Understanding the Differences Between Moped Style E-Bikes and Electric Scooters

Understanding the Differences Between Moped Style E-Bikes and Electric Scooters
There is often confusion about the differences between moped style e-bike and electric scooters. They are all two-wheeled vehicles but are very different on legal requirements, benefits, and riding style. So without further ado, let’s get into what these vehicles are and how they are different:

What are Moped Style E-Bikes?

You have probably seen mopeds being ridden up and down streets in cities all across the United States. Mopeds, which became very popular over the last several decades in America, are simply named to denote the combination of motorized vehicles and pedaled bikes. They have made transportation easier because, unlike most motor vehicles, they are more compact and can be ridden around town easily. However, they can also be much bulkier than traditional bicycles and do not offer the same health benefits as a bicycle, which are numerous.

Electric moped style e-bikes are different from what most people think of as traditional mopeds (for a detailed explanation of differences and for more information about selecting the right electric moped style e-bike, see our helpful guide here). Electric moped style e-bikes are quite literally the perfect hybrid between electric motorcycles or scooters and traditional bicycles. These electric bikes at first view will look almost identical to traditional bicycles, except looking closely you will see a thicker battery attached to the frame. This battery is what sends the supplemental electric power to the pedals to help make riding the e-bike easier when, for example, steep hills are nearby.

What Are Electric Scooters?

The term “scooter” refers to various different vehicles. Electric scooters are actually electric mopeds, and that’s one of the main sources of confusion for those who are shopping for both electric bikes and scooters. As with mopeds, these scooters require insurance, a license, and registration to drive legally in some countries, though laws vary by state.

There also exist electric kick scooters, which are similar to conventional kick scooters but also pack an electric motor. Another type of scooter is the mobility scooter, which are designed as mobility vehicles for people with limited mobility.

To operate these, you stand on the platform and use a throttle control on one of the handles. There is typically a break on the other handle. While companies like Bird and Lime have popularized these as a rental service in major cities, owning your very own electric scooter offers a myriad of benefits.

Differences Between Moped Style E-Bikes and Scooters

While similar, electric moped style e-bikes and electric scooters have some key characteristics that differentiate one from the other. Let’s walk through some of the important differences.

Battery Range / Capacity

If you plan to use your electric scooter or electric bike as your daily driver to and from work, then speed may not even be the most important factor: battery range is. If you have an 8-mile commute, that means you need a form of personal electric transportation rated for well over 16 miles to be safe.

But the more battery capacity, the better. With a longer battery range, you won't have to plug your e-bike or e-scooter in every single night when you get home. And in general, electric bikes have more battery range than electric scooters. Some electric scooters come equipped with long-lasting batteries that can get you 40 miles worth of range. Conversely, there are e-bikes that boast a battery range of over 70 miles.

However, you have to ask yourself - what makes e-bikes so much more efficient in terms of battery capacity? Most of the time, the e-bikes that boast a crazy range like this are the hybrid style we mentioned earlier. While they are electric, they'll require you to aid in pedaling. Pedal-assist may not be something you mind - after all, working up a little sweat never hurt. But let's face it - nobody wants to step into work stinking and displaying pit stains or back sweat.


E-bikes are frequently taller than electric scooters, mainly because of the tyres’ size. Long range electric bike are models for ordinary bicycles and typically have 10-inch wheels. Thus they have bigger tyres, and so they are higher. However, since the scooter’s battery and engine are bigger, scooters are generally heavier than e-bikes.

Legal Requirements

There are numerous parallels between the performance of electric motorcycles and electric scooters. However, they are regarded as highly different in terms of regulatory standards. This is because electric scooters are considered a typical motor vehicle in most states, which requires a driver’s license and vehicle registration, and insurance. E-bikes have no such limitations in most locations.


You're probably going to greatly consider the cost of an electric scooter vs an electric bike before making a decision. Keep in mind that shopping based on price isn't the best idea - you typically get what you pay for. Trying to save some money with a cheaper electric vehicle will only cost you more in the long run as you have to shell out for repairs or a replacement vehicle altogether.

With that said, a high-quality e scooter is far cheaper than a high-quality e-bike. When comparing the best in each class, you'll save much more money by opting for the electric scooter. You can get the best of the best for under $3k. On the other hand, a high-end e-bike can cost as much as $5K+! If you're looking to get the most out of your budget, e scooters tend to be the right choice. Keep in mind - you have to get the best electric scooter possible if you're looking to gain the most value. Fortunately, we wrote up a guide to help you make your choice.

Ultimately, if you are going to choose the best mode of transportation for your lifestyle, it is important to understand what defines an electric moped style e-bike, as well as electric motorcycles and scooters. If you have narrowed your interests to these vehicles, then you are likely looking for an energy-efficient option that will help you save both money and the environment, all while making your daily commute to work much smoother. Once you know what differentiates these transportations options, you will hopefully be able to make the smartest buying decision to fit your life.

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