Small, nimble electric mopeds are popular choices in cities, able to cover short distances without contending with traffic too much.
The past few years has seen battery technology become cheaper and smaller, allowing them to be used in lightweight scooters as an alternative to their noisy, petrol counterparts.
But how good are they? Every moped available in the UK is listed here, and a few new companies in Asia that are starting to shake up the market.
The terminology around electric mopeds is rather murky and confusing. There is a government definition which is important to understand for your purchase. In this article I will use scooter and moped interchangeably, and for clarity have included a guide below.
Anything that is not an EAPC needs to be taxed, insured and registered.
The Munro Motor
How Much Is An Electric Moped?
Prices are very reasonable – usually below £2,000 with premium models reaching around £3,000.
Most of this goes towards the battery, with options for doubling up the battery for added range increasing the cost considerably.
The benefits are very low fuel prices (around 2 – 3p per mile), no tax and very little maintenance.
Insurance will be required, and an MOT every 3 years or so.
You can see a full pricing table here.
How Quickly Do They Recharge
Charge times vary, and most are on a standard 13A home plug so will be a lot slower than the Tesla superchargers.
However, some come with removable batteries so you can charge them while in the office / overnight, which reduces range anxiety.
How Fast Can They Go?
For legal reasons, they are restricted to 30mph. However most will be able to physically do more than this if unrestricted.
For most city driving this is perfectly acceptable, with more and more UK cities introducing 20mph zones. The important thing becomes acceleration to get away from lights, and video reviews show a lot of these are nice and nippy.
Do I Need A License?
Thanks to the 30mph cap, a CBT is required, but this can be done on a provisional license and you don’t need a full bike license.
The law is changing quite regularly to come inline with EU laws, and hopefully we’ll see a simplification as European moped laws are a lot more logical and practical for younger riders in cities. Please check the link below for full information.
You need to wear a helmet at all times too.
Can I Get A Government Discount?
In theory, yes – 20%!
There’s a lot of benefits of electric bikes, the main being no emissions. They meet the government target of 0 CO2 emissions and can travel at least 19 miles (31 for larger bikes) between charges.
However, many models are new and the government has been disappointingly slow with updating their lists. There are few officially supported because they are still in the application process.
On the government site there are currently two bikes that qualify for 20% discount, but the dealer should apply these discounts so you don’t need to worry.
Electric Bike Insurance
There are very few companies out there currently offering insurance for electric scooters and mopeds due to the technology being relatively new.
One of the best options out there, and a well established name in supporting chinese and non-standard petrol mopeds, is Bikesure.
To get the best possible price, quote code G4179.
Alternatively, visit “The Bike Insurer” who compare quotes from 33 different brokers to find you the best price.
Other options to consider that are increasingly offering electric motorbike and bicycle insurance are:
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NIU M+ and N-GT (2019)
The new N-GT and M+ build on the already impressive 2018 N and M Series models with improved designs and upgraded hardware in the form of longer range, lighter batteries and fast charge capability.
The NIU N-GT is capable of 45mph and fast charges in 3.5 hours, giving it up to 100 miles of range. This performance model is priced accordingly at £3,195.
The NIU M+ Plus offers huge bang for buck.
At just £1,916 it can carry two people, does 28mph and charges in 3.5 hours too, with up to 80 miles of range in ideal conditions.
Both come equipped with Bluetooth and all of the tech you’d want.
What’s more, thanks to being electric there’s far fewer moving parts and excellent reliability, making them cheap to run and maintain compared to petrol.
Fuel costs are under 1p per mile, 80% cheaper than petrol!
Expect to see NIU M+ near you soon with this fantastic line up!
NIU M & N Series (2018)
NIU are a Chinese company that produce some incredibly affordable, well equipped bikes. Packed full of technology, they’ve been taking Asia and Europe by storm as both personal vehicles and a big hit with share schemes in places like Berlin and Paris.
Starting from just £1,900, the M series is a lightweight scooter designed for 1 person to nimbly commute or run around the city.
The N series is more akin to a traditional moped and is priced at £2,235.
Both contain GPS tracking, LED lights, in-battery displays and bluetooth connectivity.
Incredibly clever, simple and solid design has made NIU the most popular electric moped / scooter brand in the world, with over 400,000 units sold!
Super Soco TS1200R
The Super Soco is a sleek, tech heav bike that’s surprisingly affordable at just £2,349
Limited to 28mph, it joins the ranks of many scooters able to be driven at 16 on a CBT license. Unlimited, it will achieve 45mph.
So, not a performance demon but at this price point that’s not surprising.
Instead you get a Bosch 1200w motor good for 40 miles, and importantly comes with a removable battery.
There’s an excellent review in the video to the right.
If you’re looking for a budget and practical scooter produced in the UK, then the TS1200R ticks a lot of the boxes.
Govecs are a German company with characteristic excellent build quality and reliability.
However,, this does come at a bit of a price, and their offering is focused mostly on B2B sales with a lot of customisation for emergency services and delivery companies.
Charge times are quick and range is good because of this, but they are also double the price of other options with little UK presence.
They are a more established company and hopefully we’ll see more in