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What is a PEV? (Personal Electric Vehicle)

by Nathan Schaumann

What is a PEV? PEV is an acronym which stands for Personal Electric Vehicle, a new type of transportation that has risen to popularity over the last decade and includes battery powered devices such as E-bikes, E-scooters, Electric Unicycles (EUCs) and Electric Skateboards. Other terms commonly used to describe this transportation trend are “Light Electric Vehicle,” “Electric Rideable,” and “Micromobility.” 


Types of PEV

There are six main types of Personal Electric Vehicle, or PEV. These 6 PEV categories are:

Electric Scooter

Electric Bike (E-bike)

Electric Motorcycle

Electric Unicycle (EUC)


Additional PEV types?

While other types of personal electric transportation exist, such as self-balancing segways/hoverboards, electric rollerblades or even the eFoil (an electric surfboard), usually when people talk about “PEVs” they are referring to one of the six categories listed above. PEVs typically range in price from $300 to $3,000, have battery capacity ranging from 180Wh to 3600Wh, have top speeds from 15 mph to 60 mph and have a max riding distance of anywhere from 10 miles to 75 miles. Their purpose can vary from being a last-mile commuter (like smaller EUCs or Scooters) to a true car replacement (like Electric Motorcycles). 

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Here at Freshly Charged we think there is a PEV for just about everyone, and we’ll do a quick outline below of the various types.

Electric Scooter

During the COVID-19 pandemic, cities all across the world saw a huge influx of rental scooters from rideshare companies like Bird and Lime (and eventually even car-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft). After it was clear that there was sizable demand for convenient last-mile transportation among the average commuter, some companies switched over from renting their scooters to selling them outright. Some of the biggest brands in the commuter e-scooter market are Segway, Hiboy and Gotrax, and their entry-level models tend to sell between $300 and $800. 

Recently a new “hyper scooter” market has emerged for those seeking the thrill of speed coupled with the convenience of portable transport, led by companies like Kaabo, Nami and Dualtron. Hyper scooters can reach speeds of up to 65 mph, and can cost well above $2,000. 

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Here at Freshly Charged, our favorite scooters in the entry-level and commuter categories include the Segway Ninebot Max and the Emove Cruiser, while our preferred Hyper Scooters are the Kaabo Wolf King GT and the Nami Klima.

Electric Bike

Perhaps the most ubiquitous form of electric transport today, E-bikes come in many shapes and sizes, from the lightweight + foldable Lectric XP Lite which weighs just 46 lbs, up to the massive cargo-focused Aventon Abound, which is twice the weight of the Lectric and has a load capacity of nearly 450 lbs. 

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There are also a number of performance-focused E-bikes which blur the line between E-bike and E-motorcycle, such as the Ride1Up Revv 1, where the pedals feel like a formality and you can go entire rides without ever using them. E-bikes tend to cost a little more than scooters, and most of the bikes we’ve reviewed are priced anywhere from $800 to $4,000. 

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Electric Motorcycle

Within the category of Electric Motorcycle there are a further two sub-categories, namely Dirt-bikes and Street-bikes. Dirt bikes include the popular Sur-Ron and Talaria models, which fall in the $3,000-$5,000 range and are perfect for trail riding. 

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As far as street-bikes, the only major electric motorcycle manufacturer is called Zero, with bikes capable of freeway speeds, and costing up to $20,000. We typically don’t mention Zero motorcycles when talking about PEV’s due to their higher cost / target demographic, but since they do technically fit within the definition, they are worth a mention here.

Electric Unicycle

Electric Unicycles, more commonly known as EUCs, have exploded in popularity in recent years. While the learning curve is somewhat steeper than other types of PEVs (since you have to balance both forwards/backwards and sideways), once you get the hang of it these are a ton of fun.

How to ride an EUC electric unicycle

EUCs range from beginner models like the Mten3 (which is my personal EUC for last-mile commuting) priced at less than $900, weighing only 25 lbs and reaching maximum speeds of roughly 20 mph, up to beefier models like the Begode Monster Pro, with a weight more than triple the Mten3, and with a max speed of more than 50 mph. EUCs are convenient because they can be transported much more easily than other PEV types (with the exception of Onewheels) and the lighter models can even fit inside of a large backpack.

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Unlike the other PEV categories with dozens of competing manufacturers and hundreds of models, the Onewheel is produced solely by Future Motion, and there are only a total of 3 models (currently available). They look virtually identical, and only differ in the internal specs like battery size, top speed and integrated tech features. The most expensive model, the Onewheel GT, is priced at $2,200 and reaches a top speed of 20 mph with a battery lasting roughly 30 miles. 

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While Onewheels lag behind their similarly priced EUC counterparts in both range and speed, they are much easier to ride due to their fat tire design, and are safer to ride at lower speeds and in crowded environments like sidewalks or beaches. We see the Onewheel as an excellent introduction to the one-wheeled PEV world, but serious riders looking for speed + power will eventually upgrade to an EUC. 

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Electric Skateboard

Electric Skateboards, like Electric Motorcycles, are easily subdivided into two classes – off-road boards (often called “mountain boards”) and street-focused boards. The biggest difference is in the tires, which is easy to recognize even at a glance – street boards feature wheels resembling those of a traditional longboard or skateboard (less than 3 inches), while mountain boards have rubber tires with treads that usually measure between 6 and 8 inches. 

Most electric skateboards on mountain boards are in the $300-$800 price range, and can go as fast as 30 mph, but rarely faster. Our current favorite Electric Skateboard is the Exway X1 Pro, though we haven’t tested nearly as many of these as we have EUCs, Scooters and E-bikes. 

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To dive further into the world of PEVs, read some of our in-depth reviews on hundreds of models from every PEV category here!

Electric Scooter

Electric Bike

Electric Unicycle


Tech (Eskate + more)

When riding any PEV, always remember to wear your safety gear.

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We are Andrew and Jimmy, two guys who love personal electric vehicles, and we hope to share our experiences and reviews to help you find the best next PEV for your needs.

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