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Electric Bike, Moped, Scooter, and Motorcycle ...

December 24, 2020

Electric Scooters, eBikesMopeds and e Motorcycle | Street Legal | What’s the Difference | How to Choose | Complete Guide

You care about the environment and are you interested in modern technologies. You love exploring new places and social interaction. You love the passion and freedom on cycling.

Last-mile vehicles come in many different shapes, styles, and forms, ranging from electric skateboards and minibikes, Pedelec, e-bike, e-scooter, moped, motorbike, citycoco, all these are all 2 wheeled electric vehicles, I know the definitions, but what’s the difference besides shapes? Power, mileage, speed, legislation, riding style and price. So without further ado, let’s get into what these personal electric vehicle (PEV) are and which ride best fits your lifestyle?

Background

As crowded high ways and blocked streets, terrible pollution (smog & noise) become increasing concerns for cities and act as catalysts for the use of scooters and electric bikes. As an alternative to car, riding through nature or in the city with the pedelec or moped is easily accessible, it is not surprising that micromobility (light and flexible personal electric vehicles) is gaining more popularity on streets year over year. Comfort, sustainability, ease of handling and parking without forgetting the economy, that are major reasons to bet on them and reasons why cyclist turns out less stress and less chances of being involved in a road rage incident.

Electric bikes and moped scooters have become increasingly popular as a convenient means of transportation over short distance trips for a reason. Commuters are realizing how much faster and easier it is to get on an electric moped scooter or e-bike than sit through dreaded rush hour traffic or rely on public transportation.

But which of the types of urban electric mobility is better for you: electric scooters or electric bikes, moped scooters or motorbikes?

Differences between electric bicycles, electric moped, electric scooters, Pedelec, electric motorcycles

folding electric scooter

Electric scooter: Also referred to as motorized kick scooter or city e-scooter. The draft for a Small Electric Vehicle Ordinance (eKFV) describes an escooter accordingly as an "electrically powered vehicle without a seat and a self-balancing vehicle". Like Xiaomi folding scooter, Ninebot

Harley division electric bike

Electric bikes: Ride at the push of a button or gas handle even without pedal assistance. From a legal point of view, such an e-bike would be on a par with a light moped.

electric bike

Pedelec or S-Pedelec: Short for "Pedal Electric Cycle" is an e-bike in which the rider has to pedal, so that the electric motor is active to assist. According to this definition, almost all e-bikes sold today should actually be called "pedelecs". In parlance, however, the term "e-bike" has gained more acceptance than "pedelec". If the pedal assistance is provided up to 25 km/h, pedelecs are legally regarded as bicycles and do not require approval. The motor power of a pedelec must not exceed 250 watts.

moped scooter

Electric Moped or moped scooter: The term “moped” is derived from the two words “motor” and “pedal”. Look like normal scooters (such as a Vespa) and always have a seat. In the USA often require a driver’s license and insurance and some form of registration.

citycoco

Citycoco: A fat tire electric scooter, combination of a moped and Harley Chopper, City Coco scooter is two-wheeled electric or trike scooter that max speeds up to 45 km/h and requires EEC COC in Europe, a step-through frame and unlike a moped, have no pedals. City coco fat tire scooters resemble motorcycles more closely than mopeds and electric bicycles.

electric motorcycle

Electric motorcycle: Simply an electric scooter or motorcycle is powered by electricity instead of gasoline.

Practical Legislation - Street Legal

1.1 Electric Scooter (Motorized Kick Scooter)

  • Motor assistance without pedaling: maximum 250 watts continuous power
  • Top speed: maximum 25 km / h
  • Legal classification: Like a bike
  • Minimum age for drivers: none
  • Where to go: bike path
  • Operating license: no
  • License plate requirement: No.
  • Liability insurance: No (but private liability recommended)
  • Driver's license required: No.
  • Helmet compulsory: No, but strongly recommended
  • Miscellaneous: The pedelec only moves when the driver is also pedaling, so the electric motor is only used for assistance. When the vehicle reaches 25 km / h, the electric motor switches off. Pedelecs make up the lion's share of bicycles with electric motor assistance. Child trailers and child seats are allowed.

