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Rising gasoline prices and concern about the environmental impact of auto emissions have spiked interest in "greener," less-costly forms of transportation. Over the years, light electric vehicles, such as electric-driven bikes and scooters, have proliferated.

The varieties of electric bicycles and scooters may cause some people who are interested in such a vehicle to stop and wonder which type is best suited to their needs and lifestyle. Electric-powered scooters and bicycles share some common characteristics – both are propelled by electric motors with rechargeable batteries – but have some key differences as well that consumers should consider before making a purchase.

Electric scooters range in size and features from models with bicycle-like frames to larger models that closely resemble the popular gasoline-powered motor scooters. Many electric scooters, however, are heavier than many electric bikes that have the same range and speed. Many ebikes reach speeds of 20 mph and have ranges as high as 50 miles before requiring a recharge.

Some people may prefer a full-size electric scooter because of its storage capacity, either under the seat or in an attachable storage case. Ebikes, however, have accessories, such as attachable trailers. This accessory is popular with many riders of electric bicycles, as it enables trips to the grocery store (one of many short trips for which an electric vehicle can save gas).

Electric bicycles may have an edge over scooters in terms of where they can go. The rider of a full-size electric scooter is usually limited to the same streets used by cars and trucks, which also carries rider safety implications. Electric bikes can travel not only on city streets, but also on sidewalks, bicycle trails, and dedicated bike lanes.

Although electric scooters, like their bicycle counterparts, save money on gasoline, they may be subject to licensing and insurance requirements. Laws governing licensing and insurance for scooters vary among jurisdictions.

Electric bikes and scooters differ in terms of safety features. Many electric scooters are equipped with horns and mirrors, while the bikes are not. Electric bicycles, however, have larger wheels and weigh less. Because of the difference in wheel size, a tire blowout on an electric scooter has the potential to be more dangerous than a similar incident on an electric bicycle.

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Source by Delbert Laird