We all hate getting stuck in traffic.
But there are those times when cars just won’t move, especially when you are running late.
And public transport isn’t a great option always. Buses may not stop at your precise address, and you may have to wait for several hours for them.
What’s your next best alternative?
An electric scooter for adults!
In this post, you will see a list of the best electric scooters you can buy in 2020.
Best overall – Glion Dolly Electric Scooter– an incredible balance of speed and range at an unbeatable initial outlay
Best lightweight– Gotrax GXL– very easy to lift upstairs and lug around in case of a flat at 26 pounds
Best budget– Razor E300 – basic on features, but still a great performer in range and speed
Best commuter– Segway Ninebot es2 Pro– sleek and compact and very easy to maneuver
Best battery– Swagtron Swagger 5 Elite – takes 3.5 hours only to recharge fully
Best speed– NANROBOT D4+ a speed demon that averages 40 MPH- not for the faint-hearted
Best splurge– Qiewa Q1 Hummer– a military-grade design that is sure to turn heads while cruising at up to 35 mph
There are 2 things that I care most about whenever I’m purchasing or just comparing the best electric scooters for adults in the market;
Speed and Range
I love it when the manufacturer places speed (and I mean good speed) in my hands; to slow down in traffic and restricted areas, and kick up dust real good on permissible and clear bike lanes.
I also value range- if the scooter can’t give me at least 10 miles per charge, then it’s a big NO for me unless I’m receiving it for free… of course.
With speed and range comes the need to consider other key components of the scooter; type of battery, motor rating, and type of brakes.
I also want to be sure that I am getting my e-scooter from a reliable brand. The influx of knock-off versions has taught me the hard way.
I’ll explain in deeper details what you need to understand about all these aspects (and a few more) later on this post.
As at this time, let me take you through my recommendations of the best electric scooters for adults in 2019.
1. Xiaomi Mijia M365– Best Affordable Electric Scooter for Range
• Max Speed: 15.5 mph
• Battery: 36V 7.8Ah lithium battery
• Brake System: Front E-ABS braking system, Rear mechanical disk brake
• Weight: 26.9 lbs
• Wheels: 8.5 inches front and rear pneumatic tires
• Range: 18.6 miles
• Charging Time: 0%-100% 5.5 hours
• Motor: 250W front brushless motor (500w peak)
• Light: Front and Rear
The Xiaomi Mijia M365 is a relatively affordable scooter that is currently all over the streets because of its 15.5 MPH maximum speed performance and an incredible range of 18.6 miles per charge.
At 26.9 pounds, the Xiaomi Mijia M365 is among the lightest scooters in these reviews. This weight coupled with its folding function means that you can easily lug it around should the battery run out of juice.
This scooter uses a 250w (500w peak) front motor- and what’s so interesting is that this motor is brushless. This means that issues of wear and tear as well as overheating are significantly reduced.
So, you should expect quite a good number of years of exciting and fun rides from this bike with good care.
The Xiaomi is powered by a 36v 7.8Ah lithium battery that charges fully from empty in around 5.5 hours. Its 220 pounds and dimensions, 42.5×16.9×44.9 inches, mean that it’s ideally meant for adults although big kids could also ride on too.
There are 3-speed modes that determine how fast you accelerate as well as the range you get from the battery.
If you’ll be relying on this ride for your daily short commute to work, there is an eco-mode to save on power while offering you a speed of up to 11 mph- which isn’t bad in my opinion.
The dual-wheel braking system is great and the fact that it can halt the scooter in utmost 4 meters is an assurance of safety for me.
The front wheel uses e-ABS (electronic Anti-lock Braking system) to prevent the wheel from locking and it also recovers and regenerates energy to boost battery life. The rear wheel, on the other hand, uses the most coveted disk braking technology.
Other safety features on the Xiaomi Mijia M365 include a very powerful and bright 1.1W LED headlight with a focusing lens, and a bright LED tailgate light that flashes distinctly once you apply the brakes.
What I like
- Very easy to assemble– this scooter comes almost pre-assembled. The only assembling that you need to do is attach the screw the handlebars to the main unit.
- Smooth rides– the 8.5-inch pneumatic wheels are a really good balance between speed and ability to go uphill. The dual-brake system also adds to the overall ride experience and always brought the scooter to a smooth stop even in panic braking.
- Headlight and tailgate light– these 2 are very bright for everyone around you to see and, therefore, add a degree of safety to the rides.
What I don’t like
- No phone mount– I didn’t have a lot of trouble pairing the scooter to the mobile App via Bluetooth. But having a phone mount on the handlebar would have made more sense. I can’t risk taking my hand off the handlebar to reach for the phone in my pocket for real-time riding stats.
