How to Choose an Electric Scooter in 2021 – Step by Step Guide

Last Updated: November 15, 2021 by Sam John

So, finally, you are planning to buy an electric scooter but totally clueless about how to and where to start from. Electric kick scooters are a great conveyance for commuting. They are getting popular day by day. You will see more people riding electric scooters.

How to Choose an Electric Scooter

According to NACTO study, in 2018, there were 84 million electric scooter rides on the streets of the US. This means more options in the market that leaves your mind numb when choosing the best electric scooter. Electric scooter ranges from 200$ to 2000$, each varies from other in terms of features and specifications. Selecting a high-quality electric scooter becomes a tedious task especially if you are buying it for the first time. Therefore, for your ease, we have compiled this beginner’s electric scooter guide to make things easier for you.

Factors Considering Before Choosing an Electric Scooter

Frame:

Electric scooter with a low-quality frame that is made up of thin steel plates tends to break or bend even with rare use. An electric scooter that has a high-quality frame offers long lasting durability. Such as frames made up of tubular steel or thick steel plates are pretty tough and rugged.

Step#1: Look for a frame that is made up of high-end material so that it will last long.

Scooter Frame

Scooter’s Weight:

One of the most crucial factors while buying an electric scooter is weight. It is the weight that determines either the scooter is portable or not. Usually, scooters that have a range of less than 24 lbs weigh around 11 kg, which is quite reasonable. You can carry it easily. But if the weight of the scooter exceeds 11kgs then it will be a bit difficult to hold for a long duration. Recall your commuting distance and think about how much duration you will have to carry your scooter.

Let’s say, for 10 minutes. Check your stamina, how much weight you can carry for good 10 minutes. If you can easily hold 15 kgs or more, then you can opt for

Step#2: As per your commuting distance, look for an averagely weighted electric scooter.

Range:

How much distance an e-scooter can travel in a single charge is termed as the range. Well, some factors affect the range of electric scooters which are rider’s weight, power of motor, speed, weather, and scooter weight.

Again think about your commuting distance. How far it is? And then select range accordingly. There are many different types of electric scooters with different ranges, such as Ninebot Max can give you an amazing range of 64 kms in one single charge.

Step#3: Keeping in mind your commuting distance, select an electric scooter with a range more than your commuting distance.

Related: Hoverboard vs Electric Scooter

Battery Type:

Electric scooter usually comes with two types of batteries;

  • Lead-acid battery
  • Lithium-ion battery

The former one is heavy and requires a long time to get charged. Whereas the latter one is light in weight and gets charged quickly without wasting any time. We recommend buying an electric scooter with lithium-ion batteries as it is technologically advanced and safe to use.

Step#4: Always look for an electric scooter that has lithium-ion batteries.

Speed:

Scooter Speed

The speed of the electric scooter is an attractive feature for performance enthusiasts. Let me tell you, as per the laws of different states in the US, you are restricted to ride an electric scooter with a specific speed that is 15mph. But certain scooters hit the top speed of 40mph which you cannot ride on streets. So if you are buying an electric scooter for day-to-day commuting to your workplace then choosing a highly speedy electric scooter would be a waste of money. As you cannot enjoy its peak potential speed on streets. Therefore, ask yourself the reason for buying an electric scooter and then select accordingly.

Step#5: Choose an electric scooter with an average speed that is 15 to 20 mph.

Rider Weight:

Almost every electric scooter mentions the rider’s weight limit as it determines the speed and range of the electric scooter. Usually weight limit ranges from 100-120kgs. An electric scooter can easily accommodate much weight. And if your weight lies on the higher side of the range, the electric scooter will be slower and will cover less distance.

Step#5: According to your weight, choose an electric scooter that has a rider’s weight limit more than your weight.

Related: Electric Scooter Prices in 2021

Motor Power:

The electric scooter that is meant to be used by adults usually has a hub motor which is there in the hub of wheels. The electric scooter features a single motor but few models have a dual motor as well. Motor power ranges from 250 watts to 6270 watts. For daily commuting, 250 watt or 350 powered motor is enough. Whereas, for recreational purposes, people also buy 6270 watts powered electric scooters.

Step#6: Choose the motor power as per your desire.

