Electric Bikes Vs. Electric Scooters: Which Is Right For You?
Getting places has never been easier, thanks to electric bikes and electric scooters. Still, deciding which is better suited to you can be difficult — especially when you don’t know the main differences between the two.
Sure, anyone can tell the differences between a standard scooter and bicycle, but when you add an electric motor/battery to the mix, things tend to get slightly more complicated.
Commuters around the world are turning to these personal electric vehicles to take them places — be it work or trips of leisure.
Beating rush hour traffic has never felt so good and so electric (unless you own an EV, that is).
Which you choose will more than likely come down to portability, or power, with electric bikes offering greater stamina.
That doesn’t mean e-scooters have nothing to offer either. After all, they’re a lot easier to store at home and take with you on the go.
Both have strengths/weaknesses — e-bikes and electric scooters also have a lot in common.
Sure, they have two wheels, but there’s more to these personal electric vehicles.
Trust in E4TP.
We’ll steer you in the right direction.
Electric scooters are a lot more nimble than e bikes
Which To Choose? Electric Bikes Or Electric Scooters?
Unfortunately, we can’t make that decision for you.
Besides, you should always form your own take — variety is the spice of life and all.
We do lean more on the side of electric bikes for how practical they are, but you might prefer the freedom that comes with owning an e-scooter.
Before we go any further, understand that electric scooters are technically illegal in countries like the UK. Some governments consider them motor vehicles and only allow rentals to roam streets and other public areas.
So, buy/ride at your own risk.
E-Scooters Or E-Bikes? Which Is More Powerful?
It goes without saying, as it’s a pretty obvious statement, but electric bikes tend to outperform even the best e-scooters from a power standpoint.
We say that because scooter manufacturers almost always try to limit the overall weight of the two-wheeler.
The lighter the ride, the easier it is to carry.
E-scooters are outfitted with a much smaller battery/motor for this very reason — this does limit range/speed, unfortunately.
Your average electric scooter will only travel up to 22mph, whereas a chunky electric mountain bike can probably go the distance, recording over 30mph.
With that said, speed isn’t as important as you think.
Think about it. Hitting the max speed on an electric personal vehicle like a bike or scooter is all situational. You would never go full pedal to the metal when you’re navigating roads, weaving in and out of cars.
Electric range is far more important when pitting e-scooters against electric bikes.
How far can an electric bike go?
Quite far, depending on inclines/weather conditions/weight of the rider and the amount of charge in the battery.
On average, an e-bike can go anywhere between 25 to 50 miles between charges. Then there are those capable of punching above the 100 miles total mark.
E-bikes outfitted with higher capacity batteries (the reason for extended range) are motorbikes in disguise and might require a licence to ride.
There are always exceptions to the rule when it comes to powerful e-scooters. For example, the Currus Panther, although expensive (£2,500), can travel up to 75 miles on a single charge.
Moreover, this Panther can hit speeds of up to 47mph.
A higher price tag will yield the best possible range/speed — a rule that applies to electric bikes and e-scooters.
Price Difference: Electric Bikes Vs. Electric Scooters
Lower-end e-bikes tend to cost the same as some of the best electric scooters out there.
However, there are some e-scooters out there — like the Zero 11X 72v — that peak at the £2,600 point, which, in our opinion, is quite expensive for a scooter.
We’d rather own the Boardman ADV, an electric bike made for outdoor adventures with a max range of up to 60 miles, needing around 3 hours to charge (priced around £2,600).
We’ve proven in the past that it’s possible to find an electric bike under £500 — although we like to think our offering of the best e-bikes under £2000 is more in line with the expectations of potential buyers.
Cost doesn’t have to reflect the initial price of the scooter/bike you like the look of either.
You need to consider how much it might cost to repair your personal electric vehicle if something should break.
E-bikes are a hell of a lot more expensive to fix — and perhaps, replace if stolen.
You’d be surprised at the number of electric bike thieves there are, which is why so many have opted for e-bike insurance or spent more money on a decent lock.
A cheaper option would be to look out for an electric bike conversion kit. Purchasing a Swytch Kit would mean you could turn your standard pedal bike into an electric machine without having to fork out a fortune on a new two-wheeler complete with all the bells and whistles.
Last we checked, a Swytch Kit will set you back ($394, AU$584 or €359).
We’d recommend you look at how much money you’d be willing to spend on an e-bike or e-scooter before you start your search for the right electric companion.
Make no mistake about it, e-scooters are a lot easier to transport, be it by hand or by boot, compared to electric bikes.
That being said, there is a market for heavy-duty, high-speed scooters out there — scooters that deliver some impressive stats, despite the ridiculously high price point.
