How to choose the best electric scooter

A shortlist of things to consider when buying an electric scooter

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By Alex

how to choose the best electric scooter

For some years now, electric scooters have been increasingly popular worldwide. At first, an electric scooter could look like just a toy for children, but in recent years we have grown accustomed to seeing models with improved battery, motor, braking system and acceleration control that have made them true electric vehicles for adults. Extremely easy to use, environmentally friendly for city travel, a sustainable alternative to the car, electric scooters must, however, be used judiciously and according to the rules, because they can be dangerous.

Contents

Let’s find out how an electric scooter works, the features for getting around in an environmentally friendly way and the most interesting models on the market.

How an electric scooter works

It is basically a scooter equipped with a small electric motor and a battery to power it, so you can get around without using leg power. The motor is driven by the movement imparted by the legs (kick assist) and the battery then keeps it running.

All it takes is a couple of pushes to get it going. The motion is transmitted to the rear wheel through a drive belt, while the front wheel is used to give direction. Almost all electric scooters are rear-wheel drive.

The throttle is usually located on one of the sides of the handlebars and can be a handle (as in the case of electric scooters), a lever (as in the bicycle) or a button.

The brake, on the other hand, can be operated by a lever or button on the handlebar, or by pressing the foot on the fender ring above the rear wheel. Sometimes there are also other controls on the handlebars to activate headlights and for speed modes.

What motor does an electric scooter have

The electric motor, depending on the model, is located in the front or rear wheel or under the center footrest.

Today electric scooters generally have a brushless motor: it offers good efficiency and high range, and it runs on alternating current. It requires no maintenance and allows faster acceleration.

Some models have brushed motors that use direct current and, as a result, are less powerful, although easier to operate. They are often supported by a belt system, which allows the scooter to go faster uphill. The maximum power allowed is generally 500 w on public land, but more powerful motors (over 1000 w) can also be used in private areas.

 

What battery does an electric scooter have

The battery powers the motor. There are two types, although almost all scooters now feature lithium ones:

  • lead-acid batteries, up to 4 times heavier than a lithium battery, with shorter range and even shorter lifespan. They are the cheapest.
  • Lithium-ion batteries, the most widely used because of their light weight and high autonomy.

In the lightest models, the battery is smaller than average to improve handling and therefore has a shorter range. Consider this limitation if you are looking for a lightweight folding scooter to take anywhere, ideal only for short trips.

A full recharge can take from 2 to 10 hours depending on the model, but in all cases just connect the battery to an electrical outlet. Most models come with a portable charger that you plug into a regular wall outlet. You can take it with you if you plan a longer than usual commute.

What maximum speed does an electric scooter reach?

To accelerate just press the accelerator button, the scooter picks up speed until it reaches the maximum allowed speed, which varies from place to place. In some municipalities it has been limited by law to 20 km/h in some others to 30 km/h… You’ll have to make your own research on this topic!

Not all models have a speedometer and only a few are equipped with speed and cruise control devices, usually by means of a small LCD screen placed on the handlebars.

Speed control is important because it allows you to adapt the performance of the scooter to your intended use and the conditions of the route:

  • low mode: set at 6 km/h is for moving around in high traffic situations and on the sidewalk.
  • economic mode: increases range and maintains constant speed, suitable when there is no traffic and only on the road or bike path.
  • sport mode: allows you to go at top speed or tackle climbs.

The maximum speed depends on the models, generally it’s 35-40 km/h but some models go up to 80 km/h. However, as we said, in most countries legislation has limited the maximum speed allowed.

The brakes on an electric scooter

With a maximum speed sometimes exceeding 25 km/h, scooters must be equipped with an efficient braking system. Depending on the model, there are different braking systems:

  • pedal brake, pressing the foot on the rear wheel cover: simple, but effective.
  • disc brakes, mounted on either or both wheels, is operated by a lever on the left side of the handlebars, like those on bicycles: braking is controlled, quick and efficient.
  • electric brake or motor brake, to be operated by a control on the handlebar: less efficient, it is not sufficient to stop, but only to decrease speed, so it is necessary to activate it together with the foot or drum brake.
  • emergency brake, adjusts speed only: must be supported by another braking system.

