The best electric mopeds and scooters - all you need to know

James Dilkes

23 Mar 2023

First things first, let’s clear up a few details. There’s often a bit of confusion when talking about electric scooters, so here’s a short guide to the typical naming conventions so you know what we're talking about.

An electric scooter or electric moped is a two-wheeled vehicle which resembles a typical pizza delivery bike with a top speed of 28 mph or less. In contrast, an electric kick scooter is a small easy-to-carry device with handlebars and a deck to stand on, powered either by using one foot to push off or by using the on-board electric motor. Currently, it’s not legal in the UK to use a privately owned electric kick scooter on public roads, pavements, or cycle lanes. 

In this article, we’re going to have a look at some of the best electric scooters and mopeds on the market right now. Over the last couple of years, there’s been big growth in the number of choices available for electric scooters. There’s plenty of variety in styles and a very broad range of budgets catered for – with prices starting from little over £1,500. 

Most electric scooters give you a choice of charging options: either while parked up with the battery in the bike, or by removing the battery and taking it to 3-pin socket. It’s the flexibility of the removable battery packs that make these options really appealing for commuters. 

The range from most is more than enough for most peoples' journey to work, and portable batteries will allow employers to offer workplace charging without the need for a car park full of dedicated charge points – all vehicles in this list are charged from normal 3-pin sockets.

Laws and Licences

Before we get into our list of some of the best electric mopeds and scooters, it’s worth taking a look at the (slightly complicated) licensing rules that affect them.

Mopeds

These fall into the AM licence category and can be ridden, with L-plates (or D-plates in Wales), by anyone from 16 years old with a provisional driving licence and a valid compulsory basic training (CBT) certificate. To get a CBT you will need to attend a day long course run by a local training school to prove you can handle the bike. It's a useful exercise which will keep you safe - it can be organised through your bike dealer. 

CBT certificates are valid for two years – unless you have a car driving licence. If you passed your car driving test on or after 1st February 2001 then you’ll get a full moped licence if you either take a CBT course after passing your car driving test, or if you passed your driving test within two years of completing a CBT course. This entitles you to ride a moped without L-plates, and the entitlement lasts for as long as your car driving licence does.

Things are a little more straightforward if you passed your driving test before 1st February 2001. In which case, you can ride a moped without having to take a CBT course and you won’t need to display L-plates.

Scooters and Light Motorcycles

Scooters and light motorcycles with up to 11 kW power output fall into the A1 licence category. If you’re 17 or over and have completed a CBT course then you can ride one of these without having to take a full motorcycle test, as long as you display L-plates. Unlike with mopeds, however, a CBT will only qualify you to ride an A1 category bike or scooter for two years, regardless of if you have a car driving licence or not. Simple, eh?

Grants

Recent changes to the OLEV grant shook things up a little in the world of electric cars, and it’s the same case for the two-wheeled electric world. 

Previously, the OLEV grant knocked 20% off the value of a new electric motorbike (or scooter) – up to a maximum discount of £1,500. The rules changed on 15th December 2021, with new eligibility requirements and new discount amounts. 

For an electric moped, the grant will now pay for 35% off the purchase price (up to a maximum of £150), as long as it costs less than £10,000 and can travel at least 30 km (19 miles) between charges. For electric scooters (and motorbikes), the grant will pay for 35% of the purchase price (up to a maximum of £500), as long as it has an RRP of less than £10,000 and can travel at least 50 km (31 miles) between charges. 

The new rules have brought a big reduction in the maximum grant amounts, especially for mopeds. It’s worth checking prices with dealers, though, as some manufacturers are offering temporary discounts to offset the sudden grant reduction.

The Mopeds and Scooters

Now that we’ve covered licensing and grants, let’s have a look at some of the electric scooters and mopeds that should be on your shortlist:

1. Seat MÓ 125 (scooter)

Price: £6,300 (pre-grant)

Range: 87 miles (WLTP)

Power: 9 kW 

Battery size: 5.6 kWh

Recharge time: 6-8 hours

Good: removable battery, reverse mode, impressive Seat MÓ app, great range

Not so good: expensive, heavy batteries (40 kg)

Everyone’s favourite Spanish car maker, Seat, is now selling an electric scooter – through a partnership with the (also Spanish) electric scooter brand, Silence. 

