eBikes? Or eMopeds?

poorplayer

Active Member
In perusing some of the conversations on other threads, I have picked up on the issue concerning the Class 1-2-3 system and the concerns involving the top speed of ebikes on bike paths and on the roads. People ride ebikes for many different reasons. I, for one, within the past 18 months have bought 2 ebikes: one for general around-town cruising, and one for my RV/trailriding/campground cruising. Were I still working, my commute would be 3 miles, and I would definitely use an ebike for that. As I noted in a different thread, I have also owned several gas-powered scooters over the years, also mostly for commuter purposes. I continue to be mystified as to why Americans simply refuse to move to more efficient modes of two-wheeled transportation for local trips and short reasonable commutes (well, not really mystified; I know the reasons).

I know ebikes have become popular for commuting, but I think there is some competition coming up in the very near future, and that is the electric motorcycle/scooter/moped. This technology seems to be advancing side-by-side with ebikes, and I am wondering how the community looks at this transportation/commuting option. Specifically, I wonder if people can see eMopeds cutting into the ebike space in a significant way. Although ebikes offer the option of exercise, eMopeds offer a means of transportation that is as effective, clean and efficient as an ebike, would not be found on bike paths, and would be allowed in normal traffic lanes. Many states do not require special licenses for eMopeds that travel less than 30MPH, so those looking for a little more speed would be rewarded with an additional 10MPH, in exchange for which they ride in traffic.

If you've not seen any information about electric motorcycles/scooters, here are a few links to explore:

A comparison of a few models on the market

An electric motorcycle with pedals?

Where India may be going in the future

The Flux Electric Moped, made in Madison WI

The Mahindra GenZe, from India

Your thoughts are welcome.
 

jim6b

Active Member
I don't see any of those models being put in an elevator going to the owners apartment.

Much of the hot personal transport, be it electric boards, scooters, or bikes does have the ability to be stored in apartment when not in use. That may be why they are hot.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
My interest is only with bicycles, that’s why I come here. If I had interest in mopeds and motorcycles I would visit those kind of forums.
 
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poorplayer

Active Member
We’ve not seen moped/scooter information because this is an eBike enthusiast forum. Why bring it up for discussion here? There gas to be plenty of forums for them on the Internet.
Simply because 1. I am curious as to what others on this forum might think of this technology. 2. They share the fact that they are run via electric motors and batteries, and 3. I am interested to see what electric bike owners think of this relatively new technology in terms of its impact on potentials sales of electric bikes as transportation. If you're an electric bike enthusiast, then surely you and others might have some interest in how electric scooters will affect the use of electric bikes as a means of transportation.
 

poorplayer

Active Member
I don't see any of those models being put in an elevator going to the owners apartment.

Much of the hot personal transport, be it electric boards, scooters, or bikes does have the ability to be stored in apartment when not in use. That may be why they are hot.
True enough, but not everyone lives in an apartment. Many people in smaller cities of 50-300K population live in single-family homes or perhaps duplexes, and have garages for storage. These eMopeds are probably targeted more at that market, I would imagine.
 
I am sure that there will be a market for the e-scooters or e-mopeds. I believe that many of us that ride e-bikes like bikes and have a certain romance with them. There might be a small over lap in the two circles.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
Simply because 1. I am curious as to what others on this forum might think of this technology. 2. They share the fact that they are run via electric motors and batteries, and 3. I am interested to see what electric bike owners think of this relatively new technology in terms of its impact on potentials sales of electric bikes as transportation. If you're an electric bike enthusiast, then surely you and others might have some interest in how electric scooters will affect the use of electric bikes as a means of transportation.
Nope, no interest what-so-ever. I ride an eBike like a bicycle, not a throttle or moped kind of rider. Today's eBikes meet all my expectations and style of riding perfectly. Electric motors and batteries in a bicycle is hardly new technology. A patent was granted in 1895, and Humber introduced an electric tandem bicycle in 1896. Poplar Mechanics mentioned the release of an electric motorcycle in 1911.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
Many people here share a motorbike background and why not combine our experience with ebikes and motorbikes?

More from the motorbike world
https://advrider.com/f/forums/electric-motorcycles.102/

https://advrider.com/f/threads/electric-bicycles.1124888/page-119#post-37895792

and the australian perspective

https://advrider.com/f/threads/electric-is-getting-more-interesting.978545/

From a personal interest...I'm VERY tempted to try one of these for the days I feel like wandering around forrest roads instead of cycling mtb tracks. Expensive, but an interesting combination - a modern ct honda???

https://www.ubcobikes.com/au/
 
I have owned both a Yamaha and a Honda motorcycle, I disliked the smell and the noise. To me the e bike experience is soothing and tranquil, I don't care to go over 16 mph, most times I am happy at 10 mph. I don't care for having anything that looks like it has a gas engine.
 

