Electric mode of transportation is being preached in several developed countries today. This is mainly due to its role in promoting an environmentally friendly society. Imagine a world where plants and animals are safe and not exposed to toxic carbon.
The concern about environmental stability, urban congestion, and growing emphasis on health and well-being is rising. Thus many people are seeking alternative transportation options with a smaller carbon footprint. Since traditional modes of transportation, such as cars and trucks, contribute significantly to air pollution and global warming, people choose alternative modes. These alternative modes include electric bicycles, vehicles (EVs), and mopeds.
This article will compare electric bikes with electric mopeds, as they are both popular sustainable transportation modes.
What are E-bikes and Mopeds?
Electric bikes are bicycles with an integrated electric motor and a rechargeable battery. They are designed to assist the rider's pedaling effort, providing an extra power boost.
Mopeds are two-wheeled vehicles powered by an electric motor. Unlike electric bikes, mopeds usually do not require the rider to pedal.
Key Features of E-bikes
3. Electric bikes often come with multiple power assist levels that allow riders to choose the desired amount of assistance from the motor.
4. The range of an electric bike can vary depending on factors such as battery capacity, terrain, rider weight, and level of assistance used. For instance, the Honbike HF01 can cover 40km on a single charge, while the max range of Uni4 reaches 100km.
Key Features of Mopeds
1. Mopeds are equipped with an electric motor that provides the primary source of propulsion. Mopeds do not rely on the rider's pedaling effort to move forward.
Similar to electric bikes, mopeds use rechargeable batteries to store electrical energy.
2. Mopeds are typically controlled through a handlebar-mounted throttle. Unlike pedal-assist electric bikes, mopeds do not require the rider to pedal to activate the electric motor.
3. Mopeds can achieve higher speeds than electric bikes, often reaching up to 48 to 80 km/h. Typically, mopeds offer a range of 48 to 161 km on a single charge.
Differences Between Electric Bikes and Mopeds
Electric bikes typically have frames similar to traditional bicycles, with variations depending on the type of bike. Meanwhile, the popular types of e-bikes include mountain, commuter, cruiser, road, and others.
On the other hand, mopeds have frames designed more like motorcycles. Their step-through frame design allows riders to mount and dismount the motorcycle quickly. However, with foldable features, electric bikes like HF01 also have sturdy frames that provide enough stability and support for riders.
Electric bikes commonly feature bicycle-sized wheels, usually 20 to 29 inches in diameter. The wheels are also designed to be suitable for various terrains. For instance, most folding bikes have 20-inches wheels.
Mopeds usually have wheel sizes ranging from 10 to 16 inches, depending on the specific moped model. Moped wheels often have broader tires to provide extra stability and traction.
Most electric bike drivetrains feature a chain, gears, and derailleurs or internally geared hubs, depending on the bike's design. The drivetrain allows the rider to shift gears and control the pedaling effort manually.
Since mopeds require no human effort and are primarily powered by an electric motor, they do not have drivetrains for manual pedaling. Instead, they have a direct drive system or a hub motor that directly powers the wheels.
On the other hand, some modern e-bikes like Honbike drivetrain lack chains. Instead, they have a shaft or belt drive system, making them perfect for urban commuting. This helps to meet the demand for a noiseless and easily maintained electric mode of transportation.
Power and Performance
Electric bikes typically have lower power outputs than mopeds, ranging from 250 to 750 watts, usually depending on local e-bike laws. On the other hand, moped motors range from 500 to 5000 watts or even higher, depending on the specific model. The higher power output allows mopeds to achieve higher speeds and handle steeper inclines.
Cost and Maintenance
Electric bikes tend to have a lower upfront and maintenance cost than mopeds. This is mainly because mopeds have a more complex mechanical system, including larger motors, transmissions, and suspension components. More so, mopeds batteries usually have a shorter lifespan because they consume more power. You may eventually spend more on replacement costs on mopeds than electric bikes.
Convenience and Practicality
Electric bicycles are highly convenient for urban commuting and short-distance travel due to their lightweight and portable size. Riders can navigate through traffic quickly, especially in congested areas with limited parking space.
Mopeds are also well-suited for urban mobility. However, they can't handle congested areas like electric bikes. The higher speeds and motorized propulsion are an added advantage because they allow riders to cover longer distances faster than electric bikes. This further improves the moped's flexibility, making it suitable for several terrains.
Mopeds often have additional storage compartments, providing practicality for carrying groceries, backpacks, or other items. However, you can also boost your e-bike storage function by installing extra accessories such as a rack.
In most regions, electric bikes do not require a specific license or training to operate. However, it's still essential for riders to be familiar with local traffic rules, road etiquette, and safe riding practices.
Mopeds typically require riders to possess a valid driver's license or a specific moped license, depending on local regulations. This often entails more training and knowledge of traffic laws and safe riding practices.
The e-bike or moped may also influence the age requirements. If you are riding a class 3 electric bike with higher assisted speed, you may be allowed to ride once you are 18. However, most countries, including the United States, allow 16 and above years old to ride class one and two electric bikes. For mopeds, the age requirement is 16 years for powerful motors. However, the United Kingdom reduced the age requirement to 14 years for EAPCs, because they have less power.
Both electric mopeds and electric bikes risk getting involved in an accident, especially when the rider fails to abide by safety rules. Electric mopeds riders are at higher risk, especially since they have a higher speed capacity. Typically, this electric mode of transportation may cause more accidents than their regular alternative. According to research conducted in Switzerland, accidental risk is 6.5 times higher in electric bikes than in regular bicycles. Nevertheless, following safety measures can minimize accident risk and give you full control of your safety. These measures include; observing traffic laws, wearing helmets and safety gear, and using appropriate lighting.
Electric bikes and electric mopeds both contribute positively to the green environment. However, they differ in range, speed, frame design, drivetrain, etc. This further shows that electric bicycles and mopeds exist in several variations, meeting the needs of more potential customers. It will also give a larger number of people an opportunity to solve the carbon crisis. Bear in mind to always prioritize your needs and preferences when choosing an e-bike or moped model.