In-depth Comparison: Electric Bikes vs. Electric Scooters

Slowly and gradually, there is a shift in the bike scene from conventional bikes to electric bikes. The rate at which electric bikes are gaining patronage in places like China and North America is pretty impressive. This is why the topic of electric bikes vs electric scooters is a very common one.

Related article: An In-depth Comparison: Electric Bike vs. Regular Bike

As a result of the way people are fast accepting the use of electric bikes, these bikes are becoming a widespread fixture. Consequently, their manufacturers keep on producing more and more models that are quite sophisticated. Many times, you see electric bikes around, and you will not even know they are e-bikes. This is because many of these e-bikes are just like the regular bikes you see on a daily basis. 

Notably, when it comes down to how well they transport you, both electric-bikes and electric scooters are a very comfortable means of transportation. In modern times, these two forms of bikes are starting to serve as transportation alternatives and are worthy of being used for a daily commute.

These bikes take pride in the fact that they can get you to your workplace without stress. Instead of making use of cars where you will sit without moving fast, people have started to make use of electric bikes and scooters which are very stress-free and versatile. 

Another reason why e-bikes and e-scooters are gaining ground is the fact they are comfortable for use by everybody. Even senior citizens can use them without any issues. Both of these two make it easier for old people with health issues to go about their businesses easily. This is something that would have been difficult if a standard conventional bike were to be used. 

What are we discussing in this post? We will engage in the analysis of both e-bikes and e-scooters. Also, we will compare e-bikes and e-scooters to determine which is better, and which is best to attend to your daily needs. However, before we delve into all of these, let us explore the definitions of some terms to get you started. 

Related article: The Best Electric Scooters and Bikes for You

 

E-bikes are not e-scooters

Often, when this topic has been engaged, there is confusion surrounding e-bikes and e-scooters. Although these are all 2-wheeled bikes, they are pretty different in the way you ride them, their legal requirements, mileage, and benefits. 

Electric bikes are 2 wheeled bikes and they are the only type that comes outfitted with functional pedals With these pedals, users are allowed to exercise while commuting. Although these bikes look more like conventional bikes, they have motors planted at different locations. For an e-bike, the motor can be located in one of three locations. We have the rear hub motor, centre hub motor, or front hub motor.

In recent times, the newer versions of e-bikes give you the opportunity of throttle control or pedal assistance. This significantly helps you with situations where you run out of power. If you happen to run out of power, you can easily pedal home without any big deal. However, a scooter does not have this pedal-assist feature. Let us take a quick look at pedal assistance and throttle control.

What do we mean by pedal assistance?

The feature of pedal assistance is one which helps bikers get a little more boost while pedalling. To get the bike started and to maintain speed, it is necessary to pedal. Electric bikes are bikes that need the use of a little physical effort. The amount of physical effort depends on the kind of e-bike that is used. 

What do we mean by throttle control?

The throttle control is simply like the one for conventional bikes. Just like your normal run-of-the-mill bike, you twist the throttle control from the handle to regulate your speed, and how you pedal. 

Related article: Tips for Electric Bike Beginner

 

Electric scooters

An electric scooter can simply be described as a plug-in electric vehicle which can have two or three wheels. These wheels are powered by an electric motor, and these scooters often resemble a motorcycle. The electricity which drives the electric scooter motors is often stored on board in a rechargeable battery. 

Scooters are largely throttle control only. Pedalling is not very important when it comes to these vehicles. In fact, the pedals that exist on it are simply more for regulation than for functioning. 

Using pedals on scooters does not afford any great experience. Even more, it makes one’s biking experience a little strained. As such, e-scooters are throttle-controlled only and do not require any form of pedalling to work optimally. 

 

E-bikes vs Electric scooters: Legal requirements

We shall now consider both electric-bikes and electric-scooters in terms of the legal requirements that pertain to their usage. Although, you should know that each state and municipality may have their legal requirements as to the use of an electric bike. 

Generally, an electric bike can go anywhere an ordinary bike can go. In fact, electric bikes do not require any registration, license or insurance. 

However, to kick-start your electric-bike journey, you may want to check with your local government to see if electric bikes are allowed.

On the other hand, e-scooters require a driver’s license and insurance in some provinces. For instance, in the USA, legal requirements as it involves license and insurance apply to mopeds. 

Bringing it down to Canada, there are equally certain provinces that have legal requirements before you can use an e-scooter or a moped. 

In Canada, there are different categories for electric bicycles and a separate one for limited speed motorcycles. In jurisdictions where this category exists, if you do not have pedals on your electric bikes as is the case with scooters, you would be needing a driver’s license. 

Related article: Remove speed limit: can you derestrict an electric bike?

 

E-bike vs Electric scooters: Which works best for commuting in Canada?

There are several factors determining which of these two will be best for commuting across different provinces. We will discuss these factors to help you decide on whether to use either electric bikes or electric scooters. 

Riding style 

When riding style is considered, there are certain differences that can equally be seen in the two vehicles.  The electric scooter design is referred to as a step-through frame, and this is one that requires no pedalling. More closely than electric bicycles, scooters resemble motorcycles, and they require licensing and registration in Canadian provinces. This is where e-bikes place ahead of scooters.

Unlike electric scooters, e-bikes do not necessarily need any registration to run. You can start enjoying your biking experience without any delay from authorities as to licensing and other legal requirements. They are better for commuting in Canada in this regard. 

