Best Electric Scooters: Commute to Work or Ride for Fun
Ride around for pleasure or on your commute with these electric scooters
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BY Scott Roepel / LAST UPDATED ON July 15, 2019
Electric scooters may be one of the more interesting and unique ways to get around these days. They’re quick, cheaper than cars, and can get going in no time. Many people are choosing to use them on their daily commute to work, and cities are using them as commuter scooters to quickly get people where they need to go. If you’re considering a new form of travel or want something fun to zip around on, here are a few of the best e-scooters you can get.
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Benefits of Electric Scooters
- They improve mobility. The compact design of electric scooters makes them more efficient at getting around. Cars, trucks, and SUVs are forced to use roads and highways to travel, but a scooter can bypass the majority of major traffic headaches with sidewalks or bike lanes.
- They’re cost-effective. Commuting around in a larger vehicle is expensive. You constantly have to fill it up with fuel and make sure it’s running smoothly. With an electric scooter, you just plug it in and let electricity do the work. You can even charge it while you’re busy at work, school, or home, so there’s no need to go out of the way to visit a gas station.
- They don’t require a license. You won’t need to worry about spending time at the DMV waiting in long lines to get a driver’s license. If you ride an electric scooter, you don't need a license at all.
- They’re great for commuters. With an electric scooter, you don’t have to spend time using public transportation. A scooter will help you get to your destination faster without relying on other modes of transportation such as an Uber, taxi, or Lyft.
- They're fun. Let’s face it, at the end of the day you just want to relax, and zipping around on your electric scooter is one way to do just that.
- They’re environmentally friendly. Electric scooters are powered by electricity and do not release exhaust fumes, which contribute to air pollution. Zero-emission transportation is better for the environment, making electric scooters more eco-friendly.
Types of Electric Scooter
Some electric scooters are designed to function off the pavement. They generally have larger and thicker tires to keep them upright while traveling over tree roots, rocks, and bumps. They are also typically much faster than normal, everyday commuter electric scooters, and sometimes reach speeds of up to 50 mph.
A standing electric scooter is one where the rider simply stands in the center while riding. They are the closest to regular kick scooters where you have to use the power of your foot to move. These are the most common types of scooter you will come across.
As one of the more comfortable types of scooters, these come with a seat fashioned to the center so you can sit down and enjoy your ride.
A tricycle electric scooter comes with three wheels to give you more control and provide a safer ride. Typically, the back wheel will be replaced by two smaller wheels; however, you may also find scooters that replace the front wheel with two others. This also keeps the scooter standing upright without having to use a kickstand.
Based in Cerritos, California, Razor began making scooters in 2000. The company has since sold 13 million electric scooters. It also manufactures products centered around motocross, BMX, snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing. Two recommended scooters are the Razor Electric 24 Volt Rechargeable Motorized Ride On Kids Scooter and the Razor E100 Electric Scooter.
Mongoose was founded in 1974 in Southern California. The company designs BMX, mountain, and pavement bikes, as well as scooters and other products for on and off the dirt. One recommended product is the Mongoose Trace Foldable Kick Scooter Series.
Electric Scooter Pricing
- $200-$500: If you want to get your hands on a good-quality electric scooter, you’re looking to spend around $200 at a minimum.
- Over $500: Here you’ll find a more selective style and set of premium electric scooters. They can even run up to $1,000 and feature larger batteries to give you more time to zip around. Scooters in this price range have higher performance abilities and are more sturdy and durable.
Electric scooters are built to get around quickly and, while they may have been originally designed for children, they can also carry the weight of an adult. Electric scooters are rated to hold up to at least 150 pounds. However, this also depends on the type of scooter. Check with the manufacturer or the guide book to see if the specific scooter you are looking at can carry more weight. More robust models can carry up to 300 pounds.
Having an electric scooter gives you the freedom to bypass many hurdles or road headaches, but once reaching your destination, you’re going to have to put it somewhere safe. Many can be folded up to an even more compact position to make them easier to carry and stow away, while others can just as easily be carried into a building or locked to a bike rack.
Electric scooters typically have a top speed of 15 mph and can run for up to 15 miles. Scooters with more powerful motors producer higher acceleration. This can be helpful if you're climbing a steep hill or want a faster scooter. Your weight and the terrain also has a direct impact on the speed of the scooter.
- Build: While electric scooters are built to be easily maneuvered, the way they are constructed and assembled can impact their mobility. For example, higher-quality electric scooters are made up of thicker steel plates and tubular steel frames, while cheaper scooters tend to be made with plastic, making them less durable.
- Battery: Electric scooters typically come with either a lithium-ion battery or a lead-acid rechargeable battery. Lithium-ion types typically take 10 to 12 hours to charge and can last up to 50 minutes on a single charge. Lead-acid batteries reach a full charge in a lot less time, between four and eight hours, and last up to 60 to 150 minutes on a single charge.
- Wheel Size: The size and girth of an electric scooter’s wheels is something to keep in mind. Larger wheels will provide the scooter with more grip, while smaller ones make for a smoother ride. For anyone wanting to go off-road, consider a set of larger robust wheels to handle rocks and bumps.
- Handlebar Height: Having the handlebars set at a certain level will make for a more comfortable ride. You can easily adjust the height of the bars to get your preferred angle. Consider setting them equal to your waist or hips to get the best ride possible.
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- To avoid shorting out the motor, it is recommended to not ride electric scooters in the rain. They also don’t perform at their peak power if it is extremely hot or cold outside.
- It is always recommended to wear a helmet every time you drive an electric scooter.
- Properly maintain your scooter to make sure that it functions well. You can clean the surface with a cloth and make sure to remove any debris from the brakes. Routinely check to make sure the bolts are tightened, particularly if you ride over rugged terrain. Also, lubricate the wheels to make sure they keep spinning smoothly.
Q: How do you charge an electric scooter?
A: It’s simple. Just plug the charger into a wall outlet then plug the other end into the port on the scooter. Generally, the charger will have a light on it to let you know it is properly connected.
Q: Am I able to lock a scooter on a bike rack?
A: You are able to lock a scooter onto a back rack as long as you have a U lock or cable lock.
Q: Can it be used as a regular kick scooter to conserve battery?
A: You can use it as a kick start scooter; however, keep in mind that electric scooters are generally heavier than normal scooters. They have to be able to take the weight of a battery and the rider, so pushing off with your feet may be slightly more difficult than an everyday scooter.
Q: How far can an electric scooter run?
A: This varies according to their design, brand, battery, and the rider. A lighter battery or person will allow the scooter to travel further. Typically, they will be able to run about 12 to 15 miles on one charge.