What wheels does an electric scooter have

Wheels can be with or without an inner tube (tubeless) and have various materials and sizes.

Tubeless wheels, somewhat like bicycle wheels, cushion better, but require maintenance because they can get holes in them. The second ones are more convenient to change, but they return the roughness of rough asphalt.

What range does an electric scooter have?

Averaging all the models on the market, it can be said that the range is about 30 km. There are models that go up to 60 km and cheaper ones that are around 20 km.

However, the charge duration of a scooter can be affected by the driver, the way he or she rides and the speed that is kept, but also by the type of battery, whether it is old or new, and its charge level.

electric scooter

Electric scooter: where to buy it and at what price

They can be found in various stores, especially those dedicated to bicycles, but also in well-stocked supermarkets, and in large chains specializing in electronics.

Of course, there is also a wide choice online, both on specially created sites, on those of famous brands, and on Amazon.

Best electric scooter: all models by category

Let’s look in detail at different models divided by features, options, and types of use.

Indeed, we must consider that there are so many models on the market and many have several additional controls than the basic ones. In particular:

  • speed control, keeps the speed constant on a pre-set value. It is activated when the desired value is reached and can be deactivated with the brake.
  • battery level indicator to know whether the battery is charged (green LED) or is getting low (red LED).
  • energy saving when braking allows you to turn off the engine and not consume energy when braking.
  • walk mode or follow me to set a low speed (5-6 km/h) so you can walk the scooter without having to push it and in crowded street situations or to save energy.
  • ABS to avoid tipping over in case of uneven ground or sudden braking, the front wheel automatically locks.
  • bluetooth to connect to Apps that allow you to check the battery level or lock the scooter’s startup with a password.
  • protection controls to prevent any overloads, low voltage or short circuit and indicates if maintenance is needed.
  • suspension on one or even both wheels, to cushion a bumpy surface or uneven asphalt, especially at top speed.

Let’s take a look at the latest and the most interesting ones in terms of value for money, the top of the range and the cheapest. Let’s start with the two top models!

Ninebot by Segway ES2

This scooter folds via a single button and has a small footprint. Equipped with shock absorbers on both wheels, speed control, it weighs only 12.5 kg. However, it easily reaches 25 km/h thanks to the motorredi 700 W of power and the battery provides 25 km of range.

With three speeds (limited to 15 km/h, normal to 20 km, sporty to 25 km) it has an extra battery to reach 45 km of range. It can carry up to 100 kg of cargo. Price: from 445 euros.

Xiaomi Mi

With its dual shock absorbers, light weight (12, 5 kg and foldable) given by the aluminum frame, charging under braking, deep-brightness headlights (1.1 W), anti-lock wheel ABS, and a range of 30 km, this model is definitely one of the best for value for money. Too bad about an underpowered motor (only 250 W). Price: 359 euros.

Xiaomi Mi Pro

This version has more power (300 W), longer range (45 km) and 3 travel speed modes (eco: 15 km/h, D: 20 km/h, Super: 25 km/h), but the weight (14.5 kg) and price go up. Price: on offer for 385 euros at list price from 489 euros.

Moma bikes E-500

This folding vehicle has puncture-proof wheels, a range of 30 km. The 350 W motor allows it to reach a maximum speed of 25 km/h. Price: 292 euros.

Ecogyro S9 xboost

With a power of 250 W and a battery range of 25 km it is in the mid-range. It is equipped with an LCD display to control speed, fuel consumption and gait mode. It features disc brakes on both wheels. Tubeless wheels and a white-colored aluminum frame make it very light (only 13.5 kg) and it folds up quickly. A front LED light and braking indicator complete the equipment. Price: 468 euros.

