Urban Mobility: Electric bikes versus electric scooters

Urban Mobility: Electric bikes versus electric scooters

November 13, 2018

The landscape of urban mobility is rapidly changing and experiences a clear shift away from cars to modern electric scooters and bicycles. While the car industry is fighting with increasing image issues and polution scandals, the electric vehicle industry is on a steep rise, especially in urban areas and also powered by new, innovative share and rental schemes.

As more and more people start to making a switch away from cars to two-whelped electric scooters, electric bikes and electric kickboards, many wonder which vehicle is the best choice for their particular mobility profile and need.

Electric scooters and mopeds

Urban electric scooters are usually sold as 25 kph or 45 kph versions, with just a few reaching top speeds of 80 kph or more. Those electric scooters and mopeds are usually electrified versions of their well known gasoline counterparts, of which still billions circulate on the streets of Asia and Europe.

All of those electric scooters and mopeds fall into classic motor vehicle categories (L1A, L1B) and need to be insured, registered and are usually taxed. Also, drivers need to hold a driving licence, meet minimum age criteria, wear a helmet and the vehicles are not allowed on bike lanes or parks.

Electric scooters typically either have one fixed battery that can only be charged directly on the vehicle inlet or (in more modern versions) sport removable batteries that can be replaced or charged at home.

Because of the all-electric drive and heavy weight of electric scooters (100-180 kg) the batteries need to be quite large and are therefore costly. Typical range per charge is 50-60 km, less in winter.

Because electric scooters need to stay on roads, they are forced to mix with car and truck traffic. 

The average speed of road traffic in Europe is 16,5 kph due to traffic jams, one way streets and red lights.

Electric bikes are faster, cheaper and healthier than electric scooters!

Electric bikes compared to electric scooters offer many clear advantages in an urban environment:

  • They take full advantage of the rapidly growing bicycle / bike speedway infrasture of modern cities (Over 80 Billion Euros are invested annually in the EU for modern, protected and fast bike infrastructures)
  • Electric bikes reach 25 kph without being legally considered motorized vehicles
  • Electric bikes, unlike scooters, do not need insurance, registration, tax, helmet or carry an age limit.
  • Using a pedal assist electric bike is healthy and improves fitness without getting exhausted.
  • E-Bikes do not have to mix with traffic and breathe better air while commuting.
  • Electric bikes are allowed to park on sidewalks, so no search for parking space
  • Electric bikes are allowed to tow trailers and carry children. Child trailers are not allowed for electric scooters or moped.
  • There are many public sponsoring programs available for the purchase of electric bikes and cargo bikes.

In short, electric bikes will bring to your destination faster than a road-bound electric scooter, they use less energy for the same range, are good for your health and are easily adapted to cargo transport needs or used to bike with your children (Child seats or trailers).

Replacement parts and battery costs are much less and e-bikers profit from the huge amounts invested into bike infrastructure in modern cities like Amsterdam, London, Berlin, San Francisco and many more.

See our range of cool urban electric bicycles here




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