Electric Mopeds for Adults
Looking to buy a 50cc moped? Or perhaps buying your very first scooter? Let us run through some of the options out there, including electric alternatives you may never have heard of.
Electric Mopeds or Scooters are a great alternative to a car, or a petrol scooter for exploring the city and commuting to and from work. Costing just pennies to run, they are gaining popularity thanks to their cheap costs, environmental credentials and fun driving style.
Able to cut through traffic faster than a car or taxi, they are far quieter and electric motors give faster acceleration than a petrol equivalent, too.
Electric vs Petrol Mopeds & Scooters - Costs
Most estimates put it at about 25p to charge a battery for a 50 mile range.
Even with petrol scooters achieving 120mpg, at £1.30 a litre a 50 mile journey would cost you over £2 to complete!
(£1.30 * 4.54 = £5.90 for 1 gallon, or £5.90 for 130 miles range, or 4.5p a mile)
Comparatively, to charge a NIU battery which is 1740Wh, will take 1.74kWh.
For the UK, the average price per kWh in 2018 is around 13p. 13*1.74 = 23p, or <0.01 a mile
If you commute around 300 miles a month, that works out as:
And if you're commuting, you can recharge your electric moped at work for free!
|Cost Per Gallon*||£5.90||-|
|Cost per kWh||£0.13|
|Cost to "Fill"||£6 - 7||£0.25|
|Cost Per Mile||4.5p||< £0.01|
|Cost per 300 miles||£13.50||£1.38|
Another big benefit of electric mopeds is reduced maintenance. The main component that will need replacing are the brakes. They are also tax free and a lot quieter. No oil, no clutch cables, no filters or fluids to check.
- Cheaper Fuel Costs
- Quieter - no noise pollution
- Cleaner - No Air Pollution
- Cheaper maintenance costs
- Cleaner - No Air Pollution
- Reduced range (But dual battery scooters are now available with 100 miles range)
- Higher initial cost (though finance is available and costs are dropping)
How to charge an electric moped
Most electric mopeds (all the models we offer do) will have a removable battery that can be charged from any standard socket, usually taking around 6 hours. These will simply be a cable that plugs into the battery directly. Removing the battery takes a matter of seconds as it is usually clipped in behind a compartment door.
It's good habit to charge the battery constantly and not let it run down too far, especially during winter months and if you're not going to be using it much. Modern batteries are designed to protect against memory effect and other negative side effects previously associated with electric vehicles, however this is fast becoming an obsolete claim.
Currently there are not many “fast charge” or equivalents on the market, mostly to keep costs down. Some batteries will regain a significant amount of range in around 30 minutes of charge, however.
How much is Electric Moped Insurance
This really depends on the company you go with, your history and the model of bike you’re looking to insure. More well known brands like NIU and Super Soco will be cheaper than new to market or customised electric mopeds. Anything from £250 to £1,000 is common.
See our guide for more information on electric moped insurance.
Which Electric Moped to Buy?
Over the past 5 years there’s been a steady increase in availability in the UK for electric mopeds. Older models used Lead Acid batteries, which are heavy, slow to charge and low quality - leading to expensive replacement costs. Due to being older technology and lack of desirability, you often see this style on eBay. Best avoided unless you want more headaches down the line!
More modern electric scooters are utilising Lithium Ion batteries to give far better performance. Lighter and safer, they charge quickly and are usually rated for thousands of recharge cycles.
At time of writing, Govecs NIU and SuperSoco are the dominant players in the UK market for electric mopeds. Each have slightly different uses and styles.
Govecs produce heavy duty models ideal for delivery riders and are the work horses of the eScooter space.
Super Soco produce cafe-racer style, vintage Electric Motorbikes and Mopeds - ideal for longer commutes.
The NIU range are a high tech, competitively priced every day commuter Scooter that combine tech and style into one neat package.
Things to look for when purchasing an electric moped:
- Range - Most modern motors and batteries allow up to a healthy 40 - 50 mile range on a single battery, but some can take two batteries for 100 miles of range. Older electric mopeds may not have this range.
- Weight - Batteries are one of the heaviest items on a bike, and older designs will reduce range and handling ability if they use Lead Acid variants
- Removable battery - Most modern bikes such as the NIU, Govecs or SuperSoco bikes all have batteries that can be quickly removed for charging at the office or overnight away from the bike.
- Battery recharge time - Most scooter batteries will recharge to full in 6 hours. However, some models are starting to come through with fast charge abilities and charging in just 3 hours.
Do you need a license for an electric moped
Yes! Any vehicle with a motor requires registering with DVLA and an accompanying license, unless it is an electric assist pedal bicycle. For most bikes, a CBT license will suffice which usually take a few hours with a training centre locally, and £100 or so.
If you have a driving license from before 2001, you may be able to ride category AM or P bikes on this - check your license for details.
If you’re a new rider, electric mopeds are a fantastic way to get into two wheels. Compared to their petrol counterparts, there’s much less to worry about. No oil, no clutch cables, no filters or fluids to check - everything is far more “get on and go”.
Electric moped top speed
For legal reasons, most mopeds are limited to 28 or 45mph to ensure they fall into the AM or P category of licenses, and thus only requiring a CBT license. The next class up is more expensive due to more battery and motor requirements, with the likes of Zero and Energica producing high speed electric motorbikes for £10,000+. As a comparison, the 28mph NIU M Series is just £1,900.
About the CBT
CBT stands for “Compulsory Basic Training”. It is designed to give you the basic information, safety and confidence on the road while using a moped or motorcycle.
You can’t Pass or Fail your CBT - it is a set of training. Once completed, you can ride a moped (16+) or any motorcycle / moped with a power rating up to 11kW if you’re over 17.
It is designed usually as a stepping stone to taking a full motorcycle license / test.
How much does CBT Training Cost?
Usually the course will be around £100, but be aware that it is down to local training schools’ to set prices and as such this may vary based on location and vehicles available.
The government has a handy course finder here to find a CBT school near you.
Electric moped for rent
We are currently looking into a “Vehicle as a Service” model for electric scooters, with trials opening in 2019 in the South East. The idea is that you subscribe for a week or month and will receive everything you need to get going without having to commit to purchasing.
This is different to traditional sharing schemes where it can be cost prohibitive to have the bike over an extended period of time.