The 9-kW motor provides comparable power to a 125cc petrol scooter, but with far more torque – a whopping 240 Nm! That's enough to achieve a 0-31mph time of just 3.1 seconds, with a top speed of 59mph. 

The scooter can comfortably carry two people – and there’s space for two helmets under the seat. Three selectable driving modes (Eco, City, and Sport) allow you to adjust its characteristics to suit your riding style. There’s also a reverse mode to help you manoeuvre out of tight spaces on a slope.

A range of 87 miles is supplemented by regenerative braking, and a full charge from empty will take around 6-8 hours using a 240V 3-pin socket. One of the MÓ’s big selling points is the removable, wheeled battery pack with retractable handle for wheeling the pack to a power socket for charging. Alternatively, you can leave the battery in the scooter while you charge it.

Seat MÓ 125 electric scooter

2. Peugeot E-Ludix (moped)

Price: £2,799 (pre-grant)

Range: 26 miles

Power: 2.5 kW

Battery size: 1.6 kWh

Recharge time: 3 hours to 80%, 4 hours full charge

Good: well-known scooter brand, 4 riding modes, reverse mode, removable battery for charging indoors, quick charging

Not so good: shorter range than similarly priced scooters, not the best looking

Peugeot has been a big player in the scooter market for a long time. The E-Ludix has been around a bit longer than most of its competitors, so it perhaps falls a tad short when compared in terms of looks, tech, and range. But it will undoubtedly be a reliable little scooter and is supported with a 2-year unlimited mile warranty (and a 3-year, 30,000 km battery warranty).

The 11 kg battery pack being removeable does provide some charging versatility to offset the relatively low range of around 26 miles. The scooter itself is based on the petrol-powered Ludix but with an electric drivetrain supplied by Bosch, who have gained a reputation as experts in electric drive systems for mopeds.

Overall, the E-Ludix is a decent mid-range option with more power than the average electric moped and a relatively short charging time.

3. Vespa Elettrica (moped or scooter)

Price: £6,300 for 45 km/h model or £6,600 for 70 km/h model (pre-grant)

Range: 60 miles 

Power: 3.5 kW (45 km/h) 3.6 kW (70 km/h)

Battery size: 4.2 kWh

Recharge time: 4 hours

Good: impressive infotainment system, decent range, reasonable recharge time, powerful motor, adjustable regenerative braking, it’s a Vespa

Not so good: no removable battery for charging, only one body colour option, expensive

Vespa has long held icon status and is one of most famous scooter brands in the world. Now you can have “the look” without a noisy 2-stroke motor compromising style and elegance. 

The Elettrica is available in two models: 45 km/h (moped) and 70 km/h (scooter). Both offer the same range, recharge time and similar power. The Vespa’s batteries aren’t removable, unfortunately, and charging is done with the built-in charging cable that lives neatly coiled into its own little housing under the seat.

A stand-out feature of the Vespa is its comprehensive infotainment system packed with functionality. The Elettrica is based on the body of the Vespa Primavera, with some subtle styling differences – one of which being the trim colour options. Sadly, though, there is no choice of body colours, only the standard silver. 

Overall, the Elettrica is a well-equipped and well-built scooter that rides well with great performance. Although, it is let down a little by the price and lack of removable batteries for charging convenience.

Vespa Elettrica electric moped

4. Super Soco CUx (moped)

Price: £2,609 or £3,049 for Ducati edition (pre-grant)

Range: 40 miles 

Power: 1.6 kW continuous, 2.8 kW peak

Battery size: 1.8 kWh

Recharge time: 3.5 hours

Good: built-in forward-facing camera (option), charge level indicator on removable battery pack, lightweight (74 kg), impressive app capabilities

Not so good: standard (non-Ducati) colours make it look a bit dull, charger doesn’t fit under the seat

Super Soco are fast becoming a very popular brand of electric motorcycle and scooter. The Super Soco CUx is competitively priced, and the build quality and on-board tech makes the CUx feel like an absolute bargain. There’s a USB charging port under the dash and an optional extra (£170) forward-facing camera. The Super Soco app also lets you track and review your journeys, view vehicle status (like state of charge and remaining range), and access diagnostic info.

