Commuting via bike is, in our opinion, one of the best ways to do it. It’s a great way to stay fit, beat the traffic, and get some fresh air. Add in a boost with an electric bike, and it’s even faster, and dare we say it, even more fun. The best electric commuter bikes nowadays have more range, and are more capable than ever before. That being said, if you’re not sure a more specific commuter bike is for you, then read our guide to the best electric bikes to see what else is out there.
Want something to stick on a train? Try an electric folding bike. Want something that will help you take the scenic route or enjoy the longer way home? Consider an electric hybrid. And for those of us who want to look fabulously stylish as we ride to work, there’s always the classic electric city bike.
An electric commuter bike doesn’t have to break the bank either. And if you’re eligible, you could save money by using a Cycle to Work Scheme through your employer to make the switch to an electric bike even more attractive.
The best electric commuter bikes for 2022
- Ribble Hybrid AL e - best electric hybrid commuter | Buy now for £2,249 from Ribble Cycles
- Cube Reaction Hybrid Performance 500 - best for mixed terrain commutes | Buy now for £2,120 from MTB Monster
- Tern Vektron Q9 - best folding commuter | Buy now for £3,399 from Silvester Bros
- Carrera Subway E - best budget commuter | Buy now for £1,099 from Halfords
- Gazelle Grenoble C7+ HMB - best for city commuters | Buy now for £2,125 from Winstanleys Bikes
- FLIT-16 (Commuter edition) - best for multi-modal commutes | Buy now for £1,999 from FLIT
- VanMoof S3 - best integration | Buy now for £2,248 from VanMoof
- Specialized Turbo Como 3.0 - best step-through commuter | Buy now for £3,500 from Specialized
- Marin Sausalito E2 - best mid-drive commuter | Buy now for £2,595 from Freeborn
- Vello Bike+ - best belt-driven folding commuter | Buy now for £2,990 from iCycle Electric
The Ribble Hybrid AL e takes a lightweight alloy frame and adds the smooth assist of the MAHLE Smartbike System X35+ motor. If you want a colour matched pannier rack, it’ll set you back another £100, but rucksack wearers won’t need the extra investment.
It’s also a hybrid, which means it’ll tackle towpaths and well kept bridleways with ease, expanding the route possibilities for your morning commute. Expect around 50km of range from one charge, so for shorter round trips you’ll only need to charge it every couple of days. We love the value for money you get with this bike, and the sleek looks are the cherry on top.
For more detail, read our review of the Ribble Hybrid AL e.
A beefed up hybrid (or leisure e-MTB, whichever you prefer), the Cube Reaction Hybrid Performance 500 is a bike that’s best for multi-terrain commutes. If you’re the type of rider who’s looking for a bike to tackle as much off-road as possible while getting you to work on time and without too much effort, then this bike could be a great start.
At £2,499 it’s great value too with a powerful Bosch Performance Line mid-drive motor and a PowerTube 500 battery. Our tester Richard was impressed not just with the performance but the value of the bike as well.
“If you’re looking for a high-quality, off-road capable e-bike for trails and general use, with a powerfully effective and efficient mid-drive that won't break the bank, this model is one of a select few to fit the bill,” he wrote.
For more detail, read our review of the Cube Reaction Hybrid Performance 500 (2021).
While relatively expensive, we consider this one of the best electric folding bikes. It’s worth the money for what is a practical and enjoyable commuter ride. While it might not be the most compact folder, its carrying capacity and rare (for a folder) mid-drive motor make it a pure joy to ride.
There’s plenty of room to stick all you need for work on the back, and maybe even a child if you’re combining school drop-off with your commute. Naturally, it’s designed for shorter rides but our tester completed journeys up to 25km without any comfort issues.
For more detail, read our review of the Tern Vektron Q9.
At just over £1,000 the Carrera Subway E represents great value for money for those looking to electrify their commute. It’s remained a firm favourite at ebiketips not just because of the price, but because the components are above what’s expected from a budget electric bike.
With flat bars and wide tyres, it’s also capable if you want to take it off the tarmac. You won’t be hitting any major trails but if riding along a towpath or well-maintained bridleway has always been a commuting desire then this will happily comply.
For more detail, read our review of the Carrera Subway E.
The Gazelle Grenoble C7+ HMB presents an elegant option for city commutes, as reviewer Dave attests:
“It’s comfort, elegance and poise from top to bottom, and if swans looks serene on top while they’re paddling like crazy below the waterline, and enthusiast cyclists in luminous Lycra look just crazy, then if you buy the Grenoble C7+ HMB you’ll feel as serene as you look.”
With a Bosch Active Line Plus mid-drive motor and the relaxed riding position, it’s hard not to enjoy yourself even in a congested city. It also comes with a rear rack, perfect for panniers to fill with your work belongings.
For more detail, read our review of the Gazelle Grenoble C7+ HMB.
