Being able to swap the battery in your electric moped for a freshly charged one is a game-changer. Not only does it double the distance you can ride, it also means you’re not tied to attaching a charger to the e-moped itself.
This changes everything if you live in a flat, and can’t lug your moped upstairs or connect it to an outside socket for charging. And given the time it can take to charge one of these - anything from one to eight hours depending on the battery and charger used - being able to quick-swap in a new one, leaving the old one to charge while you go back out riding, can make a huge difference to your freedom.
These, then, are some of the best e-mopeds we’ve seen with a removable battery. Not all of them come with a second battery as standard, so be sure to factor that into your calculations when working out if you can afford one. Fully charging a battery for one can cost as little as 10p - even less if you happen to have a roof full of solar panels to take the load - so it can be a surprisingly economical way to get around town.
Here are some of the best we've seen:
We couldn’t not put this at the top - just look at it. The future of urban transportation personified in something that wouldn’t look out of place with Tom Cruise astride it.
There’s some really nice technology at work here too. The body is carbon fibre, of the no-oven no-autoclave variety, while aerospace-grade aluminium chassis members take the load. There’s a zero-maintenance carbon fibre belt drive, a multi-function colour dashboard, disc brakes, and a modular under-seat storage system.
Most importantly, there are two batteries, each weighing 6kg, with a maximum range of 55 miles, using both of them, from the 14kW motor.
The only thing we can take issue with is the obnoxious use of the English language by Zapp - batteries are not batteries, they are Turbo Twins, and the tyres are Fat Tracks. It may set eyes rolling, but there’s no denying the good looks and convenience of its e-moped. Even if the price is a bit steep.
Spanish manufacturer Rieju has a range of electric mopeds, but we particularly like the Urban, as it’s the cheapest of the lot.
The 4kW motor gets you to 31mph, and using up to four removable batteries gets you a range of 186 miles. A charge takes 4.5 hours, or 1.2 if you can use the fast charger built into the frame.
Looks-wise, it’s definitely more rugged in style than other offerings, which may increase its attractiveness in some eyes. Drive comes from a chain, while a large front disc brake takes care of stopping duties. For an extra £1,000 you can upgrade to the 10.5kW model, which is good for 68mph, and there’s a Cargo model with additional carrying capacity behind the rider.
A British-designed e-moped that’s full of Italian flavour, this has the distinct hint of Vespa about it while being significantly cheaper.
The batteries fit under the seat, and an extra one will cost you £400, but the extra convenience is priceless. Each cell gives 25 miles of range, and they can be charged from any 13amp socket, with an additional charging point on the moped frame itself.
Elsewhere, you get a 2kW motor, disc brakes, electronic torque control, and twist-and-go starting. All the built-in lights are LED, and there’s a range of different trims and optional extras available to customise your ride.
Not exactly a household name, but the winner of a Red Dot design award, the ek3 packs two Samsung lithium-ion batteries between its seat, which charge in four hours to push the e-moped to 60mph and a max range of 125 miles.
This is, for an e-moped, remarkable performance, and the 0-60 time of six seconds means it’s nippy too. Most of the time you’re never going to reach these limits, but it’s good to know they’re there.
The rest of the moped is also blessed with technology. There’s a keyless start system, LED lights, cruise control, an actual reverse gear (many mopeds assume you can flick it into neutral and push it backwards), an alarm, and long-life tyres that combine with the belt drive to reduce the amount of maintenance the bike needs.
Remarkably priced at just under £1,800, the MQi+ Sport is basic but enormously popular, having sold nearly half a million worldwide.
With a top speed of 28mph and a range of 60 miles from a five-hour charge, this isn’t going to set any records, but for city living it’s exactly what you need. The Panasonic battery can be put on a quick charger for a 3.5hr charge, and elsewhere you get a simple all-in-one display, two throttle modes, a USB port to charge your phone, cruise control, disc brakes to the front and rear, and a phone app that provides diagnostics, charger locations, and alerts if the moped is knocked over or the battery removed unexpectedly.
For anyone just starting out, or trying to live as frugally as possible, this is surely exactly what you need. The Bosch motor and steel frame give a sense of solidity, and a range of racks and tail boxes is available to increase carrying capacity.