The CUx is pretty small, but still manages to comfortably accommodate riders over 6 feet tall. The top speed is 28 mph, which can be derestricted to around 35 mph for riders over 16. Cruise control and 3 selectable riding modes aid usability and allow you to switch between eking out the range and riding full power.


Super Soco CUx electric moped

5. Niu UQi (moped)

Price: £2,049 (Pro), £2,549 (GT Pro) – pre-grant

Range: 22 miles (Pro), 37 miles (GT Pro)

Power: 1.2 kW (Pro), 1.5 kW (GT Pro)

Battery size: 1 kWh (Pro), 2 kWh (GT Pro)

Recharge time: 3.5 hours (Pro), 9 hours (GT Pro)

Good: tech and app capabilities, lightweight, built-in tracker, keyless ignition

Not so good: huge charging time for GT Pro version, lack of storage space

Niu (pronounced “new”) is one of the largest manufacturers of electric scooters globally, and the UQi series is the entry-level in their range. The base model, UQi Pro, is priced at around £2,049 (excluding grants). It’s 1 kWh battery gives a range of 19 – 25 miles, with a recharge time of 3.5 hours. Its rugged design style with an exposed tubular steel chassis is reminiscent of the popular Honda Ruckus, albeit with softer edges. Due to the lightweight design, however, there isn’t a great deal of storage space.

The GT Pro version of the UQi gets double the battery size (2 kWh) and an increased range of around 37 miles for £500 more. The huge downfall of the more expensive version, however, is the charging time – 9 hours! While the base model comes with “fast charging” capability, this hasn’t been extended to the GT Pro edition. 

Both models are well equipped, with keyless ignition, self-cancelling indicators, and regenerative braking.

7. Piaggio 1 (moped) & Piaggio 1 Active (scooter)

Price: £2,500 or £3,000 for 1 Active model – pre-grant

Range: 34 miles (1), 53 miles (1 Active)

Power: 1.2 kW (1), 2 kW (1 Active)

Battery size: 1.4 kWh (1), 2.3 kWh (1 Active) 

Recharge time: 6 hours

Good: large storage space under seat, removable battery, large display screen (5.5”)

Not so good: Longer recharge time than some of its rivals, no storage next to USB socket on front, 1 Active carries two but too cramped and underpowered for frequent pillion rides

The Piaggio 1 is the second offering from the Piaggio group in this list. The Vespa Elettrica is an electrified icon, while the Piaggio 1 is a more budget-friendly option with modern styling. There are two versions to choose from, the 1 is a 30-mph moped and the 1 Active is a scooter capable of 40 mph. Both have removable batteries and charge from zero to full in around 6 hours, although the 1 Active model gets a much larger battery than its moped counterpart resulting in a much longer range.

The build quality is excellent, and Piaggio have clearly taken great care to remove any sources of unwanted squeaks and rattles that would be masked by internal combustion on a traditional scooter. Under-seat storage is another strong point, with enough space to fit a crash helmet, and there’s a USB charging port under the dash. The impressive 5.5” LCD display screen automatically adjusts its brightness and colour depending on ambient light levels.

The Piaggio 1 is a great option in both moped and scooter form. It’s a solid contender in a market that is becoming increasingly dominated by new brands.

Piaggio 1 electric moped

​There are many great options when it comes to choosing an electric scooter or moped, but many of them also have unique features that simply don’t exist on petrol-powered bikes – like reversing capability and locking rear wheels (for security). Tech-lovers will also enjoy the app connectivity and smart features that a lot of electric scooters offer. Given that you don’t need to take a test to ride them (just a provisional licence and a one-day CBT course), electric scooters and mopeds are a really accessible and affordable way into eco-conscious motoring. With summer just around the corner, it could be a perfect time to delve into 2-wheeled electric motoring!

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