Kids can easily ride an electric bike with no hassle. As of 2017, there are over 2.3 million e-bikes and e-scooters in the United States. The demand for these vehicles is constantly increasing because of their safety and convenience. E-bikes or e-scooters are less prone to accidents because of their relatively slow speed and improved controllability.
Electric bikes are like traditional bikes, but they have an electric motor that gives the rider extra power. These are smaller than traditional bikes, and manufacturers design e-bikes for use on paved roads. In this article, I will discuss can a kid ride an e-bike or an e-scooter, whether a license is needed or not, and the safety, advantages, and disadvantages of e-bikes and e-scooters for kids.
E-Bikes VS E-Scooters
Parents often compare e-bikes and e-scooters for kids and allowing to use them. These two types of electric vehicles have some advantages and disadvantages. The chart below will help you understand that even more.
|Power Source||Battery dependent||Includes battery support, but you can ride manually too|
|Covering Distances||20 to 270 km||32 to 130 km|
|Average Speed||30 to 50 km/hr||16 to 30 km/hr|
|Storage Solution||E-bike includes different storage solutions||Very few opportunities for storage spaces|
|Portability||Heavier than E-scooter, less portable||Portable, easy to carry|
|Maintenance||Requires more times for maintenance than E-scooter||Less maintenance required|
|Battery life||300 to 1000 WH||250 to 500 WH|
|Comfortability||Have a seat, more comfortable||Less comfortable than E-bike|
|Safety||Safe, but not as much as an E-scooter||Safer than E-bikes due to slower speed|
|Traffic Regulations||Some areas require a license or age limit||E-scooters do not need a license|
Do Kids Need License For Riding Electric Bikes?
In the United States, the rules are slightly different according to the state. A Few states require licenses for electric bikes, such as Alabama, Alaska, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, and North Dakota. Licenses are not required in other states. But most states have age limits. That means no one below that age will ride an electric bike. In addition, in almost every country around the globe, children do not need a license to ride an electric bike.
Nonetheless, in different countries or states, e-bikers must wear helmets as a safety feature as well as age. I have already discussed e-bike licenses in an earlier article. You can also read that.
Do Kids Need A License For Riding E-Scooter?
There are also different laws for electric scooter riding depending on the country and the state. Kids can ride e-scooters without a license in almost all states of the United States. But in California, the rules are different. To ride an e-scooter here, you need to have a valid driving license, and you cannot ride at over 15 miles/hour speed.
You can ride your e-scooter on the roads and bike lanes of New York State if the speed does not exceed 20 miles per hour. Most states do not have specific laws regarding e-scooters. However, age limitations exist in almost all states.
Among other countries, the United Kingdom classifies e-scooters as motor vehicles. To drive an electric scooter here, you must be at least 18 years old and need a valid driving license.
Australian law varies by state. You will need a license to ride e-scooters in Victoria and Queensland.
Riding an electric scooter in Japan will require a license plate, insurance, and registration. The rider must need a valid motorcycle license in Japan.
In most Canadian provinces, you can ride an e-scooter without a license. However, age limits apply and in some places, you may need a driver’s license.
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Can A Kid Ride An E-Bike And E-Scooter?
Undoubtedly, kids can ride e-bikes and e-scooters after a certain age. Here, the age limit is more important than the license. Because, in most countries, they do not require a license to ride, there is an age limit.
Below, I’ll describe the kid’s age needs to ride an e-bike and e-scooter.
For 8-years Old
No country sets an age limit of 8 years for riding an e-bike. Only an 8-year-old child can ride an e-bike in a state or country where there is no age limit for riding an e-bike.
However, a child must be at least 8 years old to ride an e-scooter in Utah state, USA. In France, too, a child must be at least 8 years old to ride an e-scooter.
For 10-years Old:
In countries or states where there is no age limit, a 10 years old child can ride an e-bike. Separately, there are no restrictions on e-bikes for children of this age. However, to ride an e-scooter in Estonia or Czechia, a child must be 10 years old.
For 12 years Old
12-year-olds can ride e-bikes in almost every state in the United States and almost every country in the world. Helmets may be mandatory for e-bikes at this age in different states or countries.
To ride an e-scooter, a child in Michigan and Minnesota in the United States must be over 12 years of age.
In Austria, children under the age of 12 may not ride e-scooters.
For 14-years Old:
You must be at least 14 years old to ride an electric bike in Alaska, Tennessee, Michigan, Hampshire, New Dakota, and Alabama. Authorities rarely allow children under this age to ride e-bikes. The UK also does not allow e-bike rides for children below this age.
If you live in the state of Mississippi in the United States, your child must be at least 14 years old to ride an e-scooter.
In Canada (Quebec), Germany, Latvia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Romania, children under the age of 14 cannot ride e-scooters.
For 15-years Old:
Some states in the United States set a 15-year limit for e-bike rides, such as New Jersey, Hawaii, Indiana, and Minnesota. But nowhere else in the world is the age of 15 mandatory for e-bike rides.
With e-scooters, no state in the USA has set the age limit to 15 years.
However, if you want to ride an e-scooter in Spain (low power), Denmark, or Croatia, you need to be 15 years old.
