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Electric Mopeds for Everyone

Updated on February 3, 2011

A Brief History of the Electric Moped

Before we begin talking about electric mopeds it would probably be wise to talk about the history of these port electric vehicles over the last hundred years. However, before we can get into the history of the electric moped you should know exactly what of electric moped is and how it is different from a electric bike and electric scooter. Essentially, electric moped is a cross between electric scooter in an electric bicycle. Electric moped as a matter fact looks like an electric scooter but with bicycle pedals. Usually, the pedals are used to start the vehicle and get your momentum up and that once you have a certain speed, you can then turn on or allow the electric motor to kick in.

Most electric mopeds come with throttles which allow you to twist the handle grip just like a motorcycle throttle. This is a little bit different than that of an electric bicycle that has an electric motor assist on it, because the electric moped is more of the basic electric scooter with pedals and it will allow you to pretty much ride without peddling.

Electric mopeds get their power from batteries which are stored somewhere on the vehicle, very similar to of electric bicycle except electric mopeds usually have their batteries inside of a department instead of out in the open like electric bikes do. The batteries on an electric moped are rechargeable and in many cases can be removed along with the charger from the unit itself so that you can recharge the batteries anyplace that has an electrical outlet. However, many electric mopeds today still have to be parked near an outlet because the electric batteries and charger cannot be removed from the unit because it is built into it.

The other important unit on electric moped is the motor itself. Electric moped motor is usually encased in a disk shaped hub which resides on the rear will of the unit. In a similar manner to horsepower, the electric motor is gauged by Watts instead of horsepower. So, the more wattage that you have for the unit more powerful electric motor and as a result electric moped can travel faster. Most electric mopeds run in the range of between 400 to 1200 Watts. However, any electric moped or scooter that goes over 750 Watts is considered a motorcycle even if it's electric and most of the time those types of vehicles have to be licensed and registered.

Early Electric Moped History

In the last part of the 19th century early experiments began on electric bikes and their motors. However, this was the age of the steam engine and believe it or not small steam engines were being attached to certain types of bicycles tricycles in order to try to get to put the first motorized bicycle into operation. However, with the refining of oil and the creation of gasoline, internal combustion engines took over the world and fossil-based fuels and the engines that used them took over.  So, it was a very long before the first internal combustion engine bicycles were riding around through the country.  As these vehicles that bigger and heavier (electric bikes were being experimented with but the batteries were so large heavy that it almost didn't seem like it was worth the effort to have one) bigger and more powerful engines on the internal combustion engines proliferated. However, there were groups of people that were trying to build electric motors and electric bicycles early on.

The New Electric Moped - The Soreno

An earlier version of an electric moped without the pedals
An earlier version of an electric moped without the pedals

Recent Electric Moped Developments

In the last 15 years, the technology behind the motors and the batteries has increased very rapidly. Countries all over the world are realizing potential of electric vehicles and they are also realizing that oil and fossil fuels are a finite product. Therefore, in many countries such as China, India, and most of Asia as well as Europe, people that live close to where they work at are writing on electric bikes, electric scooters, and also electric mopeds. To the main reasons for this type of production not only has been because the demand is so great, but also electric motors have greatly improved. These motors are now able to ride faster and farther on less energy than ever before.

Also, the other area of incredible growth and improvement has been the development of electric batteries. Right now at MIT, battery technology is being pushed as hard and as fast as it possibly can. Paper thin batteries are being created and someday very soon these batteries will be able to be literally fused onto the body of the moped. This is because the newer batteries are becoming lighter and able to hold charge much longer than they ever were before. Even though this technology is still a ways off, we are no longer burden by the huge lead batteries of the past. Let batteries are very heavy and cumbersome in a way down the vehicle which slows down and limits of range of the electric moped considerably.

Now, with new types of batteries that are lithium-based as well as nickel-based electric mopeds are now going farther and faster than they ever have before. This is part of the reason why over the last 15 to 20 years the increase in interest in manufacturing of electric vehicles has jumped over 200%.

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New Electric Moped Technology

Why Electric Mopeds are so Popular

As I said in an earlier part of this hub, electric mopeds are a cross between an electric bicycle electric scooter. Because of this, it is very confusing to local government officials as to what category to place the electric moped in. On one hand, it is not quite an electric scooter and on the other hand is not quite electric bicycle. So, electric moped in most states is not considered to be a motorized vehicle and therefore you do not have to have a license or registration for these vehicles. However, as I said earlier in this hub posting, if you have any electric vehicle that is over 750 Watts of power, then chances are you will probably have have a registration or license for it. Most electric mopeds on the other hand, do not have 750 Watts of power more and they air for they do not have to follow many of the same rules the road vehicles do in most of the states.

