Moped vs Electric Bike

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Updated March 2, 2023

If you are shopping for a new vehicle, you may be comparing mopeds vs electric bikes. The best electric bikes are certainly full-featured but may lack some functionalities found in mopeds. Here are the differences between the two types of vehicles.


  • Electric bikes are powered by electricity, whereas most mopeds are powered by gasoline. Though there are some electric mopeds on the market nowadays.
  • Generally speaking, mopeds are faster than e-bikes by a fairly large margin, though they are also more expensive.
  • E-bikes are easier to maintain and easier to park than mopeds, as foldable bikes can simply be carried when not in use.

Differences Between Mopeds and Electric Bikes

The primary difference between the two is that mopeds tend to be gas-powered engines, whereas e-bikes are powered by rechargeable batteries and electrical currents. Mopeds may also feature a bit more power, depending on the model, though the difference here will not be as stark as when comparing motorcycles vs electric bikes. Mopeds will typically have a seat more similar to a motorcycle as well. Either option will make an excellent choice for a mode of transportation, as long as your needs are met and you have a good riding experience.

Insider Tip

Be sure to wear the appropriate safety gear no matter which type of vehicle you decide to purchase. This includes a helmet, knee pads, arm pads, and more.

Here are some more differences between the two vehicles.

Laws and Regulations

In most states, mopeds are considered to be motor vehicles, meaning they fall under the same restrictions as automobiles and motorcycles. To ride a moped legally, you will have to be properly insured and have a valid driver’s license. It may also be illegal to ride a moped without the appropriate safety gear. E-bikes, on the other hand, will rarely require a valid driver’s license or insurance. Of course, every state and municipality has slightly different rules and regulations, so be sure to check any legal requirements before making a purchase of either personal transportation vehicle.

Gas and Power

Electric bikes charge via an integrated lithium-ion battery on a standard wall outlet, whereas a moped will need some type of gasoline purchased at a gas station. Though mopeds have become more energy-efficient in recent years, gasoline is still more expensive than electricity. Additionally, some areas feature communal power outlets for charging electric vehicles that are free or boast a nominal fee. The bikes will also be a greener alternative to a moped as the electric bike battery will not give off pollutants that the gas engine of the moped will. The internal combustion engine of the moped, however, will allow you to go much further than the average e-bike battery. Of course, if you don’t wish to worry about engine size, electric power, or battery capacity, you can use your human power and use a regular bicycle.

Maximum Speeds

E-bikes tend to be slower than mopeds, which can be an issue for some. Your average electric bike maxes out at around 20 to 22 miles per hour, whereas a moped can usually travel twice that speed. Though the miles per hour speed will vary if you are comparing front-wheel electric bikes with rear-wheel bikes. Your top speed can also be affected by the type of drive motor you have. If you want more speed on your electric bike, you should get a direct drive motor instead of geared one. You can learn more about these two varieties of motors by reading our article, direct drive vs geared motor electric bike.


Though smaller than motorcycles, it may still be required by law for a moped to park in a traditional parking spot. An electric bike, on the other hand, can be rested on the side of the street near regular bikes. Also, another advantage to ebikes is that some feature foldable designs where you can simply fold them up and carry them to work. Additionally, if portable is a priority of yours, check out the comparison of folding bikes vs electric scooters.

STAT: As part of a 2015 survey of Americans regarding their opinions about e-bikes, 72 percent of respondents stated their top concern was safety. (source)


E-bike, moped, or scooter?

E-bikes feature an electric motor, which can save on fuel costs, though they also tend to travel slowly when compared to scooters and mopeds.

Do you have to pedal an electric bike?

The electric motor of an e-bike is primarily meant for assisting riders as they pedal, so yes, you will have to pedal with human power some of the time while riding on bike lanes and the like. Though occasionally, operable pedals will also feature a full-throttle option for pedal-free operation.

Which Ebike is right for you?

Electric bicycles come in a variety of design types and form factors. Pick the one that is right for your needs.

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