Electric scooters are environmentally friendly mid-size mobility vehicles powered by high-performing motors. These e-vehicles help riders maneuver different terrains to reach their destination fast and efficiently.
Note that e-scooters have several advantages. First, they are a convenient and economical mode of transportation. Secondly, they are easy to use and a cost-effective alternative to modern commuting.
However, choosing an ideal e-scooter can be challenging because you must know the right suspension and braking system, battery range and capacity, and motor power. So, what should you know before purchasing an electric scooter?
This guide examines the key factors to consider when choosing an electric scooter. Continue reading to find out more.
- 1. Battery and Range
- 2. Motor Power and Speed
- 3. Braking System
- 4. Wheels and Tires
- 5. Suspension System
- 6. Portability and Foldability
- 7. Weight Capacity
- 8. Additional Features
- 9. What's Your Budget?
- 10. Intended Use?
- 11. Do You Live in Hilly Area?
- 12. What are Weather Conditions?
- 13. What is the User Experience Level?
- 14. How Long is the Warranty of the Scooter?
- 15. Is the Scooter Made by a Well-Known Brand?
- 16. Does the Scooter Comply with the Law?
Importance of Choosing the right Electric Scooter
Choosing the right electric scooter that meets a person’s needs is crucial because it can impact their daily routine and overall experience with the device.
Electric scooters come in various models, sizes, and specifications, and selecting the wrong one can result in discomfort, inconvenience, or even safety hazards.
For example, a person who commutes in a busy city may need an electric scooter with excellent maneuverability and lightweight design, whereas a person who needs to travel long distances may require a scooter with a more robust battery and better suspension.
Therefore, choosing the right electric scooter is crucial to ensure that it meets the user’s needs, enhances their daily routine, and provides them with a safe and enjoyable ride.
Types of Electric Scooters
Choosing the perfect electric scooter is hard because there are so many different types of e-scooters available. Here are the most popular options:
- Commuter electric scooters
- Kids’ e-scooters
- Foldable e-scooters
- Seated electric scooters
- Dual-motor electric scooters
- Off-road electric scooters
- Three-wheeled electric scooters
Main Features to Consider When Buying an Electric Scooter
As an enthusiastic rider, you must always check the scooter’s features to ensure they meet your needs and preference. Remember that an ideal e-scooter should provide a safe and enjoyable riding experience.
So, here are some main features to consider when buying an electric scooter.
1. Battery and Range
How Long are Your Commutes? An electric scooter battery is responsible for how far you can ride.
Typically, most e-scooters have battery capacities that range between 200Wh and 1,000Wh. So, you must consider how far you want to travel on a single charge to know the correct battery’s capacity and range to buy.
A 200Wh to 300Wh battery capacity is best suited for shorter urban commutes or leisurely rides. These e-scooters can also provide a range of 10 to 20 miles on a single charge, depending on the rider’s weight, terrain, and level of motor assistance.
A 300Wh to 400Wh battery capacity is best suited for longer commutes, recreational rides, or light touring. In addition, these e-scooters can provide a 20 to 30 miles range on a single charge, depending on the rider’s weight, terrain, and level of motor assistance.
Read also: Best Long-Range Electric Scooters
Remember that a larger battery capacity provides better performance and range. So, a battery over 500Wh can cover a range of up to 50 miles or more on a single charge, depending on the rider’s weight, terrain, and level of motor assistance.
Can You Charge the Scooter at Work?
You may ask yourself this question if you use an electric scooter for going to work. If the answer is yes, then you need a scooter with a battery that will last until your workplace. And you can charge the scooter until it’s time to go home.
However, you can’t trust e-scooter manufacturers’ numbers entirely. If they say the range of the scooter is 10 miles, it is probably less. They have calculated the scooters’ range in ideal conditions, which are often impossible to achieve in real life.
2. Motor Power and Speed
How Fast Do You Want to Ride Your E-Scooter? Electric scooter motors take care of the speed.
Before buying an electric scooter, check its motor power and top speed. Usually, electric scooters have motors between 250W-1,000W. However, some electric scooters have dual motors with each over 1,000 Watts.
Read also: Best Dual-Motor Electric Scooters
Ordinarily, e-scooters with more powerful motors provide quicker acceleration and better hill-climbing ability than those with lower-powered motors.
Remember that most e-scooters have a top speed of 15-20mph, but some can be faster. So, It’s essential to know how fast you want to ride the e-scooter and your intended use to decide on the specific model to purchase.
