Electric scooters are one of the most popular and fastest-growing industries right now, the reason being the continuous development and innovation in the electric scooter industry.
I am an electric scooter enthusiast and I recommended to everyone I know. And when I do, they ask me which one to buy or how to choose one and this is the reason for this article.
I have tested many electric scooters and I know what to look for in an electric scooter. Many factors influence the quality of an electric scooter. And it can be confusing to choose a new electric scooter with the myriad of options out there.
But by the end of this guide, you will be able to understand what you must look at before going in for an electric scooter.
Types of electric scooters
The first and most important thing to know is that there are primarily two kinds of electric scooters available to buy.
- Slow speed scooters – Slow speed scooters are the most basic type of electric scooters that do not require any kind of registration or license to be operated. The top speed of these scooters do not exceed 30km/h making them perfect for beginners and young riders.
- High speed scooters – High speed electric scooters are advanced scooters that require insurance and a license to ride. These types of scooters are more than capable of hitting top speeds in excess of 100 km/h.
How to Choose an Electric Scooter?
It’s always good to know what you’re looking for before blindly going out there and buying something random off the shelf. Electric scooters are no exception, you must first know what you’re getting into and what is under the hood before you buy an electric scooter.
In order to know what’s best suited for your needs, have a look at these important factors to consider.
- Build Quality
- Water Resistance
How an electric scooter performs is vital to the experience you have with it. No matter what you want out of the scooter, be it fun or commuting, the performance dictates your experience with it. Performance in electric scooters is their speed and range.
If you are looking for electric scooters solely to have fun with them, get something fast enough to make the experience fun for you.
If you are looking for an electric scooter that you want to commute with every day, go for something with a long-range.
And if you want an electric scooter that on the weekdays you can use to commute and, on the weekends, you can have fun with, go for something that falls in the middle of the spectrum. And finally, there are electric scooters that deliver on both range and speed, but these usually cost a lot or make compromises on other features.
Build quality is a factor you should not cheap out on. Your scooter can be slow, offer a terrible range, and be uncomfortable but you can still use it. But if your electric scooter is not built well, you can say goodbye to it in a few days. While it is hard to judge a product’s durability before using it, but some clues can give away if your electric scooter is built well or not.
Carrying capacity, choose a scooter that can carry you and more. The higher the recommended carrying capacity, the stronger and more durable an electric scooter is.
The manufacturer warranty is a good indicator of build quality. If a manufacturer is confident in their product, they will offer you a longer warranty because they know that their scooters will stand the test of time.
You can also look for IP ratings for dust and water protection. And you can check for the materials used in making the electric scooter, more durable parts mean better durability.
Electric scooters are popular because they are convenient to travel machines. And the portability of anything, be it a device or in this case, an electric scooter is an important factor for convenience. You will need a portable electric scooter so that you can store or carry it easily in between commutes or rides.
For example, if you commute to work or school by an electric scooter, you will need to put away your electric scooter or be able to carry it around with you easily.
You may ask what makes an electric scooter portable, the size, weight and fold-ability make it portable. You may be worried that a lightweight scooter might be prone to durability issues but it’s not the case as good electric scooters you strong yet lightweight materials like aluminum so that they are portable and durable.
If you are not looking for the most insane speeds and range, you can easily find electric scooters that are lightweight yet durable. Portability should be on top of your lists if you are going to use electric scooters as your daily commute vehicle.
Tires might seem like something you can overlook when buying an electric scooter, or any vehicle for that matter, but they are one of the most vital components for any vehicle. Tires make or break a vehicle because they are the only parts of a vehicle that come in contact with the road.
These little round objects are a deciding factor in how an electric scooter behaves and runs. Tires also make an electric scooter comfortable, safe and stable to ride on.
You will have to choose tires based on your needs. Size and type tires are important for the performance of an electric scooter.
- Size: The larger the tire, the better experience you will have riding as larger tires aid in stability and control of the scooter. The disadvantages of big tires can be loss in portability and increase in noise. The stability and control offered by larger tires also let you ride on various terrain and at higher speeds.
- Type: Pneumatic and solid tires are the two types. Pneumatic tires are more comfortable and smoother to ride on with the disadvantage being that they can go flat. Solid tires are very durable but they are not very comfortable to ride on.
While tires play a huge role in the comfort of an electric scooter, there are other ways electric scooters can get comfortable at. These are
- Suspension: Electric scooters have gotten increasingly better over the years and comfort has been a key area of focus. This led to the development of suspension systems and electric scooters with a dedicated suspension system can be much more comfortable to ride on. So always go for an electric scooter with suspension unless you are restrained by budget.
- Seat: Electric scooter some in a few varieties and some of them have seats, and as we all know, sitting is a lot more comfortable than sitting. Some electric scooters even come with padded seats for a more luxurious experience. But obviously, these come at an added cost and lose portability.
