E-scooter, e-scooter, e-bike & pedelec: what's the difference?

E-scooter, e-scooter, e-bike & pedelec: what's the difference?

E-scooters, e-scooters, e-bikes or pedelecs – who else is supposed to understand? We explain the differences between electric locomotives.

E-scooters and electric scooters are currently on everyone's lips, e-bikes and pedelecs, however, there are already on the market for some time. In the coverage of the different electric companions like to be confused something. We explain the differences.



E-scooters are scooters with electric motor.

E-scooters are referred to in German law as electric scooters or city scooters. The draft for a small electrical vehicles regulation (eKFV) accordingly describes an e-scooter as an "electrically operated vehicle without seat and self-balancing vehicle". Small electric vehicles are motor vehicles "within the meaning of § 1 paragraph 2 StVG", since they have an electric drive motor. Therefore, the same conditions apply to them as to other motor vehicles.

A vehicle must meet the following requirements to qualify as an e-scooter:

  • Steering or handrail of at least 500 mm
  • Top speed of at least six to a maximum of 20 km / h
  • Power of not more than 500 watts (1,400 watts for self-balancing vehicles)
  • "Driving dynamics" minimum requirements (brakes, controllable, lighting system, bell and side reflectors)
  • Maximum speed: maximum 20 km / h
  • Minimum age: 14 years
  • Where is driving allowed? Bike path or road, walkway NOT allowed
  • License plate requirement: No (but insurance code required)
  • Liability insurance required: Yes
  • Driving license required: no
  • Helmet required: no

E-scooter at SATURN


E-scooters are often equated with e-scooters, but are at least according to the definition of the Federal Government in Germany something different – namely much more powerful electric scooters, so an electric version of the classic scooter.

E-scooters therefore also look like normal scooters (like a Vespa) and always have a seat. One example is the crowdfunding project NIU NGT, which TURN-ON moderator Jens presents in more detail in the video above. Electric scooters are subject to the same legal requirements as normal scooters.

E bike


Legally, an e-bike is actually a moped.

E-bikes drive at the push of a button without pedal support. This system is subject to approval from six kilometers per hour. Legally, such an e-bike would be equated to a lightweight moped. However, such vehicles are now more exotic and are rarely offered commercially.

As the website Bulls writes, about 99 percent of e-bikes sold today are actually pedelecs (see below), according to Zweivad-Industrie-Verband (ZIV). In common parlance, e-bikes are usually equated with pedelecs.

  • Top speed: 6 to 20 km / h
  • Minimum age: 15 years
  • Where is driving allowed: road; Bike paths only when released for mopeds
  • License plate requirement: Insurance code required
  • Liability insurance required: no (for e-bikes up to 45 km / h compulsory insurance)
  • Driving license required: Yes (moped driving license)
  • Helmet requirement: No (for e-bikes up to 45 km / h helmet duty)



Pedelecs account for 99 percent of all e-bikes sold.

A Pedelec (Short for "Pedal Electric Cycle") is an e-bike that requires the rider to pedal to activate the electric motor. According to this definition, almost all e-bikes sold today should actually be called "pedelecs". In linguistic usage, however, the term "e-bike" has become more prevalent than "pedelec".

If the pedal support up to 25 kilometers per hour, pedelecs are legally considered as a bicycle and are not subject to registration. The engine power of a pedelec must not exceed 250 watts. At 25 km / h, the electric motor shuts off.

  • Maximum speed: maximum 25 km / h
  • Minimum age: not specified
  • Where is driving allowed: bike path
  • License plate requirement: no
  • Liability insurance necessary: no
  • Driving license required: no
  • Helmet required: no

Pedelecs at SATURN



An S-Pedelec is legally considered a moped.

A special form of pedelec is the so-called S-pedelec ("S" stands for "speed"). Again, the electric motor is only for assistance in pedaling, but is only turned off at 45 km / h. Therefore, S-Pedelecs in Germany are no longer considered bicycles, but as mopeds or mopeds. The maximum allowed power is 500 watts.

  • Top speed: 25 to 45 km / h
  • Minimum age: 16 years
  • Where is driving allowed? On the road, not on bike paths
  • License plate requirement: Insurance code required
  • Liability insurance required: Yes
  • Driving license required: Yes, driving license class M or driver's license
  • Helmet requirement: Yes

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