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Buying a Light Electric Vehicle: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

We’ll always lay out the pros and cons for you of buying an e-bike, e-scooter or e-moped

When buying an electric bike, scooter, or moped, don’t go in without knowing what you are getting. If you’re confused about where to get that valuable information and advice, worry not—we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a deep dive into the pros and cons to determine if buying a light electric vehicle is the right decision for you.

THE PROS

Economic Savings
According to Credit Karma, the average car costs almost $12,000 a year—to own, insure, fuel up, and to manage. Now, compare that with the cost of an electric scooter, moped, or bike, which can be financed for around $100 a month.

Travel at Greater Speeds
You do not have to be at full throttle to gain the benefits of riding on an electric bike or e-scooter. E-bikes come in 3 classes. Class 1 which is a pedal assist powered bike, capped at 20mph. Class 2 is pedal assist and throttle, capped at 20mph. Class 3 in California has pedal assist only capped at 28mph. Class 3 in New York are e-bikes that are throttle activated with a maximum speed of 25mph.

Our e-scooters range from 12mph to up to 32mph with the Dualtron Mini.

Need even more speed? Electric mopeds, and the Delfast Top 3.0 can travel up to 50 miles per hour.

Ride for Longer Distances
Most electric bikes can travel distances ranging 35 to 75 miles. Use a swappable battery and you can easily double that range, giving you 150 miles of ground you could cover on a single ride (how fun!).

Live in a hilly area? Many electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds possess the necessary power and torque to scale steep hills and rough terrain. It’s no surprise that sales of electric bicycles are skyrocketing precisely because of their flexibility, speed, and accessibility for commuters and urban residents.

Environmental Sustainability
According to the BBC, 43% of scooter users in Chicago, Illinois “would have travelled by car if the scooters weren’t available.” And in Portland, Oregon, “36% of local users would have travelled by car instead.” This indicates that riders are curbing their carbon footprint by choosing to ride in an electric vehicle such as a bike or scooter.

In addition, Lime found that “riders in San Diego saved roughly 569 metric tons of CO2 that would have otherwise been emitted.” This significant emissions reduction suggests that, on a large scale, electric bike, scooter, and moped riders can decrease pollution and impact the environment for the better.

THE CONS

Infrastructure and Accessibility Problems
Not every city has multi-purpose cycle lanes or infrastructure that supports the regular use of electric vehicles. This is one of the reasons that electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds are popular in large, metropolitan areas that have more flexible and developed infrastructure, like safe bike crossings and clearly differentiated cycle lanes.

The good news is that an increasing number of local governments are allocating funding to create space for alternate forms of transportation in an effort to decrease excessive environmental pollution and time wasted in traffic. With the increased implementation of cycle lanes across the country, electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds have become safer to ride in these cities.

Poor Quality Control
You only need to do a quick search to see that electric vehicle shoppers have thousands of E-bikes, scooters and mopeds to choose from. While it’s good that consumers have options, it’s clear that the market has been flooded with cheaply manufactured vehicles, many of which come saddled with low-quality batteries and sub-par components.

The lack of a strong supply chain can also be an issue; you may be looking at buying from a company that is not equipped to support, repair, or replace yours if you run into trouble.

With such an overwhelming number of options, it can be truly difficult to tell the good buys from the bad. Luckily, Ridepanda is doing the hard work for you. We stringently evaluate the many different kinds of electric vehicles and analyze their components before we determine them worthy of a place on our site.

In other words, we maintain a high standard of excellence to ensure that you can be confident in your selection.

Size and Weight
If you select the wrong vehicle you may have issues with its size, weight and storing it. For many, not all, selecting an e-ride that weighs quite a bit has the potential to make it cumbersome and difficult to use if you have to go upstairs.

Quick tip: take a look at the overall weight of the e-bike or e-scooter. Is this a weight that you can carry comfortably up stairs or wherever you may need to carry your e-ride?

We have found that anything over 40lbs tends to get a bit heavy/awkward or even difficult to carry if you have to go up more than 1-2 flights of stairs.

Storage
If you don’t have somewhere that is convenient to store a full-size bicycle, it can be difficult to park it at home. However, for those who need the space, there are folding frame options available for both electric bikes and electric scooters.

For each, they fold up in a minute or less and can fit in a closet or similar sized area for storage.

We Tell It Like It Is

Ridepanda cares about electric vehicle riders and wants to help you to make informed choices.

We believe the potential economic savings, health and fitness benefits, and environmental sustainability make it worthwhile for everybody. We’ll always lay out the pros and cons for you, so you can determine how an electric vehicle would help you in your own daily life and routine.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask one of our e-ride experts.

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