Which is the Best Alternative Vehicle?
E-scooter vs e-bike: which comes out on top? Gadgets and gizmos can be quite scary for some, but for others, they are the “now” of life itself.
Moreover, when they make one’s life easier and more convenient, especially where commuting is concerned (or just for fun), they become a must-have commodity.
This is going to be a discourse about electric bikes, or e-bikes as they’re popularly known, and electric scooters. They come in a range of prices, sizes and colors, and efficiency ranges.
E-scooter Vs E-bike: Explained and Compared
Personal electric vehicles or PEVs, as they are colloquially called, are smaller vehicles that are rapid and very convenient for use around a city.
They are often used to travel the “last mile”: from one’s house to the train station, or vice-versa.
Some people swear by their efficacy for longer distances and recreational use too. These PEVs are quickly gathering momentum as vehicles of choice in many developed countries and developing ones. In North America, Europe, China, and Japan, they are common. In today’s world, where everyone is looking to create a more sustainable future, these are a blessing. They work on electricity, so there’s no fuel to speak of, and no pollution created.
These vehicles, of course, can only be used by one person, and some see this as a disadvantage. Vehicles that fall under the PEVs category are:
- Electric bikes
- Electric scooters
- Electric skateboards
- One-wheeled scooters
Here, only electric bicycles and electric scooters will be discussed.
Before going further, it is necessary to clarify exactly what we are talking about.
What, Exactly, is an Electric Bike?
Well, for the most part, everyone has ridden a bike in childhood.
An electric bike has the look and feel of an ordinary bicycle. It is, in fact, a conventional bicycle that runs on an engine.
The location of the engine depends on the bike model. It could be positioned on the rear hub, centrally, and more rarely, on the front hub. There are electric bicycles that come with the choice of having the accelerator or pedal control (or pedal assist – PAS).
The pedals are assisted, which means that you have to pedal to move and continue pedaling to ensure speed, but it is a relatively relaxed pushing movement.
The throttle control is just like in a conventional motorcycle, you just have to press the accelerator on the handle, and one is good to go!
In case of power depletion, you can always use the pedals (like a conventional bicycle) to reach your destination.
There are several models of electric bicycles to choose from. Some are equipped with batteries positioned in front or behind or integrated into the frame. There are also foldable e-bikes, bicycles made in a vintage style that are really elegant and fashionable. The cooler the appearance, the steeper is the price.
There are also hunting electric mountain bikes, very powerful, equipped with fat tires, with front or full suspension.
More powerful e-bikes are not allowed on the roads because they do not meet transport regulations. In some countries, a driving license is required, just like motorcycles.
E-bike prices can range from $1000 to a whopping $10,000. It all depends on the quality, the model, the characteristics, and of course, the brand.
What, Exactly, is an Electric Scooter?
There is some confusion while thinking about the word “scooter”. This is because, over the years, there have been several vehicles that have been called “scooters”.
The first version that comes to mind is what most children used to walk around on the sidewalks. Those memorable “first vehicles” that one had to propel by pushing it forward with one leg.
Today, these scooters are equipped with electric motors, to make life easy (and more fun). This type of scooter has become increasingly popular, used mainly by adults, thanks to their ease of use, and their low cost.
E-scooters are also the most portable around. A good purchase is usually foldable.
It must be taken into account that a scooter requires a certain balance in order to use it. It also requires you to believe in a second childhood and get into the spirit of things to use it!
A more advanced version of the scooter is also available today, with a comfortable saddle. This type of scooter is more expensive.
The electric scooter has proven very useful for commuting to work or school and takes up very little parking space.
While on the bus or train, it can be tucked away by your side. Again, something to think about when everyone is talking about reaching for sustainability.
Many cities in the world now also have facilities for sharing electric scooters.
As for the other types of electric vehicles, also called scooters or motor scooters, they have been around for years (like the Italian Vespa).
While they are born equipped with a gas-powered engine, they are now also available in electric versions.
These are the electric scooters that most people refer to for actual commuting and longer distances.
When they run with a limited speed of twenty-five miles per hour, they do not need licensing or any insurance.
Some are styled to look like motorbikes, and it is very difficult to understand the difference between a traditional motorcycle that runs on petrol and an electric one.
