Electric Bikes vs Electric Scooters – Which One is Better?

By Chris Wilson

October 6, 2020


Personal electric vehicles, particularly electric bikes and electric scooters, are increasingly becoming practical alternatives to traditional transportation forms.

These PEV's are more powerful, affordable, and convenient, especially when snaking your way through the crowded cities.

There are plenty of options available in the market for electric transport. If you have just entered the electric mobility world or are planning to step in, then you might be wondering what will be the best fit for you to get around.

Both (electric scooters) and electric bikes come with their own benefits and drawbacks. An electric bike is a pedal-assisted two-wheeled vehicle having an electric motor that helps in propelling the bike for a lazy ride. You might go on a pedal-assisted or completely electric mode to commute around the town.

On the other hand, an electric scooter is a two-wheeled vehicle that comes with a handlebar and is packed with an electric motor. The motor is self-propelled, which can take you on a fun ride after the initial kick-off. Some e-scooters also come with a seat so that you can enjoy the ride completely.

Fundamental Difference: Technical Approach

Electric scooters were manufactured for daily commuting, keeping in mind the needs of traveling to a shorter distance like commuting to the nearby bus stop to catch a bus for your college or office. As compared to this, electric bikes are ideal for covering long distances as these are indisputably speedier than most of the electric scooters.

Electric scooters are ideal for a ride across the town on smooth and even streets; electric bikes are suitable for a large variety of terrains. You can go on an uneven and bumpy road without feeling squeaky as the wider tires and shock-absorption features incorporated to give a buttery ride.  

While sitting on a saddle can be more convenient, it needs your input to push the bike as e-bikes are paddle assisted and don’t wholly operate on the electric motors. Yes, you have read it right. It would help if you paddled an e-bike to get going. Thus, it is a perfect commuting option for those who want to save the environment while staying healthy. It needs way fewer efforts than traditional bikes, and the ride might not be fully sweat-free.

As electric bikes come with saddles, moving on potholes while sitting on a saddle can reduce the chances of collision as compared to that of e-scooters.

Unlike electric bikes, e-scooters need a kick to start the motor, and then you are good to go. But what if the battery runs out of charge? You can pedal an electric bike even if it is out of battery, but pushing an e-bike can be cumbersome as these are much heavier than conventional bikes and e-scooters.  


But when it comes to spending your hard-earned money, you might be asking between two which form of electrified two-wheel is best for you.

What do you choose between an electric bike and an electric scooter?

For many, deciding between either isn’t a hard call.

Need something that will fit in your car’s trunk, without breaking the bank? Get an electric scooter. Need something that will keep you fit? Go for an electric bike.

However, if you're not dead-set on either, choosing between the two can feel intimidating.

But you don't need to beat about it because, we shall compare the electric bikes and electric scooters. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll be able to decide which option is best for you.

What Is The Difference Between E-bikes And E-Scooters

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What Is The Difference Between E-bikes And E-Scooters

We won't get into the details of each model; instead, we shall jump straight onto what each model offers.

We shall compare their strength, usage, purpose, and flaws of each.

Portability

For the most part, portability is pretty obvious; the average electric scooter is smaller, compact, and lighter than the average e-bike.

So, if you need a PEV that you easily stash in your car’s trunk, a subway seat, or even accompany it with you anywhere you go, an electric scooter would be the perfect option.

However, understand this isn’t a universal rule.

We’ve some heavy-duty electric scooters, some weighing over 100 pounds. Likewise, we’ve some lightweight and foldable e-bikes that assuage portability issues. But this is normally for exceptional cases.

Comfort

Sure, riding electric scooters is fun, but you’ll be much more aware of the irregularities on the road. Furthermore, standing for long on your electric scooter can fatigue your legs.

On the other hand, e-bikes come with handy suspension systems and large tires that will easily absorb the shocks on the road for a comfortable ride.

The increased stability and comfort will allow e-bike users to spend more time on the road without feeling fatigued.

Speed

Generally, electric bikes have more powerful motors than electric scooters, thus their speeds are comparatively higher.

On average, electric scooters have an average speed of 15 mph, while an average e-bike can top 25-30 mph.

However, we also need to consider the speed limit laws. For instance, in most states, e-scooters are prohibited from going over 15 mph, so manufacturers need to comply with the rules.

Range

Generally, e-bikes have bigger batteries than e-scooters, so you should expect to rack up more miles with an e-bike than on an e-scooter.

Price

E-scooters are, as a whole, more affordable than e-bikes.

Of course, there're some pricey e-scooters, but generally, the entry-level barriers for the e-scooters are much lower.

Work-out

This is a no brainer.

E-bikes are the perfect way to keep your body fit. They provide resistance, letting you expend more energy than you would on an e-scooter.

Utility

There’s no shortage of utility e-bikes in the market. For instance, cargo e-bikes offer the perfect way for you to move heavy cargo with ease and convenience.

Which one is better for you?

The word “best” is quite subjective, and which one will be a better option among these two choices solely depends upon your needs and requirements.

