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Electric Scooters Vs Electric Bikes: Pros and Cons

Electric scooters and electric bikes are great options for replacing car trips and solving the last mile problem. Both are convenient, environmentally friendly, and fun modes of transport. They are great for commuting, running errands, and recreational rides. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks that should be considered. In this guide, we’ll outline the pros and cons of electric scooters Vs electric bikes to help you choose. We’ll cover range, portability, storage, speed, safety, comfort, the environmental impact, cost, and more.

The best personal electric transport option for you depends on a number of factors including the terrain you ride, the distances you ride, the luggage you need to carry, and your personal preference. I own both an e-scooter and an e-bike. I ride both regularly but get more use out of my e-bike. In this guide, I’ll share my experience. Hopefully, this guide helps you choose the right machine for your style of riding.

An electric scooter in front of a wall of graffiti
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Electric scooters are the better choice for short commutes, those on a tight budget, those with limited storage space, those who live in dense urban areas, those who value portability, and those who plan to use public transit.

E-bikes are better for long commutes, riding hilly terrain, exercise, those who need to carry cargo, those who are into cycling, off-road riding, and those who value versatility.

Electric Scooter Pros

  • Cheaper
  • Lighter weight
  • More portable
  • More convenient
  • E-scooters are less likely to get stolen

Electric Scooter Cons

  • Less comfortable
  • Less range
  • E-scooters can only handle smooth terrain
  • Not as fast
  • Durability can be an issue
  • Parts availability can be an issue
  • Less versatile
  • You can’t carry much luggage
  • You get less exercise when you ride
  • It’s impossible to ride without a charge

Ebike Pros

  • More comfortable to ride
  • Better range
  • E-bikes can handle a wider range of terrains
  • Faster
  • More durable
  • Easier to repair
  • Better parts availability
  • More versatile
  • E-bikes can carry more luggage
  • Better exercise
  • You can ride an e-bike without a charge
  • Easier to ride

Ebike Cons

  • More expensive
  • Heavier
  • Less portable
  • Less convenient
  • Theft is more likely
An electric bike with a mid-drive motor

An Overview of Electric Bikes

An electric bike, or e-bike, is a bicycle with an electric motor that assists you as you pedal. The electric motor is powered by a large battery. The motor also allows you to maintain higher speeds than you could under your own power. Most e-bikes have a max speed of 15-28 mph depending on the class and motor size.

A number of different electric bike designs exist. Most e-bikes offer a pedal assist feature that provides power only when you pedal. Some e-bikes have a throttle control that allows you to ride without pedaling.

Electric bikes can have a hub motor in the front or rear wheel. Some models have a mid-drive motor between the cranks. A range of motor sizes and battery capacities are available. Check out my guide to different types of e-bikes for more info on the options that are available.

An Overview of Electric Scooters

An electric scooter

An electric scooter, or e-scooter, is a stand-up scooter that is powered by a small electric motor in the hub. The battery is housed inside the footboard.

On the handlebars next to the grips, there is a throttle control that allows you to control the speed of the scooter. There are also brake levers mounted to the handlebars. Most scooters have two mechanical disc brakes.

Electric scooters feature small tires that measure 5-10 inches in diameter. Most e-scooters are designed to be ridden on paved roads and pathways. Electric scooters can reach speeds of up to 25km/h (15 mph). E-scooters are sometimes referred to as electric kick scooters.

Electric Scooters Vs Electric Bikes

An e-bike

Comfort

Most riders find electric bikes to be more comfortable to ride than electric scooters. The main reason is that electric bikes have a seat while electric scooters do not.

E-bikes are ridden sitting down. Electric scooters are ridden standing up. If you’re riding for more than 15-20 minutes, it’s always more comfortable to sit down. For longer rides, an electric bike is always the better choice. You’re not going to want to stand for hours at a time.

Electric bikes also feature a smoother ride than electric scooters. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, e-bikes have larger diameter wheels than e-scooters. Larger wheels roll over obstacles more easily because they have a shallower angle of attack. When you approach an obstacle, such as a pothole or a stick on the road, the obstacle hits lower on the tire. The tire rolls over the obstacle more easily and efficiently as a result. You won’t feel the bump as much when you ride an e-bike. This makes the ride feel smoother.

Electric bikes also offer better suspension systems with more travel than electric scooters. Suspension can help to smooth out bigger bumps. Usually, an electric scooter only has a small amount of suspension travel.

The tires of electric bikes are usually softer as well. Because the tires are larger and more voluminous, they can be run at lower pressure. This makes the tires softer. The softer tires can absorb more bumps and vibrations from the road. They can more easily deform around obstacles. Electric fat bikes can offer an incredibly smooth ride thanks to their wide and soft tires.

A woman riding an electric bicycle

Of course, e-scooters aren’t uncomfortable. For shorter rides, some people find it more comfortable to stand. Your legs can act as a suspension system while you’re standing. Some higher-end scooters offer high-volume tires and suspension systems that do an excellent job of absorbing bumps and vibrations. There are also e-scooters that come with a seat. Scooters can be as comfortable to ride as e-bikes.

