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E-Bikes and E-Scooters: What You Need To Know Before You Buy Them

They’re electric vehicles that are on trend right now. These E-bikes and E-scooters may look similar to a regular bicycle, motorcycle or scooter–the difference here is that rechargeable lithium ion or nickel-metal hydride batteries are what makes them run, not gasoline.

What are their pros?

It’s easy to point out the benefits of owning an e-bike or e-scooter: they’re small and easily maneuverable even in bumper-to-bumper traffic. But more than the size, these electric vehicles offer the added benefits of faster commute time, lesser carbon footprint, and easy operations.

They’re also affordable–you can buy an e-bike for around PHP17,000 to PHP40,000. Electric scooters, on the other hand, cost around PHP20,000-PHP80,000 depending on the model. Compare this with a gas-powered motorcycle that range somewhere between PHP40,000 to more than a hundred thousand pesos, and you’ll see the difference.

Moreover, they’re cheap to maintain and operate. You don’t need to worry about parking fees, and parking space rentals, and neither do you have to worry about fluctuating gas prices here. A typical e-bike weekly expense costs around PHP8-PHP15 per full charge, while a motorcycle costs around PHP300-PHP400 per full tank. A typical yearly service cost for the e-bike is 0, while the price ranges from PHP1,000 to PHP3,500 for motorcycles.

It’s also convenient. Many are foldable and can easily be stashed away even without a parking space nearby. In fact, some are so handy and lightweight that you can even take them with you to your office.

What are their cons?

These vehicles often run an average of around 50-75 kph, so you can’t really drive fast if you’re late for work. What’s more, their batteries need a long time to be charged–around 6 to 8 hours–and they need to be charged at a charging station to run again. Still, there are some scooters that offer battery rental changing stations that allow you to swap your empty batteries for a fully-charged one at convenience stores like 7-Eleven and FamilyMart. Another option would be to choose those pedal-assisted models that can be manually operated in case the battery runs out.

Are they safe?

Unfortunately, there’s a downside to being portable and lightweight–they can easily get stolen. Also, their light structure and frame can easily be hit by incoming vehicles, can crumple easily, and are less stable to use on irregular roads–particularly on the more slippery ones.

What’s more, electricity and water don’t mix–so avoid using these vehicles during heavy rains.

Final Word

E-bikes and E-scooters offer a lot of potential, especially if you want to use it for short trips or commuting to work. And while there are still some issues that need improvement, these vehicles will offer greater benefits as technology advances and  develops over time.

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