In the past few years there has been a huge rise in the number of people using motorcycles, scooters and mopeds to get to work. This makes a lot of sense. They use hardly any gas so are cheap to run. In crowded cities such as London they are also great because they can nip through the traffic and are free to park. The other great thing about 50cc mopeds is that they are really easy to ride and in many places you can ride one without getting a special license. If you can drive a car you are allowed to ride a moped. So it is no surprise that they are rapidly growing in popularity. But another sort of two-wheeled vehicle is also growing in popularity lately and that is the electric moped (or electric scooter).
My attention was drawn to these recently because I noticed a small motorcycle parked downstairs in my apartment building with a wire running to it. I just guessed that my neighbour’s new motorcycle had flattened its battery. But then I saw that it was on charge every night. After looking a bit more closely I realized that this was not a gasoline-powered motorbike but an electric one. Now the advantage of electric bikes is that they are even cheaper to run than gas ones. You can drive an electric scooter for pennies a day, which compares favourably with even the low running costs of normal gas mopeds. They also have the same road rules as many mopeds, which means they have limited power but you don’t have to take an extra test to be able to use them on the road. The question then comes up as to which is better.
The first prerequisite of an electric scooter is that you have off-road parking where you can get a power cable to it. It is possible to do what my neighbour has done and run a cable from the second floor of an apartment block, but I would not recommend doing so. The next requirement is that you know you will only use it for short city commutes of fixed distance. That is because if you go to far and run out of charge you can’t just fill up again but will have to call a tow truck. So in the event that you have to go long distances then a normal motorcycle that runs on gas is probably a better option for you. Still, check out whether an electric option is good for you. They are not only cheap to run but are also good for the environment.