When it comes to quick transportation through the city, you have multiple choices of city electric vehicles. Today, learn about the differences between each electric vehicle and which one would suit you the best.
Electric City Vehicle Types:
1) Electric Chopper
To be able to drive on an electric vehicle without a driver’s license and license plate for transportation, the engine must have a power of less than 1 kW, the maximum speed must not exceed 25 km / h, and the vehicle must be able to be powered by human energy. These rules primarily apply to bicycles, but the law also covers scooters, unicycles, and other means of transport.
The so-called electric choppers move around this border. But they are only connected to the classic American chopper by a comfortable sitting position and a peaceful ride. These are electric scooters on large balloon tires like golf carts.
For a prudent, comfortable ride
The engine power is kept below 1 kW, and on the basic setting, the speed according to the regulations does not exceed 25 km / h. Because the design is some form of a scooter, you can bounce and ride without an engine. Therefore, the vehicle complies with the legal rules, and you do not need to register a vehicle or a driver’s license for a motorcycle. The large dimensions allow larger batteries so that the range will be significantly better than with small scooters. The powerful engine will then pull you up steeper hills.
The design from different manufacturers differs only slightly. Cheaper machines have a massive box for the battery in the step, and others can hide it better. In essence, however, these machines are not always designed for high speeds. The stability, strength of the structure, and maneuverability correspond to speeds of around 25 km / h. These are not motorcycles for speeds above 50 km / h.
Electric choppers are mainly machines for a quiet “loving” ride. In the hands of an aggressive rider who feels he has the right to pass quickly through the pedestrian zone or endanger the bike path, they can do some damage.
2) Electric scooter
Scooters are undoubtedly the most accessible and easiest-to-manage personal vehicle with an electric drive. Thanks to the more straightforward construction, they cost less than electric bikes, and at the same time, they do not require long training in riding technology such as unicycles or electric skateboards.
When choosing an electric scooter, you should focus on a combination of easy portability and comfortable riding. Small wheels under 8 inches (less than 20 cm from the road to the top of the tire) require smooth asphalt without stones or carefully matched paving. The small hard tires then also transfer all the impacts to the handlebars and, at the same time, put more strain on the built-in battery and control circuits.
Thanks to the most widespread electric scooter on our market, the Xiaomi M365 is the Mi Electric Scooter. It represents a balanced combination of design, performance, and reliability. It’s not the fastest or most durable, but everything is at a reasonable level with a good price/performance ratio.
We recommend its improved Pro version for riders weighing over 60 kg riding in more hilly terrain. It’s not faster, but it can handle a heavier load, so when driving uphill, you usually won’t have to bounce like a standard weaker version. With a larger battery, it also promises a more extended range.
There are dozens of similar scooters on the market. Still, thanks to the incredible popularity of the Xiaomi M365, you can get equipment accessories or possible spare parts for this model in the event of a breakdown. Watch out for the cheapest competitive models, the price of which falls up, but they are weaker, and at full load, will not have decent battery life.
The electric scooter can be folded and easily fits in the trunk of a car. It can be used in combined transport when you can get to the city’s outskirts by car and continue to the center on a scooter.
3) Electric longboards / skateboards
The idea of an electric longboard is ideal for moving around the city. In my opinion, this is the best city electric vehicle. It is a small and relatively light version of transportation that you can take in your hand, get on the tram with it, lock it in a locker or put it in the trunk of a car. They will not go to the ground until faster transport is needed. You don’t even have to disassemble anything, and it’s ready almost immediately.
The longboard turns by tilting the board to the side, while the wheels of both axles turn slightly in the desired direction. The rear wheels have a powertrain, and even only one is used on cheaper longboards. Adding “throttle” and braking is done by the wireless controller in your hand.
The main disadvantage is that you will not be able to ride a longboard right away. Controlling the wheel board requires some training time. Otherwise, you will feel very insecure. But it’s not that hard. Electric longboards are usually based on bigger skateboards or longboards with a larger board and are more stable when riding than a classic skateboard. They also have bigger soft rubber wheels that make it easier to overcome obstacles and provide more comfort for the ride.
Those who master longboarding will enjoy it. It’s far more fun and dynamic than on a scooter, and on an empty bike path, you usually can’t resist the urge to make curves like on a snowboard. The downside is that you need a smooth surface. The longboard with 80mm wheels can handle the interlocking paving, but it is not pleasant for the rider. A helpful trick is to drive on such a surface at an angle to the joints – thanks to the large width of the wheels, the character will suddenly appear smooth because they will not fit into the joints.
700 W in a longboard
There are many electric longboards on the market. Chinese products of various brands dominate the market. Out of these, we can recommend the electric longboard Backfire 2G, which can be bought in many stores or directly from China.
The Backfire 2G has two engines with 700 W, which is more than enough for a hill climb. It speeds up to 38 km / h and reaches 18 km of range. It is worth considering a surcharge for the 2GT version with a larger battery, fast charging, and OLED display on the controller. It will travel up to 24 km on a single charge.
We know from our own experience that it is good to avoid the cheapest longboards on the market. They have fragile engines that drive only on a flat surface, and the primary battery collapses after a few months of intense load.
A powerful longboard, on the other hand, is not a good choice. For example, we tested a monster with giant scooter wheels and two 900W motors. Such a skateboard is harder to control and does not fit into the city.
4) Folding Electric Bikes for city
City electric vehicle in the form of bike is the most usual way of transportation. And so we focused on small folding electric bikes, which are thrown at the very purpose for you to whiz through the city on them and then park them in the corner of the office. The Xiaomi Qicycle is a small, light, and compact e-bike, which at the same time does not go anywhere to dizzying heights like a classic e-bike. But the price is entirely reflected in its properties.
A suitable electric bike will generally offer a power of 500 W and a range of up to 100 km. For small city bikes, expect about a quarter range, help suitable for flat terrain, and riding characteristics corresponding to a small folding bike. It’s enough to drive around the city, but don’t buy such a bike for longer mountain trips.
We can recommend the Xiaomi Qicycle because it comes from an initially technological company, and information about its spread out quite quickly. But some alternatives seem a little cheaper at first glance.
If you want at least a little more solid bike of this type, think about a Wisper 806 bike, which will work better and more reliably. And it will continue to run. And who wants a high-end, pays a higher price for the Gocycle GS, a futuristic city electric bike with suspension.
5) Other forms of vehicles
There are even more types of last-mile movers. New ideas are constantly appearing on Kickstarter, and some of them will even go into production. For example, Onewheel: a kind of mix of a longboard, unicycle, and electric chopper. At the same time, it is not cheap, and the weaker version will cost less, but the reliability is not there.
There are also, for example, so-called electric skates, which are two miniature unicycles, each under one foot. The renowned Segway also manufactures them. Its Drift W1 skates promise speeds of up to 12 km / h and a range of up to 45 minutes.
We haven’t tried these devices yet, but the videos show that the ride requires practice, and the effectiveness of the city zoom function will not be better than with scooters or skateboards. Therefore, I am not sure if any of these is the perfect city electric vehicle.