In cities around the world, more and more city-dwellers are considering daily journeys by their own means, without public transport. If you make a choice between an electric bicycle or an electric scooter, which one should you prefer?
Being able to move easily and quickly from home to work, go to appointments and even run a few errands without having to face traffic jams: electric scooters and electric bicycles promise a simpler life for city dwellers.
In order to use public transport less often, but also to leave the car in the garage as much as possible, these modern and practical vehicles are becoming increasingly popular. They are now available in all price ranges and multiple configurations and models.
Read also: How to select the best – mountain e-bike, commuter e-bike, cruiser e-bike, junior e-bike, city e-bike, electric trike, folding e-bike, hybrid e-bike, cargo e-bike, road e-bike, gravel e-bike, kids’ e-bike – in our comprehensive e-bike selection guides.
When choosing between an electric scooter and a bicycle with electric assistance, how do you find the best means of locomotion according to your needs? Here is some information to help you make your decision.
Handling: electric scooter wins
If you are primarily looking for a small, light, and easy to transport vehicle, which you can take with you if you still have to get on a metro or bus for a while, an electric scooter will suit you better than an electric bike.
In practical terms, most bicycles with electric assistance weigh between 20 and 25 kg, mainly because of the battery and motor. For electric scooters, the “standard” weight is around 12 to 13 kg, but there are even “light” models that can weigh less than 10 kg.
At the same time, you may want to consider foldable electric bikes, which are almost as small and as light, as electric scooters.
And take into account that city electric bicycles are getting lighter and lighter. There several models that weigh around 12-13 kg, which is in the same range as electric scooters.
Read also: Modmo Saigon, a 12 kg / 200 km range urban e-bike – in this article. And, Cowboy 3, a sturdy, lively, and connected city e-bike – in this article. And, Vanmoof S3/X3, finally an ideal city e-bike – in this article.
Xiaomi M365 Mijia
On the electric scooter side, it is hard to overlook THE star of the pavement, the Xiaomi M365, which stands out with its accessible entrance ticket and honorable performances. Lightweight (12.5 kg) and foldable, it can travel 20 km with its 250-watt engine (500 on peak) with which it can reach 25 km/h.
Above all, it has reassuring braking with a magnetic brake in front and a disc in the back. There is a dedicated mobile app, which will allow to change multiple settings to configure your scooter.
The most balanced scooter on the market benefits from an inflatable tire at the rear, a plus for your lumbar region but more problematic when an occasional puncture occurs.
Check out the current price for this model on Amazon.
Take a look at this video review of Xiaomi M365 e-scooter:
Power and autonomy: e-bikes usually go further.
If you want to make slightly longer trips on a daily basis, electric scooters quickly show their limits. The range from one model to another is quite variable but, generally speaking, the 25-kilometer limit is rarely exceeded. Some entry-level models even struggle to reach 10 kilometers.
Since they are equipped with more powerful batteries, bikes with electric assistance offer better performance: you often flirt with the 50 km range and can even reach twice that on top-of-the-range models.
The fact that and e-bike would easily gain the range point does not help the results to be more nuanced around speed. Many e-bikes have their top speed of around 25 km/h (the government-imposed limit where the electric assistance must stop).
This is a benchmark speed that is also found on some scooter models, although the less sophisticated ones sometimes remain at speeds below 20 km/h, often closer to 15 km/h.
Essentialb URBAN 600
Among the small electric vehicles capable of driving fast for a long time, the Essentialb Urban 600 e-bike is worth mentioning. This is a powerful city e-bike, which can travel up to 100 km without recharging, with a top speed of 25 km/h.
Prices: good deals are available in both categories
Both e-scooters and e-bikes are no longer reserved for the more affluent, as both types of vehicles can be found marketed at affordable prices. Given the success of those local mobility means of transport, manufacturers have not hesitated to develop more budget-friendly models: Décathlon, Intersport, Essentielb, or Xiaomi, to name but a few.
If you are looking for the cheapest mode of transport, you will definitely turn to an electric scooter, as there are some at really aggressive prices, sometimes under €100.
For an electric bicycle, even if you make concessions on performance, you still have to pay a few hundred euros to equip yourself.
It should be noted that in both cases, it is possible to take advantage of local and national subsidies that can greatly facilitate the purchase of such types of vehicles.
Read also: What financial aid you can get to buy an e-bike? (an example from France) – in this article.
Those who can afford such purchase, have a vested interest in aiming for the right price/quality ratio, rather than absolutely targeting the cheapest alternative. Indeed, by spending a slightly larger sum, one can access a much more appreciable comfort.
Such models will be more robust, quicker to charge, and above all more autonomous. Among the best compromises that sell very well are, for example, the electric scooters from the Chinese manufacturer Xiaomi.
For the city trips, the match between an electric scooter and an e-bike remains quite close because these two alternatives each hold great promise in their own way.
While an electric scooter remains the most economical, an electric bicycle is a more robust piece of equipment with better performance and is likely to be more useful in the long term.