1.2 Moped ( Moped Scooter)

  • Motor assistance without pedaling: maximum continuous output 500 watts. According to the new EU regulation up to 4000 watts(CH: max. 1,000 watts), but a maximum of four times the driver's performance.
  • Top speed: 25 km/h to 45 km/h
  • Legal classification: electric moped / moped scooter
  • Minimum age for drivers: 16 years
  • Child seat/trailer: Trailer and child seat prohibited
  • Where to drive: on the road, but not on bike paths
  • Operating license: Yes 
  • License plate requirement: Yes, insurance license plate
  • Liability insurance: Yes
  • Driving license required: Yes, driving license for class M mopeds or car driving license
  • Helmet compulsory: Yes
  • Miscellaneous: Even with the S-Pedelec, the electric motor is only used to support muscle power. When the vehicle reaches 45 km / h, the electric motor switches off. No child seats or child trailers maybe attached . S-Pedelecs are also known as fast pedelecs, S-Class or Swiss Class.

1.3 E-bike (Pedal Electric Cycle- Electric bike)

  • Motor: maximum 500 watts
  • Top speed: 6 km/h to 20 km/h
  • Legal classification: light moped / moped
  • Minimum age for drivers: 15 years
  • Where to go: Cycle paths only if they are approved for mopeds
  • Operating license: Yes
  • License plate requirement: No.
  • Liability insurance: No.
  • Driving license required: No
  • Helmet compulsory: No, but strongly recommended
  • Other: E-bikes run at the push of a button without any effort on the part of the driver, as long as there is enough power in the battery. They currently have hardly any market penetration.

1.4 E-Motorcycle (Electric motorcycle, Minibikes)

No limit on speed or horsepower. License, registration and insurance required to be operated on roads (helmets in many states)

To operate these machines, you must:

  • Have proof of insurance and registration for your moped.
  • Hold a motorcycle permit or license (Class M or MJ).
  • Have your headlight switched on whenever you ride.
  • Wear a helmet and eye protection.
  • Get an annual vehicle inspection.
    • Our Vehicle Inspections page has more on inspection requirements.

Which One Should You Buy?

Speed and Range

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) Survey, the average commuter drives 16 miles to work each way 2021, with a daily commute totaling nearly an hour round trip (32 miles); The increase of about 2.6 minutes between 2008 and 2021 represents an increase of about 10% over 14 years.

Like any other vehicle, speed matters. Personal electric vehicles are solving last mile problems and replacing car trips, major cities are moving away from car-centric infrastructure, and city planners are adding bike lanes and zero-emission zones to urban areas.

Whether you're daily commuting to work and fitness or weekend touring for a school break, electric bikes and scooters are the trendiest new way to get around while the weather is warm.

  • Electric bike: Power 350w to 1500w, top speed 6 km/h to 20 km/h, with 15Ah battery at most, travel to max 45km per range. Even for e-bikes that have a throttle, we are assuming you'll still need to pedal a lot when going up long, steep gradients, and how to prevent yourself from sweating while biking in excessive heat to work is a problem. Many riders who choose to purchase an electric bike live in low-density areas with lots of roads and trails and longer distances to cover.
folding electric bike
  • Folding Electric Scooter: Max speed 25 km/h and range up to 35km, motorized kick scooters  intended to be ridden while standing on the deck, real cool if you’re meeting a friend or zip around neighborhood without breaking a sweat. Riding a foldable escooter is around four times faster than walking, but safety features should be a major consideration, specially if you live quite far and standing on a small wheeled electric scooter the whole way over rough road terrain, how to handle road bumps and wet surface? It’s just not feasible for daily use.
folding electric scooter
  • Electric Moped or Scooter: Generally limits the top speed of 45kmh(30MPH), 60-90km range is more than enough for short trips. Scooters and mopeds are considered safer than motorcycles because the driver is limited by the engine’s capability. Larger motors displace more and therefore produce greater power and speed. They’re also lighter and simpler to operate without the stress of operating a full-sized vehicle, which makes them convenient for running errands around town.

