Which Is Better: An E-Bike or a Moped?
June 7, 2023
Micro-mobility transportation options are exploding in popularity. These vehicles are defined as small, lightweight vehicles that generally reach a maximum speed of twenty-five miles per hour (MPH), though this can vary. They are operated by a single person and are optimal for short-distance travel. E-bikes and electric mopeds are both examples of micro-mobility vehicles.
These options are greener alternatives to driving your car for short commutes, errands, or even recreational purposes. As the warmer months approach, you’re probably looking for the best electric moped bike to be your right hand this summer. If you’re wondering if you should get an electric bike, a scooter, or a moped-style ebike and aren’t sure where to start, we can help.
When it comes to mopeds and e-bikes, there are some key distinctions between the two. In these next sections, we will define the characteristics of each, their benefits, and shortcomings.
Mopeds: The Pros and Cons
A moped is, in short, a two-wheel powered motor vehicle. It runs with an electric motor or engine and typically has a horsepower of less than two. While they may have pedals, riders do not have to manually turn the pedals to operate a moped the same way they would a bicycle.
Speed: Mopeds can reach a speed north of thirty MPH, allowing them to keep up with typical street traffic for short-distance commutes.
Power: Mopeds can be powered by either a gas engine or an electric battery. Choosing a battery is more environmentally-friendly.
Range: This is highly dependent on the moped you get, but many mopeds can ride for nearly one-hundred miles when fully fueled. This can vary on the moped, if it’s gas or electric, and the average speed you ride at.
Regulated: Mopeds are motor vehicles that are regulated by both federal and state laws within the United States. Because of this, you can receive moped insurance, protecting you and your ride.
Cost of regulation: Regulations are a double-edged sword at times. Mopeds require a license, tags, and insurance in most states. This can cost you additional time and money, and you need to be mindful of expiration dates for tags, licenses, and registration.
Limits on where you can ride: Mopeds can only be driven in the road alongside car traffic. They are not permitted in bike lanes or park settings. Due to their speed and range, they are not ideal for long-distance travel or highways.
Weight: Mopeds weigh approximately 150 to 200 pounds. They cannot be stored in your home in most cases, and can only be transported by riding them, placing them in a trailer, or securing them in the back of a truck.
E-Bikes: The Pros and Cons
An electric bike, or ‘e-bike,’ is a bicycle with pedals that operate the same way a manual bicycle does. When a rider begins pedaling, the e-bike’s pedal-assist activates, initiating the electric motor. They typically have a horsepower of less than one.
Health benefits: Because e-bikes rely on the rider to pedal to activate the motor, they are a fantastic source of exercise. You don’t need to be Lance Armstrong to use an electric bike—the motor assists with pedaling until you reach the maximum speed for your e-bike class. They are perfect for riders looking to rebuild strength or simply enjoy the benefits of biking without the hardship.
Classified as bicycles: E-bikes can be ridden in bike lanes, in parks, and on designated trails. They do not require a license or registration, making them an accessible option to all riders.
Range and speed: Most e-bikes reach a maximum speed of twenty to twenty-eight MPH, depending on their class. They are perfect for short-distance commute or recreational rides because their range can vary between 25 and 60 miles before requiring recharge.
Eco-friendly: E-bikes are powered by electricity and you, meaning no fuel emissions and no gas necessary.
Light and convenient: E-bikes typically weigh less than one hundred pounds, depending on the frame, battery, and motor size. Lightweight e-bikes are extremely common, and some are even collapsable–this makes it easy to bring them inside and store.
Not ideal for high speeds or long distances: Like mopeds, e-bikes are not suitable for highway riding or long-distance rides due to their speed limitations and range.
Is commuting on an electric bike a good idea? As long as your commute is a short-distance and doesn’t involve highway-driving, we’d say so! When comparing mopeds and e-bikes, the benefits far outweigh the downsides for e-bikes. They are convenient, environmentally-friendly, and come with all of the benefits of a moped, and more.