a boost of speed, and while you do have to pedal the bike, the electric motor will assist in the process. An electric scooter is an upgraded version of a scooter, and it also has a motor attached. However, you don’t have to put in manual work and once the motor comes to life, all you have to do is press the throttle and the scooter will run on its own.
An e-bike or e-scooter will make your commute fun and they are much more cost-effective as compared to your car or public transport. This means that both of these are a great alternative to traditional means of transport. They allow you to relax on the commute, you don’t have to break a sweat like a traditional bike or scooter, and they are completely environment-friendly! Yes, your electric scooter or electric bike both are zero-emission, so that is a huge plus over many vehicles.
Now that we have discussed how great they portable electric vehicles are, you may be wondering what is the best choice for you. Scooters and e-bikes are similar in some aspects, yet some of their features are very different. An electric scooter is much lighter and portable so you can easily store it. An electric bike, on the other hand, is usually faster and rides for a longer distance. To help make the choice easier for you, I have compared all the main aspects of these two vehicles and if you more questions, you should read on!
1. Costs for electric bike vs electric scooter
Whenever you plan of buying a new vehicle, the cost is probably the first thing you will consider. I have broken down the cost into acquisition, electricity charges and annual maintenance to give you a clear idea.
An electric scooter can cost you anything between $100 to $1000 depending on the speed and power you are looking for. A $1000 scooter will have all the functions you could hope for, and a $100 scooter would be a toned down version that is probably best suited for your kids. Most people, however, want to have great functionality without spending a ton of money and they can have all that with scooters ranging between $300-$500. At this price, you will get a scooter with a powerful motor, good battery life, and great build quality. We recently reviewed the Xiaomi Mi Electric scooter, (you can read about this awesome scooter here) that retails for $399 and it has an amazing range of 18.6miles and a top speed of 15.5 mph which is superb.
An electric bike will almost always cost more, and they start at $500 but you can spend as much as $3500 depending on your needs. An e-bike that has a great battery, stellar performance, and reliable parts will retail for around $800. The Yiilove Electric Bicycle (Amazon link) is a great mid-range option and it delivers brilliant performance while costing only $625. While there is a variety of e-bikes you can choose depending on your budget, let’s get it straight that you will almost definitely pay more than you would for an e-scooter.
1.2 Electricity consumption
It would take approximately 0.5 KW for your e-scooter to charge from 0 to 100. This is not a significant amount of electricity and it would cost around 5 cents per charge.
The Xiaomi Mi electric scooter has a range of 18.6 miles, and if you charge it once every 2 days your yearly cost for electricity would be close to $10. Let’s be honest, you most likely spend more on coffee every week, so it’s a bargain. You also have the luxury to charge your scooter in many office places.
Electric bikes have bigger batteries; hence they consume more electricity per charge and the average is consumption is 2 KW. This makes a single charge cost more than an e-scooter, at approximately 20 cents. At first glance it looks like an e-bike would cost more for electricity charges per year, however, do keep in mind that since the batteries are bigger you don’t have to charge them as often, therefore the annual electricity cost won’t be much higher than electric scooters.
1.3 Annual Service costs
It costs next to nothing to maintain an e-scooter all year round. All it takes is a quick wipe to make the scooter look as good as new. However, you should pay close attention to the tires and top off the pressure if they get deflated. You may also need to replace a tire in case you get a flat tire while running over a boulder or rock. The bearings need frequent checks to make sure they are smooth.
An electric bike may cost you more on maintenance, as it has more parts that may malfunction. The chain and tires need special attention in weekly checks, and you also want to occasionally check the gear and brake cables. And as with an e-scooter, the tire pressure needs to be topped off every few weeks but they are most resistant to punctures.
The electric scooter is more suited for shorter commutes, while an electric bike can go a few extra miles and handle a longer ride per charge. An electric scooter has a range between 10 to 20 miles, depending on the money you have spent. The Xiaomi Mi Electric scooter could run for 18.6 miles on a single charge in the best conditions. Scooters are recommended if you have a commute of 5-6 miles, or if you want to ride to a bus station a few miles away and then take public transportation because you can easily take them with you on the bus. You do have the option to ride it like a regular kick scooter in the event that you run out of battery in the middle of the road, and it is a good backup plan in case of emergencies.
An electric bike can ride anywhere from between 25 to 70 miles, again depending on the cost and the capacity of the battery. The Yiilove Electric Bicycle takes around 5 hours to charge and you get a mileage of 28 miles out of a single charge. An electric bike is definitely the better choice if you have a commute of more than 10 miles and you don’t want to take public transport. It all depends on the money you have spent, and if you need more range you can get those for a higher price tag. Since e-bikes have pedal assist, they won’t consume a lot of battery on hills and mountains unlike a scooter, which suffers from a major battery drain while riding uphill.
3. Storage space Electric scooter vs Electric bike
How and where can you store a vehicle is a big issue, so I have given you an overview by comparing electric scooters with e-bikes.
