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Electric Scooter riding in Vancouver

E-Scooters vs E-Bikes: Which is Better?

26 October 2022 / Sasha Leung

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With the recent influx of e-scooters and e-bikes in Vancouver, BC, you may be wondering what the difference is between the two. Both are great alternative modes of transportation, but they each have their own unique benefits. In this blog post, we’ll break down the key differences between e-scooters and e-bikes so you can decide which one is right for you.

What is an E-Scooter?

E-scooter in Vancouver

E-scooters are small, electric vehicles with handlebars that you stand on while riding. They typically have a range of 15-30 km and can reach speeds of up to 24 km/h. Many e-scooters also come with features like built-in lights and antilock brakes.

E-scooters are perfect for quick, short trips around town. They’re small, lightweight, and easy to maneuver, making them ideal for running errands or getting to and from work. And, since they don’t require pedalling, they’re a great option if you’re looking for a workout-free ride.

What is an E-Bike?

Group on e-bikes in Vancouver

An e-bike, or electric bike, is a bicycle that is propelled by a motor. E-bikes can be classified into two main types: throttle bikes and pedal-assist bikes. The latter type is more common, as it relies on electric power to help the rider pedal.

E-bikes are ideal for longer trips or if you’re looking to get some exercise in while you commute. They provide a bit more power than e-scooters, so they can better handle hills or longer distances. They offer a low-impact workout that’s perfect for those who want to get some exercise in without having to go to the gym. But if you want to take it easy, the electric motor is always there to help.

E-bikes have been around longer than e-scooters and are thus more established. They tend to be more expensive than e-scooters, both to buy and to operate (you’ll use more electricity charging an e-bike battery than an e-scooter battery). However, they also have a much longer range — most e-bikes can go for 100km or more on a single charge. And if you live in a hilly area, an e-bike will be a much better option than an e-scooter since they can help you power up those hills with ease. 

E-Mobility Pilot in Vancouver

E-mobility is about to take off in British Columbia! The province approved a pilot project in 2021 that allows six municipalities across the lower mainland access for residents looking into electric kick scooters.

The six participating municipalities are:

  • City of Kelowna
  • City of Vancouver
  • City of North Vancouver
  • District of North Vancouver
  • District of West Vancouver
  • City of Vernon

The pilot project effectively changes the rules for kick scooters to match the rules for e-bikes. People using electric kick scooters must be 16 years or older, wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road for cyclists. A driver’s licence and insurance are not required.

In addition, the Province of BC has the following requirements for kick scooters:

  • A max motor output of 500W and 24km/hr
  • A braking system
  • Lights for rides between sunset and sunrise
  • Read more on device requirements here

The pilot project aims to work with communities to find alternative solutions for personal mobility. They hope to contribute to the CleanBC goal of doubling trips taken by walking, biking, and other active networks by 2030.

Pros and Cons of E-Bikes and E-Scooters

Group on Electric Bikes in Vancouver

E-Bike Pros

  • They’ve been around longer than e-scooters
  • Better for distance riding
  • Easier hill riding
  • Established laws around riding e-bikes
  • Choose your level of exercise

E-Bike Cons

  • They’re pricier than e-scooters to buy
  • Pricier to charge up since they hold a longer charge
  • They usually require some pedaling
Electric Scooters in Vancouver

E-Scooter Pros

  • Smaller and more lightweight than an e-bike
  • Cheaper to buy
  • No exercise required

E-Scooter Cons

  • Shorter range on one charge and harder to take up hills
  • Less established products & laws

Should I Buy an E-Bike or an E-Scooter?

So, which is better—an e-scooter or an e bike? That really depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for something cheap and cheerful that you can easily zip around town with, go for an e-scooter. If you need something with more power that can take you further distances, go for an ebike. Either way, you’ll be taking a step towards living a more sustainable lifestyle!

If you’re looking to purchase an electric bike, we carry many styles online and in the shop. You can also rent an e-bike with us for shorter term use. Stop by Cycle City to have our friendly team assist you in finding the perfect e-bike for you!

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