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How to Choose

50cc Scooter vs Electric Bike For Delivery Riders

By Anastasiia Chub

Table of contents:

E-bike Scooter Speed Comfort Convenience of Use Eco-friendliness Safety Price The Verdict

If you’re looking for a fast and reliable way of delivering food as a gig worker, you have probably already run into electric bikes and scooters.

In fact, electric bikes and scooters are some of the main ways delivery riders complete their orders.

Considering their similarities, it can be challenging to decide which one to take.

Here, we have compared all of the main features of both of them.

Feature E-Bike 50cc Scooter
Power Source Electric battery Gasoline engine
Top Speed 20-25 mph 30-40 mph
Range per Charge/Fuel 20-90 miles 60-100 miles
Recharge/Refuel Time 4-6 hours A few minutes
Average Cost $1,000 - $2,000 $1,500 - $3,500
Maintenance Low Moderate
Operating Costs Low (electricity cost) Moderate (fuel cost)
Noise Level Very low High
Environmental Impact Low (no emissions) Higher (emits CO2 and other pollutants)
Weight 40-70 lbs 150-200 lbs
License Requirements Often none required Licenses are required in most regions
Parking Can be taken indoors Requires a designated parking spot
Regulations Fewer regulations Subject to more laws and regulations


Electric bikes, also known as e-bikes, are a blend of traditional bicycles and modern technology.

They are constructed just like traditional bikes but with an electric motor. This motor has several functions, as it can help you while pedaling, boost your physical efforts, or even take over entirely.

E-bikes typically feature pedal-assist and/or throttle modes, allowing riders to choose the level of electric assistance and effort they want to invest in riding.

They are avaiable to rent at low monthly prices.

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A 50-cc scooter is a small, lightweight motorized vehicle equipped with a 50 cubic centimeter engine, typically running on gasoline.

Despite looking similar to motorbikes, they require less maintenance and have a smaller environmental impact.

While only reaching fairly low speeds, depending on local laws, most scooters require a driver’s license and registration.

Despite this, they are easy to park and maneuver through traffic, which is why they are popular in locations such as NYC.



The speeds that e-bikes can reach vary based on their design and local regulations.

E-bikes come in three categories:

  • Class 1 E-bikes. These are pedal-assist only, without throttle, and the motor can help you reach up to 20 mph.
  • Class 2 E-bikes: These have both pedal assist and throttle, and they can reach up to 20 mph.
  • Class 3 E-bikes: These e-bikes reach up to 25 mph.

Storm-2 is a modern Class 3 e-bike that reaches speeds of 25 mph, making it one of the fastest e-bikes for delivery riders.

This is also the highest speed that is legally allowed in NYC.


A 50cc scooter typically reaches speeds between 30 and 40 mph. The exact top speed can vary depending on factors such as:

  • The scooter's design
  • The weight of the rider
  • The terrain

Generally, these scooters are designed for urban commuting and short-distance travel, where high speeds are not necessary.



Since most e-bikes are designed for longer rides, their comfort levels are generally high. Of course, this depends on the exact model.

What you need to look for is an ergonomic design that enhances comfort, as well as a wide, cushioned seat designed for longer rides.

Wider tires with lower air pressure also improve comfort by providing high shock absorption and stability, and adjustable handlebars help riders find comfortable positions.

Finally, the pedal assist feature reduces the effort required to pedal, which can make the riding experience less tiring.

Most Class 3 bikes, such as Storm-2, were designed to make the ride as pleasant as possible.


The comfort level of a 50cc scooter also varies on several factors.

Most scooters have a padded, cushioned seat designed for short to moderate rides. However, they do not have good shock absorption as they are designed for flat urban roads.

Some 50cc scooters have weather protection features like front shields or small windshields that keep their riders protected from the elements, improving comfort in bad weather conditions.

All of this is pretty satisfactory for shorter rides. On the other hand, if you need to spend a larger part of your day delivering orders, maybe a motorcycle or an e-bike is better suited.

Convenience of Use


E-bikes are highly convenient for a variety of reasons.

They are user-friendly and typically require minimal effort to operate. They are lightweight and suitable for riders of all experience levels.

The pedal-assist feature allows you to use them with minimal fatigue, even when riding long distances.

When charging them, you can use a standard electrical outlet. Some models even have removable batteries that can be charged separately.

They don’t take too much space when parked, and you can even take them inside when not riding them!