Overall, the lower-power e-scooters are best for leisure rides, while high-power scooters are best for tougher or off-road commuting.
3. Braking System
E-scooters have various braking systems. However, there are three common ones – disk brakes, drum brakes, and regenerative brakes.
Disk brakes are the most popular braking system. These types are more efficient than rim/drum brakes, especially in muddy or wet terrain. Unfortunately, they require more maintenance and can be expensive.
The best type of brakes for electric scooters is hydraulic disc brakes. They are silent and provide the best stopping power. But hydraulic brakes are the most expensive.
Drum brakes are lightweight and easy-to-maintain cost-effective brakes with a drum-shaped rotor and brake pads to slow down the scooter. These brakes are popular on lower-end electric scooters because they provide moderate stopping power. Unfortunately, they are less effective on muddy or wet terrain.
Lastly, regenerative brakes are popular braking systems that use electric motors to slow down the scooter. They convert kinetic energy into electrical energy for efficient and smooth stopping.
Related: Electric Scooter Brakes Explained
4. Wheels and Tires
Electric scooters come in different wheel sizes and different types of tires. The two most common options are:
- solid tires
- pneumatic tires
Pneumatic tires are filled with air. The advantages of pneumatic tires are a more comfortable ride experience and better traction. However, they may have more punctures than solid tires.
Solid tires are basically puncture resistant and don’t need any maintenance. However, they provide lousy ride comfort on a bumpy road and are almost unrideable on off-road tracks. Also, they may be very slippery on wet surfaces.
Related: Electric Scooter Tires Explained
Additionally, take a look at the size of the wheels. Usually, electric scooters have 8-10-inch wheels. Some kids’ electric scooters may have 6″-wheels.
The rule of thumb is that bigger wheels provide better ride comfort and better handling.
5. Suspension System
Not all electric scooters are equipped with suspensions. If the scooter is solely meant to ride on smooth city asphalt, it doesn’t need suspensions.
Electric scooters with durable suspensions provide smoother and more comfortable rides on all terrain.
The ideal suspension systems usually make a ride more comfortable and reduce the risk of fatigue, discomfort, accidents, and injury. Furthermore, you will get a more comprehensive shock-absorbing feel with durable suspensions.
Read also: Best Electric Scooters for Off-Roading
For the best riding experience, choose an e-scooter with a dual or adjustable suspension system.
6. Portability and Foldability
The portability and foldability of an e-scooter are essential factors to consider when choosing an electric scooter.
The average weight of an e-scooter is about 20 to 50 pounds (10 to 25 kilograms), depending on its model and features.
Some lightweight electric scooters (made from lightweight materials such as aluminum or carbon fiber) can weigh as little as 15 pounds (6.5 kilograms). In comparison, heavier and robust models can weigh even 100 pounds (45 kilograms) or more.
Read also: Best Folding Electric Scooters
Overall, a portable and lightweight electric scooter is important for transport or storage in a compact space. You can enjoy the convenience and flexibility of transporting it wherever you want.
7. Weight Capacity
The weight capacity of an electric scooter varies depending on its brand and model. However, most standard electric scooters have a weight capacity of about 200-250 pounds (90-110 kg). But some models can handle more weight to compromise safety when riding.
Read also: Best Electric Scooters for Heavy Adults
A small scooter can often be uncomfortable for a rider, while a large one can be difficult to control. So, it is crucial to consider the overall weight capacity of the scooter, plus the size of the deck and handlebars.
8. Additional Features
- Lights – Built-in LED lights, for example, are crucial accessories in an electric scooter because they improve a rider’s visibility and safety when riding at night or under extreme weather.
- Deck size – is another essential factor because it can improve or affect a rider’s comfort and stability. For example, smaller decks make the e-scooter more compact and easier to carry, while large decks provide more space for the rider’s feet, allowing a more comfortable and stable ride.
- Display – A handlebar display screen will provide information about the scooter’s speed, battery life, trip distance, riding mode, headlight status, and other metrics.
- Cruise control – is another functional fitting if you constantly ride long distances on flat terrain. It also reduces how you frequently adjust the throttle, extending its lifetime.
- Locking point – If you need to lock your electric scooter often, it’s convenient if the scooter has a dedicated point for locking.
Main Factors to Consider When Choosing an E-Scooter
Apart from scooter-specific features, there are lots of other factors you must consider when selecting a perfect electric scooter.