Winner: E-bikes are more comfortable to ride than e-scooters.

Range/Battery Life

One of the biggest electric bike advantages is that electric bikes offer more range than electric scooters. An average electric bike can get anywhere from 30-50 miles of range depending on the battery size. Some models can get up to 100 miles of range with a dual battery setup. To compare, most electric scooters get around 20-25 miles of range. The longer range makes electric bikes the better choice for long commutes and adventures.

There are a number of reasons that e-bikes get better range than e-scooters. Most importantly, they have larger batteries with more battery capacity. A bike frame can accommodate much larger battery packs than an electric scooter footboard. Some e-bikes have a dual battery option. You can even carry a spare battery and swap them out if you choose.

Most electric scooters only have a single battery that is built into the footboard. Space is more limited so the battery has to be smaller. You also can’t easily swap the battery out on most e-scooters. It’s integrated into the footboard.

Another reason that e-bikes get better range is because the battery doesn’t have to supply all of the power. With a pedal-assist system, the rider supplies part of the pedaling power. The battery doesn’t drain as fast as a result. It’s only doing part of the work. This greatly increases your range. If you set the bike to a low level of assist or ‘eco mode,’ the range will be much longer. The motor power can be used only when you need it.

An e-bike battery

You don’t even have to use the battery all the time if you don’t want to when you ride an e-bike. While riding on flat terrain, you can pedal normally without using any power. You can save power by only using the battery when necessary. For example, maybe you only turn the motor on while climbing a hill or riding into a headwind. This greatly extends your range.

This isn’t an option on e-scooters. The motor has to supply all of the power all the time. The motor is always on. The battery drains faster and the range is shorter as a result. Scooters have a shorter battery life.

Long-range e-scooters with larger batteries are available. Some models can achieve 30-50 miles of range. This is more than enough for most riders.

A number of factors determine the range you’ll get out of your electric bike or scooter. Rider weight, your speed, the terrain, hills, and the wind, can all play a role in your range. Riding into a headwind will reduce your range. Heavier riders get less range than lighter riders.

Winner: Electric bikes get more range than electric scooters. They have a longer battery life.

Convenience

Electric scooters are a bit more convenient than electric bikes. The reason is that they are far easier to store and carry around with you. You can store your electric scooter in your apartment, navigate busy city streets, and take it with you when you reach your destination.

E-scooters fold down for easy storage. They are also light enough to carry around. E-bikes are much heavier and bulkier. They need to be locked up or stored in a garage.

A woman riding an e-scooter

There are situations where an electric bike is more convenient. If you need to carry heavy bags of groceries or transport your kids, an e-bike will be much more convenient.

Winner: E-scooters are often more convenient to use than e-bikes.

Weight

Electric scooters are lighter than electric bikes. An average electric scooter weighs 15-30 pounds (7-14 kg). Larger models can weigh up to 50 pounds (23 kg).

To compare, electric bikes weigh around 45-60 pounds (20-27 kg). Some heavy-duty models weigh up to 100 pounds (45 kg). An electric bike usually weighs 10-20 pounds more than a regular non-powered bike. An electric scooter weighs 20-30 pounds less than an electric bike, on average.

An electric bike with a step-through frame.

Electric scooters are lighter for a few reasons. First, they are physically smaller. A scooter frame contains less material than a bike frame. Scooters also have smaller motors and batteries than e-bikes. A large e-bike hub motor can weigh over 20 pounds alone. Scooters also contain fewer parts. There are no seats, pedals, derailleurs, shifters, or cogs.

The main benefit of a lighter personal electric vehicle is that it’s easier to transport. You can easily carry a scooter up several flights of stairs into your apartment. You can’t really do that with an e-bike. A lightweight scooter may also feel a bit more responsive and maneuverable.

Winner: Electric scooters are far lighter than electric bikes.

Portability

Electric scooters are more portable than electric bikes. There are a few reasons for this. First, electric scooters are significantly lighter. They are less than half the weight. It’s easy to pick up an electric scooter and carry it when you need to. For example, you may need to carry your scooter up a couple of flights of stairs into your apartment. You might want to pick it up and load in your car or carry it with you on a bus or train. Pretty much everyone can lift a 30 pound electric scooter.

Electric bikes are too heavy to lift and carry. If you have to, you can lift an electric bike for a couple of moments to load it onto a bike rack or carry it up a few steps. You won’t be able to carry your e-bike very far. If you’re a smaller person, you may not be able to lift a 60 pound electric bicycle at all. If you don’t live on the ground floor, you’ll have to park your e-bike outside. You’re not going to be able to carry it up multiple flights of stairs. It’s too heavy.

E-bikes are heavy. You won’t want to carry your e-bike very far.

