E-Scooters vs. E-Bikes

Recent years have seen a shift towards electric mobility, with electric scooters and electric bikes gaining in popularity. While both are great options for “last mile” transportation, they’re different in a number of significant ways. In this article we explore the pros and cons of e-bikes and e-scooters for urban commuting to help you figure out which ride is best for you.


E-scooters

E-bikes

  • 1. Affordability
  • X

  • 2. Legality
  • X*

  • 3. Range
  • X

  • 4. Speed
  • X

  • 5. Portability
  • X

  • 6. Storage
  • X

  • 7. Eco-friendliness
  • 8. Safety

    1. Affordability

    E-scooters win this round, hands down. The starting price of an e-bike is around £700 nowadays, while the starting price of an e-scooter is around £400. Plus, with a great scooter sale, you can easily find a high-quality model at a heavily discounted price.

    1. Legality

    This one goes to e-bikes. In the UK, you don’t need a licence to ride an e-bike on cycle paths or roads. You just need to be 14 or over and make sure your e-bike meets certain requirements including having a top speed of 15.5 mph. There’s more information on the laws here

    E-scooters, meanwhile, can only be used on private land. This might be confusing to many considering cities in the UK now have e-scooters available for the public to rent. But this is because the UK government is trialling a scooter sharing system, and these e-scooters, like e-bikes, are permitted on cycle paths or roads and have a maximum speed of 15.5 mph.

    We’ve asterisked this category for one reason though: the UK government is interested in seeing if e-scooters are a convenient and cost-effective method of public transport. If they find that they are, then the laws surrounding privately owned e-scooters could soon change. After all, countries like Norway and New Zealand have made it legal for privately owned e-scooters to ride on bike lanes and roads. 

    1. Range

    Again, this one goes to e-bikes. The top range for e-scooters is around 90 miles on a single charge (though the Kaabo Wolf King GT Pro is capable of hitting 111 miles). With e-bikes, the range can be anywhere between 40 to 250 miles on a single charge. Remember, with e-bikes the battery isn’t being used constantly, and so the more economical you are with it, the greater the range you can cover. It’s therefore the more versatile option for longer distances.

    e scooter vs e bike for urban commute
    1. Speed

    By law, both e-scooters and e-bikes are restricted to a maximum of 15.5 mph when travelling on cycle paths and roads. However, e-scooters edge out e-bikes in this category because privately owned e-scooters are capable of hitting top speeds as high as 50 mph (of course, the limiting factor here is you can only ride them on privately owned property). 

    1. Portability

    This is a no-brainer. E-scooters are far and away the more portable option for urban commuters. 

    Firstly, they’re more lightweight. You can find an excellent e-scooter model weighing under 15 kgs for about £400. But that’s not the case with e-bikes, which tend to average 25 to 30 kgs. The lighter models which weigh 15 kg can set you back by £2699

    Secondly, most e-scooter models come with a nifty mechanism which allows you to fold them and carry them with ease (especially if you pick up a shoulder strap). E-Twow in particular is renowned for manufacturing lightweight models which can fold neatly to a height of less than 50cm!  

    1. Storage

    Again, e-scooters win this round. They’re the more convenient option as they take up far less space than an e-bike (even a folding e-bike!), and once folded can be easily stowed away in a car boot, under train seats or your office desk, or in a cupboard at home. 

    1. Eco-friendly

    It’s a tie here, and the great news is that both e-bikes and e-scooters are terrific eco-friendly options for urban commuters (and they emit minimal noise pollution). A Wired study estimates that e-scooters are more than 1000% more efficient per mile than the average combustion vehicle. 

    1. Safety

    It’s a tie here as well. Some of you might be surprised to read that considering the (often loud and scare-mongering) headlines surrounding e-scooter usage. But collected data shows that in comparison to other modes of personal transport, e-scooters only make up a very small proportion of accidents, injuries and deaths on UK roads. Visit our page on E-Scooter Use and Safety to see the statistics for yourself.

    We firmly believe that e-scooters and e-bikes are safe options for urban commuting. That being said, we always recommend sensible riding, avoiding fast-moving roads where you can’t keep pace with the traffic, and wearing a helmet and protective gear when riding.


    And the winner is… You!

    So there you have it. E-scooters beat e-bikes by a fine margin of 6 to 4 when it comes to the best transportation vehicle for urban commuting and navigating a crowded city. Like we said before, they’re both great options and they both come with terrific benefits – which means no matter which ride you pick, you still end up a winner.

    If you’re leaning towards picking up an e-scooter, then browse our amazing collection here, or if you need more convincing, visit our blog to find interesting news and information on e-scooters.