Electric Scooters vs Electric Bikes

November 4, 2012

The electric scooter craze bit the dust in 2002, now in 2012 with electric scooters all but dead, electric bikes are having there first major market surge. However, the market seems to be made up of more sellers than buyers.

Is the electric bike graveyard bound to fill up just as the electric scooter graveyard did?

Electric scooters use to be way cooler than electric bikes, and companies were jumping onto the small scooter  sensation.  Sometimes I wonder why are electric scooters completely dead and electric bikes are poised to be  the next hot thing?   Are they really any different? Let’s take a look:

Both are small lightweight electric vehicles.

Both are alternative transportation

Both are semi-legal motor vehicles.

Both  benefit tremendously from the new lithium battery technology.




Electric Scooters pros

  • Electric scooters are simple design wise, with less parts.
  • Electric scooters are more compact and transportable. Throw one in the back of your airplane or trunk no problem.
  • Electric scooters are less expensive than electric bikes, because they are cheaper to build and cheaper to ship.
  • Electric scooters are extremely low to the ground allowing for easy jump off in an emergency.
  • Electric scooters are easy to mount and dismount.
  • Electric scooters are lighter weight than electric bikes.
  • It is feasible you can ride an electric scooter into a grocery store and not get in trouble. See the following Go-ped video illustrating:

Electric Bike pros

  • Electric bikes are protected by federal law, which says specifically that they are not motor vehicles.
  • Electric bikes are protected  by the bicycle coalition, which is ok with ebikes but would really frown upon electric scooters.
  • Electric bikes allow the rider to get exercise at the riders discretion.
  • Electric Bikes do not leave you stranded when the battery dies.
  • Electric bikes are more normal looking than electric scooters, because most of them look like regular bicycles.
  • Electric bikes have many interchangeable parts with pedal bicycles.

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.


  1. Don’t minimize the similarity to a real bike for the ebike. Who wants to ride a “weenie” “scooter”. Besides you can get real exercise on the ebike when you want to, to say nothing of the expansion of your borders with the motor.

  2. Electric bikes are just way cooler. They can be similar to MX motorcycles, cruisers, vintage board track racers, or racing bicycles. The big wheels make all the difference. Trying to look cool on a scooter means going for the Vespa with sweater tied around your neck look. Okay for Italy but definitely not for most parts of the US. The only real enemies the e-bike has are personal liability attorneys and government bureaucrats. The magic in e-bikes happens above the current legal power limit. If a couple of accidents cause the Fed to impose 250 watts as the power limit and start enforcing it, the electric bike is dead as a major transportation movement.

  3. Have been pondering between vespa or e-bike, this may have swayed me in the e-bike direction. Feeling good about it.

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