With previous spikes in fuel prices, city congestion and go-green trends, many have opted for a ride that makes less impact on the environment. Electric bicycles and scooters are fast-becoming popular modes of transportation.
How can you decide if an Electric bicycle or scooter is for you? Let’s explore the pros and cons of each.
There are two types of electric bicycles: full power, which require no pedaling or power–assist, allowing you to ‘freewheel’ on occasion.
- Make Cycling Fun Again: An electric bike can assist you with pedaling, which comes in handy when facing a mean hill. Electric bicycles make cycling accessible to those with a disability or injury, as well as older people or those carrying something heavy
- Get Your Exercise On: When you feel ready to pedal again, an electric bicycle allows for it
- No Extra Paperwork: Because you’re on a bicycle, you don’t have to worry about extra paperwork. Typically, no license or insurance is normally required says TreeHugger
- – ake the Road Less Travelled: With a nimble vehicle like an electric bicycle, you’ll be able to squeeze into lanes and paths normally off-limits to a car. You can even explore your local bike trails if that’s something you’re interested in
- Use What You Already Have: With an electric bike conversion kit you can put a motor on any bike, whether it’s a vintage bike with a basket, a mountain bike or a road bike. Most kits are easy enough for you to do it yourself. Alternatively, you can take your electric bike into a bicycle shop to have it installed
These really aren’t disadvantages in my opinion, but just part of owning and using an electric bike.
- Battery Life: You’ll inevitably need to replace the battery from time to time. How long your battery lasts will depend on the brand, how much and how often it’s used and how careful you are not to overcharge it. Laurie Willis at Chituma Electric Bikes has some tips for getting the most out of your battery
- Lack of Dealers: If you want to purchase one, versus install a kit yourself, it may be challenging to find a dealer. Likewise, if you need repairs someday, it can be difficult to find a professional who knows how to work on it
- Weight: Electric bikes are known for being quite a bit heavier than your normal bicycle. Though if you really want something light, there are options out there like the titanium e-bicycle featured on Wired
Like the e-bike, you can opt to ride along, propelled by the battery-powered motor or you can push off to set the scooter in motion. Here are some of the pros and cons.
- Easy Parking: For city dwellers, the hassle of finding a parking spot for your car at the end of a hard day’s work can be a turn-off. With an electric scooter, you can arrive in style, without the fuss
- Save Money: Simple. Reduce your petrol costs
- Be Kind to the Environment: Using electric will lessen your impact on the environment
- Slow Down: You won’t be a speed demon on an electric scooter. Speeds usually top out at 19-25 km/h
- Push Me: Unlike the bicycle, manually pushing a scooter can quickly tire one of your legs. This uneven energy exertion can lead you to tire more quickly