Also, even the most famous manufacturers of sports bikes have now started for several years to offer their customers beautiful and high-speed electric motorcycles.
Electric Scooter vs Electric Bike: Factors to Consider
Both electric scooters and electric bikes are an excellent solution for commuting, practical, and with low running costs.
The first big difference concerns the purchase price.
While the electric scooter can be purchased at an expense ranging from $150 to $500, the e-bike costs much more, with prices ranging from $1,000 to about $5,000, with high-end models touching almost $10,000.
We know, however, that as electric bikes are climbing the popularity charts, prices are set to drop, increasing the level of convenience.
From the safety point of view, the electric bike is safer, whether it is about stability or braking power.
Electric scooters (even those with rear shock absorbers) do not absorb road vibrations and impacts like a bicycle. Besides, the potholes are must be avoided because the risk of falling is high. With so many different bicycle models, vibrations and comfort vary greatly, however even with the stiffest bike, the ride is much smoother. Besides, bikes have saddles.
It is clear that scooters do not have baskets or other places to carry objects. The only way to carry something is to have a bag or even better a backpack. Instead, it’s fairly easy to equip a bike with a basket or use a rubber band to secure items on the rear rack (if any), or even use a trailer.
An electric bicycle will probably have a larger battery. Also, the pedal assistance helps to extend the duration of the charge. So, no questions, an electric bike will have a greater range than the scooter.
Considering the power, wheel size, and battery capacity, electric bikes are faster than scooters, although they are slower in acceleration.
E-scooters require very little maintenance. Bicycles must periodically replace brakes, tires, rims, and generally require greater attention to the various mechanical parts like chain and gears.
One of the most obvious differences is that with an electric bicycle, you can always exercise by pedaling, while with an electric scooter, you cannot.
Both vehicles are the same in this aspect. They are both viable and sustainable sources of transport since they have no negative effect on the environment. Both are on par with regards to noise: electric motors are notoriously very quiet.
What is the average range of an electric scooter?
Obviously, it depends on the battery type, the speed, the weight of the driver, the slope. Given these factors, you can travel between 5 and 25 miles.
How can I increase the mileage of my electric scooter?
- Avoid overload. Do not overfill the backpack.
- Keep the speed constant.
- Accelerate gradually.
- Maintain the recommended tire pressure.
How can I extend battery life?
To make the best use of the battery, it is recommended to regularly recharge the battery, even after using it for a short time. Avoid keeping it discharged for a long time. Is it mandatory to wear a helmet on an electric scooter?
It depends on local laws. However, nowadays, more and more people become aware that it is always better to use a helmet.
What are the disadvantages of electric bikes compared to scooters?
Complexity is one of the main differences: electric bicycles are built with many more parts of a scooter, so there is a greater chance that something will break.
Can electric scooters go uphill?
Yes, generally, they can go uphill. However, the range, which is normally not a lot, will be much shorter.
Bikes are very expensive, how come?
It must be remembered that a standard bicycle is not so cheap, a good model can easily cost $1,000. The cost of the battery and the electric motor significantly affect the price.
Will electric bikes become cheaper?
If sales increase, the answer is yes. However, even if they cost like a used car, the running cost of an e-bike is significantly lower.
Are 250 watts enough for an electric bike?
Although 250W is not a very high power by the standards of an ebike, it is certainly enough to move around the city for an entire day.
Can electric bikes be used in the rain?
Yes, electric bikes are generally resistant to rain. Many models are water-resistant, and the best models are also waterproof.
What is the range of electric bikes?
Standard electric bikes have a range of 100-120 miles on a single charge.
Can I convert my bike into an electric one?
Yes, there are many conversion kits available on the market. These kits fall into three main categories: mid-drive, rear, and front wheel.
The scooter has its advantages, such as the purchase price, but for essential factors such as comfort, range, safety, load carry, the bike is more convenient.
As always, it depends on the type of use.
For shorter trips and busy roads, it would be more appropriate to use a scooter.
Otherwise, an electric bicycle is always the best solution. Bikes can be used in the city, for long-distance roads, off-road paths, uphill, and downhill. In other words, the bike is better suited to different conditions of use.
In any case, have a good alternative transport!