PDoz

Well-Known Member
I have owned both a Yamaha and a Honda motorcycle, I disliked the smell and the noise. To me the e bike experience is soothing and tranquil, I don't care to go over 16 mph, most times I am happy at 10 mph. I don't care for having anything that looks like it has a gas engine.
I'll trade my guzzis " noise" for my giants whine any day! No, I'm not into loud bikes - but there are visceral qualities to a nice motorbike that you most likely never experienced on a yamaha or honda . Having said that, I'm looking forward to the day when there is a silent electric transport option for what was my favourite selection
 

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JRA

Well-Known Member
A bike industry buddy of mine and I have been kicking around the idea of an ePed for years. Something that would be street legal yet have the same fit as our regular bikes including pedals with a decent Q factor. The big problem is always the fact that once you go to MoPed status you come under the auspices of the DOT and they have more stringent component requirements than the CPSC that controls eBikes here in the US. At this point the difference between 28 and 30 mph doesn't really make much difference. We have never done more than talk about it and more than likely never will.....
 

poorplayer

Active Member
Nope, no interest what-so-ever. I ride an eBike like a bicycle, not a throttle or moped kind of rider. Today's eBikes meet all my expectations and style of riding perfectly. Electric motors and batteries in a bicycle is hardly new technology. A patent was granted in 1895, and Humber introduced an electric tandem bicycle in 1896. Poplar Mechanics mentioned the release of an electric motorcycle in 1911.
Perhaps I was not clear enough in my use of the word "recent." I would correct myself to say that the phenomenon of mass-marketed and mass-produced ebikes available to the average consumer is recent in the US. Like any new technology, ebikes have a much longer history of pioneers and inventors who were exploring and refining the technology long before it came to the mass market.
 

poorplayer

Active Member
Many people here share a motorbike background and why not combine our experience with ebikes and motorbikes?

More from the motorbike world
https://advrider.com/f/forums/electric-motorcycles.102/

https://advrider.com/f/threads/electric-bicycles.1124888/page-119#post-37895792

and the australian perspective

https://advrider.com/f/threads/electric-is-getting-more-interesting.978545/

From a personal interest...I'm VERY tempted to try one of these for the days I feel like wandering around forrest roads instead of cycling mtb tracks. Expensive, but an interesting combination - a modern ct honda???

https://www.ubcobikes.com/au/
Thanks for these links. The Ubco bike seems very intriguing, but the price tag - woof. An ATV with two wheels!
 

poorplayer

Active Member
A bike industry buddy of mine and I have been kicking around the idea of an ePed for years. Something that would be street legal yet have the same fit as our regular bikes including pedals with a decent Q factor. The big problem is always the fact that once you go to MoPed status you come under the auspices of the DOT and they have more stringent component requirements than the CPSC that controls eBikes here in the US. At this point the difference between 28 and 30 mph doesn't really make much difference. We have never done more than talk about it and more than likely never will.....
I think you've hit the nail on the head in terms of the issues surrounding ebikes v emopeds. I am a long-time advocate of trying to get people out of their cars and into alternative methods of transportation for those 8-mile average rides. Two things hold this notion back. One, of course, is American transportation infrastructure and mindset, which is heavily geared towards cars. The other is competing regulations and regulatory agencies; one set for ebikes, one for emopeds. The difference between 28 and 30 MPH is indeed negligible, but for the ebike, some consider that too fast for bike paths and trails, and for the emopeds, some consider that too slow for roadways, not to mention the hodgepodge of regulations state to state, as well as the fact that no one wants to see emopeds on bike paths due to their size (speed seems never to be a consideration; you can always choose to ride emopeds/ebikes at 10MPH if you wish). Perhaps the issue in question when trying to choose is not so much "which technology do you want" as it is "who owns/regulates the roads/bikepaths" and who is/isn't allowed on them. Electric transportation of all sorts - including cars - needs to reach a higher saturation point in the market before people will consider these alternatives.

