There are a lot of good reasons why people are buying electric bikes these days, such as being more environmentally responsible, getting around more efficiently, saving money, ease of parking and simply the enjoyment of silently zipping around town.

To start, if you keep your automobile in the garage and instead ride to the corner store for a carton of milk or to return a DVD rental, you will be reducing your carbon footprint by emitting fewer pollutants into the air.

Is it possible you can get from one place to another faster in a small e bike than in your family car? You could if you live in a congested city that has bike only roads, not to mention the time you save looking for a place to park and sitting idling in traffic jams.

Riding an electric scooter will cost you a lot less per mile than even an economical subcompact car, not to mention the extra costs of parking and car insurance. And believe it or not, the cost of the power to charge the battery of an electric vehicle is lower than the price of the food needed to burn the extra calories you would need to peddle a bicycle the same distance.

Depending on where you live, there could be laws that regulate who can ride 2-wheel and 3-wheel electric bikes and cycles. For example, in British Columbia the motor vehicle branch defines a motor assisted cycle as one with a seat, pedals and an electric motor 500 watts or less. To ride one there you must be 16 years or older, wear a bicycle helmet, and obey the same rules of the road for bicycles. A driver’s license, registration and insurance are not needed.

If you are not sure about the laws regulating electric scooters or e-bikes where you live, here is a tip that may also be useful in helping you decide where to purchase such a vehicle. First, contact a motor vehicle office in your state or province and ask them about the rules regulating various classes of electric bicycles and scooters. Once you know the facts, then ask the sales person at the retail shop where you are considering making a purchase. If the answers they give you are contradictory or incomplete, then you might also not be able to trust them to tell you the truth about the performance, durability and other specifications of their vehicles for sale.