E-scooters are also more compact than e-bikes. On most models, the steering tube folds down on top of the deck. This makes the scooter much smaller and easier to move around and store.

You can easily fit an electric scooter in a small car. If your battery runs out while you’re riding, you can call a taxi or Uber for a ride home. Your scooter will easily fit in the trunk. You can also store your scooter in a small apartment. You could store it in a closet or under your bed. If you ride your e-scooter to work, you could store it under your desk. You don’t need a lot of space to store an electric scooter. It is also possible to use an electric scooter for multi-modal transportation. They are allowed on most city buses and metros.

Electric bikes are much larger and more cumbersome. They are the size of traditional bikes. Some models are even larger. You can’t easily fit an electric bicycle in a regular car. You need a truck or a bike rack if you want to drive your bike somewhere. Electric bicycles also take up a lot of space in your home or garage. You can’t take your e-bike into buildings with you. You have to lock it up outside. If your e-bike runs out of battery while you’re riding, you’ll have to pedal manually to get home. You can’t put an e-bike in a taxi.

A woman riding an electric scooter

There are electric folding bikes. These are much more compact than standard diamond-framed bikes. Folding bikes are still much larger than scooters. If you’re looking for a compact electric folding bike, consider the Brompton Electric. It’s one of the smallest electric folding bikes on the market.

Winner: Electric scooters are more portable than electric bikes because they are lighter and smaller.

Terrain

Electric bikes can handle a wider range of terrain than electric scooters. Most e-bikes are designed for city use. They can be ridden on pavement, dirt and gravel roads, grass, and more. This is possible because the tires are wider and larger in diameter with a more aggressive tread.

If you want to ride off-road, you can ride an electric mountain bike or an electric fat bike. These bikes can handle extremely rugged terrain thanks to their wide, knobby tires, suspension systems, and durable frames. They are made for these conditions. You can ride over dirt, sand, mud, grass, snow, rocky trails, roots, ruts, potholes, and more.

An electric mountain bike
Electric mountain bikes can handle a wide range of terrain

Electric scooters are designed for riding on paved roads and paths. You can ride your electric scooter on city streets, bike lanes, bike paths, sidewalks, and on paved paths through parks. Scooters can’t handle rough surfaces. The reason is that the wheels are small. They can get hung up easily on potholes, rocks, roots, sand, mud, and bumps. The tires are also slick. They

There are some electric scooters on the market that are designed for riding off-road. These models have larger tires with knobby tread and long travel suspension. They won’t be as capable as an electric mountain bike but they will perform well on dirt and gravel roads and some single track trails.

Not all e-bikes can handle rugged terrain. Electric road bikes have narrow tires and a rigid frame. They are designed to only ride on paved surfaces. If you want to ride off-road, you’ll want to choose a bike or scooter that is designed for that purpose.

Winner: Electric bikes can handle a wider range of terrain than electric scooters.

Speed

Electric bikes and electric scooters have similar top speeds. The top speed is limited by local laws. Not the physical capabilities of the electric vehicle. Most electric bikes and scooters come with a speed limiter programmed into the control unit.

In most cases, the top speed of an electric scooter is 15 to 20 mph (24-32 kph). The top speed of an e-bike depends on the class. There are three e-bike classes. Class 1 and class 2 e-bikes are limited to a top speed of 20 mph (32 kph) in most of the world. In some countries, these bikes have a maximum speed of 15 mph (25 kph). Class 3 e-bikes have a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph). When you reach that speed, the pedal assist system reduces its power output to zero.

A man riding a red e-bike with two batteries

Electric scooters are a bit less regulated than electric bikes. There are some high-speed electric scooters available that can reach speeds of up to 30-50 mph (45-80 kph). Some dual-motor e-scooters can reach even higher speeds.

There are also faster e-bikes available. In some places, e-bikes are sold without a speed limiter. Sometimes it is also possible to disable the speed limiter on the bike’s computer. This is called “chipping” the e-bike.

Some high-powered e-bikes can reach speeds in excess of 60 mph (97 kph). These high-speed bikes are often closer to electric motorcycles than they are to electric bikes. Some have pedals and others don’t.

Winner: E-bikes and e-scooters have a similar top speed. The fastest e-bikes are faster than the fastest e-scooters.

Safety

It is not really clear whether e-bikes or e-scooters are safer. Some studies show that electric bikes are safer than electric scooters. There are conflicting studies that show that electric scooters are the safer transport option.

This new study from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) found that “E-scooter users had a lower casualty rate than other small vehicle users.” The study found that e-scooter collision rates were up to 5 times lower than collision rates for other types of transport, including bicycles. It’s important to note that this study used data from an e-scooter sharing company.

This interesting report from Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) found that “From 2017 to 2021, injuries spiked 127 percent to 77,200 for micromobility devices, and the number of deaths rose from 5 to 48. E-scooters had the highest percentage increase in injuries and accounted for 68 deaths in the same time period.”