It is evident when looking at the two vehicles that a scooter is compacter, so it is easy to find space for it in your home, office or under a bus seat. You can conveniently fit a scooter in the trunk of your car when going on trips, and they are much easier to carry. Many people who own these vehicles may use elevators on a regular basis. While it is possible to fit a scooter with you in an elevator, a bike simply can’t fit in on most elevators. This can be a problem if you don’t have a parking space on the ground floor and you plan on parking on higher floors.
Electric scooters are portable and light, and while this does have some advantages, it also makes them susceptible to theft and misuse. Even if you lock your scooter, it is easy to pick it up for anyone and you always need to be on alert while leaving the scooter unattended. A bike usually has a lock for when you have to leave it unattended, and its larger size gives some protection against theft.
You can buy your electric bike or scooter from Amazon:
3.3 Electric scooters vs foldable electric bike
In the debate between an electric scooter vs an electric bike, the scales always tip towards the scooter when comes to storage and portability. Scooters are smaller, you can fit them anywhere and even carry them around. A bike is much larger, and you need to designate a storage space before you buy it because it won’t fit everywhere. Moreover, most bikes are heavier and it isn’t possible to take them on the bus or elevators. However, a foldable electric bike makes things interesting by providing a solution to this problem. I want to briefly discuss how an e-scooter will compare to a folding bike when its biggest advantage is matched.
The SWAGTRON SwagCycle EB-5 Pro (Amazon link) is a folding bike, and it has a range of 15.5 miles with a top speed of 15 mph. The bike retails for $534, and for this price you get amazing specifications like a 250 W motor and adjustable height. One of the major reasons people opt for a scooter is their small size and how easy they are to carry around. But this bike gives you the advantages mentioned here, and on top of all the amazing features, the bike is much more portable than a tradition electric bike and when folded it can easily fit in elevators, your office or even the trunk of your car. And you get all the added benefits of an e-bike like higher comfort, stability, and exercise.
Most folding electric bikes weigh between 33 and 45 pounds, and the SWAGTRON SwagCycle EB-5 Pro weighs right in the middle with 37 pounds. As a comparison, the Xiaomi Mi electric scooter is lighter with 26.9 lbs. However, you can easily manage to carry both for short periods, and it is especially beneficial if you have to take them on public transportation with you.
4. Comfort and stability on the road
This is a category where we have to give the points to the e-bike. Even though riding a scooter is fun, you will be much more aware of all the irregularities and bumps on the road. Some scooters do come with a suspension system but it can only dampen the blow and you may experience some unsteadiness. You need to stand to ride an electric scooter, and after a while, you may start to feel strain in your legs due to the standing for a long period. When you pass a sudden bump on the road, it is so much easier to lose balance and fall, which may result in a serious injury. It is difficult to ride on rough terrains because the smaller wheels can puncture easily.
Electric bikes tend to be more stable on the road and the larger tires help buffer the shock from bumps and potholes. Due to the sitting posture, you are more likely to maintain balance on uneven surfaces and you experience a smoother ride. It is easier to spend longer periods on the e-bike due to increased stability and comfort on the road. The larger wheels have a greater gyroscopic effect, and riding on a bike feels more secure compared to a scooter and besides that, you are more visible to drivers.
5. Top speed Electric bike vs Electric scooter
There have been many advancements in the electric vehicle category, but sadly you can only get a limited output due to the speed limitations most state has applied. An e-scooter can attain speeds of up to 20 mph, but most states have a maximum speed limit of 15 mph on electric scooters. The manufacturers have to comply with the rules; therefore, you won’t find many electric scooters that are faster than this.
An electric bike can have a top speed of 25-30 mph technically speaking, and most have powerful motors as compared to a scooter. However, the legal speed limit for an electric bike is 25 mph, and in order to ride faster than this, you would need a motorbike license.
6. Exercise factor
A great reason to ditch your car for the daily commute is to get more exercise by walking or cycling to the office. An electric scooter doesn’t offer much in the exercise department because you only have to kick once to start it, and then the motor will do its work and you barely have to burn any calories.
An electric bike is a different story, and this is why many health-conscious people would prefer an e-bike over an e-scooter any day. Even though e-bikes have a motor to assist the ride, you have to keep pedaling to keep the motor running. This feature is called pedal assist, and the motor is simply there to boost speeds but you have to put in mechanical work when riding an e-bike. This is why riding an e-bike is a great form of exercise, and you will burn approximately 300 calories per hour. Amazing, isn’t it?
So in this battle, electric bike vs electric scooter, both are innovative ways of commuting and traveling around the city. You would reduce your carbon footprint by choosing either of these vehicles while saving money on gas and maintenance for your car. An electric scooter is a perfect option for those who have shorter commutes. It costs less than a bike to purchase and maintain, and it is much easier to store them anywhere. If you live in a populous city, the small frame of the scooter makes it easier to maneuver through traffic and tight spaces.
An e-bike is ideal to cover longer distances, and it offers more stability and security. You don’t have to charge your electric bike very often thanks to its larger battery, and the top speed is better. A huge plus point is the added exercise factor, and you will be burning calories as you ride which is fantastic if you can’t find the time to go to the gym every day.
In the end, you want to look at your specific requirements and choose the one that is best suited to your needs. With the great models available in the market, you won’t go wrong with either of these two.