For the average consumer looking for an alternative means of transportation, the question really revolves around which means of transportation they feel safest using. I love riding my ebikes on bike paths and trails, but I always find myself having to look into local regulations to find out whether or not they are allowed (and some places actually have no answer). When I ride my ebike in traffic, I have to be a little more guarded and cautious, as I feel more vulnerable. Mopeds/scooters limited to 30MPH (either electric or gas) make you feel like you're holding up traffic and pissing off motorists. I got my MC license especially so I could ride a 300cc gas scooter in traffic lanes, which made me feel a bit safer in that I could keep up easily with traffic. It's a puzzle as to which one is most suitable and will get people out of cars. I notice that the cargo ebikes are getting more traction as a "second car replacement" vehicle, but I don't know of any cargo bikes rated as Class 3 ebikes. Maybe you and your friend might try building a cargo e-moped...?
 

keithd

Active Member
I love all two wheelers and even three I have a Ural with side car and they now have an electric prototype rig. I currently have bicycles, ebikes, mopeds, and motorcycles they all have their place and I love them all.

People seem upset that you the OP brought this subject up, because it is not an ebike and yet they will bring politics into the forum which is not ebike specific either. If there is a post I don't like I just don't read I don't troll it. This I a pretty civil forum, I hope it stays that way.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I see this more as an "appropriate technology" question.

There is definitely a place for e-mopeds or e-scooters. One can even argue that they would have a smaller carbon footprint than either an acoustic or electric bike (largely because we humans are not very efficient machines for converting calories into forward motion, and also because our food system is not exactly efficient at delivering those calories to our mouths).

I think there are "sweet spots" for various transportation technologies. Nobody is going to use a 747 to go from Seattle to Tacoma, and similarly nobody is going to ride a horse from South Africa to Chile. Acoustic bikes seem to be best for short trips under five miles (under ten miles round trip), while e-bikes cover that zone but extend the range to about ten miles (or twenty miles round trip). E-mopeds and scooters make sense for somewhat longer trips, although I'd hate to drive ("scoot"?) from Bellingham to Portland in one.

Note the above makes acoustic and e-bikes the really optimum technology for about 70 percent of vehicle trips in the United States.

One of the things that has always kind of bugged me about speed pedelecs (e.g class III e-bikes) is that the efficiency of an e-bike plummets past about 18mph, so unless you pack a lot of batteries you can't go very far at that high speed. INMHO the sweet spot in speed for e-bikes is about 12-18mph.
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Yeah, no. The Dutch tried letting mopeds on their bicycle infrastructure until a spike in injuries caused a rapid about-face and they were banned again. I sympathize with commuters riding Class 3 ebikes who need the speed riding in from further out in the burbs but find themselves needing to ride on bicycle infrastructure closer in, and in practice provided everyone follows the golden rule it’s currently don't ask don’t tell. But electric motorcycles and mopeds do not belong on the bike path.
 

JRA

Well-Known Member
"One of the things that has always kind of bugged me about speed pedelecs (e.g class III e-bikes) is that the efficiency of an e-bike plummets past about 18mph, so unless you pack a lot of batteries you can't go very far at that high speed. INMHO the sweet spot in speed for e-bikes is about 12-18mph."

It is maybe not as much about efficiency, because a "Class 3" type eBike is arguably still an efficient mode of transportation, but the fact that as noted the high cost of wh/mi necessary and the resulting need for more battery which adds more weight. With more weight you start to go beyond the capacity of bicycle rated components as well as moving that weight at higher speed and the resulting wear and tear on components. Also in order to be able to pedal effectively at higher speeds you need higher gearing to be able to provide assistance and get your workout on which I am not seeing many of the Class 3 bikes providing.

I also think that for getting the most out of a legal eBike average speed below 20mph gives me the best combination of getting there and getting back at a speed and distance gained that makes having the extra weight and complexity of even having a e system on board to begin with. Really all the average user will need. The idea of larger capacity EV's like cargo bikes etc. are already available or in development and more will become available as the movement towards electric vehicles as viable transport becomes more accepted in the near future.
 
Not if they are so underpowered that 30 is their max speed to avoid regular moped/motorcycle regulations. If they are just electric mopeds that can go 50, yes. Otherwise you'll be more limited that an ebike. No trails, no bike lanes, etc.

Personally, on my CCS my max speed is 33mph, just enough to be a car and go with traffic when I'm in the part of my city with no bike lanes. If I couldn't pedal, I would never make it up the hills around here at a reasonable speed, and I get to do those in the shoulder/bike lane, while the underpowered emoped would be in a lot of danger going up in the road at 15 when traffic is 45mph.