Although more people are working from home for some of the time, most people still have to commute to the office for at least part of the week. The hassle of lengthy traffic jams or the unpredictability of public transport can be a major pain, making your working day even more tiring.
There are now an increasing number of potential alternatives, such as the use of an electric scooter or bike for commuting. Each has its own individual pros and cons - below is a look at how they measure up.
Ease of Use
Once you’ve learnt how to ride a bike, it’s fairly easy and the same applies to an electric bike. Although you can use the throttle for assistance, you can just pedal and change the gears as needed.
It’s not difficult to ride an electric bike, but an e-scooter is simpler. You don’t need to worry about gears on a scooter as they use a single-speed transmission.
There’s also no need to co-ordinate pedalling with changing gears or using the throttle; you simply stand on the deck and enjoy the ride! Caring for your scooter is also a breeze compared to the messy oiling of chains and pumping up and changing tyres due to a puncture.
Another factor which may be relevant for some is that electric scooters are easier to use if you’re wearing a skirt or a dress. You can kick off with your foot and then stand on the deck without worrying about flashing your underwear!
An electric scooter commute is easy to manage, regardless of what modes of transport you are taking. There’s the option of either travelling the whole way on a commuter scooter, or combining it with a bus or a train.
Being lightweight and foldable means that you can carry your e-scooter when needed and even stash it under your desk during the day. It’s a versatile and convenient way to travel, and allows you to keep your options open.
By contrast, electric bikes are more cumbersome and few have the same portability. They tend to be heavier and few of them fold down into compact dimensions, so they don’t offer the same degree of flexibility for travel.
Electric scooters weren’t designed with long distances in mind; they’re far more suited to commuting or whizzing about locally. The exact range you’ll get depends on the model; but it’s typically anything from 35 miles to 45 miles.
Electric bikes have the capacity to go much further before needing to be topped up again, so if you need to cover greater distances, they might be a better option. You can also pedal your electric bike manually without using the power to make it stretch even further.
Which is safer: electric scooter or bike? It’s an important question as safety should be right near the top of anyone’s list of priorities.
There isn’t any reliable data so far on the safety of electric scooters. This is because many of the accidents which have occurred have involved scooters without lights, no helmets being worn and the rider often having no knowledge of road safety.
Until the use of e-scooters is properly regulated it will be difficult to assess how dangerous they are compared to bikes.
If you’re an adrenaline junkie you may be asking yourself “which one is faster: electric scooter or bike?” - but the truth is that they’re both limited due to the law.
Electric bikes are not allowed to go faster than 15mph on the road and under the current pilot scheme the same restrictions have been applied to electric scooters too. Should a permanent change in the law take place, it’s very likely that the same speed limit will be enforced.
It’s possible to find budget electric scooters which still offer an impressive list of features, such as the P1+. If you have more money to spend, you can splash out on a top end model which provides the ability to navigate through different terrains, such as the EVR Pro Off Road Electric Scooter. There are e-scooters to suit all budgets and requirements, making it a flexible and affordable choice.
Electric bikes are more expensive by comparison; a low end model would typically be similar in price to a higher end e-scooter. Factor in the greater maintenance costs and the higher risk of theft, and e-bikes are a pricier option.
At the moment it’s not legal to use your own e-scooter to commute on a public road, but it’s a subject that the government is considering. A pilot scheme involving rental e-scooters has been an enormous success and it’s hoped that this will allow new laws to be brought in which will legalise road use for e-scooters.
Electric bikes can be used legally on the road, subject to certain criteria being met.
Is an Electric Scooter or Bike Better?
We’re not going to suggest one or the other as both have plenty of benefits. But they do offer different experiences, and if you’re looking for an affordable, flexible option that’s convenient, it’s hard to see beyond an electric scooter as the future of transport when it comes to long or short commutes.