There are a number of potential reasons that e-bikes may be safer than e-scooters. The visibility of electric bikes is better. Drivers can more easily see bikes than scooters because they are larger. Bicycles are also more common than scooters. Drivers are used to looking out for them on the road. Electric scooters are far smaller.

E-scooter tires also have a harder time with obstacles. E-scooter tires measure 6-8″ in diameter while bike tires measure 26″ or more. Larger tires are able to clear obstacles more easily. A larger tire is less likely to get hung up on a pothole or other obstacle in the road.

Lower-end e-scooters have cheaper tires that may not offer sufficient traction. Cheap e-scooters may also come with poor braking systems that don’t stop fast enough.

Studies have found that e-scooter riders are less likely to wear a helmet than e-bike riders. This may explain why e-scooters are more likely to suffer a concussion than e-bike riders.

There are some reasons that e-scooters may be safer than e-bikes. It’s easier to bail from a scooter than a bike. You can easily jump off a scooter if you need to. In some situations, e-scooters can be more maneuverable than e-bikes because they are smaller. This can help you avoid obstacles and collisions.

In the end, the best way to stay safe is to always wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road. Before riding an e-bike or e-scooter, be sure to perform a safety inspection. Check the brakes, tires, lights, throttle, handlebars, cables, etc. to make sure the vehicle is in good working condition. This is particularly important if you ride a rental e-bike or e-scooter. Oftentimes, these are neglected.

Electric scooters and electric bikes both have their own unique safety concerns but if you take precautions, you should be able to stay safe no matter which one you choose. Cautious riders are far less likely to suffer injuries than those who take risks.

For more info on safety, check out my guide: Are Electric Bikes Safe?

Winner: It’s unclear. In some cases, e-bikes may be safer. In other cases, e-scooters may be safer.

Cost

Electric scooters are significantly cheaper than electric bikes. On average, an electric scooter costs $500-$700. Entry-level electric scooters are available for as little as $200-$300. Premium electric scooters cost $2000-$3000.

To compare, an average electric bike costs around $2000-$2500. Entry-level electric bikes cost $800-$1200. Premium electric bikes can cost $6000-$10,000. That’s a lot of money to spend on a bicycle.

An e-bike in a field

If you’re on a tight budget, you’re better off going with an e-scooter. You could buy multiple electric scooters for the price of a single electric bike.

Of course, you get what you pay for. A $300 electric scooter isn’t going to perform as well or last as long as a $3000 electric bike.

One great way to save some money is to buy used.

Winner: Electric scooters are cheaper than electric bicycles.

Maintenance Cost

It’s also important to consider maintenance and the cost of ownership. Over time, parts will wear out and need to be replaced.

The battery is the most expensive component you’ll need to replace. A new electric bicycle battery can cost $500-$900 depending on the size and quality. Because electric scooter batteries are smaller, they are cheaper to replace. On average, a replacement battery for an electric scooter costs around $300-$500. On average, a battery lasts 2-3 years.

You’ll also have to replace other wearable parts such as the brake pads, cables, tires, and more. On bicycles, you’ll have to replace the drivetrain components as they wear out. You’ll need to replace the rear cogs, chain, and chainring. These parts don’t exist on e-scooters.

An electric bike is slightly more expensive to maintain due to the added complexity of the drivetrain. E-bikes have chains, derailleurs, and shifters while e-scooters do not. These parts aren’t expensive and they don’t need to be replaced frequently but the cost adds up over the life of the bike. If you have to take your e-bike into a bike shop for maintenance, you’ll spend more on maintaining an e-bike.

You also have to consider the time and effort that maintenance requires. With an e-bike, you have to regularly clean and lube the chain. This is a messy and annoying job. Once in a while, you’ll have to adjust the derailleurs. You don’t have to worry about these jobs when you ride an electric scooter. Most e-scooters have a direct drive hub motor that is maintenance-free.

Winner: Electric scooters are cheaper and easier to maintain because they are simpler. They don’t have a multi-speed drivetrain.

Durability

Electric bikes are generally more durable than electric scooters. They are basically normal bicycles with an electric motor and a battery. Manufacturers have been building bikes for decades. The designs are extremely solid.

The larger wheels on e-bikes can also handle bigger bumps without sustaining damage. Most e-bikes are also water-resistant. They can be ridden in light rain. A quality e-bike can handle some use and abuse.

An e-bike motor
A mid-drive e-bike motor

Electric scooters usually aren’t quite as durable. Durability depends largely on the quality of the bike or scooter that you buy. A premium electric bike will be much more durable than an entry-level electric scooter. Many models aren’t water resistant so they shouldn’t be ridden in the rain.

Electric scooter designs are also a bit newer. Many scooter manufacturers have only been building them for a decade or less. In some cases, not all of the kinks have been worked out. Sometimes durability isn’t great. Particularly on cheap entry-level models.

Winner: E-bikes are often more durable than e-scooters.

