Best Electric Mopeds: Energize Your Ride

Carve up your city streets in smooth silence

byElijah Nicholson-Messmer|
Best Electric Mopeds: Energize Your Ride
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When it comes to urban transportation, electricity rules. From skateboards to scooters to bikes, there’s an electrified offering for you. If you have your heart set on a moped, you’re in luck. While offerings are still relatively sparse in the United States compared to many European countries, the electric moped wave is in full swing across the States.

Whether you're sizing down from a car or upgrading from a scooter, electric mopeds offer the best of both worlds. Their low profile makes maneuvering city streets a breeze while their beefed-up motors and battery packs bring them up to speed on the faster roads. Still, all that versatility comes at a premium. With some models costing as much as a second-hand car, it’s important to know what you need—and what you don’t—before dropping money on a new electric moped.

Here are our picks for the best electric mopeds in 2023.

Honda

Our Methodology

When it comes to electric mopeds, you get what you pay for. Budget-friendly models can be had at a fraction of the price of the top mopeds on the market, but, with them, you often get substandard components, like inefficient lead-acid batteries and slow, low-powered motors.

To find the best value options on the market, I started by reading through countless forum posts from the nerdiest and most educated electric moped enthusiasts around. Then, I employed The Drive’s review methodology to compare the specifications of different offerings to see what models offered the best value at their given price point. I primarily limited my search to models available for U.S. customers, but most of the models included here are also available outside the United States.

Best Electric Mopeds: Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall: NIU MQi GT EVO

Pros

Fast acceleration and high top-speed

Removable battery packs for easy charging

Competitive price point

Two-year main body warranty

Cons

Severe lack of storage

Poor customer service

Since its founding in 2014, NIU Technologies has become prolific in the world of electric scooters and mopeds. Driving NIU’s reputation is its flagship MQi GT EVO, which boasts a 62 MPH top speed and a 46-mile range thanks to its 5000W motor and 72V dual lithium battery packs. Some testing has even pushed the moped to 70 MPH, but speed and range will vary depending on your riding style, road and weather conditions, load weight, and whether you live at the bottom of a hill. 

The EVO comes with three riding modes—Eco, Dynamic, and Sport—each of which electronically changes the top speed to optimize speed and range depending on your goals. Both batteries are stored underneath the seat and can be fully charged in five hours. Batteries can be charged in place or removed if parking next to an electric outlet is not an option.

NIU integrates technology thoughtfully throughout the EVO. A smart LED dashboard offers three different display options depending on your personal style, displaying speed, battery status, riding mode, and more. A connected NIU app lets you quickly see the battery status, tire pressure, real-time location of the moped, and more. The EVO also includes 360-degree LED lights, including NIU’s third-generation halo light, equipped with daytime running light abilities. Combined with an aluminum body, the EVO achieves IP54-graded weather resistance. And even with all the technology, you still get analog controls where you want them, with physical indicator and cruise control buttons.

Still, for all its value, the EVO is not without its faults. The battery placement under the seat severely limits storage capabilities. This can be addressed through an optional luggage rack attachment, but that will set you back another $210 dollars. While NIU includes a two-year warranty for the main components of the EVO, some riders have reported poor customer service from the company, with slow to non-existent response times. Enthusiasts generally recommend buying from a local dealer who can more easily help if things go wrong.

At just over $6,000, the EVO is far from the most expensive moped on our list, but its speed, range, and extensive feature list make it one of the best values on the market today. If the price tag is a bit steep, NIU also offers lower-trim versions of the MQi starting at just under $3,000 dollars.

Best Alternative Electric Mopeds

If NIU’s flagship model doesn’t tick the right boxes on your moped wishlist, or isn't available to you, one of our recommended alternatives is sure to do the trick.

Best Premium: BMW CE-04

At just over $12,000, the CE-04 cost twice that of the EVO. But, with its 80-mile range, ultra-fast charging, and standout styling, it’s a one-of-a-kind offering in the electric moped market.

Best Budget: FLY E-BIKE FLY-10

Optioned with a 60V 20Ah lead-acid battery, the FLY-10 sells for just $1,399 dollars. That said, most enthusiasts recommend splurging for the optional 60V 50Ah lithium battery.

Best Classic: Vespa Elettrica

The Electtrica is far from the best value option on our list, but if you’re after Vespa’s iconic looks there’s no better moped out there — just be ready to pay a premium for it.

Best Weekend Rider: BMW CE-02

The little brother to the CE-04 might not be the most practical moped on our list, but its sharp performance and impossibly hip styling make it a standout option for a fun weekend ride.

FAQs

You’ve got questions. The Drive has answers.

Do I need to register my moped?

Generally speaking, mopeds must be registered and the rider must obtain a motorcycle license. However, laws vary by state. In Connecticut, for instance, mopeds do not have to be registered with the DMV and riders only need a standard driver’s license. For more precise information, check with your local state’s laws.

What kind of electric battery is best?

Lithium batteries are preferred over older lead-acid batteries for their improved longevity and performance, but prospective moped owners should also consider what, if any, battery management system their desired moped is equipped with. These systems play an important role in maximizing the performance of a battery over its lifetime.

What is the lifetime of an electric moped’s batteries?

Storage, use conditions, and battery capacity will affect the ultimate lifetime of a moped’s battery, but most sources say you can expect 300-500 full charge cycles from a lithium battery before its performance is diminished. A battery’s overall lifetime can be extended through optimal charging habits.

Why Trust Us

Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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