As people strive to save time and avoid the hassle of rush hour subway rides, traffic jams, and parking searches, personal mobility vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. The electric scooter and electric bicycle are taking over traditional bicycles, and if you’re unsure which one is right for you, this article will provide you with a list of pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.
When it comes to personal mobility vehicles, the engine is the key component that drives the vehicle. A suitable motor for these types of transportation is one that has a power output of at least 250 W. Electric scooters typically come with motors that exceed this value, while electric bicycles can easily handle higher power outputs. A less powerful motor will result in a lighter vehicle, making electric scooters a good option. However, if you have a higher weight, an electric bike with a more powerful motor might be a better choice.
Both electric scooters and electric bicycles are subject to the same maximum speed limit of 25 km/h in urban areas, as per legal regulations.
If you opt for an electric scooter, you will find that the maximum speed is already set by the manufacturer and cannot exceed the 25 km/h limit. On the other hand, electric bicycles offer pedaling assistance up to 25 km/h, after which you can continue pedaling to reach a higher speed without the help of the motor. Some electric bicycles, especially mountain bikes, are designed to handle higher speeds, so they offer pedaling assistance at a higher speed than 25 km/h.
When it comes to battery life, electric bicycles clearly have an advantage. Urban, folding electric bicycles designed for daily city use can easily reach 45 km or more, while mountain bikes can travel between 100 and 150 km.
However, electric scooters typically have a shorter battery life, with most models offering an autonomy of over 25 km.
It’s important to consider the type of trips you’ll be taking when choosing between an electric scooter and an electric bicycle. Will you use it for your daily commute from home to work and back, or will you travel further afield, such as to the other side of the city or for weekend trips in the countryside?
It’s also worth noting that electric bicycles have larger batteries, which means they’ll weigh more and take longer to charge. Some models may offer the option of carrying spare batteries for extended trips, but you’ll need to take these extra batteries with you.
Electric scooters are much easier to store, transport, and carry around compared to electric bicycles. You can easily bring an electric scooter on your back, on public transportation, or even inside your home, office, or restaurant, eliminating the need to park it on the street.
The weight of an electric scooter is usually around 12 kg, while electric bicycles typically weigh more, exceeding 20 kg.
If you plan to travel on bike paths, the differences between electric scooters and bicycles may not be a major concern, as bike paths are typically smooth, with few obstacles and curbs.
However, electric bicycles offer better damping and suspension, thanks in part to their larger wheels, making them suitable for use on dirt roads and other surfaces besides asphalt.
Additionally, electric bicycles have more space for carrying weight, such as with a basket, panniers, or a rear luggage rack. With an electric scooter, you would need to carry everything in a backpack on your back, though there are specific scooter bags available, which are typically smaller.
It’s also worth considering that with an electric bicycle, you’ll get a bit of exercise since you have to pedal for the motor to work, whereas with an electric scooter, you don’t have to move a muscle. So, you may arrive at your destination a little sweatier with the bicycle, but it could be a good way to get some exercise.
When it comes to maintenance, electric scooters are more straightforward, as they have fewer components, including the battery, wheels, motor, and a few others.
However, with electric bicycles, you’ll need to keep in mind the gear shift, chain, frame, etc., which may require more technical knowledge or assistance to maintain.
In general, electric scooters tend to be more affordable. You can find a mid-range electric scooter for anywhere between $300 to $500, while a basic electric bike is typically priced around $600.
If you are looking to make short trips around your city and have the storage space for it, then an electric scooter may be the better option for you. However, if you weigh more or plan to travel longer distances both in and out of the city, an electric bike may be a better fit.