Repairability

Electric bikes are generally more repairable than electric scooters. If you buy an e-bike from a major manufacturer, such as Trek, Cannondale, Giant, Specialized, etc. you can take the bike to any dealership and have it repaired. If you buy an e-bike from a local bike shop, you can take it back to that same shop for repairs. Bike shops offer support for the bikes that they sell.

You can take your electric bike to pretty much any bike shop for regular repairs. For example, if you need to repair a broken spoke, flat tire, or broken chain, almost any bike shop can fix it for you. There is a bike shop in pretty much every town. It’s easy to get an e-bike repaired.

If there is a problem with the motor, battery, or electrical system, you’ll have to take the bike to a shop that specializes in e-bikes. Not every bike shop can work on e-bikes. Some shops only service certain electric bike brands.

Electric bike components are also easier to find. Every bike shop carries cables, brake pads, tires, chains, tubes, cassettes, etc. You can find many of these parts at big box stores like Walmart. Of course, you can also order parts online from Amazon, the manufacturer, or an online bike shop. When a wearable part on an e-bike needs to be replaced, you can easily find a new one.

Two electric scooters

It can be more difficult to get an electric scooter repaired if it breaks down. There aren’t many repair shops that specialize in e-scooters. There are fewer e-scooter dealerships than e-bike dealerships. If you don’t live in a large city, there may not be any e-scooter shops around you. Oftentimes, you’ll have to ship your scooter back to the manufacturer for repairs. This can take weeks. You’ll also have to deal with the cost of shipping.

It can also be harder to find electric scooter components. Usually, you have to order parts online. There aren’t many scooter shops where you can walk in and buy new tires or brake pads. You’ll have to install these parts yourself if there are no shops near you.

If you buy an electric bike or electric scooter from a no-name manufacturer, you may have trouble getting it repaired if something breaks. Some bike shops won’t touch random Chinese e-bikes for liability reasons. A bike shop near me has this policy. Sometimes e-scooter sellers don’t offer support. If something breaks, you’re on your own. You’ll have to order parts and attempt to repair it yourself.

Sometimes replacement parts can be hard to find if you buy a no-name e-scooter or e-bike. For example, if your e-bike has a geared hub motor, the gears will eventually wear out. It can be difficult to source these gears. Particularly if the bike is older.

Many electric bike and electric scooter companies simply buy their products from a large factory in China and add their own branding. They don’t actually make the product. It can be difficult to source replacement parts from these factories

If you want support after you buy your e-bike or e-scooter, be sure to buy from a major manufacturer. Ask about repairs, replacement parts, and maintenance before you buy. If it looks like the bike or scooter will be difficult to repair, look for another model. It’s better to spend a little more money to get a product that comes with some aftermarket support.

Winner: E-bikes are usually more repairable than e-scooters.

Versatility

Electric bikes are more versatile than electric scooters. With an electric bike, you can ride over rougher terrain. This is possible because e-bikes come equipped with larger diameter wheels and tires than e-scooters. This allows you to take your e-bike for off-road rides in addition to riding around town. You can ride your e-bike in more places. Most e-scooters aren’t capable of riding rough terrain.

You can also go on longer rides with an electric bike because they offer more range. This is possible due to their larger batteries and the fact that you can pedal to save power. You can go further without needing to recharge. Many e-bikes can cover 30-50 plus miles before they need to be charged. Some models can go as far as 100 miles. This greatly increases versatility. You can use your e-bike for longer trips across town or touring. You can’t do this with an electric scooter.

Electric bikes can also carry much more luggage. You can attach a basket or rack and panniers to your e-bike. You can even use a trailer. This makes it easier to load your bike up with groceries, camping gear, or other items. Most electric scooters can’t carry much in the way of cargo.

A woman riding a folding electric bike with panniers
You can mount panniers on most electric bikes

In addition, e-bikes can give you more options in terms of ride style. Many e-bikes offer both pedal assist and throttle control. If you feel like pedaling, you can use the pedal assist system. You can choose how much assistance you want by adjusting the level on the handlebar-mounted display. If you don’t feel like pedaling at all, you can use the throttle and ride the e-bike like a moped. Not all e-bikes have a throttle but many do. E-scooters only offer a throttle.

Finally, electric bikes can be used for exercise. You can pedal your e-bike if you want to get a workout. Riding an electric scooter doesn’t really give you any exercise. The motor does all of the work for you.

There is one case where an electric scooter is more versatile. You can take your electric scooter with you to more places. Most models can be folded up. You can carry it with you onto buses and trains, into buildings, and into your home. You can’t do that with an e-bike. If you live in a dense city, an electric scooter may offer more versatility.

Winner: E-bikes are more versatile than e-scooters.

Carrying Capacity

Electric bikes can carry far larger and heavier loads than electric scooters. You can mount racks and panniers on most e-bikes. Many e-bikes even come with a built-in rear rack. On some e-bikes, you can also install front racks and panniers and a basket for more carrying capacity. Alternatively, you can use bikepacking bags.