Apart from build quality safety is determined by the brakes of an electric scooter. The faster you can stop, the safer you will be if something goes wrong. There are three popular types of brakes found on electric scooters:
- Mechanical Brakes: These are considered by many to be the gold standard of brakes as they have the best stopping potential. The one disadvantage is that they can wear out over time, requiring you to change or service them.
- Electric Brakes: Electrical brakes work by running the motor in reverse to slow down the electric scooter. They are middle of the line when it comes to stopping potential but they don’t require much maintenance. Another advantage of electrical brakes is that they are regenerative helping in conserving energy and extending range.
- Foot Brakes: Foot brakes are more primitive and require you to push down on a rear lever, which then causes the brake pads to rub against the wheel. The braking potential of foot brakes lies in how powerful you are. They are low maintenance but is harder to use at the start and even though they are functional, it is not the best to stop an electric scooter.
Lights and a horn/bell are also important for safe rides, and these should be available in most electric scooters. A lack of LED lights or a horn or a bell means that the manufacturer forgot to think of basic security features, so you should avoid such scooters. In any case, you can fix extra lights or change the horns if you don’t like the one from manufacturers.
As we all know, most electric scooters are not waterproof and if you want to ride one in the rain then you need to ensure that it carries a waterproof rating. Make sure that the battery is well protected and the wiring is covered.
Check the manufacturers details and see if the scooter you’re interested in buying has an IP rating of at least IPX5.
|IPx0||No protection from rain|
|IPX1 to IPX3||Limited water resistance|
|IPX4 to IPX6||Can be used in the rain|
|IPX7+||Can be submerged under water|
When it comes to an electric scooter, maintenance is always a pain and can at times be expensive. You will find it hard to get replacement parts or OEM parts for your scooter and would have to resort to contacting the manufacturer to repair the unit. Most scooters require regular maintenance and you will have to end up servicing your electric scooter at least twice a year.
Make sure that the scooter you decide to buy is designed well and does not require regular maintenance. Also, check if you will be able to service the scooter at home. These are important things to keep in mind so you don’t spend too much on the service of your scooter.
An important factor you should decide depending on what you want from your electric scooter. If you are someone with an unlimited budget and just want an electric scooter to have fun with, go for the ones with the highest top speeds and ranges as they offer the most fun riding experience.
If you are a more budget-conscious buyer and planning to use your scooter for daily commutes, there are tons of options right from the lower end to high end that offers good value for your money.
Price is more of a personal factor, but you can make the right decision depending on your budget and necessities.
These are nice to have features that make using an electric scooter more convenient and fun. Features like app connectivity, a good dashboard, removable batteries are all nice to have and they improve the experience a lot.
They might add up to the cost but nowadays most electric scooters have these features.
Advantages of electric scooters
- Simple to use – Electric scooters are simple to use and easy to ride, simply turn on the scooter and you’re good to go. They come with easy to read displays, safety mechanisms and simple speed adjustments that ensure you have a hassle free experience.
- Foldable – Most electric scooters can be folded in half making them easy to transport and store. If you’re on a ride and the battery happens to die out, simply fold the scooter and carry it along the way. A foldable scooter is perfect for anyone heading for a vacation or trip and would like to take their scooter along.
- Environmentally friendly – Electric scooters are powered by batteries and deliver minimal pollutants. Rather than traditional fuel powered bikes that cause harm to the environment.
- They are fun – Electric scooters are fun to ride and they do not require any license. You can use one indoors, outdoors and on your regular commutes. Some scooters can even be modified for more power, larger tires and better braking system.
How do you choose a scooter for adults and children?
There are two main things to focus on in order to pick the best scooter for adults and children, Weight limit of the scooter and height of the handlebar. Also, buy a scooter that does not die out too quickly.
Should I get an electric scooter?
It’s a personal choice and everyone should try riding an electric scooter at least once in their lives. These forms of transport cost less, need lesser maintenance and can be ridden by anyone, anywhere. You should get one for yourself if you plan on traveling between 5-10 miles from your home.
What is the best wattage for an electric scooter?
It depends on how far and how fast you want to go. Scooters are capable of delivering between 200W and 600W of power while larger and more powerful scooters can deliver a peak of 5000-6000W allowing you to touch a top speed of over 100km/h.
Electric scooters are one of the best and most convenient ways to travel short distances in my opinion. And apart from being convenient, they are extremely fun to ride on.
This has increased the popularity of electric scooters in the market. And there has never been a better time to buy one. And if you are someone who is looking to buy a new electric scooter now, you will need to do your research to find the best one.
If you have read this article, you will know how to choose an electric scooter based on various factors that influence your purchase.
Hope this guide helped you.