An electric bike can be used legally on public roads without a licence, insurance or road tax provided that you are over 14, the bike has a maximum output of 250 watts and the battery assistance does not exceed 15.5mph (25km).
Electric scooters are not currently allowed on public roads, cycle lanes or pavements, limiting them to private land. However, local authorities have been running trials in major UK cities to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of e scooters in reducing both congestion and carbon emissions. Many industry experts now consider legalisation to be just a formality.E Scooters vs E Bikes: Which is Best?
Individual preferences differ but in our experience, there are four fundamental areas of comparison.
Bikes are long-established as a serious mode of transport whereas some people dismiss underpowered scooters as kids' toys. The advent of electric power is changing this perception. Now that an e scooter is capable of getting you around quickly and comfortably, some of the advantages of e scooters vs ebikes are becoming more evident. For one thing, even the most sophisticated e bike is far bulkier than an e scooter. Storing a scooter at home, especially if you live in a flat, and parking it securely when you're out and about is far easier. The size of a bike means that you benefit from suspension and other features to ensure a smooth ride. However, compactness and convenience are extremely important.
The current generation of high-performance e scooters has pneumatic tyres and suspension systems of their own. If they are legalised for road use, sales will rise, prices will fall and these top-end features will become the norm.Performance
Speed and range are concerns for all electrical vehicles. Battery size is another point of difference in the electric bike vs scooter debate because the latter will generally have smaller batteries, capable of lower maximum speeds. However, both bikes and scooters are limited by law and by practicality. In any case, if you're travelling in busy town centres, speed is rarely as important as manoeuvrability, in which case the e scooter is a better choice.
It's frustrating and inconvenient when your battery runs out of power unexpectedly. Unless you have one of the more expensive e bikes with a full set of gears, you'll find it extremely hard to ride it using pedal power alone. While e scooters are designed to move under battery power, they are a little easier to ride manually simply because of the lower weight. It might be a slower ride home but it will not be as exhausting as trying to do the same on an ebike.Safety
There are a few elements to the question of safety in e scooters vs e bikes. One is the security of the vehicle. E bikes are more likely targets for theft because they have a higher resale value. They can also be difficult to park or store safely because they generally need to be kept outside.
So which is safer to ride? E scooters are much lower to the ground and therefore more vulnerable to potholes and riders may be less visible to other road users. However, the relatively low speeds at which e scooters travel mean the bumps in the road need not be significant, and as their popularity increases, they will become a more familiar sight. Other drivers, riders and pedestrians will learn to give them the same consideration that has developed towards cyclists over recent years, and in any case, at moments of danger, it's easy to simply hop off a scooter
The most significant barrier to legalisation has been the fear that e scooters can injure other people. Nothing in the scooter itself justifies this concern; it is simply a matter of responsible use by riders and the awareness of others. Again, legalisation would increase usage and regulate behaviour while public education would be a part of the solution.
Cost of E scooters vs E bikes
The initial outlay is far lower for an e scooter, which is one of their many attractions. While it's true that an e bike will carry a greater load, an e scooter offers a much more flexible way of getting around.
The purchase price isn't the only financial consideration. There are many more moving parts in an e bike which means maintenance is more complex and expensive, while e scooters may need little more than a replacement battery every few years.
The debate over e scooters vs e bikes continues, but our extensive experience of e scooters has convinced us that this is the future of personal transport in busy urban areas.
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