If you need to carry more gear, you can tow a cargo trailer behind your e-bike. All e-bikes can tow a trailer. Most trailers can handle 50-100 pounds (23-45 kg) of cargo. Some can handle even more. This allows you to carry a massive amount of stuff with you.

You can also carry a passenger on some e-bikes. Sometimes you can install a passenger seat on the rear rack. Some e-bikes are specifically designed for carrying a passenger. If you have children you could tow them in a child trailer. You could even tow your dog in a trailer if you wanted to.

If you need to carry a particularly heavy load, you might consider riding an electric cargo bike. Most electric cargo bikes are capable of hauling 220-330 pounds (100-150 kg). Some models can handle as much as 400 pounds. You could furniture or lumber with a cargo e-bike if you wanted to.

An electric cargo bike
Electric cargo bikes can carry extremely heavy loads

Most electric scooters are not capable of hauling any cargo. You can only carry what you can fit in a backpack. There are some e-scooters that come with a rear rack. These models can haul more gear but are heavier and less portable than standard scooters. On some scooters, it may be possible to mount a basket or carry a bag next to your feet.

It’s important to note that your range will decrease substantially when you’re carrying cargo due to the extra weight. It takes more energy to move the extra weight around. The weight will also affect performance. Take this into consideration when planning your journey so you don’t run out of power.

Winner: E-bikes have a greater carrying capacity than e-scooters.

Exercise

You’ll get more exercise when you ride an electric bike. This is because most e-bikes require you to pedal. Pedaling is the only way to activate the pedal assist system.

Many people assume that e-biking isn’t actually exercising because the motor does the work for you. This interesting study from the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that riding an electric bike with pedal assist raised the heart rate enough to be considered exercise. The study also found that people who ride an e-bike actually burned more calories than those who rode a regular bike. The reason was that e-bike riders rode more frequently than those who rode a regular bike.

Riding an electric bike can be a pretty good workout. If you’re looking to lose some weight or get fit, an e-bike is the better choice.

A man riding an e-bike on the shoulder of a road
Riding an e-bike is a great way to get some exercise.

When you ride an electric scooter, you don’t get as much exercise. The motor does all of the work for you. All you have to do is press a lever to activate the motor.

Riding an electric scooter does provide some health benefits. You will have to use your core muscles, arms, and legs to stay balanced and control the scooter. You will certainly feel tired after riding a scooter long distance.

Winner: Riding an electric bike gives you more exercise than riding an electric scooter.

Environmentally Friendliness

Electric scooters and electric bikes are both environmentally friendly modes of transport. In fact, they are some of the most environmentally friendly personal electric vehicles available. They have no emissions because they don’t use fossil fuels. This means they don’t contribute to air pollution. In addition, they produce less noise than gasoline-powered vehicles. They don’t create noise pollution.

Electric scooters and electric bikes are much lighter than cars and require less energy to move them from one place to another. This makes them more efficient on short trips, such as running errands or commuting to work.

For those who want an even greener option, there are renewable energy sources like solar-power that can be used with e-scooters and e-bikes. If you have a solar power system installed in your home, you can charge your scooter or e-bike with solar energy. This further reduces your emissions.

With fewer cars on the road and fewer emissions released into the atmosphere, these eco-friendly personal electric vehicles can make a big difference in reducing pollution levels and improving overall air quality.

According to this article from the Department of Energy, “In 2021, 52% of all trips, including all modes of transportation, were less than three miles, with 28% of trips less than one mile.” This means for most people, an electric scooter or electric bike could replace their car for the majority of their trips. Whenever you can replace a car trip, you reduce pollution and help protect the environment.

For trips less than 5 miles, an electric scooter is often the better choice. For trips longer than 5 miles, an electric bike is often the better choice.

Electric scooters and electric bikes aren’t as good for the environment as the non-powered alternatives. Human-powered scooters and bikes are more environmentally friendly because they use human energy and don’t require electricity. But electric scooters and electric bikes are still a great alternative to cars if you’re looking for an eco-friendly transportation option.

Overall, electric scooters and electric bikes are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint while still getting around quickly and efficiently. They offer an eco-friendly alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles. With their low emissions and energy efficiency, they can be one of the best choices for the environment.

Winner: Both e-bikes and e-scooters are environmentally friendly electric vehicles.

Fun

Electric bikes and electric scooters are both extremely fun to ride. They both offer a unique and thrilling experience that you can’t get from other modes of transport.

The acceleration of an electric motor make these vehicles incredibly fast and exciting to ride. Electric motors offer great torque for fast acceleration. There’s nothing quite like hopping on an electric bike or scooter and feeling the wind in your hair as you zoom around town.

If you like riding through dense cities, an electric scooter may be more fun. You can maneuver through smaller gaps and turn faster. E-scooters can also offer extremely quick acceleration due to their high power-to-weight ratio.