Children’s electric scooter

Several models are available for children, which do not go very fast and cost little compared to the lightweight versions for adults. Remember, however, that they must always wear helmets and check the relevant regulations in your municipality because the use of this electric vehicle may not be allowed for children under 14 or 16 in urban areas.

Ninco NH33006 Rocket

Here is very basic scooter that costs little. It is foldable, made of plastic and steel, with adjustable height, is produced in various colors and runs on batteries. Suitable for children aged 3 to 6 years. Price: 110 euros also on Amazon:.

Razor Power Core E90

This is a high-end, sturdy, yet lightweight (9 kg) children’s scooter because the frame and fork are made of steel. Push-button brake and push-button accelerator. It is good for children 8 years old and up and does not support weights over 54 kg. The motor (from 250 W) is in the hub and has a maximum speed of 16 km/h. It is expected to recharge in 2-3 hours and has a range of 80 minutes of use. Available in various colors. Price: 156 euros.

IU-Scooter E9

Excellent compromise between good performance and not exaggerated price. It has several options typical of an adult scooter (ABS, light, larger wheels, tubeless tires)while being designed for children, without costing too much. Thanks to a 150 W brushless motor atrunning at 15 km/h, it is equipped with 8-inch anti-explosion wheels and has lithium battery with a range of 10 km with recharging in 2.5 hours.

It is height-adjustable to fit both children and teens , also has a rear light that turns on when braking. Very light (7.9 kg) it folds up and can be carried with a convenient handle. Price:150 euros.

Folding electric scooters

Here are some foldable models:

M Megawheels

An economical, compact, folding vehicle made of high-strength aluminum alloy, so it is lightweight (12.5 kg) and ideal for short trips. It cannot handle climbs over 15° and supports a driver up to 120 kg. In fact, it has a250 W motor and reaches a maximum speed of 15 km/h. The recharge is quite fast (in 2 hours) and travels 15 km on a charged battery. It features dual LED headlights and 8.5-inch wheels. Price: 278 euros.

E-Star YF-V6

This lightweight (weighs 8 kg), foldable scooter features two fside blue light fixtures on the footboard that make it visible at night. The 120 w motor makes it reach a max speed of 15 km/h. It gets to travel15 km. Coloredblue, it has a cmax capacity of 70 kg making it suitable for kids and slender adults. Price: 149 euros.

Lighter electric scooter

There are foldable and ultra-light (usually under 15 kg) means on the market that allow short trips, are easy to carry and can be stored in small spaces: they fit comfortably under the desk or in the trunk of the car, without taking up too much space.

The downsides lie in the low battery life and low motor power, which are necessary to allow lightness to the structure of the scooter. Let’s see a selection of interesting models.

Nilox Doc Eco 2 Black

A lightweight vehicle with honest performance and rather inexpensive. In fact, it has 250 W power, has a top speed of 16 km/h, and the battery lasts up to 15 km on a charge that takes as little as 2 hours. It supports up to 100 kg of weight, but weighs just 8.5 kg and has a single disc brakeon the rear wheel. Price: 250 euros.

TencMG

An ultralight vehicle thanks to its aeronautical steel frame and carbon details (which make it weigh 8.5 kg) that proves to be an excellent vehicle for short trips, without going at the expense of load capacity (max 110 kg). Thanks to the 250 W motor it reaches 20 km/h and to climb slopes of maximum 10°.

The lithium-ion battery gives it a range of 15-35 km depending on trim and terrain type, and recharges in only 3 hours. The braking system is disc braking with ABS. It can be folded and carried with one hand. Price: 450 euros.

The cheapest electric scooter

A particularly inexpensive model is this one:

E-Star YF-V6

This lightweight (weighs 8 kg), foldable scooter features two fside blue light fixtures on the footboard that make it visible at night. The 120 w motor makes it reach a max speed of 15 km/h. It gets to travel15 km. Coloredblue, it has a cmax capacity of 70 kg making it suitable for kids and slender adults. Price: 149 euros.