Suspension:

Suspension improves the quality of your ride, no matter how bumpy the roads are but if you have suspensions with pneumatic tires you won’t feel any jerk. Therefore always look for an electric scooter that has coil-over-hydraulic suspension on both wheels. Coil-over hydraulic suspension is the combination of spring and piston type suspension.

Step#7: Look for an electric scooter with suspension. Make sure that front and rear tires must have suspension.

Reflectors and Lights:

Any vehicle without light would be a danger to use especially when it’s dark. Neither you will be visible to others nor will roads be visible to you. Therefore to avoid any chances of an accident always choose an adult electric scooter that has a bright front and back headlight with few reflectors.

Step#8: Do check the presence of front and backlights in the electric scooter.

Scooter Light

Brakes:

Brakes are the most important features that you must consider. Obviously, it is meant for the safety of the rider. Majority of the electric scooter has got brake controller on the left handle. Whereas there exist some e-scooters that have front and rear brakes, which means there will be a brake controller on the right handle too. Broadly categorizing, brakes of electric scooters are of two types;

Mechanical Brakes: These types of brakes depend on the physical mechanism, to stop or slow down the scooter. They include foot, drum, and disc brakes.

Electronic Brakes: Instead of a physical mechanism, an electronic brake relies on a motor for slowing down the scooter. They include regenerative braking and standard or electronic braking.

Scooter Brakes

Mechanical Braking System:

Foot Brakes: Pushing the foot down on the rear fender activates the brakes. The fender rubs against the rear tire causing the scooter to slow down.

Pros
  • easy to use and managed
  • Requires no maintenance
Cons
  • Less effective
  • Not reliable in wet conditions

Drum Brakes: These types of brakes are fully encapsulated inside the wheel hub. When you activate the brakes, brake shoe, or pads push the drum that produces friction to slow down the wheel.

Pros
  • Effective in wet conditions
  • Excellent power and control
Cons
  • Overheating reduces its performance
  • Heavier system
  • Accessing or repairing is difficult

Disc Brakes: Metallic disc called a rotor is attached to the wheel of an electric scooter. On activating brakes, a small caliper which is there at both sides of the rotor, squeezes the rotor which causes friction and the wheels slow down and stop(if more pressure is applied).

Pros
  • Lighter braking system
  • Responsive brakings
  • Easy to maintenance
Cons
  • Costly

Electronic Braking System:

Regenerative: This system links the motor with the battery charging system. Therefore when brakes are activated, the resistance energy is passed to the battery to use. In simple terms, every time you activate the brake, your scooter’s battery will charge for a second.

Pros
  • No maintenance
  • Doesn’t drain batteries
Cons
  • Poor performance

Electronic or Standard Brakes: These brakes work in the same manner as regenerative brakes but the only difference is, they don’t recharge the battery when activated.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • No maintenance
Cons
  • Poor performance
  • Not as responsive as mechanical brakes

Bottom Line: Mechanical braking systems are more effective than electronic systems. Some scooters come with both types of braking systems.

Step#9: When you are buying an electric scooter, always look for a mechanical braking system. Make sure that the scooters have at least two barking systems. If one fails, the other will be there to save you.

Tires:

Concerning tires, there are two varieties of electric scooters. One comes with solid-airless tires and the other comes with pneumatic or air-filled tires. It is hard to decide which one is better, therefore, we have compared their pros and cons together.

Scooter Tires

Solid Airless Tires:

Pros
  • No maintenance required
  • With suspension gives average ride quality
Cons
  • Not good for rough terrains

Pneumatic Air Filled Tires:

Pros
  • Gives a smooth ride even without suspension
  • Feels no jerk even on rough terrain
Cons
  • They are prone to get punctured

Step#10: We recommend you to look for an electric scooter with pneumatic tires.

IP Rating:

An IP rating is the acronym of ingress protection which determines the electric scooter’s water resistance level. IP rating ranges from IPx0 to IPx7. Higher the number, the more resistant it would be. For day-to-day commuting, IPX4 is a better option as it is resistant to splashing water irrespective of the direction. So, an electric scooter with an IPx4 rating can be fearlessly ridden in rainy weather.

Step#11: Choose an electric scooter that has an IPX4 rating.

Conclusion:

These were the factors that one must consider before buying an e-scooter. The importance level of each factor varies from person to person. Like for some users, speed would be the most important factor whereas for some users built quality and range would be important. Do consider your choices and preferences when buying an electric scooter.

Leave a Comment