The FLIT-16 is a firm favourite at ebiketips thanks to its surprisingly powerful motor and great ride quality. While our review covers the FLIT-16, the newer Commuter Edition comes as an enhanced package with slightly more durable parts and mudguards and a kickstand as standard.
For those of us who use the train or catch a bus as part of our commute, the FLIT-16 is an excellent multi-modal companion. It’s simple to fold and is lightweight at 15kg, so you don’t require superhuman strength to lift it up stairs.
For more detail, read our review of the FLIT-16.
The VanMoof S3 (and X3 for the smaller riders) is just as futuristic in practice as it looks. Its sleek, almost cableless appearance is only bested by the technology that hides inside the frame and rear hub gearbox. Its three-speed electronic gears impressed our tester, and the hidden LCD screen in the top tube shows you your ride stats including speed and battery level.
VanMoof has even thought about security, and gone about making the S3 a very difficult bike to steal through its innovative kicklock. If moved when locked, it sounds an alarm to alert anyone nearby. And, if you connect your phone via the app to the bike, you can track its location if by some miracle the thief isn’t already deterred. Built with the urban rider in mind, it’s a simple commuting option for a decent price.
For more detail, read our review of the VanMoof S3.
The Specialized Como 3.0 is the brand’s lowest step model, aimed at getting a wider range of people on e-bikes on their commutes. Yes, it’s expensive, but comes packed with plenty of tech to try and justify the price.
The version we rode was the reimagined model for 2022, and we were very impressed with the overall package – especially as the Como 3.0 is the entry-level option in the range. Tester Richard found it coped well even in hilly Calderdale: “Given the bike is the lower powered spec of a city-specific model, I was really impressed with the way it coped with the testing conditions that are not its natural habitat.”
For more detail, read our review of the Specialized Turbo Como 3.0.
The first bike on our list to use the Shimano STEPS motor is the Marin Sausalito E2. A mid-drive motor, it’s not as common to see on commuting or hybrid bikes, but it’s a welcome sight, as our reviewer attests. “The Marin Sausalito E1 is a fantastic commuter e-bike that offers the most natural electric-assist of any e-bike I’ve tested combined with fantastic range.”
Plenty of range is ideal for commuters who don’t want to be worrying about charging their bike every day before or during work. And while the battery is of the external variety, it still looks quite good, even if more obviously an electric bike.
For more detail, read our review of the Marin Sausalito E2.
Belt-driven bikes are great for avoiding oil stains on our clothes from a dirty chain, and this lightweight folder from Vello ticks that box and many more making it a great commuting option. And with 20” wheels it provides great ride quality, as reviewer Richard explains:
“The fact that the bike itself feels rigid and responsive to ride also means you want to stand out of the saddle on it and move quickly. It just has that go-fast ride position and feel to it - though there is the option of a higher handlebar stem for those who like a more upright riding position.”
It uses a tri-fold system, but the most unique thing about it is the optional Schlumpf Mountain Drive gearing. This system houses two gears in the bottom bracket, which are changed by tapping your heel on a button at the base of the crank. Finally, it also uses the 'all-in-one' Zehus motor system, which is 'all-in-one' because it houses the motor, battery, controller and several sensors in a single unit housed in the wheel hub.
For more detail, read our review of the Vello Bike+.
How to choose the best electric commuter bike for your journey to work
How much faster is it to commute by an electric bike than a non-electric one?
This depends on a number of factors. We need to take into account your route (terrain and how hilly it is), fitness, the weather, and the bikes we’re comparing. For example, if you ride a five mile flat journey to work, a rider of average fitness will likely be above the 15.5mph assist limit for most of the time. In this situation, the places where an e-bike will make up time will be setting off from junctions or traffic lights.
And this is where the benefits of electric bikes as commuters comes in. You’ll likely get to your place of work faster, and with a bit less effort. So in the summer when it’s warm, you won’t sweat as much. If your route is hilly, an e-bike will help to flatten some of those hills and will provide far more benefit in terms of speed than on a flatter route.
Can you commute with an electric bike?
Yes, you can. Electric bikes, assuming they are EAPC’s, are classed as pedal bicycles. This means you can ride in all the same places as an unassisted bike and you do not need any licensing or insurance to ride one.
If you want to commute by bike, an electric bike is a great option as it gives you the freedom to choose a route based not just on avoiding that one ‘big hill’. Instead, you can ride up many big hills and still arrive at work feeling reasonably fresh and ready for your day.
Do I need a specific electric bike to commute on?
In short, no. Depending on your route, you can use any type of electric bike despite it’s ‘label’. There’s nothing stopping you using a £12,000 electric road bike if that will help your morale and get you out the door on a cold, dark winter’s morning! As long as the bike you choose is fit for purpose, there are no rules about what bike you should be using. If you want to look at a broader range of electric bikes, read our guide to the best electric bikes 2022.