Is an electric bicycle better than a scooter or a moped? How to choose between them, and which one is more expensive?
A bicycle is one of those means for daily commuting that is a step above walking but below the comfort level of a car. This kind of vehicle also serves as an excellent chance to exercise, and a way to enjoy the fresh air on a sunny day.
Today we’ve got so many types and brands of modern transport that we’ve lost count. The most common are ride-on toy bikes, fat bikes, triathlon bikes, ebikes, tandems, fitness bikes, mopeds, and mountain bikes, to mention a few. As a result, it can be complicated to decide which kind is a proper fit for your needs. For example, it’s not uncommon to see people riding mountain bicycles on busy streets, and it makes you wonder if they are aware of its intended use. So we are going to shed some light on the misconceptions about the electric bike vs moped dilemma.
What is an Electric Bike?
Electric bikes offer the coolest and most versatile features amid vehicles with two tires. Examples of smart ebikes include the folding electric bicycle and the electric mountain bike. Given the transformation of two-wheelers and the extension of battery power in recent times, it can be hard to determine what a bicycle is. An ebike can be defined as a light-weighted open vehicle with a motor that uses electricity and gives power when you start pedaling.
The distinguishing feature between electrical-motor bikes and this type of vehicle is the fact that ebikes weigh less, and they can be pedaled. Many kinds of two-wheelers exist, ranging from those with smaller motors to more powerful electric motors speeding up to 30 miles per hour and beyond. Bicycles are usually glossed over by the laws regarding the use of vehicles with two tires if the top speed limit doesn’t exceed 20 miles per hour.
In countries like Germany, it’s quickly replacing the standard motorbikes on the city streets. And these machines are constrained by paved streets because they break if you go off-road, although they do have full suspension. It’s also gaining momentum in China and is quickly replacing smaller motorcycles and gasoline mopeds. Who knew the bike could gain such popularity? Also, it’s becoming a trend in London and other major cities around the world. As newer and more efficient means of personal transportation are being introduced, the bike industry will only keep growing. It’s no surprise people prefer electric vehicles over the conventional ones. Even though the latter has been around for much longer, the electric bike sales are skyrocketing.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Electrical Bike
As electrical bicycles are gaining popularity, more and more people start exploring all the ins and outs of the vehicle. Without a doubt, it’ll cost a few dollars more than an ordinary bicycle, which is something to consider before taking action. But that’s not the only thing to keep in mind because there are a few fairly high costs and factors to contemplate before you buy personal electric vehicles like these.
One significant benefit is that you can get to your destination within minutes with an electric bike because it can go faster than a regular bike, and it doesn’t require a license. That’s because e-bicycles fall under a different set of laws. Although you normally wouldn’t have to register your bicycle, if it can go faster than 20 mph, you’ll have to do it.
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This is one of the most beneficial things about using an electrical bicycle because, unlike cars or motor vehicles, you don’t have to attend a driving school or take a driving exam before riding one. However, if you don’t know how to use an ebike, you might want to learn it before making a purchase. This is a big plus for the ebike in this “moped vs electric bike” battle.
- Insurance. Having insurance is always a great idea; however, it’s not mandatory to insure your new electric bike if you can’t afford it. But you might want to protect yourself against theft, which occurs a lot with ebikes. They are much easier to steal if you don’t get a proper chain or forget to take your removable battery with you. And, there are much harder to find if stolen because you don’t register them.
- Safety gear. The average ebike does not require any safety gear like helmets, so you can hop on your ride without a care in the world. However, if it’s equipped with a high-power engine that can reach over twenty miles per hour, then it would be smart to get some protection for your own good, even the conventional bike can be dangerous.
- Parking. Although biking parking lots aren’t that common like car parking, most advanced countries do have such facilities to keep your vehicle safe. And it barely costs a penny. Compactness is where ebikes really shine if considered under the “electric bike vs moped” debate. There are many foldable models that can fit car trunks, public transport, and crammed apartments with ease. One more point to ebikes.
- Fuel. As you get from the name, an ebike is powered by electricity, and it usually costs between $0.03 and $0.05 on average to get it fully charged. The average battery life will last you for about 20 to 40 miles. It also runs on batteries, which cost about 600 dollars per year to buy. The price of the accumulators is one of the obvious expenses not in play when it comes to a traditional bike, but it’s worth it unless you cannot afford it.
- Maintenance. Like any machinery, these two-wheelers require day to day maintenance to keep things safe and functional. This does have a silver lining — with an average expense of $75 per year — it clearly doesn’t cost much. Now, look up the gas prices in your country or state to decide who the winner of the ebike vs moped battle is.
What Is a Moped?
“Mo” for motor and “ped” for pedals, it’s a motorized vehicle, and it can also be pedaled. Oftentimes people mistake mopeds with scooters because of structural similarities. If so, what’s the best and most accurate description of this vehicle?
It can be described as a relatively lightweight open vehicle with an engine and pedals, but without a platform for feet. Except for an electrical one, a typical moped is not powered by electricity, which is a major difference between these vehicles. Another distinction between the two is that a moped tends to have a bigger engine than an e-bike. Pedals are the most significant feature that separates the motorized vehicle we are describing from others. So if you enjoy this type of a two-wheeler, then here are some things to consider before buying one.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Moped
Just like an electrical bike, a moped also comes with advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you look at it.
- Registration. You are required by law to register your moped before you go anywhere on it. The cost for this will vary by state or country. On average, it costs between $100 to $150 a year to have a Californian and New York city DMV register your vehicle.
- Driving School. While some consider driving school a necessity, others don’t, although nobody’s arguing that it can be beneficial. For instance, in New York City, you cannot ride a moped on a sidewalk instead of bike lanes, and you might not know this if you haven’t attended a driving school. Regardless of your opinions, only class M2 drivers can operate a moped. So you’ll have to apply for it, and this costs about $28 on average, and then pass a test before getting the license, which is already more complicated than getting an electric bike. Also, you’ll have to obtain a motorcycle license if your moped’s engine is bigger than 50cc.
- Insurance. It looks like a hassle, but it’s never a bad idea to get your vehicle insured. It can be a safeguard against mishaps, especially if your moped’s engine is bigger than 50cc. On average, the prices from what we gather for insuring your vehicle range between $100 and $500 a year.
- Safety gear. In contrast to ebikes, one of the legal requirements is to wear a helmet when riding mopeds of any type. A moped can usually reach a higher speed than an ebike, so it’s only logical to be protected better against accidents.
- Maintenance. Sadly, gas-fueled vehicles are more prone to breaking down than the electrical ones. Clearly, a moped is probably going to be repaired more times than an electric bike. That, of course, depends on the manufacturer, the initial condition of the vehicle when you buy it, the way you drive, the weather conditions of the area you will be using the thing, and a couple more things.
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Electric Bike Vs. Moped, Which One Should You Choose?
Both vehicles are worth being considered, so it all comes down to your preference and the reason for purchase. For instance, you might not want to experience all the hassle of getting insurance or a license. In that case, your best option would be to choose an electric bike instead of a moped when it comes down to these two.
Robert Hall – a professional trainer with 6 years of experience.
I specialized in cardio cycling and indoor cycling
Have a NASM Certified Personal Trainer and holds a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology from Michigan State University.