E-bikes can be heavy, like really heavy. This makes them almost impossible to carry over long distances, made worse if they should ever run out of charge when outside.
You’d then need to pedal, which isn’t too bad, but it can be somewhat of a slog on some of the bulkier electric mountain bikes.
Powerful e-bikes that sport high capacity batteries/tech can be difficult to haul and even store in most cases. Anything under 50 lb — or 22 kgs — is considered light in the ever-expanding world of electric bicycles.
Folding e-bikes, on the other hand, are a lot easier to move around. In fact, these personal electric vehicles are known for a nifty build, with emphasis on portability.
You can actually take a folding electric bicycle with you on other forms of public transport.
Skill Level Matters, Always
Scooters are easier to ride than bikes.
That’s a fact.
And the same goes for electric versions of the same rides.
With scooters, you simply step on, turn the throttle and away you go.
Well, with some e-bikes, you need to generate momentum before the motor kicks in completely. This can take some getting used to as you will constantly switch between pedalling and letting the e-bike take control.
You’ll more than likely adapt to these changes over time. Still, we thought it was worth mentioning if you’re going to start picking favourites.
They say you never forget how to ride a bike, and we like to think that extends to electric bicycles too.
Let’s not forget, your skill level matters as it ties directly to your safety.
Safety Safety Safety
Electric scooters might be nimble, but they’re not as effective when it comes to riding over potholes or bits of debris.
If you are worried about this and live somewhere with rocky terrain, then a heavy-duty e-scooters could be your calling. Yes, they’re a lot heavier than most electric scooters, but they do have much better suspension and are durable as hell.
E-bikes are pretty durable themselves, only they aren’t as easy to get off of should you crash.
Bailing is a lot easier on a scooter than an e-bike, as all you do is step off — or roll to one side to minimise the damage to you and your two-wheeled steed.
However, in our experience, scooter riders rarely wear a helmet, which is obviously a red flag when it comes to the overall care some riders take.
Perhaps owners think an electric scooter is injury-proof, given how easy they are to operate.
If you’re one of these people, then you should avoid buying an electric personal vehicle altogether.
PSA: wear a helmet and take extra care with these motorised rides. There’s power in those wheels which only increases the likelihood of accidents if you’re not paying attention.
This is a universal rule, one that applies to electric bikes and electric scooters.
Transporting Cargo? Go With An E-Bike
There’s no doubt about it.
An e-bike should be your go-to personal electric vehicle if you’re looking for a glorified pack camel on wheels.
We joke, but you get what we mean.
Electric bicycles leave a lot more room for baskets, cages and more.
There’s a reason why deliveries in some cities are handled exclusively by electric bikes these days and not scooters.
If you want to go really heavy-duty, choose the Urban Arrow Shorty, this is a two-wheeler with a large bin/storage unit located on the front of the ride.
Even if your electric bike wasn’t designed for hauling items, it can be with a few adjustments/modifications, whereas a scooter tends to be limited by its basic design.
The closest you can get to matching this on an e-scooter is to wear a large backpack, which applies more pressure on you than anything else when you think about it.
Why Buy Electric Bikes/Scooters To Begin With?
Having doubts, or is the price of these personal electric vehicles putting you off?
Electric scooters have always offered the perfect alternative to its analogue counterpart — especially amongst adults.
Think about it. Outside of extreme sports competitions, when was the last time you saw an adult riding a regular bike?
We’ll answer that for you: none.
Cities establishing more cycle paths are giving e-scooters a new lane to thrive in. The same can be said of electric bikes, only they work well on established trails and roads — giving buyers more options in how they get to A from B.
Furthermore, some are that sick of public transport they’ll try anything to get to work. You know, people who don’t have a license or have the money to spend on a standard EV/combustion type.
Convenient is the word that instantly comes to mind when thinking of electric bikes and scooters.
With these two-wheelers, you can turn an hour-long walk to work into a 20-minute breeze. It’s true, certain conditions do make it impossible to ride them out in the open, but these situations come and go.
And then there are the hills…
Hills fear electric bikes/electric scooters for obvious reasons. The acceleration of these vehicles can take you to the top of the steepest hills out there (within reason).
You won’t be climbing Everest anytime soon, but your local town hill? Sure, no problem.
Just remember to follow the rules of the road if you’re coming off of paths/bike lanes.
Why Not Buy Both?
It’s a blunt statement and one that will only apply to a select few reading this…
But if you have the money lying around, why not buy both?
Picture it now.
You could use the e-scooter for leisure and bust out the electric bike for business trips or those that require you to cross countless terrain to reach your end destination. A Unagi Model One for recreational trips, and a RadRhino 6 Plus for mountain missions.