For 16-years Old:
Several states in the United States, such as Washington DC, Illinois, Idaho, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kentucky, Ohio, Oregon, PA, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Vermont, set the age limit for e-bikes at 18 years. If you live in these states, do not buy e-bikes for yourself or your child before that age.
Many states also set this age limit for e-scooters, such as Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Kansas, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, etc.
In addition, several countries around the world have set age limits for e-scooter riding at 18 years, such as Canada (Ontario, British Columbia), Italy, Spain (Medium Power), Netherlands, Hungary, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, China, South Korea, Japan, and Argentina.
There are few countries where you need to be over 18 to ride an e-scooter, such as Russia, Ukraine, Egypt, and South Africa.
Children of any age can ride these electric vehicles in all the countries except these states or countries I have mentioned above. The demand for e-bikes and e-scooters is constantly increasing. If you want to buy one, you must have to aware of the law of your state.
Do An Electric Bike And An Electric Scooter Need A License?
A few states in the United States require a license for e-bikes, as I mentioned above. Licenses are not required in most states. The thing you need to keep in mind is age. Some states have set ages for e-bike riding.
Using some safety equipment is also mandatory in all these places, like helmets. In the UK, you also need to get a license for e-bike rides. However, in most parts of the world, a license is not mandatory to ride them.
For e-scooters, you need to get a license in California. This is the only state in the United States that requires a license for e-scooters. Also, nowhere else in the United States ask to get a license to use an electric scooter.
Licenses are required to use e-scooters in Japan and the United Kingdom. Thus, a license is required for electric scooters in Canada and some provinces in Australia. Apart from these, the rest of the world will not usually demand a license for e-scooters.
Is Electric Bike Safe For Kids?
Yes, an electric bike is safe for kids, if he rides it at a controllable speed. E-bike riders are three times more likely to hit a pedestrian. This happens when the rider cannot control the speed of his bike. That is why most countries or states allow the speed of an e-bike in between 15 and 20 miles per hour. Because this speed is controllable, the chances of this accident are much less.
Between 2000 and 2017, there were about 3,085 e-bike accidents in the United States, 0.13% of all accidents. Most riders were between the ages of 18 and 64. Men are usually more likely to be injured in e-bike accidents. From this survey, you can understand that e-bikes are safe for kids.
Which Is Safer- E-Bike Or E-Scooter?
Recent studies have shown that e-scooters are 5 times safer than e-bikes. Although the braking systems of e-bikes are relatively advanced, they are more prone to accidents because of their high-speed rides. Below, I will present a comparative chart of e-bike and e-scooter accidents. From where you can better understand the subject.
|Collisions for Every Million Miles||3.33||0.66|
|Reported Injury Rate||0.13 per 10,000||5.3 per 10,000|
|Injury Rate for Males||83.3%||60%|
|Average Age of the Incident||31.9 years||29.4 years|
|Internal Injury Rate||17%||7.5%|
|Accident-Prone Age Group||18 to 44 years||10 to 14 years|
How Do I Choose An Electric Bike For Kids?
There are several things to keep in mind when choosing an e-bike for kids. Biker features may vary depending on age and physical ability. Here I am highlighting the notable features of bike selection for a general kid.
● Power And Speed
More powerful or speeding bikes can cause accidents for a child. Because kids often like to ride bikes fast. For a typical child, bikes with 500W to 750W capacity may seem more powerful. In that case, choose less powerful bikes to choose electric bikes for them.
An e-bike that produces more than 250W but less than 500W may be best for a 13-15-year-old kid. 15-20 miles per hour is enough for kids in terms of speed. Riding faster than this speed increases their chances of getting into an accident.
● Placement Of The Motor
E-bikes usually has motors mounted on the lower bracket, the rear hub, or the front wheel hub. Most high-end electric bike manufacturers install motors in the lower bracket, known as mid-drive motors. While mid-drive motors are relatively expensive, these are great.
Mid-drive motors are ideal for technical riding. These do not interfere with weight distribution and make the bike more stable.
The weight of an electric bike can be quite high, even up to about 60 pounds. This weight may seem too much for many children. Although motors help push excess weight, these can sometimes be difficult for kids to control. Some bikes are quite light, which can be very easy for kids to control.
The size and height of an e-bike provide kids comfort and ease while riding it. So it can be quite annoying for the bikes to be too high or too low.
If your child is 6 to 8 years old, you can choose a 20-inch frame size e-bike for him. Similarly, you can choose 24-inch frame size e-bikes for 8 to 10 years old, 24 to 26-inch for 10 to 12 years old, and 26-inch frame size for over 13 years children.
Usually, the gears of electric bikes are not related to the motor input. It is related to your own input of paddle effort. Gear is not essential for e-bikes. But it provides extra strength to the throttle and paddle assistance. E-bikes usually have a gear shifter at the handlebar. A good gear system will help you a lot to ride at 20mph.
There are several big reasons electric bikes and electric scooters are becoming more popular. These are much easier to ride than traditional bikes. Kids can reach their destination with much less effort and less time. E-bikes are environment-friendly and have a much lower accident rate than any other vehicle.
Many parents are worried about whether their kids can ride electric bikes or electric scooters. Although both vehicles are too safe, I have discussed in detail the advantages and drawbacks of e-bikes and e-scooters for kids. Hopefully, this article will help you to decide on a good decision-making thought.