Guide to Buying an Electric Scooter
The production and sale of electric transportation devices (or micromobility devices) have exploded in recent years. The electric bicycle is a great example of this, and Segways are used in nature parks and large areas as a novel way of getting around. The devices that have gained the most attention in this industry are electric scooters. Our buyers guide aims to help you find the right eScooter for you.
Electric scooters, otherwise known as eScooters, are electrically powered scooters that can travel up to 15 miles per hour (sometimes more if you are looking for more off-road use). They’ve gained popularity primarily in urban areas, as they are an efficient cross-city travel alternative to cars, walking, or biking. They can, of course, be used purely for pleasure as well!
Buying an Electric Scooter
With the surge in popularity, many manufacturers have begun producing electric scooters, making it difficult to find and select one that’s best for your needs. There are well-established companies, such as Segway and Razor, that manufacture good quality machines. There are also a multitude of models manufactured in China/Asia, and they can be variable in quality and come with other potential problems. The delivery times can be up to 6-weeks, and if there is a fault it can be a pain trying to get a replacement (especially if they request you return the faulty model).
There are some really great Chinese companies that produce probably the best scooters out there – but there are also some very poor-quality products which should not even be considered for purchase.
At eScooterGuru, we only recommend scooters which are tried, tested and have good reviews. Obviously, not all customers receive a perfect model… and often they choose one which isn’t adequate for what they need (no fault of the manufacturer).
We have selected the best value, best-selling and best buy scooters to help make the decision easier for you. We have even categorised the scooters by cost: Deluxe, Mid-Range, Budget and Kids scooters. There is even a selection of Segways, Hoverboards and Accessories which you may want to consider.
Here are our top tips for what you should look for in an electric scooter to help make the decision easier:
Unfortunately, it’s something you have to consider with any electronic devices. Electric scooters can be battery hogs, so you’ll want to select one with a good battery. Generally, most batteries are lithium-ion or lithium-polymer and you can expect them to last a minimum of 7 miles driving time. Most mid-range models reach around 15 miles, though some of the best models can easily go beyond 20-miles (and 50 in exceptional cases).
If you’re using an eScooter for occasional leisure purposes, battery life shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you want it to be your primary mode of inter-city transportation, make sure you look for a scooter with good longevity on a per-charge basis.
This is definitely more of a ‘luxury’ feature than anything, but speed can be, nonetheless, an important factor in buying an electric scooter.
In general, the faster you ride, the quicker your battery drains, so you’ll have to make a trade-off between the two. The primary thing to keep in mind is that you want a scooter that can meet a bare-minimum efficient speed. If a slow scooter means you have to double your transportation time in comparison to a bike, it might not be the best choice. Remember, speed is a bit more of a luxury item and has a lot more to do with subjective preference than clear cut ‘good’ and ‘bad’ scooters.
Bare in mind that the limit is 15 mph in most cities so the majority of manufacturers stick to around this value as a maximum.
Some electric scooters are just downright uncomfortable. Whether it’s a narrow footboard, awkwardly placed handlebars, uncomfortable seat (for those with seats), or a strange profile, having an uncomfortable electric scooter can ruin the whole experience.
Make sure to research the reviews on the scooters you are looking at to make sure they will provide a smooth and comfortable ride. In general, adults should look for a scooter with a wide footplate. At eScooterGuru we have done this for you and understand that new models appear every month. They obviously have the disadvantage of few/no reviews and are untested. We try to include only those scooters that have a proven track record.
Electric scooters come with a wide variety of useful extras.
If you want to use a scooter at night, or under poor lighting conditions then choose one with headlamps and brake lights. Some scooters even have LED illumination on the base plate which is a useful safety feature too.
This is a very handy feature on most mid-to-top range scooters. Cruise control allows you to switch to a constant speed. This frees one hand from the throttle (or foot in some cases) and also has the advantage of increasing battery life.
Some scooters can pare with an App on your phone and give you real-time readings of battery condition, speed etc. It’s also useful to have a phone holder on your scooter if you need to follow a map so it’s a useful addition to have.
Electric KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) is where you can use electromagnetic braking to slow down your scooter, generating electricity in the process, which then helps recharge the battery. Most scooters with KERS also have traditional mechanical brakes as well since the KERS system is a lot softer.
Electric scooters designed for off-road use are generally a lot more powerful, have wider (bobbly) tires, greater diameter wheels and large battery supplies. They are usually at the top-end of the scale. Of course they can be used on tarmac as well!
Buying an electric scooter can be a bit of a headache if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Each scooter will have different features which contribute to an entirely different experience. Before you buy an electric scooter, identify your reason for the purchase – leisure activity or practical transportation will need a different design and functionality from one another.
Check out our choices of scooters for all budgets below. If you have any questions do feel free to contact eScooterGuru and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.