If you like riding off-road or at high speeds, you may have more fun on an e-bike. E-bikes can handle more rugged terrain and can often achieve higher speeds.

Winner: Both are fun to ride.

Riding Without a Charge

Electric bikes can be ridden without a charge. If your battery runs out while you’re riding an electric bike, you can simply pedal home normally without the assistance of the motor. You’ll have to put in a bit more effort because you’re carrying the weight of the battery and motor but you can ride normally. You will get home but the trip will take a little longer.

You can ride your e-bike with a dead battery

Electric scooters can’t be ridden without a charge. If your battery runs out while you’re riding your electric scooter, you’ll have to walk or call a taxi or an Uber for a ride home.

There are some exceptions to this. Some e-scooters can be ridden like a regular kick-push scooter when the battery runs out. The motor may create some resistance and slow you down though.

Winner: You can ride your e-bike home if the battery runs out.

Ease of Use

Electric bikes and electric scooters are both easy to ride. Most people can simply hop on and start riding. There is a small learning curve. It might take you a few minutes to get used to the throttle and the feel of the electric motor pushing you. After riding around for an hour or so, you’ll start to feel comfortable.

Most people already know how to ride a bicycle. This makes e-bikes very intuitive and natural to ride. You simply hop on and start pedaling, like any other bike. The steering, brakes, and shifting all work the same as any other bike. The pedal assist system takes care of controlling the motor for you. You don’t have to bother with operating a throttle when using pedal assist.

An e-bike with a throttle may be slightly more difficult to ride because there is an extra control that you have to learn how to use. On most throttle-controlled e-bikes, the throttle is a simple thumb lever or twist grip. These are very easy to use. It may take a bit of practice to master this control. It’s also another control to think about while you’re riding.

E-scooters may be slightly more difficult to ride. Most people aren’t as used to the feeling of riding a scooter. You also have to use a throttle to ride an electric scooter. If you’re not used to operating a motor vehicle, it may take some getting used to.

In general, both electric bikes and electric scooters are easy to ride. With some practice, anyone can learn how to ride either one with ease. It just may take a bit of time to become comfortable.

Winner: E-bikes can be easier to ride than e-scooters.

Security and Theft

Electric scooters are less likely to be stolen than electric bikes. The main reason is that e-scooters are extremely portable. They are compact and lightweight. You can carry e-scooters into offices, malls, restaurants, cafes, and your home. You never need to leave your scooter unattended. This substantially reduces the chances of opportunistic theft.

E-bikes, on the other hand, are more likely to be stolen. This is because they are too cumbersome and challenging to transport and store indoors. When you ride an e-bike, you’ll often need to leave it locked up outside. This combined with the considerable value of e-bikes, makes them a target for thieves. E-bike theft is a serious issue in some cities. If you ride an e-bike, you’ll need to invest in a high-quality u-lock or chain lock. Some e-bikes come with integrated GPS trackers, which add an extra layer of security.

Winner: E-scooters are less likely to be stolen than electric bikes.

Looks

It can be difficult to decide between an e-bike and an e-scooter when it comes to aesthetics. While both have their own charm and style. Looks are subjective.

Some riders prefer the sleek design of e-scooters. They have kind of a futuristic vibe. E-scooters also come in a wide variety of colors and styles.

Others prefer the look of an e-bike. Many riders enjoy the look of a classic bicycle mixed with modern electrical components.

E-bikes also have more customization options. From built-in lights, locks, and racks to stylish frame designs, these features help add extra flair. Of course, e-bikes are also available in a wide range of colors and designs.

Ultimately, choosing between e-bikes and e-scooters comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for something with a subtle yet modern look then an e-bike might be your best bet. If you want something super modern and trendy then you may want to opt for an e-scooter instead.

Personally, I think it looks kind of goofy seeing an adult riding an electric scooter. I associate scooters with children. I used to ride a Razor scooter all over the place when I was a kid. To me, scooters are a bit childish. E-bikes are a bit more adult

Many people will disagree with me on this. Many people also don’t care about looks. They just want affordable personal electric transportation.

Winner: Looks are subjective. In my opinion, e-bikes look better.

An electric bicycle with panniers

Who Should Choose an Electric Bike?

E-bikes are the better choice for those who need to ride long distances. With the assistance of an electric motor, riders can cover more ground with less physical effort than on a traditional bicycle. E-bikes are also more comfortable to ride for long periods of time because you can sit down. This makes them perfect for long commutes and even bicycle touring. If you regularly need to ride more than 10-20 miles, an e-bike is a great choice.

Electric bikes are also the better choice for those who need more range. They come with larger batteries allowing them to travel further on a single charge than e-scooters. You can get e-bikes with up to 100 miles of range.

Those who want to ride off-road are also better off going with an electric bike. The larger wheels make e-bikes more maneuverable over rocky trails and other challenging terrain types. There are electric mountain bikes and electric fat bikes that are specifically designed for off-road use.

