The Big Decision: E-Bike vs. Electric Scooter | KBO Bike

The Big Decision: E-Bike vs. Electric Scooter | KBO Bike

Which Personal Electric Vehicle is Right for You?

Nowadays, it is more common to see people out on the streets using some form of personal electric transportation. Most often, you will see electric scooters and electric bikes in use. After seeing the amazing benefits of these two vehicles in action, you might be thinking; “which one is best for me? An electric bike or scooter?”

These are common questions recently, as the demand for electric bikes and e-scooters has shot up since the end of 2019. Now, more than ever, people across the nation are looking for their ideal electric ride to revamp their personal transport needs.

In this blog post, we will explore not only the unique features of personal electric vehicles, but also separate the differences between e-bikes and battery powered scooters. Our goal is to provide you with some field-level information to get you on the path to making an informed purchase.

The Great Features of Personal Electric Vehicles

This first section will focus on personal electric vehicles (PEVs) as a whole. You can write these benefits down for both e-scooters or electric bikes. Their battery powered core allows them to share some similarities as compared to traditional manual bikes or scooters.

Aside from their ability to improve environmental conditions with reduced emissions, electric bikes and scooters provide some innovative features to those who ride them.

Battery-Powered Motor(s)

The key feature of electric bikes and scooters are their battery powered motors. These motors harness electrical energy to propel you forward without having to use any physical effort. This is one of the most appealing features of a PEV, as it allows the rider some rest or additional strength when facing uphill climbs or difficult riding situations.

The motors operate individually, or occasionally, in a set of two. The motors provide additional power to the drivetrain and give riders extra levels of speed that could probably not be reached with pure physical effort.

Electronic Displays

One of the most user-friendly features of PEVs are their electronic displays. This is your command hub for your e-bike or scooter. On the display you can find important features like the odometer, speedometer, and the charge levels.

These small, but useful screens will allow you to keep track of your riding habits and monitor the performance of your PEV.

Small Form Factor. Big Power Output

As the name ‘PEV’ states, these two options are for personal use. This means that their smaller size accommodates only one adult at a time for safe operation. It is because of their smaller form factor that they have become so appealing.

By using a personal form of transportation, you no longer have to use public transport options like the train or the bus when commuting. This saves you time from waiting, money from everyday fares, and gives you personal space from overcrowded public spaces.

These small vehicles are more suitable options for people that have a smaller living space, such as those living in a city studio apartment. They are also suitable for people that are travelling a short distance, to the local supermarket or pharmacy, for example.

Keep in mind that small size does not equal small power. Modern e-bikes and scooters have surprising capabilities. New designs and optimized engineering have allowed PEVs to have up to 55 miles of battery-powered riding on a single charge.

Many PEV owners have stated that they chose their ride because of the small footprint and how the powerful battery and motor combination takes away the need for a car.

Electric Bikes Versus Electric Scooters

Now that we have gotten a few of the similarities out of the way, it's best to focus on some of the features that make e-bikes different from an electric scooter. Each header will explain the feature or interaction and then break down the differences between an e-bike and e-scooter.

Riding Style

Riding style refers to the way you go about riding one vehicle or another.

Electric Bike

There are new riding features set by premium e-bikes. Normally, you will find three riding options to choose from on the display:

1. Manual Pedaling
2. Electrical Pedal Assist
3. Throttle Control

These three options can be chosen at any time when riding the bike. If you are on a flat straight away and feel like pedaling along, you can choose to ride the e-bike as you would a traditional bike.

If you are facing a big uphill climb, but have already exerted all your energy, flip it into throttle control and the motor will do all the work for you.

Pedal assist is a comfortable medium where you will need to pedal manually, but the motors provide some extra power into each rotation.

Electric Scooter

For e-scooters, it is harder to have a variety of options on how you ride the scooter. While you might be familiar with traditional kick scooters, modern e-scooters are a bit heavier to kick with to ride in a traditional sense.

E-scooters will have a throttle control option that allows you to ride with the motor propelling you forward.

