Our guide to electric cars, scooters, mopeds and more

In 2018, everything is getting smarter: our homes, our gadgets, even our clothing. It’s the future, so why are we still relying on the power of gasoline to get around? This old-school tech has been around in some form since the 1880s! It’s time to get with the program and embrace what’s next — cleaner solutions, most of which are running on electric batteries!

When you think of electric transportation, EVs made by companies like Tesla likely come to mind. That’s just hitting the surface of what’s out there when it comes to alternative transportation. The number of options are rapidly increasing for those interested in embracing a cleaner, electric driven future.

Here are some of your best alternative transportation options you can buy!

The electric car

electric cars are one of the most popular alternative transportation options

Traditional gasoline-based cars still have a few years left in them, no doubt. But you no longer need to spend a small fortune to jump ship and get into the electric car game. The electric car market continues to expand with new players like Tesla, as well as familiar brands like Kia and Chevy.

A full electric vehicle ditches the traditional gasoline and diesel engine in favor of a fully electrical system that must be plugged in to charge back up. Beyond full electric cars, there are also plug-in hybrids and hybrids that switch seamlessly between gas and electric.

The pros are obvious: cheaper upkeep, a greener footprint, and being part of a growing trend.

The cons are worth considering though: You need access to charging stations, short enough commutes to get where you’re going on one charge, and access to clean energy — if your electricity comes from coal, your electric car is effectively a coal-powered car.

What is an electric car exactly, and are they right for you?

The electric motorcycle

Electric Transportation

Electric vehicle technology continues to evolve, and some of the new electric motorcycles might surprise you. The new breed of electric motorcycles may be quiet, but they aren’t always weak or limited to short ranges. They do tend to be noticeably pricier than their gas-guzzling counterparts, though.

Regardless, if you are ready to dump the pump, there are plenty of electric motorcycles out there. Most come from obscure brands, so it’s hard to tell which are the good and bad options. That’s why we prepared a list of the best electric motorcycles, to give you the best information to make a purchase.

Pros: you get a lot of torque right away, save some cash on gas, and get to be kind to the environment without compromising on quality or performance.

Cons: there’s no getting around it, these guys aren’t cheap.

The electric scooter

Electric Transportation

Electric scooters are extremely versatile tools. They can help you get around the city without having to pedal a large bike and many of them can fold up to be extremely compact and go with you everywhere.

There are quite a lot good electric scooters on the market, ranging from very affordable to extremely expensive.

They all differ in terms of speeds, pricing, and aesthetic. So we’ve gone ahead and put together a list of the best electric scooters at various different price points.

Pros: It’s an easy way to get around. The scooter is more portable than a bike, so you can easily take it into the office or into class. You can also avoid crowded public transit while being nice to the environment.

Cons: You might annoy people on sidewalks and be muscled out of streets — there’s really no etiquette for scooters. You’re not quite a cyclist or a pedestrian, so there’s just no clear place for you.

The electric skateboard

Electric Transportation

What do you get when you stick a battery on something like a skateboard? A whole lot of awesome!

Electrified boards are filling up the market faster than you can say, “Actually, I need real exercise.” You have a variety of options coming from startups and established companies alike. Just stand, steer, and enjoy the ride.

If you’re sold on the idea, we’ve already created a handy list of the best electric skateboards you can buy.

Pros: A low-energy, easy way to get around. It’s more portable than a bike, so you can easily take it into the office or into class. You can also avoid crowded public transit while being nice to the environment.

Cons: Like a lot of electric options, electric skateboards don’t come cheap.

The electric bicycle

Tern Vektron ebike - Electric Transportation

Driving through traffic is one of our biggest daily stresses. Public transportation can waste time unless you live in a main city with a great system, and even then it can be a messy, overpacked ordeal. Motorcycles are great, but not all states allow for lane splitting, which means you will just be waiting in traffic, with no AC or a comfy seat.

Even a few of the alternatives above aren’t too quick when you’re trying to get to work in a hurry.

What to do? Commuters all over the U.S. have found a nicer way to get to work — cycling. There are over 60 million cyclists in the United States as of Spring 2017, and this number seems poised to keep rising.

So, if you want to ride in style, we prepared a list of the best electric bikes on the market.

Pros: Great if you have mobility issues. smaller carbon footprint than cars or public transit.

Cons: Gives you less exercise than a non-electric bike. Pricier than other modes of transportation.

The electric unicycle (aka self-balancing unicycle)

Electric Transportation

You’ve likely seen hoverboards, which we cover below, but what about electric unicycles?

The principle is similar to the hoverboard, in that it’s a small, self-balancing vehicle that requires you to stand up straight as it’s propelled forward, in this case on a single wheel.

We reviewed the SwagTron SwagRoller last year, but you have plenty more options to choose from, if this eccentric mode of transportation appeals to you.

Pros: You’ll turn heads on the street. It’s compact, quiet, surprisingly fast, and good for the environment.

Cons: Surprisingly heavy, and a little on the pricy side.

The electric moped

Electric Transportation

Mopeds have a long, rich history. Motorcycles are dangerous, complicated machines, and many people are too intimidated to even try them. After WWII, money was tight and people needed more affordable modes of transportation. Mopeds were a non-threatening and easy choice.

Vespa helped bring motorcycling to the masses, and now they’re offering the choice of going electric, along with a lot of their competitors like Ford.

Electric mopeds share a lot in common with electric motorcycles, but they’re often cheaper and can be a less intense mode of transportation for city commutes.

Pros: Smaller and less intimidating than a motorcycle. Even more energy efficient than other electric options.

Cons: Not ideal for longer trips or highway driving. Still pricy.

The hoverboard (aka self-balancing scooter)

Electric Transportation

Like the unicycle above, hoverboards are a pretty eccentric way to get around, and they’re often treated like toys more than legitimate ways to get around.

Still, don’t count them out as a way to get from A to B.

Pros: Light, portable, easy to store, fun to play with, cheaper than a lot of other options.

Cons: Not very fast or versatile.

Which alternative transportation method is right for you?

Commuting is different for everyone, and as such modes of alternative transportation you employ will depend entirely on you.

Still, it’s getting harder and harder to justify any form of gas-powered transportation — aside fromm city buses.

So, what’s right for you? Have a look through these different types of electric transportation options. There’s definitely something here for everyone, whether you’re used to walking, biking, driving, or carpooling.

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