If you are interested in buying an electric moped, you will encounter an endless list of options. Picking the right one can be challenging, that is why we have pieced together this guide to electric mopeds to help you through the process.
The aim is to shed light on important information you need to be privy to in order to make a more informed buying decision when it comes to these little vehicles that are increasingly becoming popular.
Guide to Electric Mopeds: Why an Electric Moped?
Electric mopeds, also referred to as electric scooters in some quarters, are low-powered two-wheelers with a reasonable enough speed. While there are inherent design differences, in this article, we will be using both terms interchangeably.
Majority of them average speeds of about 30mph, or the equivalent of 50cc, with the fastest models capable of hitting speeds of 40-50mph. It is for legal reasons that the speeds have to be capped.
Electric mopeds are more of little vehicles than actual motorbikes, down to the price. A good model averages upwards of $1,400 (or £1,100).
But their benefits are worth it.
These little guys may not be sexy, but they are an affordable and convenient means of zipping around town, and their driving style makes them a fun way of moving about than what you’re used to.
They are a smart choice for when you need to carry one person (or two) and a couple armfuls of stuff.
Capable of weaving past traffic (where it’s legally allowed, of course) electric scooters will feel at home on most roads and streets, and they come with the added perk of free parking in many cities.
They are quieter than cars and their petrol-run counterparts.
As well, riders with physical issues will find electric scooters a dream to move around with, as they enjoy the sense of freedom and independence that comes from mobility.
And of course, we cannot forget the environmental credentials of electric mopeds, which is one of the reasons behind their growing uptake around the world.
As more and more cities tighten up on their air quality requirements – London’s ULEZ program, for example – these emission-free rides will become the norm in the years ahead.
Guide to Electric Mopeds: What to Look for When Buying an Electric Moped
As with many others, the electric scooter market is not short of sub-standard models.
It is therefore important to know the essentials you need to check for to ensure you are not being shortchanged.
A lot of modern batteries and motors are capable of giving you a healthy range of 30 to 40 miles on a single charge. Older releases may not boast as much.
If you think charging will be an issue depending on how you will be using your electric scooter, consider taking an extra battery to enjoy double the range.
Torque, speed, and the time run of the motor are important factors to consider when buying an electric moped as these are what determines the performance.
Opt for a motor that can sustain you in all environments.
Older designs tend to be heavier, partly due to their reliance on lead acid batteries (batteries are one of the heaviest components of an electric scooter).
The weight of the electric moped has an effect on range and handling ability.
The weight of the rider for whom the electric moped is intended for is something else you need to consider.
Excess weight can lead to quick wear and tear of parts and ultimately, the electric moped itself.
Heavier riders should consider higher speed models as the heavier you are the slower the scooter. This ensures you can achieve excellent acceleration and speed when you need it.
Stability is a very important aspect when it comes to two-wheelers. Test this before committing yourself to what is a very important buy.
This is particularly more important if you will be riding on rough terrain. Settle for a model that offers you the best stability while guaranteeing comfort at the same time.
Many modern electric mopeds come with removable batteries that allow for quick removal so you can charge at the office or whenever you are away from the bike.
This might have a bearing on the price, though.
Battery Recharge Time
Most electric mopeds have an average recharge time of 5-6 hours.
However, we are starting to see newer models with faster recharge time, even in under 3 hours.
This is another factor that should inform your buying decision. This is because the dimensions of your electric moped will determine how ideal the scooter is as far as your riding lifestyle goes.
For instance, a smaller electric moped is more suitable if you intend to use your scooter on narrow paths and hallways.
Other Factors to Consider
- Affordability – it’s good to save a few notes along the way, but avoid compromising quality in the name of savings
- Design (and construction)
- Age of user
- Others – headlights, seat comfort, noise levels, two-seater/cargo capacity, durability and warranty
Guide to Electric Mopeds: Do you need a License for an Electric Moped?
As with every other form of powered two-wheel road transport, electric mopeds require registration and a license to drive one in most countries.
In the UK, for instance, riders are required to undergo CBT and moped training. This is more of a training program than a test of your riding ability and only takes a few hours.
It’s the same in the United States, although laws may vary from state to state.
Guide to Electric Mopeds: How Much Savings can you Expect with an Electric Moped?
Electric mopeds might seem a bit expensive, but once you get the initial cost out of the way it is plain sailing from there onwards.
They compare very favorably vis-à-vis their petrol-run alternatives, and overall cost much less to maintain.
To talk exact numbers, the average rider doing around 300 miles per month on an electric moped can expect to incur less than 10 percent the amount of a petrol user.
Not forgetting, in many countries, there is no road tax to contend with.
Guide to Electric Mopeds: Which Electric Moped to Buy?
If you are not sure where to start, here are a few brands to consider when buying an electric scooter:
- Govecs – a German manufacturer known for their heavy-duty models which make for great delivery scooters.
- Super Soco – a Shanghai-based brand that produces not just electric mopeds, but also café-racer style and vintage electric motorbikes. Their models are great for weaving through traffic and ideal for longer commutes.
- NIU – NIU is Hong Kong-based newcomer that has been seeking to change the electric scooter space with a high-tech range that is within the means of the everyday commuter. Powered by Borsch rear wheel motors, NIU blends tech and style into one neat package.
- Vespa – Vespa has been a mainstay in the scooter industry for many years. Owned by Italian behemoth Piaggio, you can never go wrong with Vespa electric mopeds as long as the specs suit your needs.
- GenZe – GenZe was founded in Silicon Valley back in 2012 as an economical way of getting around town in this modern world we live in. It is a highly innovative line that will appeal to tech heads. GenZe was acquired by Mahindra in 2019 so will be able to tap into the illustrious history of the giant automaker.
Other brands worth a look include Jetson Electric, X-Treme, Scutum, and BMW.
Voila. We hope you will find this guide to electric mopeds useful!