Electric Scooters Buyer Guide: What to Look for When Buying One
| Marc Alexander
Interested in buying an Electric Scooter but don’t know where to start?
You are not alone. After all, electric scooters or e-scooters are popular all across the world, and are starting to experience rapid growth in Australia as well.
Given that there are so many options out there from which to choose, what will you go for when you are ready to buy your own electric scooter?
Are you a worker and need to be on time for your shifts? Perhaps a 40-50 km/h scooter is for you.
Are you on a hilly route? You need to consider the power your scooter has when going uphill.
Does your school or work have a space to fold and place your scooter? Checking how compact the scooter folds up will be important for you.
In this guide, we’ll show you everything you need to look for when buying your next electric scooter, including providing you with an easy to follow checklist!
Let’s get into it…
Electric Scooter Buyers Checklist
Power up hills
Size compacted once folded
Weight of Rider
Types (kick etc)
Electric Scooter Battery Life
This category is just what it sounds like. Your battery can last anywhere from 40 minutes if you buy a child’s scooter all the way up to a few hours if you buy a professional grade scooter. To find out the battery life you will need to review the specs of the electric scooters you are interested in.
Your scooter will come with a charger, so you may be able to get away with a smaller battery if you can charge it at work or school. Otherwise, if you plan on using your scooter for longer periods of time, opt for a scooter that has a long battery life.
You may even wish to have some extra batteries in reserve in case one dies. Scooter batteries last about 1-3 years, and so it is better to be prepared in case you can no longer use yours.
Electric Scooter’s Power Up Hills
To go up a hill with ease, a scooter needs to have adequate tyres, that are of a proper grip and size. If your tyres are bald or cheap, they will not be able to climb hills and will make your ride less enjoyable.
Your scooter tyres should be 21.59 cm at minimum and grooved for climbing up a hill. Having smaller tyres puts undue stress on the motor.
For those of you living in hilly areas, go for a motor that has 400 watts or above, as these will have powerful batteries and motors with high-torque that will get the job done.
Top Speed of Electric Scooters
What are the laws like in your area? Can you use your scooter on public roadways? How about bike paths? Are there speed limits on the bike paths?
Moreover, if you can use your scooter on the public roadways, are you buying the scooter for fun, or for getting to work? If the latter, speed is definitely important, so you are on time. If the former, perhaps speed is nothing.
Some scooters can go up to 25 to 30 km/h. This is not very fast considering an auto or train, but for a human this is pretty fast-be sure you are outfitted in the correct safety gear such as a well-fitted bicycle helmet and pads for the knees, shoulders and wrists.
Electric Scooter Brakes
Brakes are the most important part of your scooter, no doubt. They will stop you when something gets rough. After all, the modern scooter can go up to 50 km/h, which is pretty fast.
Brakes, aside from a good helmet and safety gear, are the most important thing for you to have on your scooter trips.
Your scooter will have one of the following braking mechanisms:
- Regenerative Brakes
- Foot brake
- Drum brakes
- Disc Brakes
If nothing else, please opt for disc brakes, as these are the best when it comes to performance. Then go for drum brakes. Disc brakes have strong braking powers in dry and wet conditions alike. They are lightweight, sold everywhere, and reliable. You can also learn to change them yourself.
Foot and e-brakes, are all rather poor in comparison to the others.
Electric Scooter Wheel Size
You will usually encounter tyres ranging in size from 13 to 25 cm. You can get these inflated or solid.
When it comes to inflated tyres, these can pop just as car tyres do when they meet with road debris like glass or a sharp object.
The bigger the tyre, the more comfortable your ride. You will also want wider tyres if you have lots of cracks in the road, or a bumpy ride such as an old brick road to drive upon when you use your scooter.
On the other hand, a scooter with smaller wheels will be easier to manoeuvre along. If you are unsure, opt for inflated, mid-size tyres.
Electric Scooter Size Compacted Once Folded
You have to be able to fold down your scooter and store it safely when you are not using it, especially if you live in an apartment, take your scooter to work, or just want to keep it away from people who might take it out for a joyride without your knowledge.
The best thing to do is figure out where you will be storing your scooter when it is not in use. Get a measuring tape and record the measurements of your school locker, work locker, or closet.
Then write it on your piece of paper or phone (see our handy checklist below). Then when you find the scooter you like you can measure it at the shop or ask the seller to send you measurements.
This will make it easy to know if it is suitable to carry with you on public transport, bus trips when going to see friends far away, and more.
The Rider’s Weight for Electric Scooter
Have a knowledge of what your personal weight is in both kg and lbs before you go shopping. If you happen to buy a scooter from the USA, for instance, you will have to know what your weight in lbs is.
If your weight cannot be supported by the scooter you first pick out, do not feel bad. You just have to keep shopping for a scooter that works for you. There are plenty of options out there.
Type of Scooters
What type of scooter is best for you? There are two kinds of scooters, kick and electric. See below for further explanations and to help decide which is best for you…just because this is an electric scooter guide, doesn’t mean we’ve ignored that “kick scooters” exist!
This is a scooter that you use your feet to kick along. You grip the handlebars and use your feet to push off the pavement, and using your own energy, you get where you are going. This is great if you have a mostly flat and easy commute or path on which you can use your scooter.
But an electric scooter may also be for you, too!
An electric scooter uses a motor powered by a battery to move you around. This is great for going up hills or for those longer commutes to work or school, or those lengthy runs to go visit friends across the neighbourhood.
They no doubt cut your travel time down and you can also conserve your energy. These are great for workers and students, as you will not arrive at your workplace or school sweaty and worn out from having to kick-push your scooter.
Buying a Scooter
We hope that our buyers guide will help when you decide
No matter what scooter you end up buying for yourself, be sure that you test it out beforehand to see if it works for you. Ask the seller to allow you to take a test drive on one. Try to envision how it will feel when you are handling it on your daily commute to work or school.
If it does not feel right, don’t buy it! The right scooter is out there for you, it just requires some looking around. Take your time and buy it right the first time so you can ride safely and happily for years to come.