Battle of the Two Wheel Vehicles: Electric Bike VS Electric Scooter

Posted by Kenneth Poon on

Way back in 2002, electric and gas scooters were trending. Adults and school age children alike were using these to get around.

Come 2016, gas  and electric scooters were more a things of the past. Due to the changing and progressing technology, new products like Segways, and the newer balance electric scooters were taking over.

Aside from electric scooters, more and more people are trading in their road bikes and electric scooters for more modern hybrid electric bikes. Electric bikes, which are also popularly known as e-bikes, are taking the e-vehicle industry by storm. Due to the flexibility they offer commuters, more and more riders are trying them out.


Which electric two-wheel vehicle is better?


Let us define both vehicles first.

An electric scooter looks more like a traditional 2 wheel scooter except most now are battery powered. Compared with electric bikes, electric scooters have smaller wheels. They are designed to twist and go. If you need to turn left or to turn right, you just need to turn the throttle.

Electric scooters, as same as e-bikes, have pedals too. However, these pedals are for emergency use only. If you will be using it on regular basis, you will soon find out that they are lousy bicycles to use.

A lot of e-scooters have waterproof storage under their seats. This storage is lockable. Other than attaching another basket in front of your two-wheel electric drive, you can just use this storage to put your important stuff. A lot of electric scooters also have built-in immobiliser and alarm to prevent theft.

The electric bicycle, on the other hand, is based on the style and appearance of the traditional bicycle. However, this time, the e-bike has a battery pack, an electric hub motor on both wheels (there are times that you can also see it in the rear or front wheels only), as well as a controller.

As same as the e-scooter, the e-bike also functions as the traditional bike. You may use the pedals that it has to move forward, even if you are not using the battery power. If you want to exercise and move your tired and sleeping muscles, you just need to turn off the power of the batteries and pedal all you want.

E-bikes do not have storages in them. If you want to have a place to put your things, you would need to carry your own backpack. If you do not want to carry one, you may also attach saddle bags, storage devices or bungee cords in the rear carrier part of your bike. 


So how will you choose between an e-bike and an e-scooter?


What are the pros and cons of the e-bike and the e-scooter? Are there really big differences between the two?


Pros of Electrical Scooters

  • Have very low seat height
  • Will provide you protection from wind and rain
  • Although subject to wattage and speed, e-scooters do not require an insurance or license
  • Allowed on commuter trails and bike lanes
  • Electric scooters have a built-in steering lock and alarm system saving it from possible theft
  • Simple driving operation: Just "twist and go"
  • Electric bikes are making cycling fun. It not only assists you in pedaling, it is also great for people with disability, older people, and those who are injured especially if they are carrying things that are heavy or if they are going uphill.
  • For additional lockable storage, a lot of e-scooters have a rear cargo box
  • With waterproof and lockable storage under the seat


Pros of Electrical Bicycles

  • Easy to operate since they are with the same concept as their traditional grandfathers
  • Big manufacturers such as Magura and Shimano are making high-quality gears and breaks for the e-bikes
  • Parts can be purchased at most bicycle stores
  • Although subject to wattage and speed, e-bikes do not require an insurance or license
  • Allowed on commuter trails and bike lanes
  • Ease of replacement and service parts
  • With large tires that are good to drive at even on rough surfaces and trails

If you will look closely, the advantages between electrical bicycles and electrical scooters are just the same. However, what will the result be if we will compare them to each other?


Electric Bikes VS Electric Scooters


Full-sized e-scooters are heavier than e-bikes and typically made for riding on the road with cars. However, both of them are performing with the same speed and range in some cases. The additional frame and plastic panels in the e-scooters are to ensure better dynamics and safety for the user.

E-bikes such as an electrical mountain bike has bigger wheels and weighs less even if you will compare it with the smallest e-scooter available. 

Electrical scooters have built-in horns and lights; unlike the electrical bicycles which will require you to install or add them if you want to.

With only half stored energy in its battery pack, an e-bike can be used with the same range and speed as a fully charged e-scooter.

If your scooter's tire suddenly blowout, it can be more dangerous as an electrical bike. This is because the ebike's wheel is smaller in size. The bigger the wheel's diameter, the larger the impact it has.

Scooters have more storage space compared with a full-size bicycle. Electric bikes cost half of an e-scooter.

If you are having worries purchasing a brand new e-bike because you just purchased an ordinary bike recently, you can purchase electric bike conversion kits to convert them into an e-bike. These electric bike kits can be purchased even at a regular bicycle shop. E-scooters, on the other hand, do not have conversion kits available in the market.


Which should I purchase: A ready built one or a conversion kit?