Also, if you run out of electricity you can always pedal your electric moped to your next destination. On most gas powered mopeds, the pedals are merely in place so that you cued up of speed to allow the gasoline engine to cut in. With the electric moped, the pedals are there to help you get to your next destination should you have actually pedal their, however the range of most electric vehicles these days are within the 30 to 40 mile limit depending on the terrain, battery and motor power of the particular electric moped that you are using.


There are many good high-quality electric mopeds on the market today. I would suggest that most of them are probably not made in the United States but they are sold extensively throughout the country and you should be able to pick up one is pretty decent price. However, I want to point out that if you are planning on buying electric moped that you should consider buying one from a reputable company that will back up their product. Do not buy your electric moped from an overseas company directly because you may have to deal with the manufacturer of the vehicle something goes wrong. Just like many electric bicycles, most electric mopeds are on the more expensive side of regular recreational vehicles (I mean like bicycles not Winnebagos). You can easily pay over $1000 for an electric moped, but if you have any problems with electric moped you will have to get a hold of the manufacturer either for parts or for service. So, it would be wise to buy your electric moped from somebody in the United States that will back up their product with either a warranty or a guarantee.

Why Electric Mopeds Are so Important

It is very clear to most people that are involved in energy resources that we have a crisis on our hands. Over the next 20 years the oil supplies of the world will run out based on current population trends. If the world does not mind another way to fuel their vehicles or if we do not move to alternative energy vehicles the world will be in very serious trouble. Currently, there are scientists, engineers, and technologists that are coming out with newer and more innovative ways of transporting people from one place to the next. One of the areas of technology that has jumped the last 20 years has been in the area of electric bikes, electric scooters and of course, electric mopeds. Even though these are small vehicles in the scheme of things, the research that is being conducted on them will provide engineers and scientists with the material and knowledge they need to apply these innovative processes towards other electric vehicles like electric cars, trains, etc.

If you do not believe what I am saying is true, look at the progress that has been made in the last 20 years in the realm of the electric moped. Just in the design of the motor itself, you now have self-contained motors that have fewer moving parts than ever before. Because there are fewer moving parts there are fewer breakdowns and hassles the data be taking care of with the electric motor. Not holy has the technology behind the electric motor increased significantly, but the most important facet of research has been conducted in the area of electric batteries. Because the rechargeable electric batteries on most mopeds, bikes and electric scooters is one of the most important facets of these vehicles, the technology behind the batteries has increased tremendously. For example, most batteries used to be made of lead based material. That material it used to be very heavy and would break down much faster than the newer nickel-based and lithium-based batteries that are on the market today. The reason that the nickel-based and lithium-based batteries are so important, is that they are so much lighter than the lead-based batteries therefore they do not have to haul the weight of the batteries around which would drag down the whole vehicle.

Under the reason why this research is so important is because of the fact that many people will they get up in their older years cannot ride a regular bicycle or even some cases ride of electric bicycle. The moped provides those people with the opportunity to use a full control throttle that will be able to tell the engine to run without having to pedal or do anything strenuous. This is very important to people living in retirement communities so that they can get from one place to the other without having to worry about road rules and all of the other things applied to most other areas of the country.

Mobelic Electric Moped

The various parts of an electric moped.
The various parts of an electric moped.

3 Things that You Need to Know about Electric Mopeds

You may want to get into electric powered mopeds sooner or later, and the more you know about how they operate and what to look for the better off you will be with you initial purchase. So here are a couple of good ideas that you may want to consider if and when you do decide to buy one of these great, innovative vehicles. Basically, you can break down the most important parts of an electric moped into a couple of things:

· The Electric Motor – this is probably the most important part of the electric bicycle. If the frame of the vehicle is the skeleton then the motor is definitely the heart of it. The power of this part is not determined in horsepower, but in watts. Usually most mopeds run in wattage anywhere from 300 watts to over 1000 watts of power. Just bear in mind that once you cross the 750 watt threshold your electric moped will be considered to be a licensed vehicle.

· The Batteries– If the motor is the heart of the electric moped,then the batteries are the life blood. The batteries they are making today are so much more advanced than the batteries of the past. For one thing, they are lighter and carry a better charge than ever before. You have basically three different types; lithium based, nickel based and lead based. The lead type is the heaviest, cheapest and probably the least desirable. However, the lead type of battery is less susceptible to the cold than the others. So, if you are going to be riding up north, you would probably want to buy these. Other than that, you should pick the other two, even if they are more expensive.

· The Charger- This is the part of the moped that charges the rechargeable batteries. The key thing to watch for on this part of the unit is it it can be removed from the moped for charging. If you can remove it you will be so much better off because you will be able to take the batteries and recharger into your house and plug it into just about any outlet. This means that you will not have to park your electric moped into an outlet in order to recharge it.

These are the main three things that you need to concern yourself with on an electric moped. If you are considering purchasing one of these units, you should do plenty of research before making your final decision.


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