Electric Bike vs Scooter – Learn the Difference

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Updated March 8, 2023

E-bikes go farther, faster. There are also lighter and more portable options, but the large ones weigh more and have a better range. Here are some things to consider when looking at the best electric bike.

Electric scooters are fun to ride, and they’re relatively easy to learn. They rarely require registration or insurance, so the cost of operation is minimal. The electric motor is best for short-distance travel, so if you have a short daily commute, it could be an ideal alternative to driving.

An e-bike functions roughly the same way as an e-scooter. Both bikes and scooters can ride on the same paths or sidewalks. The benefit of an e-bike is that it can hold a charge better than an e-scooter. If you make use of the pedals, they can help to keep the battery charged while you’re out.

For a quick look at the best scooters around, read our electric scooter reviews.


For both an electric bike and a scooter, you will need a charging station. You should always have a charger at home, but depending on how far you travel, you may need to charge while you’re away, too.

You especially need to charge an e-scooter at home before you leave, and ideally, you should charge it overnight because it can take 4-8 hours to charge optimally. With an e-bike, you have the fortunate advantage of pedals if it runs out of charge.


Both e-bikes and e-scooters can travel at roughly the same speeds, reaching up to 15 miles per hour. The challenge here is that you can’t legally drive them through traffic. You have to use the bike lane or sidewalk, which means you’ll be going much faster than foot traffic or regular bicycle traffic. Safety and awareness are critical, especially if you’re attempting to increase the ebike speed.


While neither ride requires a valid driver’s license, they require respect. Traveling at high speeds, especially on a scooter, requires the use of protective gear like helmets, gloves, or boots. This will protect you from accidents that can be caused by a bad road surface, wet roads, or a flat tire. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you’re not on the road, you don’t need to protect yourself. For more safety tips, read our articles discussing whether electric bikes are street legal and a comparison of brake pads vs disc brakes for electric bikes. Also, if you need personal transportation for utility purposes, an electric bike is an ideal choice as it can include bike racks, extra power, and a beefy suspension.


The cost for the bike and scooter will vary based on a lot of different factors like motor size and battery life. While scooters tend to cost more upfront because they have bigger motors, e-bikes require more maintenance because of their complex and unusual parts. For a more in-depth look at motors, check out our ebike motors comparison guide.

An electric motorcycle and an e-bike are both relatively easy to operate. Charging the e-bike doesn’t cost as much as fueling a car, as long as you don’t need to travel long distances. You could also consider a bike share option.


The most important thing to consider is location. Are these vehicles legal in your area? Are they safe to drive? Do people expect to see you riding them, and are they always aware of pedestrian traffic?

In many places, you are restricted by where you can legally ride bikes and scooters. Make sure you are allowed to have one before investing in a cost-saving solution for your daily commute, especially with crowded city streets.

Some other alternatives to scooters may include mopeds or regular bicycles, so explore all of your options. However, a personal electric vehicle is a fine choice for many people who like the idea of cost savings and fun, and either of these options is a good mode of transportation.

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