Electric scooter with large wheels

Typically, scooters that have large wheels are either push scooters or cross-country models. An interesting option is the one proposed by BMW not for sale on Amazon, but there are also other models.

Bmw X2 City

Available only in Germany, it is a cross between a bike, scooter, and electric scooter. With a 1000 w motor and a408 Wh lithium-ion battery that recharges in 3 hours. It has shifting on the handlebars for 5 riding modes, from 8 up to 25 km/h. It weighs 20 kg and comes with headlights and disc brakes, and the wheels are 10 inches. Price: 2,399 euros.

Flykly SmartPed

With its 16-inch wheels, it is definitely a vehicle for difficult terrain, from cobblestones to dirt, and with a push it goes 1 km immediately. It recharges in 3 hours and has autonomy for 30 km. It has a 250 w brushless motor. It weighs only 12 kg for a big-wheeled vehicle. Only downside, for slopes over 3-4% it does not make it. Price: 1,199 euros but available for rent.

Electric scooter with 1000 w motor

For those who are looking for a more powerful means of tackling major climbs and long distances, almost a scooter, may be indicated of the power above 1000 watts. Recharging times are extended up to 68-10 hours and the means will be bulkier, not always foldable and heavier.

The achievable speed on paper is at least 40 km/h, but new regulations passed by almost all municipalities, limit the maximum allowed in urban centers to 25 km/h. All this power will therefore be reserved for those who have to take challenging routes, steep climbs and carry heavy weights. There are several interesting options.

Moma Bikes

This folding model has a power of 1,300 W and easily reaches 40 km/h speed. Dual disc brakes are mounted on the two wheels, as is the suspension. Equipped with a saddle for more comfort, however, it weighs 38 kg and has a autonomy of only 20 km. It takes 6 hours for a full charge. Price: from 420 euros.

WXJZ

Almost a scooter because of a high power 3200 w motor that allows it to reach 80 km/h and climb slopes up to 50° with ease. On both wheels it is equipped with disc brakes, headlights and shock absorbers. The 60 v battery gives it a long range, up to 150 km, but recharges in 10-20 hours. It weighs 65 kg. Price:4,899 euros..

Electric scooter with seat

These scooters feature a seat, which can still be removed, for more comfort during longer rides. They are generally not foldable and are equipped with more powerful than average motors that can overcome challenging climbs and support burly drivers. They cost more than a standard electric scooter.

Razor E300S

Small, maneuverable, foldable and lightweight (weighs 23.5 kg which for a model with a seat is little). It is good for ages 13 and up and reaches a maximum speed of 24 km/h. Downsides are: the 24-volt lead-acid batteries that make it autonomous only up to 40 minutes and the chain drive. Equipped with a twist-grip throttle and manual rear brake. It has a rather low cost compared to other cons edile models making it more suitable for a kid than an adult. Price: 313 euros.

Gunai

This model features a b52 v lithium battery that recharges in 5-6 hours with a range of 90 km. The 2000 w motor allows it to go up to 70 km/h. CST 10-inch rubber tires and dual shock absorbers make for a smoother ride, and disc brakes along with the EBS system bring the vehicle to a halt in just a few meters. Foldable, it can be put in the trunk of the car. The LED headlights provide good night vision. The display shows speed, remaining range and driving mode. The seat can be folded down and removed. It weighs 32 kg and allows a maximum load of 250 kg. Price: 1299 euros.

Electric scooter for rough terrains

Some models are designed to ride on rough terrain, cobblestones and off-road. For this type of surface, there are vehicles with larger wheels and a powerful motor. They are also found referred to as ‘off road’ or ‘motocross’.

Loveqizi

Perfect for rough terrain and XC riding thanks to enlarged 11-inch, non-slip, wear-resistant tubeless tires. A model that has excellent shock absorptionIt has a 3600 W motor to get up to max 70 km/h and a 52 V 21 Ah lithium-ion battery that gives it up to 50 km autonomy. It has 3 speed modes and an independent disc braking system on the two wheels.

