Electric Scooter or Electric Bike?
What is the difference between an electric scooter and an electric bike? We look at the similarities and differences between the two single passenger electric vehicles.
The electric scooter and electric bike are becoming more popular these days as people are ditching their cars to use one or the other. Both are eco-friendly, carbon-low, and generally nicer to the environment than those pesky emission pumping machines. Yeah, I'm talking about your cars and vans. Tut tut.
As we turn a corner in our world where, hopefully, we're looking at a green future where electric vehicles such as the infamous Tesla become more and more common on our roads.
Let's deal with the elephant in the room. So one main difference between the electric scooter and electric bike is that one is legal to ride on the road, and the other is not. Well, not yet. private electric scooters are only allowed to be ridden on private land. We looked a when will green and clean electric scooters become legal to ride in public here. You can currently only ride an electric scooter on private land. There are currently scores of electric scooter hire trials such as in London and Liverpool. So when we talk about the differences, we'll talk about the ones you can hire. Hopefully, in the not to distant future, we'll be writing a blog about the new legal electric scooter laws.
So let's dive in and look at both the electric scooter and electric bike.
What is an Electric Scooter?
Well, like an electric bike, an electric scooter is a motorized scooter that is fitted with a motor to drive it along and a battery to give it power. Like bikes, they're green and eco-friendly. A lot of cities all over the world have taken on electric scooter hire schemes where you pay per mile. These schemes have become incredibly popular. A lot of people use them from students heading to Uni to the office worker heading to work.
Most of the time you stand up straight, standing on a deck as you ride along. They have different speed settings, usually about three. Slow, almost walking, cruising up to 20 Km/h and then 25 Km/h at full pace.
They usually can be integrated with an app, where you can lock them, track your data and distance, plus various other applications.
They come fitted with decent brakes, which allow them to stop safely and securely. A modern electric scooter example would be the popular Xiaomi Mi 3 Adult Electric Scooter, Unagi Model One E500 Electric Scooter or the AOVO PRO M365 Electric Scooter which landed this year. One of the most popular electric scooters on the market with all the modern features you'd expect from an e-scooter.
What is an Electric Bike?
Most electric bikes look like regular bicycles. Two wheels, frame, handlebars etc Sometimes the rider will be wearing odd or tight fitted clothing. These are serious cyclists. Don't feel obliged to wear the tight Lycra if you don't want to. The Fiido D4S and Ducati MG-20 are perfect examples of modern electric bikes.
So the main difference between an electric bike and a regular bike is that the electric bike has a motor and a battery to propel it along. They've become incredibly popular recently with people that don't normally ride buying them. They have three basic riding modes. You can fully pedal them, like a normal bike, have pedal assist, where you pedal but the motor works with you, and of course, fully Electric. This mode is where you don't have to pedal at all. And you can glide along dipping in and out of traffic.
People are buying them for lots of reasons. It's a great way to gradually get fitter, or for people that have health problems but still love the freedom of the bike. Sometimes it's just because office workers don't want to turn up to the office sweaty after a good pedalling on the daily commute. Whatever the reason, electric bikes are becoming popular as a form of green transport.
The size of the motor and battery determines how quick they go and how far they go. Some of them have a massive range, like the Fiido L3 which can go for 200 Km with a pedal-assist before it needs recharging.
A lot of them are folding which makes them ideal for the commute. Whether you're heading to the office, train station, or Gym, you can fold them down and carry them quite easily.
Some of them even have disc brakes. Because they tend to be heavier than a standard bike thanks to the battery and motor, you need a bit more to bring them to stop. Essentially though, they're a pedal bikes with a motor.
Suspension is common, making your daily commute comfortable and smooth.
Differences Between an Electric Scooter and Electric Bike
Ok, so let's look at the main differences between an Electric Scooter and an Electric Bike:
- The one that stands out between the two, is the fact you can pedal an Electric Bike. If the battery runs down or fails you can still pedal the bike to your destination. If the battery fails on a scooter off you pop and start pushing. This is one advantage that the electric bike has over an electric scooter.
- On the flip side, the electric scooter is more accessible for the general public. Not everyone likes or wants to ride a bike, electric or otherwise and the electric scooter has become a very credible alternative.
- You always sit on an Electric Bike when you're riding, which isn't for everyone. Whereas with the Electric Scooter, you can get both. So you have more choice.
- The wheels and tyres on an electric bike tend to be bigger, which makes going over bumps a lot smoother than an e-scooter. In saying that most E-Scooter tyres are solid rather than pneumatic, which means less wear and tear, and no punctures.
- Scooters all can fold down, where only some Electric Bikes can fold down. Making Electric Scooters easier to store and transport around.
- Electric Scooters have a lower weight distribution and are more balanced. The other side of this is that they don't have a larger ground clearance like an electric bike.
Which one is for you?
That is a good question. There are a lot of similarities between the two. Both have a battery and a motor, good brakes, and lights.
With an electric bike, the intention is there to at some point, for whatever reason, pedal it. Whether it's for getting fit or just the fun of the ride. So people tend to buy bikes so they can pedal at some point.
Electric Scooters tend to be used as a fun form of transport, and are more accessible for everyone. It's a way of getting about without having to invest in a car. With the hire schemes, you can still ride them along the roads and do your shopping. You tend to stand on a scooter which a lot of people prefer.
Whichever one is for you, you can rest assured that both the electric scooter and electric bike are fun to ride and offer a greener way to get about. So ditch the car!