What isn’t electric these days?
With new technology being rolled out seemingly every day, it can be tricky to keep up with all the breaking news that never seems to stop breaking. However, the odds are you’ve at least heard of electric bikes and scooters.
Like everything in life, there are positives and negatives to both sides. If you’re having a tough time deciding which one is right for you, you’ve come to the right place.
Today we’re going to break down the pros and cons of having an electric bike and an electric scooter so you can finally decide what’s right for you.
What Is an Electric Bike?
Before we get into anything too technical, let’s start off with something easy.
This motor is what makes an electric bike unique, along with the pedal assist system (PAS) or throttle control. The PAS is what helps you with the pedaling, depending on what setting you have it on.
For example, all Velotric bikes come with a 5-level PAS and throttle control. That’s bang for your buck.
What Is an Electric Scooter?
An electric scooter, on the other hand, is far more technical, complicated, and powerful — joking.
It’s basically the exact same concept as an electric bike: someone took a normal scooter and slapped a motor on it somewhere. The difference is the PAS, as electric scooters typically only come with throttle control.
Additionally, scooters typically aren’t equipped with a motor as powerful as electric bikes, so you won’t be able to go as fast.
Considering both rides share a lot of similarities, we felt it would be best to first cover what they have in common in terms of pros and cons.
As you’ll see as you continue to read, both eBikes and eScooters carry a lot of value, but it all depends on what you’re looking for and how you’ll be using your electric ride.
We're going to start off with their shared pros and cons and move into a more narrowed focus on each one immediately after. Let’s get down to it!
What might be the most important benefit of riding electric? Not enough can be said about getting cars off the road.
The environmental impact of riding electric, both scooters and bikes, is essential for building a better tomorrow and taking care of our planet.
Instead of taking your car to drive five minutes to the nearest convenience store, taking an electric bike or scooter takes almost the same amount of energy without adding pollution to the earth and saving gas money. And you won’t have to fight what seems like every person in town for a parking space.
As a bonus, if you live in a big city, more electric scooters and bikes means fewer cars and less traffic. We’re looking at you, Los Angeles.
Everyone just wants to have fun, right?
No matter what the main purpose of your electric purchase is (exercise, commuting, etc.), you can always use your electric bike or scooter for leisure.
There are few things that rival zipping around outside and exploring on an electric bike or scooter. It’s always a fun and relaxing way to get out of the house and have some fun.
Unfortunately, not everything can be perfect.
We wish we could sit here and say, “Yeah, you’ll love either no matter what because they’re so incredibly awesome,” there are certain things to note before you make a purchase.
While that statement actually still holds true — there are always things you need to be aware of. Owning an electric bike or scooter isn’t a cakewalk, so let’s take a look at some of their shared cons.
There are cheap electric bikes and scooters, but you get what you pay for.
If you want something quality, you’re going to have to be prepared to make a major purchase.
We’re not talking about a your-first-home-level purchase, but they are an investment — at least not if you want a quality ride.
So yes, they can be pricey, but as you’ll come to read, there are a bunch of positives that can make that purchase worth it. Plus, some companies (like us over at Velotric) are working to make riding eBikes more affordable than ever without sacrificing the quality that you know, love, and depend on.
If you’ve had a regular bike or scooter before, you know that typically the only maintenance involved is pumping air in the tires or a good clean every now and then.
While you won’t be spending every waking moment trying to keep your electric scooter or bike in mint condition, be prepared to spend more time than you would if it wasn’t electric. Charging, battery replacement, motor maintenance (if needed), and more are all added maintenance tasks that you simply will have to deal with if you’re buying electric.
As we said, it’s not the end of the world, but be prepared to put in a little more work.
Electric Bike: Two Pros and Two Cons
Fair is fair, so we’re going to assign each ride its own two pros and cons.
We’re going to start with electric bikes because there’s slightly more to go over than scooters.
If you’ve been looking for new ways to shake up your exercise routine, look no further than an electric bike.
If you miss the feeling of regular biking, no biggie! You can switch the PAS and throttle control off and have a normal ride.
Are you wanting a more relaxed workout, or maybe you’re coming off an injury or have chronic pain? Whatever the reason is, the PAS allows you to completely control the difficulty of your exercise.
Having complete control over your workout isn’t something that should be taken lightly, and electric bikes offer one of the most versatile workouts around. Your knees will thank you.
If you find yourself taking public transportation or the traffic is simply getting to be too much, you can ride with your mind at ease as you take your new electric bike to work or school.
Electric bikes have a more powerful motor, so they can go a lot faster than scooters. This makes electric bikes a commuting machine, and as a bonus, you get a mini-workout before you work or study all day.
Another bonus is that you won’t show up sweaty! Just flip the PAS on and enjoy the ride.
And now for the cons.
Unless you already have a bike rack or a really big truck, you will probably find it a little difficult to get your bike from point A to point B (unless you ride it there, obviously). But, some rides are simply out of range, like if you’re taking your EBike with you on vacation, for example.
There are quick fixes to this problem but be prepared before you buy in case you ever need to transport your bike elsewhere. See if you can find an Ebike dealer near or look for lenient shipping policies.
Finally, charging can be a tad inconvenient.
Again, this is something you’re just going to have to live with, but there will probably be times when you forget to charge your bike, leading to unnecessary stress.
You can solve this easily by having a backup battery. However, it’s important to remember to always keep your bike charged.
Electric Scooter: Two Pros and Two Cons
Time for the scooter to take center stage.
Let’s look at two pros and two cons of having an electric scooter.
Compared to an electric bike, scooters are much smaller and easier to get around. If you ever want to take your scooter on vacation, you should have no trouble fitting it in with the rest of your stuff.
While planning your vacation, make sure to check if your scooter or bike battery will be allowed to fly — the TSA gets pretty specific about this. Most batteries over 100 watt-hours might not make the cut — it’s a no-go as a carry-on and a “special circumstances” thing for shipped baggage.
While you still have to charge the scooter, they’re still slightly more convenient because of their size, and you don’t have to pedal.
Speaking of not pedaling, a huge downside of electric scooters is the lack of exercise.
It’s a very, very low-intensity workout that doesn’t really compare to a bike workout. You’re still exercising your legs a little bit, but it pales in comparison to cycling.
If You’re Going to Buy Electric…
Finally, if you’re going to buy an electric mode of transportation, you might as well go the distance, right?
Electric bikes cover more ground, you get more exercise, and you get more use overall compared to a scooter. While a scooter is cheaper, it simply doesn’t offer the same benefits bikes do.
After all this talk about electric bikes, you’re probably just as eager to hit the ground pedaling as we are.
At Velotric, we’re dedicated to creating the smoothest, coolest, and best ride of your life. We’re huge supporters of exploring and getting outdoors, and we believe there’s no better way to do that than with an electric bike.
Whatever you decide, we’re confident you’re making the right decision, but we’d certainly miss seeing you on the trails if you decided to go the scooter route.
Either way, take care, and we’ll see you outside!