I ditched my subway commute for an electric scooter and an e-bike


  • I ditched my commute on public transport to travel by electric scooter and e-bike instead.
  • The engine-less quietness of the electric scooter made me feel like I was flying through traffic.
  • But I missed the intimate hustle and bustle of commuting by subway and bus.

The French have a succinct expression for the daily grind: métro, boulot, dodo, which translates roughly as commute, work, sleep—as such, enjoying one's commute makes the grind that bit easier.

I love the intimate hustle and bustle of commuting on public transport: exchanging glances with strangers, awkward-but-warm smiles, and even the not-so-rare bumping of shoulders. For me, it's part and parcel of city life.

What I don't like is the cost. Monthly travel passes for London's subway and bus network set me back close to £1,650 ($2,000) a year.

So I decided to test out electrified two-wheel alternatives.

A side photo of the ADO DECE 300 electric bike.
I enjoy exploring London by bike, but motivation is crucial. It's easy to look outside at the rain and decide not to take the two-wheeler.

I thought an electric bike would provide a necessary motivation boost on cold, wet days, so I tried out the ADO DECE 300, which retails at price €1,699.

I used it for a couple of weeks, even braving recent cold weather — and I was not disappointed.

I prefer working out in the morning, so cycling to work made me feel fresh upon arrival. My commute is about 25 minutes — the right amount of time to feel boosted, not as if I'd just done an entire cardio session.

There aren't any gears on the bike, and sometimes I wanted to go up a kit to work the legs a bit harder. But it still won me over — mainly because I could let the electric motor take over whenever I felt too tired or lazy to pedal.

Electric scooter
Side photo of the M8 moped sold by INTHEZONE.
The INTHEZONE M8 electric scooter
I rode a gas-powered scooter for several years but never tried electric. So I tested the INTHEZONE M8 electric scooter, which starts at € 3000. It claims a maximum range of 50 miles and a top speed of 37 mph.

Riding a scooter in city traffic can, of course, be dangerous. I got confident on the scooter quickly and then caught myself going too fast. I had to take a breath and reevaluate.

Still, there was no better feeling than weaving through London traffic during rush hour. The scooter felt light and easy to handle, and its engine-less quietness made me feel like I was flying. It'd take me 15 minutes to get to work, and I felt entirely at peace in my little bubble.

If I were to switch from public transport to an e-bike or electric scooter, I'd be looking at a hefty outlay on equipment. Still, this e-bike would cost me the equivalent of a year and a half's worth of London travel passes — and I'd expect it to last longer than 18 months.

The electric scooter, meanwhile, would set me back nearly 2.3 years' worth of travel pass costs, which feels like more of a risk. And, of course, there would be maintenance and electricity costs for both the scooter and e-bike.

If you were to ask me now whether I'd choose an e-bike or an electric scooter, I'd have to say both. Each cut my commute and made the journey fun in different ways. And I never felt like I was rushing anywhere, unlike on the subway and bus.

Then there's the question of whether I want to trade the enjoyable hustle and bustle of my public transport commute — and the warmth it provides on cold winter days — for going solo outside on two wheels.

I've yet to decide because I think I still want both.