It features a short circuit, overcurrent, overload protection, and abnormal temperature protection system. Weighs only 30 kg, and price commensurate with performance. Price: 3,668 euros.

Off roads electric scooter

These scooters are a different beast. Totally. They often feature dual electric motors, suspension, higher ride height, off-road specific wheels, hydraulic brakes, tubeless tyres and more, since they are specifically designed to ride rough terrains. Here are some interesting models:

Langfeite T8

Folding scooter with a removable seat bi-amortized in the front and with a rear shock absorber is perfect for motocross, with inflatable 11-inch tires with cleats perfect for off road. It has a 26-volt lithium-ion battery to cover max 70 km on one charge, which recovers in 8-10 hours. Up to 150 kg payload. Double 1200-w motor for a speed of 70 km/h. For stable stopping, it is equipped with an electronic eABS brake and a front and rear dual-disc brake system Price: 1,896 euros.

LJPzhpEleEquip

A folding model for smooth and fast riding over very rough terrain thanks to 13-inch wheels made of high-strength PU material and shock absorbers on both wheels, which reduce vibration. Not suitable for XC riding. It has a 350 W motor to get up to 30 km/h max and a dual 36 V lithium battery that gives it up to 40 km range. Rather heavy and expensive, it can carry loads of up to 200 kg. Price: 1,091 euros..

Beeper FX1000

A folding model with a detachable seat suitable for rough terrain and XC riding. It has a 1000 W motor to get up to 25 km/h and a dual 36 V lead-acid battery that gives it a range of up to 25 km. Rather heavy and expensive. Price: 576 euros.

Electric scooter with dual motor

These are vehicles that need more power to overcome climbs and very rough terrain, and can launch at 80-90 km/h. Small two-micro-wheelers that will be fine for sports and fun, but are not suitable for the city and gentle mobility. In fact, they feature a pair of motors over 1000 w and cannot, by law circulate on sidewalks or bike paths.

Three-wheel electric scooter

Three-wheeled variants also exist. They have nothing to do with very small children’s models that have no balance and ride at high speed. Let’s look at an interesting one for adults.

Smartmove Helvei HelCaseBK

This is both aelectric scooter with a removable battery, a trolley and a backpack, thanks to its aluminum-magnesium alloy frame it is sturdy and ultra-light (weighs 7.8 kg). It folds and unfolds with a button, and adjusts the bar to 3 different heights (81-88-95 cm). Folded, the trolley has dimensions allowed for transport in the aircraft cabin.

With a 100-w motor, it reaches 15 km/h, and overcomes a maximum gradient of 10°. It has a dual brake: a disc brake on the front wheel and an electric-assisted one in the handlebars. The backpack has a capacity of 25 l and can carry a maximum of 20 kg. Price: 366 euros.

Q&A

And now, as always, a few answers to the most common questions.

How do you ride an electric scooter?

Simply push the scooter with one leg and simultaneously turn the lever (or push the button) of the accelerator to operate the motor.

The handlebars and front wheel are used to control the trajectory and turn. Once in motion, pressing the throttle again will bring you up to cruising speed.

Can I ride it uphill as well?

You can tackle uphill climbs with this electric vehicle as well. Of course it will decrease the range because you strain the motor. The maximum weight supported (usually 100-150 kg) is also something to consider when tackling a climb.

electric scooter

Generally speaking, only scooters with a motorwith a high power (of at least 500 watts) are capable of performing strong climbs. The power of electric motor is the amount of energy the device delivers per unit time, and is expressed in watts.

It depends on the speed and torque of the motor (according to the formula power = speed x torque). And it is the motor torque that makes it possible to make a climb. The higher it is, the more weight it can support and the more power it delivers.

Concretely, if we consider a power output of 250 W, a scooter driven by a 100 kg adult person to climb a 15% gradient will be able to express a maximum speed of 16 km/h. Only by decreasing the weight of the driver can it reach 30 km/h without difficulty on the same slope with the same power.

