The term moped, taken from the words motor and pedal, gives rise to the thought of a machine having both a motor and pedals. In today's world of motorized two-wheel vehicles, sometimes this is true and sometimes not.
In the United States there is Federal Electric Bike Law HR 727, which defines an electric bike as having a motor less than 750 watts, having functional pedals, and not having a speed capable of more than 20 MPH. Other countries may have different definitions. So in today's market we see a breaking point between electric bicycles and electric mopeds.
Electric bikes, by classification rule, are confined to a limited power and speed, and with pedals, even though some of them look like a sleek and beautiful electric moped with the step through design and full fairings or shrouds. By contrast what is normally called a moped does not have a power or speed limitation.
In fact, we find today's industry and technology producing machines we normally call electric mopeds, entering the realm of real electric motorcycles. Even though they do not closely resemble a traditional motorcycle in appearance, with the step through design and their sleek streamlined beauty, they can be classed as a motorcycle because of their performance capabilities. With speeds of 65 MPH and a travel range of 90 miles per battery charge, these vehicles are competing well with motorcycles for fun and commuting.
The electric moped incorporates a motor in the hub of the rear wheel. Therefore it is direct drive, with no drive shaft or chain to deal with. The silent operation and no air pollution qualities are things of beauty in themselves.
Before getting into a discussion on efficiency and cost effectiveness, let's just declare that electric mopeds are now clearly a Girls Choice in two-wheel vehicles for a fun ride. Many women tend to be somewhat intimidated with a gas-powered unit because of the complexity, the mess, the potential problems and maintenance with them. Battery powered, electric motor driven mopeds eliminate almost all of those things. And with the modern good-looking designs, with dual ridership possible, any fun-loving girl, or boy, would be proud to own and drive a modern electric moped.
In stepping up from a bike to a moped, the costs go up too. But what do you want? If long-term savings and fun along the way are a goal, then a moped is a good choice. There are claims that e-mopeds or scooters could pay for themselves within a year with regular or daily use. No gas, oil, repairs, along with reduced car insurance rates for driving it less, all adds up. It is said that the X-treme model 5000Li has an efficiency equivalency of 250 MPG. This is one of the latest introductions to the electric moped market. Whatever formula is used, the local cost of electricity, along with the fast recharge capability of lithium-ion batteries and their long and lasting power output certainly has a lot to do with it.