Here are the key factors to note.
9. What’s Your Budget?
The price of an electric scooter is important when choosing an e-scooter. In fact, the model, brand, and quality determine the overall price of an e-scooter.
Generally, entry-level scooters have a lower price range of about $300 to $600, while high-end scooters can reach over $3000, depending on the brand.
But note that cheaper scooters have smaller motors and fewer advanced features but can still provide a convenient mode of transportation for a limited range.
Read also: Best Cheap Electric Scooters
High-end scooters are expensive but reliable because they have larger batteries and better suspensions to cover longer ranges on rough terrain.
10. Intended Use?
What type of terrain you are riding with your scooter? Is it for commuting or leisure rides?
Understand the E-scooter’s intention of use before choosing one. The correct scooter will help you meet your needs appropriately.
Consider one with high speeds and a more extended range for daily commuting. Also, it needs to be lightweight for easy handling.
A model with better suspension and larger wheels is ideal for leisure or recreation. But also check the weight capacity and range for a comfortable riding experience.
You might also want an e-scooter with good suspension, large wheels, or durable construction for off-road use and a comfortable riding experience.
11. Do You Live in Hilly Area?
The ideal scooter should guarantee better performance if you live in hilly terrain. Typically, a more powerful and geared scooter that can handle the hill should be your choice. Consider a 500W or higher motor.
Related: Can Electric Scooter Go Uphill?
An e-scooter with multiple assistant levels should allow you to adjust the assistance level depending on the hill’s steepness.
12. What are Weather Conditions?
Different weather conditions will also determine how you choose an e-scooter. Consider these factors.
An e-scooter with waterproofing is ideal for rainy conditions because it will keep you dry. Also, it should have broader tires to improve grip on wet terrain.
However, if you live in an area where it rains once a year, you don’t need an electric scooter with a high water-resistant rating.
For cold and snowy conditions, a scooter with an advanced lighting system for better visibility and wider tires for better grip is the best choice.
13. What is the User Experience Level?
For a beginner/new rider, we recommend choosing a scooter with lower speed and less power for easier handling.
A powerful motor and modern suspension scooter is ideal for an experienced rider who can handle challenging terrain and high speed.
An e-scooter with higher speed and powerful motors is ideal for intermediate riders who need some basic riding skills.
Related: Common Electric Scooter Riding Mistakes
14. How Long is the Warranty of the Scooter?
Always check the warranty status of an e-scooter before purchasing it. The warranty guarantees protection in case of defects and malfunctions. The ideal warranty package should cover the necessary repairs and replacements for at least a year.
Some electric scooter brands provide even a 2-year warranty. However, there are electric scooters that come with a warranty that lasts for only a couple of months.
Before buying an e-scooter with a lengthy warranty, check if the warranty’s terms & conditions cover the battery, motor, frame, and other essential components for peace of mind.
15. Is the Scooter Made by a Well-Known Brand?
The brand is another factor to consider when choosing an electric scooter. Top e-scooter brands guarantee quality and reliability for a comfortable riding experience and long-term value. Most reliable brands invest in quality control to produce high-standard scooters which will not disappear from the market.
Additionally, top brands supply better spare parts and accessories, making it easy for the owner to replace or upgrade all essential components.
The customer service and support with a well-known brand are also better, and the network of dealers guarantees quality service centers. So paying a little bit of premium for a well-known brand is totally reasonable.
16. Does the Scooter Comply with the Law?
And lastly, make sure your desired electric scooter is street-legal. Electric scooters are relatively new means of transportation and the laws and regulations may change often.
We recently published an article about electric scooter laws in Europe. And here is a comprehensive guide to electric scooter laws in the USA made by Electric Scooter Guide and Unagi.
However, we recommend doing a little research to see what rules apply in your place of residence. You don’t want to risk that your new scooter will be illegal to ride.
Choosing an Electric Scooter: Conclusion
Electric scooters are becoming increasingly popular as a mode of convenient transportation. Nowadays, you will find many e-scooters from different brands in the suburbs or urban areas. However, you must know how to choose an ideal scooter that guarantees a comfortable riding experience.
A lower-speed e-scooter will serve you better if you are a beginner rider. But then, you must know how speed and motor power affect the riding experience.
Overall, choosing a precise scooter that suits your needs and personal preferences helps you save money and improve your riding skills.