Therefore, when choosing an electric vehicle on the basis of its power, you must take into account the route you usually take, the weight of the driver and the maximum speed you want to reach.

In principle, an adult scooter can withstand a slight incline (2 to 4 percent). Its capacity depends mainly on three elements:

  • the weight of the device and the driver
  • the slope
  • the battery power

However, it is the power of the battery that makes the difference: the greater the power the more the scooter will be able to climb a steeper slope, with the same weight of driver and vehicle.

How long does the battery last?

It should be considered that the range of a battery depends on many factors. In particular:

  • the weight of the driver
  • the driving style
  • the speed
  • the weather conditions
  • the quality of the road
  • the slope and elevation gain
  • the age and type of battery
  • the quality of the battery
  • the power of the battery
  • the battery charge level

Lithium-ion batteries are the most widely used because of their light weight, high range, and cost-effectiveness. They can reach up to 60 km of charge, although there are ultra-lightweight, high-performance batteries that are significantly more expensive.

How much does an electric scooter consume?

The electric consumption of a scooter depends on the model of battery it mounts, but also on its use and riding style, as well as the weight of the driver and the route followed (climbs uneven terrain, asphalt), which can change performance even considerably.

Can I build a DIY electric scooter?

You can electrify a scooter that is born only to be pushed, there are special kits for sale, but be careful because the frame, brakes and wheels do not always support speeds over 15 km/h.

You can also decide to build your own vehicle by buying various parts, including online, and there are several tutorials on the net that teach you how to do it.

However, DIY skills and basic mechanical knowledge are required. And the result is still an unapproved vehicle that will therefore not be able to circulate freely in the city.

Can I modify the power of an electric scooter?

Again, you can modify your scooter with kits sold online, which increase its range and speed.

You can mount a more powerful motor, but beware that they will no longer be approved for travel on the road or in the city, where in any case the prohibition is to exceed the 25 km/h threshold for these vehicles.

Do I have a helmet requirement on the electric scooter?

In most countries there is a helmet requirement, for those who are old enough to ride them on roads or bike paths, but it is good to equip children who play with them in the garden or yard with a helmet as well.

Can I get fines with an electric scooter?

This also depends on the country you live in, but the answer is definitely yes. However, regulations are decided at the municipal level.

Better an electric scooter or an electric bike?

When faced with the choice of whether to buy a scooter or an electric bike, price is not always the only factor to rely on. These two means meet the same need: to get around easily, quickly and ecologically. However, there are several factors to consider.

  • What commute you will make. If you commute daily within a 5-6 km radius, the perfect vehicle is the scooter. Same if you live in a large city but take public transportation and need to move from a stop to your home or place of work. If, on the other hand, you will use it for longer trips, 10-20 km, an ebike is better.
  • Type of road. If there are a lot of uphill stretches and the terrain is uneven or they are cobblestone streets as in many old town centers, that’s when the scooter will not do, and electric bikes are better.
  • Driver weight and to carry. If you have to carry packages, groceries or a backpack, in this case an electric bike is preferable, which with added baskets allows you to carry more weight.
  • Space.The electric bike takes up more space than the scooter, which instead folds up and carries itself. Also, one has to have a place to park it and sometimes, if it is on the street, it could be stolen. If you want to use it intermodally, along with the car, to go the last mile, or on vacation for short trips to the vacation spot, here a lightweight scooter will be indicated, the kind that folds up to fit in the trunk.
  • Autonomy. The average electric bicycle allows you to cover 50 km on a charge while the ebike will give you the ability to travel more than 100 km.
  • Comfort. The electric bike is more comfortable. In fact, unless you choose a scooter with a seat, the scooter requires you to stand. In contrast, you will make no effort to move around, whereas with the electric bike you always have to pedal a little.
  • Speed. Scooters in urban centers cannot exceed 20-30 km/h by law according to the municipality, like electric bikes.
  • Price. Consider an average of 1800 euros for a good electric bike versus 450 euros for a good scooter. It is therefore up to 4 times more expensive to buy the former than the latter.

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