E-bikes are also the better choice for those who need to carry luggage. They offer plenty of cargo capacity when riding around town or going on extended biking trips. Many models come equipped with racks built into the frame that make carrying luggage even easier. They can also tow a trailer.

Those who ride for exercise are also better off choosing an e-bike. Most e-bikes are pedal assist. This means you have to pedal while you’re riding. Pedaling increases your heart rate and improves your cardiovascular health. You’ll also burn more calories while riding an e-bike.

Those with certain disabilities are also better off with an e-bike. E-bikes allow you to sit down and ride. There are also three-wheeled electric trikes and recumbent bikes that don’t require you to balance. There are electric bikes for hand cyclists. Almost anyone can ride an electric bike.

Those who like to travel fast may also be better off with an electric bike. You can cover more ground more quickly with an e-bike. There are e-bikes that can reach speeds of up to 60 mph. These may not be legal in all jurisdictions.

Who Should Choose an Electric Scooter?

Electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular as a mode of transportation. They offer a convenient and cost-effective way to get from point A to point B. As such, they can be an ideal choice for a variety of people with different needs. 

E-scooters are ideal for those who value portability. E-scooters are much more lightweight and portable than electric bikes making them great for those who need the flexibility to carry their personal electric vehicle when necessary. You can carry an e-scooter up stairs and into cars, buses, and trains.

Those on a tight budget are also better off choosing an electric scooter. E-scooters are far less expensive than e-bikes. You can buy a decent electric scooter for just a few hundred dollars. E-bikes start at over a thousand dollars.

Those who ride in crowded areas may also be better off riding an electric scooter. Scooters are perfect for navigating crowded city streets or sidewalks packed with pedestrians. They’re small enough that you can slip through traffic yet powerful enough to get you where you need to go quickly.

Rental e-bikes in a city

FAQ About Electric Scooters and Electric Bikes

What is Better an Electric Scooter or an Electric Bike?

Neither is better than the other. The best electric transportation option for you depends on how you plan to use it.

When it comes to choosing between an electric scooter and an electric bike, there are several things to consider. E-scooters are more lightweight, portable, and require less effort to operate than electric bikes. However, they have a shorter range compared to e-bikes.

Electric bikes offer additional features like off-road capability, greater range, and more cargo space. The main drawbacks are that they are larger, heavier, and less portable than e-scooters. There are benefits and drawbacks of both types of vehicles.

Ultimately it depends on your personal needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a convenient way to get around town with minimum effort then an electric scooter might be best. However, if you want to ride longer distances then an electric bike is the better option.

Is an Electric Scooter Better than an E-bike for Commuting?

The answer really depends on your commute. If you have a longer commute like 10-20 miles or more, an electric bike will be the better choice thanks to the longer range and more comfortable riding position. E-scooters are better for shorter commutes less than 5 miles.

If you want to use multiple modes of transportation for your commute, an electric scooter will be the better choice thanks to its portability. With an electric scooter, you can ride to your nearest metro station, fold up the scooter and take it with you. Once you reach the stop closest to work, you can unfold your scooter and ride the rest of the way. E-scooters can solve the last mile problem.

E-bikes aren’t ideal for multi-modal transport because they are too large and heavy. You can’t take an e-bike on the bus with you. There are some exceptions. Folding e-bikes can work well for commuting.

My Experience

I regularly ride an electric bike. I also own an electric scooter. There is also an electric scooter and e-bike rental service operating in my city. I occasionally rent a scooter or bike to ride around downtown when I don’t feel like bringing my own.

In most cases, I prefer riding my electric bike. It’s faster and more comfortable. I don’t get range anxiety due to the large battery. It can also be ridden on a wider range of surfaces. The roads aren’t in the best condition in my city. My e-bike can easily handle potholes and cracks in the road. I can even ride gravel roads and dirt trails. I also regularly use my e-bike for grocery shopping. My panniers can carry a surprising amount of food.

Riding e-scooters is fun. They’re surprisingly quick and extremely nimble. It’s fun zipping through downtown. The biggest drawback for me is the looks. I always feel kind of goofy while riding an e-scooter. They’re kind of childish.

A white e-bike

Final Thoughts

Electric scooters and electric bikes are both great modes of transportation for urban dwellers. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. E-scooters are ideal for short trips in congested, urban areas. Electric bikes are best for longer rides and riding on rougher terrain or bumpy roads.

Ultimately, this choice comes down to your personal preference, your lifestyle needs, and your riding style. When deciding between an electric bike and an electric scooter, consider where you’re going to ride, the distances, the terrain, what you need to carry, and your budget.

Whether you prefer the convenience of an electric scooter or the range of an electric bike, they are both great options that will help you get around quickly and comfortably! Whichever option you choose, I hope this guide has helped you in making your decision.

Do you ride an electric scooter or an electric bike? Share your experience in the comments below!

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