How to choose the best electric scooter
Don’t panic if you haven’t purchased an e-scooter before. Choosing one isn’t as hard as you might think; you just have to know the main things to consider. And, trust us, you’ll learn more as you do your research.
Urban commuters typically prioritize weight and portability over power, especially if they live in a city that’s mostly flat and with good roads. If you live in a city like Chicago, London, or New York, choosing a lightweight electric scooter that can be folded and carried on the train or up to your office is ideal than one that has the power to go up a hill. If you live in a city like Los Angeles, you might need a good balance between those two things.
Consider top speed as well – although do consider the e-scooter rules in your city, state, or country. In the US, different states have different e-scooter laws, and some cities also impose their own (or ban them altogether on public roads, unfortunately). In Los Angeles, the top speed for electric scooters is 15mph, which means that getting anything with a top speed of 30mph might be unnecessary, especially if you’re paying a lot.
Of course, there’s also battery life. A handful of the best electric scooters give you a week of use before they need charging. However, more commonly, e-scooters for commuting only give you two or three days. That heavily depends on the miles you clock in every day though. An 18-mile e-scooter should last you about three days if you’ve got a three-mile-per-trip average, but you might need to charge it every night if you’re commuting more than eight miles per trip.
A top-notch braking system is very, very important for your safety. Some of the best e-scooters have a simple braking system while a few of the more robust ones come with a dual one, which is much more reliable and safer for riders. That’s especially if you live in a hilly area.
Naturally, build, weather-proofing, and wheel size are to be considered as well. Features are important too. Depending on your needs, you might need things like app support and an anti-theft system.
Which brand of electric scooter is best?
There’s no one best electric scooter brand. However, there are several that we’ve found to deliver the most well-constructed and great-performing e-scooters: TurboAnt, Segway, and GoTrax.
Segway is a little on the expensive side, but they do make great scooters with excellent build and smooth performance. Meanwhile, TurboAnt has the art of building rugged commuting electric scooters that feel also feel luxurious to ride on. Finally, you can count on GoTrax to give you the best value for your money.
Can I ride an electric scooter in the rain?
That very much depends the electric scooter model you have and the ingress protection (IP) rating it has. Most commuter electric scooters have protection against water jets from all direction, which gives them an IPX5 or IPX6 rating. However, those aren’t recommended to use during rain, especially heavy downpours, most likely in case you encounter flooding.
If you want something that’s completely safe to use in the rain, we recommend finding something that can survive submersion. That would have an IP rating of IPX7 or above.
Glossary of electric scooter terms
Commuter electric scooters – A commuter e-scooter is a type of electric scooter that’s designed specifically, as its name suggests, for everyday city commutes. They’re designed to be sleeker and more lightweight, a lot of them having a folding capability to make them easier to take on a bus or a train.
Hill grade – An electric scooter’s hill grade rating is the incline angle that its motor can handle when going up a hill. Most commuter e-scooters have a hill grade rating of 15% to 20%.
Solid tires – Solid tires are the opposite of pneumatic tires in that they are not air-filled but are instead made up of layers of rubber. Some solid tires have built-in air pockets, but they generally need less maintenance and are less prone to flats and punctures.
Regenerative brakes – Brakes with this regenerative braking feature have the capability to recover some of that kinetic energy the e-scooter uses during braking and send its back to the battery to extend its range.
Kick start – A kick start simply means that to get an e-scooter going, you have to kick it off quite literally with a nice, firm push using your foot.
Zero start – A zero start means that an electric scooter doesn’t need you to kick it off to get going. Its throttle does all the work for you.