The standard riding style between e-scooters and electric bikes are different as well. Most e-scooters will only have the option for standing riding, while you will always be seated when riding on an e-bike.

Note: Many PEV owners that choose electric bikes often state that you can still enjoy the fitness aspects of a bike even on the e-bike. Whereas on an electric scooter, there is not much physical activity involved in riding.

Battery Capacity and Motor Power Output

This refers to the electrical components of each PEV and how they relate to the riding experience.

Electric Bike

As we had mentioned earlier in the article, PEVs are well known for their smaller size than traditional transportation. Between bikes and scooters, electric bikes have a slightly larger size. While this is true comparing the two vehicles, e-bikes do not differ in size from traditional bikes, and they have most of the same measurements.

The sizing of an e-bike allows for larger battery packs and larger, more powerful electric motors. Both of these features are a plus when shopping for the ideal electric transport companion. Additional power and longer battery life are two of the biggest details you should be looking for when shopping around.

Electric Scooter

Electric scooters are normally more compact than an e-bike. This poses some limitations on the types of electrical components that are found in the construction of the scooter. The biggest disadvantage that some scooters have is lower battery capacity, meaning shorter battery life and overall lower riding range.

However, when it comes to motors, electric scooters often have the advantage of having some serious power. With dual-motor e-scooters, you might see models with combined 2000+ Watt motor power that achieve some serious levels of speed and acceleration. But you might check the law of your states first if you are planing to buy a supper fast e-scooter. 

Electric scooters rely on a charged battery to work properly, otherwise, you will be pushing the scooter down the road. For an electric bike, even if the battery has died, you can still ride it as you would a standard bike to get around.

Storage Solutions

Comparing the storage capacity of each PEV

Electric Bike

For bikes, there are often many different storage solutions to meet a variety of needs. From the traditional front basket to add-on rear cargo bays, there are plenty of well-engineered storage solutions to help you if you need to take your things along for the ride.

Electric Scooter

Because of the smaller frames and standing riding design, there are very few opportunities for storage spaces on e-scooters. Most commonly, you will find handlebar bags that can fit smaller items like a water bottle or your phone. When riding an electric scooter, you will have to rely more on a backpack for additional storage.

How to Make the Right Choice

Now that we have outlined some of the combined benefits and some of the differences between electric bikes and e-scooters, we can wrap up some of the final details to make the ideal choice for you. If you are recovering from a knee replacement surgery, or you are suffering from knee pain, then electric bikes are more suitable for you. 

Everyone will use their bikes or scooters for different purposes. From daily commuting to work to riding around town to complete some errands. Regardless of what you choose to use your PEV for, there is an answer for you.

A Case for Electric Bikes

Our research team has found that PEV owners make their decisions based on their use cases and focus mostly on the riding style. Many people find e-bikes to be a well-rounded form of transportation, with additional benefits from the electrical parts.

E-Bikes can be used in a wider variety of use cases because of the ability to use the motor power when needed or not at all. For electric scooters, you depend on the motor and battery to get you places.

Sitting or standing riding styles can make a big difference. Sitting on an electric bike is comfortable and can be suitable for longer distances. Standing on an electric scooter requires more dexterity and can get tiring for anybody after longer rides.

If you are looking for motor-powered riding to assist you when you face challenging situations like large hills, then an e-bike will be able to help you conquer those obstacles. If you still want to have the ability to get some exercise and move your body, an e-bike does not limit the use of physical strength for operation.

Your Decision is The Best Decision

Regardless of which option you choose, there are outstanding benefits to owning a personal electric vehicle. They will transform the way that you get around town and provide technological advancements to your everyday life.

When choosing between an electric bike or an electric scooter, be sure to determine what features are most important to you. Also think about how you will be interacting with the vehicle on a daily basis. Where will you be riding? How far do you need to go? Are there some pesky hills along the way?

After giving it some thought, you will find the true answer to the modern question of choosing the right PEV. Each has its benefits and drawbacks, but your choice is unique to you, and therefore will be the ideal choice.