Speed and operation

Mopeds are often allowed to travel on designated street lanes for bikes. However, they are not allowed to travel on park lanes and sidewalks in bicycle areas. On the other hand, an electric bike can travel both on bike lanes and park in bicycle areas. 

In fact, when properly configured as a mountain e-bike, an electric bike can travel conveniently off-road. This is something a moped cannot do because it is strictly designed for the streets of the city. Any alteration in such design will only reduce the quality of the experience. 

As regards speed, well, a moped is allowed to have a top speed of 30mph. On the other hand, with active pedalling and pedal-assist tech, an e-bike rider can go pretty faster.

In terms of operation, both electric bikes and electric scooters happen to run fundamentally the same way. Both of them simply run by twisting the throttle. 

Cost

First off, let us explore the reason why you should get an electric bike or an electric scooter. Before now, the widely used form of bike asides your conventional bike is one that is gas-powered. Electricity-run vehicles beat any of gas-powered or conventional bikes by all standards. 

When compared, electric bikes and electric scooters generally have a lower running cost than any gas=powered vehicle. You may not know, but a 5km ride, for instance, will cost just about 5 cents in electricity. But, when you relate this to the use of gas, it quickly runs up to about a dollar. 

Now that you know why you should get an electric vehicle, the question becomes which should you get. Generally, electric bikes are a little costlier than electric scooters. 

Although the range of the prices of electric bikes can start low, they can easily sky-rocket as their specifications increase. However, with the rate at which e-bikes are getting received and used, this price range is bound to reduce in a few years.

What more? The maintenance cost of an electric bike is pretty lower than that of electric scooters. This is because maintaining your e-bike is pretty more convenient than that of e-scooters.

Related article: How Much Does An E-bike Cost? What Affects Its Price?

Putting the law into consideration

Making use of an electric scooter comes with more problems than making use of electric bikes. With electric scooters, you are more likely to be having police problems than the reasonable use of an electric bike. 

This is because of the fact e-scooters are often profiled to break laws such as traffic signals, and speed requirements. This trend of the absence of disregard for the law will get the police interested in your use of an e-scooter.

Also, e-scooters are often put in the same class as motor vehicles, and with this come more responsibilities. When classed as motor vehicles, electric scooters are then required to have similar legal requirements as those who use cars. This includes registration, licenses, and insurance. 

These days, the speed of scooters is on the rise especially with the era of newer and powerful batteries. However, the issue of speed is always an area to be touched with carefulness. This is because speed can be easily adjusted either in an electric bike or an electric scooter. 

Notably, with more speed comes a regulation to ensure that it conforms to the provisions of the law. Simply put, top speed has to be governed to be in accordance with the local transport regulations. If you use an electric scooter, it might be difficult to confirm with government law where speed is concerned. 

The issue of safety

As regards the issue of safety, electric bikes can be argued to be safer than scooters. This is so because electric bike seats are higher. 

As such, you can easily have a very visible view of other vehicles and then maneuver your way quite well. This is not the case with electric scooters. 

Related article: Using an E-bike in Canada: Safety Tips and Precautions

The environmental impact

In a world where environmental organizations are constantly advocating for good environs, this is a key factor. Any technology, appliance or vehicle that does not respect the environment does not deserve patronage. Interestingly, however, both electric bikes and electric scooters perform well in this regard. 

Changing from being gas-powered to going electric was really a good initiative for scooters. Gas-powered products are known to give off fumes which are dangerous to the environment. As such, when these products are not properly managed, it gets worse.

We, however, rank electric bikes a little higher than electric scooters here. This is because, with the pedal assist, electric bikes give users additional coverage, and reduces the dependence on the battery. Scooters, on the other hand, do not require physical exercise, and they rely entirely on battery life.

Related article: Owning an E-Bike: Joining the Green Revolution in Toronto

Convenience and ease of use

Actually, both have their strengths and weaknesses depending on where you live and how much you make use of them. The good thing about them being electric is that you do not have to visit the gas station. Although charging may take time, it is all you have to do for these electric vehicles. 

However, electric bike place higher than electric scooter yet again. This is because, even with a dead battery, you can always ride your electric bike to your destination by active pedalling. But, when an electric scooter dies, you will be stuck, as there is no active pedalling. 

 

E-bikes vs electric scooters: Which will last longer than the other?

The electric bike will most likely last longer than the electric scooter. This is because the parts of an electric bike can be easily changed when needed. However, with an electric scooter, it is pretty difficult. 

 

Summary 

On the topic of electric bikes v electric scooters, which is better? Well, as seen across the parameters discussed, the e-bike proves to be better for use than the electric scooter. 

The convenience and usability that comes with electric bikes place it ahead in this game of comparison. With the above, we hope this guide has been helpful in comparing electric bikes vs electric scooters. If you need more help, contact us today.

Related article: Best Place to Buy Electric Scooters

1 reply
  1. Sarah Matheson
    Sarah Matheson says:

    Good job writing this comparison article.

    I don’t know the regulations in other states or Canada, but in NYC electric bikes and electric scooters have been banned since April 2019. I don’t know if it’s a law they pass to enforce later, but I see them everywhere in Brooklyn.

    As electric scooters and bikes get faster & more affordable, will cities actively ban them? Will it eventually be illegal to buy them?

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