Next, they can navigate through traffic with ease. As you can ride them on bike lanes, you typically don’t need to worry about traffic jams.

They require less maintenance compared to motor vehicles such as 50cc scooters. There are fewer mechanical parts to worry about, and electric motors require less frequent servicing.

Finally, they are subject to fewer regulations. In NYC, for example, you can even ride them without a driver’s license, registration, or insurance. [1]


50cc Scooters are easy to handle, but they do require some prior training and a license. Still, their user-friendliness makes them suitable for beginners.

While fuel-efficient, you still need to find a gas station to fill their tanks.

Due to their small size, you can park them in tight spaces where cars cannot. However, you cannot take them inside, as is the case with e-bikes.

They are easy to navigate through traffic, as they can easily ride through congested areas and narrow streets.

Finally, while they are easy to maintain, they are still more challenging to e-bikes as there are more parts that can break or malfunction. Also, they are heavier than e-bikes, so moving them around can be a handful.



E-bike is one of the most eco-friendly vehicles a delivery rider can have!

They produce no tailpipe emissions, as they operate solely on electric power. This makes them an excellent choice in large cities such as New York City, where the pollution from vehicles is a significant concern.

As they convert electricity into motion with minimal energy loss, they are also more energy-efficient than standard internal combustion engines.

Not to mention, its energy source is sustainable, as you can charge the battery from renewable sources.

Using an e-bike instead of a car or motorcycle reduces greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

E-bikes require fewer raw materials, reducing the environmental footprint associated with their production.

Lastly, they promote active transportation, as they still require you to pedal.


While more eco-friendly than a car or a motorcycle, a 50cc scooter is generally considered less eco-friendly compared to an e-bike.

They mostly run on gasoline, which releases pollutants such as carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOx), and hydrocarbons (HC) into the atmosphere.

50-cc scooters also contribute to noise pollution, especially at higher speeds or under acceleration.

Not only that, but their manufacturing requires more resources and energy compared to electric motors used in e-bikes.

Luckily, they are fuel-efficient, so they will still pollute less than most other internal combustion motor-operated vehicles.



Safety is one of the main concerns of delivery riders who use an e-bike. In the end, they do leave their riders exposed to the environment. This can result in injuries or even worse.

In 2023 alone, 23 people in NYC died while riding an e-bike.

Still, this doesn’t mean they aren’t safe, especially when you know there are more than 65,000 e-bikes on the streets of NYC. Compared to this number, the number of accidents is extremely low.

Modern e-bikes are designed to be stable, with a low center of gravity. They have reliable braking systems with efficient stopping power, which further helps control and safety.

Wearing a helmet for additional safety is required by law in NYC, and a safety vest can make you more visible to other traffic participants.

Whizz offers a wide variety of safety products, from protective helmets to safety vests, all at an affordable price.


While scooters seem safe due to slow riding speeds, their riders are actually more susceptible to injuries compared to e-bikes or motorcycles.

In 2022, e-scooters were involved in 21 deaths in NYC. That same year, only nine people died on e-bikes.

The main reason behind this is that e-scooters’ small size and light weight make them fairly susceptible to rough road conditions and wind gusts.



While more expensive than standard bicycles, e-bikes are still fairly affordable. The average price of an e-bike ranges from $600 to $1,490, depending on the bike’s class, model, and features.

Whizz offers renting options starting at $109 a month, which is a great solution for aspiring delivery riders who cannot afford to purchase an e-bike at this time.

They also have rent-to-own options starting at $129, which allow you to become the owner of your own e-bike over time.


Due to their complexity, e-scooters are a bit more expensive compared to e-bikes.

The average price of a 50cc scooter typically ranges from $2000 to $3,500, although some can be more expensive.

This price can vary based on the brand, model, features, and condition of the scooter

Read Also: How to maintain high rating on Uber Eats

The Verdict

From the perspective of a delivery rider, the winner of the 50cc scooter vs electric bike debate is easy to see.

E-bikes are more user-friendly, safer, more comfortable for an 8-hour shift, easier to store, and more affordable. Not to mention how you can ride them on bike lanes, which will help you avoid traffic jams!

Of course, this doesn’t mean that scooters are a bad option. They are excellent for short commutes on the road.

Still, if you’re looking for an eco-friendly, convenient vehicle for your delivery business, e-bike is the way to go.

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