We know, these personal electric vehicles are expensive enough as is.
But it’s fun to dream, isn’t it?
Electric bikes are far greater at transporting cargo
Best Electric Bikes/Electric Scooters: Our Best Picks
To help you decide which is better, we’ve selected two of the best personal electric vehicles on the market right now — one e-bike and one electric scooter for your consideration.
Know that the personal electric vehicle market is teeming with options as it stands, so feel free to go off on your own in search of the right fit.
The two-wheelers we’re about to touch on are simply our picks.
Best Electric Bike: Specialized Turbo Vado
Ever heard of a super-light electric bike before? Well, you have now.
Meet the Specialized Turbo Vado, a hybrid e-bike that looks a lot like any standard bike, only it’s packing unbelievable electric power despite its lightweight appeal (40% lighter than your average e-bike).
It features a small custom motor with a 320Wh battery integrated into the frame directly — it’s partly the reason why it looks like a standard non-electric bike as most position the battery on the outside of the downtube or towards the rear, above the back wheel.
The Turbo Vado comes with flat handlebars as a hybrid electric bike, thus promising supreme manoeuvrability and agile steering.
There are 10 unique gears found on the Specialised Turbo Vado, allowing for smooth/slick gear changes on the fly, with no loss in reliability.
In case you needed more of a reason to buy this e-bike: users can control the front/rear lights via a Mission Control smartphone app.
Currently, you can pick up this hybrid e-bike for around £2,899.
Sounds too steep to pay off in one go? Most sites come with payment plans to help break the cost up a little.
E4TP Says: Multiple outlets rate the Specialized Turbo Vado, so we’re jumping on the bandwagon, but not for no reason at all. This is probably the best electric bike in the market at this moment in time. Better yet, it feels like the evolution of cycling in one unique package.
Best Electric Scooter: Xiaomi M365 Pro
Now here’s an electric scooter that should sound familiar, especially if you’ve been keeping up with our scooter insights.
The Xiaomi M365 Pro is the ultimate all-round scooter, and from a cost perspective, great value for money depending on how you use it.
With this e-scooter, you’re getting around 27 miles of range. It might not seem far, but any scooter that can take you over 20 miles is decent in E4TP’s book.
Charge-wise, the battery needs around five hours to be ride-ready.
The motor has been upgraded from previous versions to give it better climbing skills when it comes to hills (a 50W jump, from 250W to 300W).
Unfortunately, speed is limited to 15.5 mph, as is the case with most electric scooters due to laws in certain countries, as mentioned.
Like the e-bike above (Specialized Turbo Vado), this scooter comes with full app connectivity. From your smartphone, one can track your journey, adjust lights, and set alarms.
E4TP Says: What’s not to love? The Xiaomi M365 Pro has long-range, an app you’ll actually use/want to download, and it makes climbing hills look far too easy. Seriously, check out the Xiaomi M365 Pro for yourself and tell us what you think.
Which is better then, in your opinion? E bikes or scooters?
Electric Bikes Vs. Electric Scooters: Which is Right For You?
So, which side are you on?
Are you team electric bike or team electric scooter?
As mentioned earlier, we prefer electric bikes, as they do offer better range/speed. They’re also great at hauling cargo via luggage racks and other pockets.
E-scooters are cool and all.
We just don’t feel like they offer enough to compete with motorised bicycles.
Yeah, sure, you can ride to your local city centre and back — trekking up multiple hills in the process — but an electric bike can do that too. It can actually travel a lot further with unbelievable power.
Remember to research each electric personal vehicle thoroughly beforehand.
Reading reviews, watching videos, and making sure the two-wheeler you choose fits your own specifications will ensure you aren’t left disappointed at the end of the day.
Want more from E4TP? Check out our guide on bike locks.
Many use bike locks to saddle up their e scooters, so it’s a guide for all!
Electric Bikes Vs. Electric Scooters FAQs
Are electric scooters faster than bikes?
In some cases, yes, electric scooters are faster than e-bikes. Expensive powerhouses like the NanRobot D5+ can travel 43 mph. However, the SWIND EB-01 electric bike can reach speeds of up to 60 mph, leaving the NanRobot, and others completely in the dust.
What is safer electric bikes or scooters?
In our opinion, an electric bike is a lot safer than a scooter. Why? Because riders rarely wear helmets when operating an e-scooter, which, obviously, opens you up to many problems. Electric bikes are a lot more durable, too, covering you completely when riding over potholes.
What’s the difference between electric bikes and electric scooters?
Battery output and motor size differ. E-scooters are made to be light most of the time, thus making them portable — unless you’re looking at heavy-duty e-scooters which follow a different set of rules. E-bikes are decked out in better features, too, in our opinion.