 

electric moped

 

  • City coco scooter or electric motorcycle: 70+kmh speed, range 60-90km. Engineered to maximize rider and passenger comfort, some of you will probably not opt ​​for a Harley Davidson or an Energica, as they are powerful motorcycles for the country road that come across as very sporty. But for motorcycle addicts that all shared a common passion for two wheels and the open road, it’s a must have car collection in your garage.
citycoco scooter

Comfort and Convenience

Comfort:

Riding position

The first thing to consider besides cost for daily commuting is to get riding position right and comfortable. While if you asked people which is the best personal electric vehicle to them, you might get vary answers. Some ebikes or mopeds have a step-through type design, while others have a step-over design. Some people might find riding an electric bike challenging. For others, standing and balancing on a scooter or skateboard could be too difficult to ride.

The “Standard” or “upright” riding position is generally considered as being the most comfortable one on average across all shapes and sizes of riders because it's a neutral one. Of course, standing isn’t going to be as comfortable as sitting, so small folding e-scooters might be lower on the list for this type of person.

riding a electric chopper

Fat Tires

Tires are your connection to the road and influence ride quality directly, also relates to traction, range, and braking performance of your electric vehicles, bigger tire offers increased stability and comfort, that is the point of fat tire bike, easy to ride and balance, the key to fat biking comfort is warm head, feet, and hands—focus on these contact points and you'll be ready for miles of riding. And shock-absorbent tires that smooth out road vibrations makes your journeys even more comfortable without feeling fatigued.

fat tire scooter

Portability

Personal vehicles are aiming to solve the last mile problems,  providing fast, flexible, easy and economical solutions for short distance trip. Easy folding scooters or electric bikes allow them to fold up quickly and compact for easy transport and storage when needed to take the e-mobility on buses and trains.

The City E-Scooter and folding electric bike can be easily folded up and taken in hand or put into a trunk, and some of the battery can be removed and charged separately, making it more convenient to charge at home or office.

electric scooter removable battery

Safety and Cost

Safety

No matter which routes and terrain you want to use your motorized vehicles for, always highlights the importance of safety over the cost when considering to buy a motor vehicle.

Bikers are, on average, more likely to take higher risks. Motorcyclists tend to ride bikes for fun and social acceptance (real mature, right?), whereas scooters are generally used for commuting and to save money on gas. This is reflected in a larger percentage of scooters going down during weekdays compared to bikes that throw off their riders at night and over weekends.

There is no proof that electric scooters are safer than ebikes, but studies show that scooters are less likely than motorcycles to be involved in a single-vehicle accident. Means moped scooters are less likely to crash alone (i.e. no other vehicle involved) than motorcycles. Motorcycle also prang more frequent as a result of the rider doing something fancy or stupid moves.

In most cases, moped riders are worse than escooter fans, but not as bad as bikers. More traffic violations and injuries were recorded on mopeds in developing countries.

Cost

Some of the higher end models of electric folding scooters for adult riders cost upwards of $400 with an electric motor battery 7.8ah and a speed of up to 15 mph, range at 35km.

Generally, electric bikes will range in cost from a low of $800 to over $6000. Not many quality ebikes can be had for under $1200, with most mainstream ebikes costing between $1500 – $4000

Yamaha just launched a low-cost Vespa-style electric moped scooter Nov 6, 2020 — With a launch price of around US$2,280, the e-Vino is certainly lower-priced than most urban electric scooters. 

Citycoco fat tire scooter 2000W powerful brushless motor, 18*9.5 Inch Fat Tire, 45 km/h High Speed which make it street legal with COC/EEC. Their prices vary between $1200 and $3500. The average price of a fat tire electric scooter sits at $1,800. However, these prices vary considerably depending on the motor power and battery capacity.

And in case you were wondering about electric motorcycle, the Livewire comes at a price of about $30 000 in the United States. But we know the Livewire is top of the top when it comes to electric motorcycles and maybe motorcycles in general.

Conclusion

No personal electric vehicle is designed to meet every possible transportation need when considering local terrain (power), route distance(battery range), and user preferences or age (style & safety), use it for daily commuting (maintenance), or fitness riding on weekend (speed is less importance).

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