Electric Scooter vs. Motorcycle: Comparing Two-Wheeled Urban Transportation

Electric Scooter vs. Motorcycle: Comparing Two-Wheeled Urban Transportation

Nowadays, everything happens so fast that the ability to get around the city on time is crucial, especially when municipal transportation is not all it's cracked up to be, and congested roads make it unbearable to commute by car. So, what then? 

There are only two plausible solutions to the problem. E-scooters and motorcycles. But which one is the better of the two? Let's weigh up the pros and cons. 

Speed and Power

As you might expect, motorcycles are unmatched in raw speed and power compared to e-scooters. Putting them side by side regarding their capabilities would be like pitting Usain Bolt against the sluggish scribe writing this article. 

But in reality, it's more like the reenactment of the tortoise and hare story. We all know how that ends. 

To humor you, we'll briefly compare what they are made of:

In terms of sheer power, motorcycles typically have engines that produce a wide range of horsepower, usually from about 15hp for small commuter models to over 200hp for high-end sports models. It can translate into almost 200 mph.

Electric scooters, with their electric motors, are measured in watts, typically ranging from 250 to 2000 watts, translating to a gentler acceleration suited to city traffic's stop-start nature. And a much more sensible speed of up to around 40 mph.

To frame it in practical terms, unless you want to visit another state or planet or challenge the Flash himself, you don't need all that horsepower. 

And that's precisely how the tortoise wins the race - by getting the job done, even though it's not the fastest contestant. E-scooters aren't made to break the sound barrier; they're a convenient, cost-effective, and, what's more important, fun way to get around. 

Licensing 

If you're planning to ride a motorcycle or an electric scooter, you must know the licensing requirements. To get a license for a bike, you might need a specific motorcycle license or an endorsement on your regular driver's license. It's a hassle — you need to pass both a theoretical test and a practical riding exam to show you can safely handle a motorcycle.

In the case of electric scooters, the licensing requirements are usually less strict or absent altogether. If the scooter doesn't exceed certain speed limits, you are free to ride it to your heart's content. 

Age restrictions depend on the region. In some, you can operate an electric scooter with certain speed limitations when you're as young as 15. In other places, the minimum age might be the same for driving a car. 

You can find out more about the specific requirements for your state here, but remember that laws and regulations are subject to change, so it's always a good rule of thumb to double-check before you hit the road.

Insurance

The differences between the insurance requirements for e-scooters and motorcycles are stark. Motorcycle insurance is a multi-faceted affair requiring comprehensive coverage, including liability, theft, and damage, with rates influenced by the bike's power and the rider's history. This can lead to higher annual premiums, reflecting the greater risks and speeds involved.

E-scooters, on the other hand, skate by with more modest needs. In many places, insurance isn't mandatory for personal e-scooters, keeping riding costs low. However, as e-scooters surge in popularity, some regions are beginning to impose insurance mandates, potentially increasing the costs for riders.

Costs 

The cost-effectiveness of e-scooters is two-pronged. To begin with, it is dirt cheap to "tank up." A full charge amounts to around $0.04, and you can travel up to 43 miles in eco-mode on your Apollo City for that sum. Given the rising prices of fuel, it’s next to nothing. 

Meanwhile, motorcycles can be quite costly both to buy and own. For an entry-level motorcycle, you need to lay out anything between $4k and $ 6k, whereas the real deals are in the price range between $6k to $30k. It may not be as expensive to fill up as cars, but it still can’t trump e-scooters in this area.

The other cost-effective feature allows you to enjoy your e-scooter without having to spend much beyond the initial investment. Unlike cars and motorcycles, which can be costly to maintain due to more complex mechanics, the need for professional service, and the high price of parts and taxes, e-scooters present a financially savvy option. 

Even though e-scooters aren't immune to maintenance needs, they are generally more straightforward and cheaper to care for, making them a wise choice for those looking for a cost-effective way to travel.

You can't go wrong with e-scooters here, especially Apollo's, as they possess yet another quality that sets them apart: longevity. The longer you have a functional scooter, the better the value of your initial investment. 

If you're still unconvinced, use our calculator to determine how much you can save upor read our comprehensive article breaking down the costs of commuting.

Urban Mobility

an apollo scooter surrounded by sky scrapersModern cities are veritable jungles, and every jungle has its rules. The most common rule says that the early bird catches the worm. The same goes for commuting. If you're willing to get up early enough, traffic jams won't bother you, and even trains will be more bearable when empty. But who is willing to sacrifice their sleep for that? Not many of us, surely. 
Motorcycles seem to be a good option here because you can avoid traffic by lane splitting (also white lining) - driving between other vehicles that are in motion or lane filtering - when other vehicles are still. 

There is only one teeny-tiny problem with that - in most states, both practices are illegal. California is the only state that permits lane splitting, and Arizona, Montana, and Utah allow lane filtering. 

That's when e-scooters come to the rescue by presenting you with a loophole in the merciless laws of the jungle and allowing you to commute without losing sleep, getting tickets, or frantically looking out for a parking spot.

All you have to do is order your e-scooter, get up at your convenience, whiz to work beaming like a child, and then fold it up when you get there. And, hey presto, you are well-slept and ready for action.

Environmental Impact 

It is becoming increasingly important to take environmental considerations into account when commuting. Motorcycles are still a better choice than cars because they're more fuel-efficient.

While cars manage to run for 25 miles on a gallon of gas, motorcycles average 50 miles per gallon. This means that a bike can travel between 150 and 250 miles on a full tank (between 2-6 gallons), whereas a typical car with a 12-gallon tank can reach around 300 miles before requiring a refill. 

But what doesn't require gas at all? Yeah, you're right, electric scooters. They leave their carbon footprint only in the manufacturing process. Afterward, it depends on whether your energy source is renewable or not. But even when it's not, e-scooters are much more environmentally friendly than both cars and motorcycles.

If you're interested in more details on this topic, click here.

Safety and Accessibility

Both e-scooters and motorcycles have their own safety concerns and accessibility considerations. E-scooters may be perceived as safer due to lower speeds and are more accessible for beginners or casual riders.

While offering more safety features, motorcycles also have a higher risk of severe injury and a steeper learning curve. Accessibility to motorcycles is limited by the need for more extensive training and licensing. Riders of both vehicles should be aware of the inherent risks and be prepared with the appropriate safety gear and training.

Wrapping up

an Apollo phantom standing proudly, with a helmet on the platform 

Why spend a fortune on a motorcycle when an e-scooter is more than enough? There's no denying that motorcycles possess a dangerous and raffish allure, but have you seen the bad boy above? 

In addition to great design, our e-scooters are cost-efficient, long-lasting, and eco-friendly, making them a perfect choice for short commutes and leisurely rides around town. 

Sources:

  • https://www.forbes.com/advisor/legal/auto-accident/lane-splitting/#:~:text=Only%20California%20directly%20permits%20lane,and%20Hawaii%20allows%20shoulder%20surfing

  • https://agvsport.com/blog/motorcycle/do-motorcycles-save-money-on-gas.html#:~:text=Miles%20per%20Gallon,tank%20before%20needing%20to%20refuel
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    Table of contents

      1. Speed and Power
      2. Licensing 
      3. Insurance
      4. Costs 
      5. Urban Mobility
      6. Environmental Impact 
      7. Safety and Accessibility
      8. Wrapping up