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Five best electric mopeds

Affordable, clean and cheap to run, electric scooters make so much sense as city runabouts – here are our five favourites

Phil West

Words by: Phil West

Published on 28 March 2024 | 0 min read

The rise in popularity of electric powered two wheelers isn’t solely down to electric motorcycles – there has been a huge upsurge in electric mopeds and scooters, too.
Where ‘motorcycle’ generally refers to larger wheeled bikes with engines bigger than 125cc, ‘scooters’ are smaller-wheeled (sub 16-inch), ‘step-thru’ machines, usually with automatic transmissions. Just to confuse matters mopeds can be scooter or motorcycle shaped but are defined by running an engine of 50cc or less (or equivalent) and limited to 30mph for AM licence compliance. Even within that definition there are plenty of electric mopeds out there. Being accessible, simple to ride, cheap to run and ‘green’ makes them ideal city commuters or delivery bikes. Being small and light makes them appealing to riders of all sizes and experience levels experience levels and new products in the sector from big players like Honda and Yamaha show the format’s increasing importance as an urban transport solution. So, what are the five best electric mopeds currently available? What do they have and what are they like? Here’s our pick of the best!

1 – Honda EM1 e: the first electric ’ped from Honda

Honda’s first electric scooter or ’ped is more significant for what it represents than for any pioneering tech or ability, but it’s still worthy of being included here. The EM1 e: is the first fully electric moped from the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer, is equivalent to a 50cc scooter and can therefore be ridden on a moped licence by 16-year-olds. Beyond the innovative powertrain and funky name, however, it is fairly straightforward and has a range of just 30 miles. That said, there’s a neat portable battery pack you can remove for charging and it’s built with Honda’s typical attention to detail and quality.
Read the review

2 – Piaggio 1: the first electric moped from Italy’s scooter specialist

Much like Honda, Italian scooter legend Piaggio’s first electric model may not be super-performing or particularly innovative, but it remains stylish and significant. Usefully it’s available in two versions – one roughly 50cc equivalent the other 125cc equivalent. It’s also temptingly affordable and, usefully, an extensive UK dealer network already exists while Piaggio’s machines have a proven reputation and established residuals. On top of that, the 1’s performance, although not intended to be excessive, combines with practical features such as an easily removable and home-chargeable battery, to make it a credible transport ‘solution’.

3 – NIU UQI GT: the funky, bargain-priced electric moped

Chinese brand NIU specialises in stylish electric two wheelers and produces a range of higher spec, 125-equivilent machines. The oddly named UQI, however, is its base, 50cc equivalent and offers easy practicality along with great value and funky urban style. With big 14-inch wheels it’s part-bike, part scoot, there’s a Bosch 1500W hub motor and a range of up to 50 miles. It’s also ridiculously light and easy to ride, and currently costs under £2,000.
Read the review

4 – Vespa Elettrica: the electric version of the Italian icon

The first electric model from the most famous scooter brand of all is great looking, easy to ride, comes in two variants … and is a little on the pricey side. But when an electric scooter looks this chic carries that essential eco cred as well maybe that doesn’t matter. As Vespa is owned by Piaggio the Elettrica shares some of its base mechanicals with the more affordable Piaggio 1. As such, it’s also available in AM licence, 50cc equivalent 30mph form as well as the slightly pricier A1 compliant trim with more power and an higher 45mph top speed.
It’s also got all the classic Vespa city style, is an absolute doddle to ride, has a claimed range of just over 60 miles (though not if you ride everywhere at 45mph!) and has lots of nice detailing.

5 – Yamaha NEO’s: Yamaha’s first electric moped

Costing just under £3,000, the NEO’s is a 50cc equivalent commuter like Honda’s EM1 e: and has been developed with the benefit of the marque’s long history of petrol-powered scooters like the Aerox, BW’s and today’s NMAX and TMAX series. It’s Yamaha’s first mass-produced electric scooter aimed at the European market, is simple to ride, well-built, and its name is adopted from Yamaha’s previous, petrol-powered, 50cc NEO’s scooter which was known for its simple, affordable spec and urban versatility.

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