One thing which will surely catch your attention is the prices of these two products: They are ranging depending on the design and the product that you want. Although there are a lot of people who are buying the conversion kits instead. If it is your first time to purchase one, you might be confused on which on to purchase for yourself. Is there a difference between the two?

Definitely, there is! The cost of a high-end electric bike conversion kit is the same as a high-end e-bike. 

With a pre-built e-bike, you already have everything you need - there is no need to do any customization (unless you want to change the appearance of your e-bike or you want to put add-ons to enhance it) anymore. The electric system of the bike is already integrated and installed. On the other hand, with the electric bike kit, you would need to supply the bike to be used, purchase the conversion kit, go to your local bike store and have them install and integrate the conversion kit (or you can also do it yourself if you know).

If you do not need the things that the electric bike conversion kit offers, it is more cost-effective to purchase the ready-built one.


The Big Question: To Go Electric or To Go Traditional Gas?


If you are looking to add some extra power to your bike, going electric is a great option. There are a lot of great electric bikes and electric scooters available in the market. Installing a conversion kit is a great option too. However, the big question now is: Should I go electric or should I go gas? What are the advantages and disadvantages of purchasing one? 


Electricity Powered

A standard electric bike is composed of four parts: The bike itself, the motor, the battery, and the controller. Several years ago, going electric is not recommended by a lot of people because it was impractical. The battery and the motor itself are adding additional heavy pounds to the bike frame. Plus, you needed to maintain the motor regularly. A lot of people prefer to purchase the gas ones instead.

Because of the changing technology for the past years, electric bike conversion kits improved dramatically. The new batteries are now 1/3 of their original weight. You can also power your bike and use it for over twenty miles. 

Gas scooters are loud. Their noise level is the same as a lawnmower or a motorcycle. If you are concerned with noise, you will, most likely, get an electric scooter or bike. The electric powered ones are very quiet. When in use, they just give off a low humming sound.

Electric scooters and bikes are environment-friendly. They do not emit harmful chemicals which will contribute to pollution. It also helps you save a lot of money too. If you will add up all the gasoline fees and the transit fees you will be spending, it is definitely cheaper in the long run.


Gas Powered

The Gas Powered Scooters originated way before the electric ones do. Because it runs on gas, the tank needs to be filled with gasoline. Compared with its electric counterpart, gas powered ones are noisier and dirtier. However, gas powered ones are cheaper to purchase. That is why it is very popular for people who are on a budget.

Since gas powered scooters and bikes have gasoline, they are emitting certain chemicals which are harmful for the environment. Plus, if you will add up the gasoline expenses (not including the transit fees and the parking fees), you might be surprised to see the amount it will show.

You are clearly getting a dollar for dollar with a gas scooter. These gas powered scooters can speed up from 16 miles per hour to 30 miles per hour. Electric scooters and bikes, on the other hand, can only speed up from 8 to 25 miles per hour.

Compared with electric scooters and bikes, a lot of states are considering gas powered bikes as illegal. So before you will be able to drive and use one, you would need to prepare several documents and get permits.


So which one is better?

If you will ask this question five or ten years ago, I will definitely answer that the gas powered bikes and scooters are better. They are cheap to purchase, lighter to carry and use, and they are more powerful. However, due to the advanced technology, electric scooters and bikes improved for the better. They are now far superior. The weight, the power, and the range are now a lot better. You also need to maintain it less for it last.

The best type of scooters and bikes for you still depends on how you are planning to use it and of course, for personal preference. To make it easier for you to decide, you should still consider the following:

It is not only because of technology. More and more consumers have different mindset as well. Electric cars, as well as solar panel powered ones, are becoming a thing. More and more people are now more environment conscious. They want to use clean and reusable power.

As our technology improves, the electric scooters and bikes are now becoming more practical to use. In several countries located in Asia and Europe, these electric scooters and bikes are becoming their number one mode of transportation. Right now, more people in the United States are also realizing that they can help the environment by getting environment-friendly vehicles. That is why more people are getting past the idea of using cars every day. A lot of people are now switching to the healthier alternative of using an electric powered vehicle.

Gas scooters offer more speed and power. Since they have smaller frames, they are lighter in weight. However, with electric scooters and bikes, you can power it up anytime, anywhere. Just recharge it through an electrical outlet, wait for about six to eight hours (depending on the scooter or bike you are using) and you can drive it freely. Gas powered ones, on the other hand, needs to be filled up in your local gas station for it to work.

Before you make your purchase, weigh the advantages and disadvantages first. Decide which type best suits you and your needs before making that important decision.


NOTE: This article is independently written and does no reflect the views of Rosso Motors

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