If you need to cover longer distances and want a micro-mobility option with you, then electric bikes may be a good choice. While if you want something to reach the nearby stop and vice versa, then electric scooters are a portable and handy option.  

For the ones who need a quicker commuting option, electric bikes come handy as these are way faster than electric scooters. But for the ones who don’t want to get sweaty along their way by paddling, the electric bike should consider buying an electric scooter as it doesn’t need any input from you.

Electric scooters have less battery timing as compared to e-bikes, and the wider tires of e-bikes can take you for a bump-free and smooth ride. While standing on an e-scooter, you will be feeling every tiny bump of the road and might collide if a hurdle comes your way.

For a comfortable ride, electric bikes are way better than electric scooters as the tires are much wider, and the saddle has a shock-absorbing pad to cancel out the effects of bumps and potholes.

Are Electric Scooters Safer Than E-Bikes?

For the most part, electric bikes seem to be the obvious choice when it comes to safety.

First, e-bikes have comparatively larger tires. On average, e-scooters have anywhere from 6 to 8 inches tires, while the average e-bike has 25 inches tires.

On rugged terrain, e-scooters will require extra force to overcome an obstacle, meaning you’re likely to feel more jolt.

In an unexpected pothole, the likelihood of you falling on an e-scooter is much higher than on an e-bike.

Secondly, a recent Portland Pilot Study indicates that electric scooter riders are 10% less likely to wear a helmet than their e-bikes counterparts, thus exposing them to greater safety risks.

Generally, e-bikes are considered more “safer” than e-scooters in more than one way.

However, the term is relative and will depend on your riding, riding condition, environment, skill, and level of precaution.

Are Electric Scooters Faster Than E-bikes?

On the whole, electric scooters are slower than e-bikes.

That said, it’s not an easy win for e-bikes because e-bikes are heavily regulated than electric scooters.

For instance, in the US, most states limit e-bikes to 20 mph. In the UK, e-bike speeds are limited to 15.5 mph.

So, yes, the answer on whether one is faster than the other is more complicated than it seems, considering you’ve to take a legal angle.

Benefit Of Electric Scooter Vs. Pedal-Assist Bike

So far, electric bikes seem to have the upper hand, but it’s not always the case- electric scooters also have their strong points.

First, electric scooters are more portable than pedal-assist bikes. The electric scooters are by far lighter and compact. Additionally, most of them are foldable, so portability should be the least of your concerns with the electric scooters.

Price is yet another of their strong points. Unlike electric bikes, electric scooters are affordably priced and inexpensive PEVs. They might appeal to those on a budget.

Another benefit of electric scooters is the ease of riding. Learning how to ride an electric scooter is quite easy, and doesn't have a steep learning curve as an electric bike. The lack of pedals on electric scooters certainly simplifies the process for new riders.

Most importantly, electric scooters are convenient because they offer a hassle-free way to commute during busy periods. The smaller and compact stature makes it easier for riders to maneuver through traffic, other vehicles, and even change lanes.

Electric Scooter Or E-bike For Commuting

This is quite a subjective aspect; the idealness of either model will depend on the terrain, distance, and purpose.

For instance, if you need to cover a short distance, say, visiting the grocery, or for a casual stroll, an electric scooter could make the perfect option.

Generally, e-scooters are great when you need to cover short distances and on paved roads.

On the other hand, if you need to rack up more miles and handle rugged terrain, an e-bike is an inspiring option.

An e-bike would also be the perfect option for those who need to carry a load with them. Utility e-bikes offer a convenient and straightforward way to carry extra weight without fatiguing you.

Are Electric Scooters Hard To Ride?

No, electric scooters are easy to ride, even for the beginners.

The ease of riding on an electric scooter is primarily due to a rider's position during a ride.

First, electric scooters require you to use an upright position to ride, which is natural for human beings, and brings a sense of safety.

Secondly, the proximity to the ground ensures you don’t feel anything out of the ordinary while riding an electric scooter. It also instills a sense of security, knowing that you can easily get off the e-scooter in case of a fall down.

More importantly, engaging the accelerator on an electric scooter is easy, meaning it's easy to make it move while maintaining balance.

Can You Ride An Electric Scooter On The Street?

Unfortunately, it's not a yes/no answer because electric scooters are a relatively new form of transport, and the current legislation may or may not apply.

The best thing is to check with your local laws, and from here, it's easier to know whether riding your e-scooter is permitted in your state.

Conclusion

Both electric scooters and electric bikes have their own pros and cons. Some people like to ride electric bikes to keep themselves fit while others enjoy a handy ride of the scooter.

A few people don’t feel comfortable while standing on the electric scooter, and some people might not be a fan of the electric bike’s saddles. No matter which electric mobility option you choose, make sure you are investing your hard-earned money on the right product. 

 

Chris Wilson

About the author

Chris Wilson, long time fan of personal electric transportation. Chris is not easily impressed when it comes to the latest technologies, however, when he is, nothing can stop him from wanting to share his knowledge with our readers here at ElectricRideLab.com

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