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Electric Bike vs Moped

At times you find yourself stuck in a traffic jam. When you look out the window, you see cyclists passing on the roadside, arriving faster than you. Don’t you wish you had that kind of flexibility to maneuver the city?

With an electric bike or moped, you can be them. You can take advantage of trails and shortcuts to reach your destinations faster. Additionally, you will save on gas and parking fees.

Statistics show that e-bikes encourage people to ride. In the US, the sale of e-bikes continues to increase every year. As rechargeable batteries become more efficient and cheaper, the cost of e-bikes continues to reduce.

Mopeds and e-bikes are similar in that they both have a motor that helps in propulsion. However, e-bikes are normal bicycles with peddles and a rechargeable battery that powers the motor.

Mopeds use gas-engine but are less powerful than motorcycles and scooters. Some have peddles, but most manufacturers today don’t include them.

If you are wondering which is right for you between a moped and an e-bike, here are some details, pros, and cons of each that can help you decide.

Electric Bikes

E-Mountain bike

An electric bike is much like a regular bicycle. The only difference is that it has a battery-powered motor that helps you propel. Some e-bikes come with a peddle-assist where the motor works when you peddle.

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If you peddle hard, it provides more power and vise versa. Hence, this gives you a feeling of normal peddling, but you don’t feel as tired as you would on a normal bicycle. Other e-bikes come with a self-drive system that lets the bicycle ride on its own like a motorcycle.

The cost of an electric bike depends on the motor’s power. The power can range from 200W to 1,000W. The power limit in the US is 750W, but each state can set its limit. A more powerful motor will drain the battery much quicker.

A good e-bike costs between $1,500 and $4,000. Cheaper ones and expensive ones can still be found depending on the quality.

E-bikes can go at speeds of 16 to 20 miles per hour (25 to 32 KPH)

Pros of Electric Bike

You can go far than you would if you were riding on a regular bike. You don’t have to get off while riding on a steep road. Combining your leg muscles with the motor’s power, you can ride more steep roads.

E-bikes allow you to exercise as you go on with your normal daily rides. You can turn off the power and peddle with your feet instead. If you get tired, the motor will take on the rest of the journey.

There are no registration laws to comply with. After all, it’s only a bike: no license plate or insurance. You don’t need to get a driver’s license or go to school to learn how to ride an electric bike. A helmet will do in most areas.

  • An electric bike is environmentally friendly since there are zero emissions.
  • It is suitable for elderly people whose peddling strength is not that high.
  • With a rechargeable battery, you have better headlights for use at night.
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Cons of Electric Bike

  • The battery can run out fast if you use it more.
  • E-bikes are slower than mopeds.
  • Some e-bikes lack a back seat for carrying some luggage or a passenger.
  • You have to use a chain to lock your bike while in public places.

The sitting style of an e-bike may not be comfortable for all people considering the person’s weight and age.


Red and White electric moped scooter bike

A moped is somewhere between a motorcycle and a bicycle. It has a gas engine just like a motorcycle, and some of have (or used to have) peddles just like a bicycle. Unlike a bicycle, a moped has smaller wheels and looks a bit heavier.

The engine capacity of a moped is 50cc or less. It can reach speed limits of 40 miles per hour (50 kph). The price of a good moped starts from around $1,000. The price can be higher or lower depending on the engine capacity and aesthetics.

Pros of Moped

  • With speeds of 40 mph, mopeds are a bit faster than e-bikes.
  • They have higher stability because they are quite short with broad wheels.
  • They have a more comfortable sitting style and stronger shock absorbers. Hence, this makes them more suitable for elderly people and ladies who won’t give up dresses for trousers.
  • The engine of a moped is stronger than that of an e-bike. Therefore, it allows you to carry some luggage or a passenger.
  • They have more features than e-bikes, such as side mirrors, stronger headlights, side signals, backlights, and horns.
  • Securing a moped in a public place is easier since it can be locked.

Cons of Mopeds

There are a few regulations to comply with, such as driver’s permit, insurance, and license plate. These regulations may depend on the engine capacity and the state you live in. About 35 US states require registration for mopeds. Only 25 states require insurance for mopeds.

  • Mopeds have gas emissions which make them unfriendly to the environment.
  • A moped can create inconvenience if it runs out of gas and there is no gas station nearby. Without peddles, you can’t keep it going.
  • If a moped has no peddles, you can’t exercise through peddling.
  • If you need a driver’s license to ride a moped, it means kids without a license can’t ride one.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I operate an e-bike?

  • The operation of e-bikes depends on whether you are using the peddle-assist or you are using the throttle.
  • For a peddle-assist, you need to set the assist level before riding the bike. The assist level determines the amount of power the motor will give you. For flat roads, you set low power, and for steep roads, you set more power.
  • If you use the throttle option, you press the throttle button as you ride. The more you press, the faster you go.

Do electric bikes work without peddling?

Yes, if you use the throttle option, the bike will go without peddling.

Do you need gears on an electric bike?

Yes, an electric bike has gears just like a regular gear bike.

What are mopeds good for?

Mopeds are good for short-distance travels. You can use them to go to work or school. Be sure to avoid the highway as much as possible because they are not allowed.

Do you need a permit to ride a moped?

It is important to check your state’s laws for mopeds since laws may differ depending on the state. In most cases, you can ride a moped with a learner’s permit or a driver’s license.