2. GOTRAX GXL Commuting Electric Scooter – Best Affordability Electric Scooter
• Motor: 250W
• Range: 9-12 miles
• Battery: 36v Lithium Ion
• Charging time: 3-4 hours
• Maximum speed: 15.5 mph
• Weight: 26.50 pounds
• Max weight: 220 lbs
• Brake system:
• Wheels: 8.5’’
• Dimensions: 43.8’’ by 42’’ by 17’’
The idea of an electric commuter scooter is great especially if you can land a mid-range model without compromising so much on the essential components; speed, safety, and overall quality. I believe Gotrax GXL is a great recommendation here.
This is a reasonably priced scooter that is ideally engineered to offer you a cheaper alternative to the Xiaomi Mijia M365 and boy does this scooter put up a stiff competition at its price tag!
The Gotrax GXL weighs 26.50 pounds and has a manufacturer recommended weight limit of 220 pounds. It is fitted with a 250-watt motor with a top speed of 15.5 mph, and a 36v lithium ion battery that averages 9-12 miles per charge.
This scooter measures 43.8’’ by 42’’ by 17’’. Similar to the Xiaomi above, you can easily fold it in half whenever necessary.
It is a lightweight scooter and there’s a handy little clip on the rear wheel’s mudguard where the handlebar clips thereby making it possible to troll the scooter with much ease.
Both the front and rear wheels measure 8.5 inches and are air-filled to flatten most of the small bumps along your way for smooth rides. These tires also give you a clearance of about 4 inches beneath the standing platform and this means that you can take the stroller off road without much hassle.
This scooter has a dual-wheel brake system too. But what you’ll really love is that the rear wheel disc brake can be utilized using either a foot-operated pedal on the deck or a push throttle on the handlebar.
What I like
- Quality at an affordable price– I always advise against going for lowly priced scooters as there are always a lot of cuts made especially on things that matter the most. But I was very surprised by the quality that this model affords at its price tag
- Brakes– front and rear brakes are commonplace among most scooters. But the foot-controlled rear brake system that the GXL offers is an ingenious feature that you won’t find especially at this price
- Overall good performance– for its price, the Gotrax GXL is a really good performer and I also expect it to hold up quite well with good care
What I don’t like
- The battery gauge on the LED display– it could be more precise on the remaining battery level. They could add a few more bars, for instance
- Headlight– we can’t deny that the headlight on this scooter is a great addition. But how I wish it was a little bit brighter. You can easily replace it with a brighter one at a few bucks, though
3. Glion Dolly Adult Electric Scooter– Best Foldable Electric Scooter with Dolly and Self-standing Functions
• Motor: 250W
• Range: 15 miles
• Battery: 36v 7.8Ah Lithium Ion
• Charging time: 3-4 hours
• Maximum speed: 15 mph
• Weight: 28 pounds
• Max weight: 250 lbs
• Wheels: 8.5’’ with honeycomb interior
• Brake system: E-anti-lock rear brake
• Dimensions: 37.4 x 7.9 x 11.8 in
• Additional features: patented vertical self-standing and dolly design, pedestrian bell
The Glion Dolly is over a hundred bucks pricier than the Gotrax GXL above. But a quick glance on this scooter explains it all.
This scooter weighs 28 pounds and runs on a 250-watt brushless motor. It offers a maximum speed of 15 mph and a range of 15 miles with its 36v 7.8Ah lithium ion battery is fully charged.
Now, there are a whole lot of great things to say about the Glion Dolly. But what really caught my eyes is its dolly function.
The dolly function basically allows you to fold the scooter by half, and then drag it behind you like a roller briefcase using a retractable handle and a pair of wheels fixated right next to the kickstand on the rear wheel.
Another interesting bit with this scooter is its self-standing capability when folded.
For optimum convenience, the Glion Dolly is fitted with 8-inch honeycomb never-flat tires and electronic anti-lock brakes that require almost zero maintenance.
It also has a headlight and a rear reflector to make you more visible when it’s dark, and a bell to let you be heard by pedestrians and other cyclists.
What I like
- Portability– the dolly function of this scooter is one feature that you won’t find elsewhere- perhaps in future scooters. The wheels and retractable handle means that you’ll never need to carry it on your shoulders or hang it on your hands
- Self-standing feature– the ability to stand alone means that you don’t need to look around for an area to park it
- Quick charging– although this scooter does not promise a lot of miles per hour, it makes up for that with its 3-4-hour charging speed which is far much better compared to scooters that take up to 8 hours to charge fully
What I don’t like
- No suspension system– the non-pneumatic wheels of this scooter means that you’ll never worry about getting a flat mid-way. On the downside, they tend to register almost all the bumps that you are not fast enough to evade
- No speed and mileage indicator– the absence of these 2 features doesn’t make the scooter any less usable. But one would expect them at this price range
- Twist-grip brake– both the acceleration and brake systems are operated by a twist-grip mechanism. This can have devastating effects in case one panicked and made the wrong twist
- Top speed– for the price, I would expect a slightly higher top speed
4. Swagtron Swagger 5 Elite– Best Electric Scooter for Adults with Fast Recharge Cycles
• Motor: 250W
• Range: 11 miles
• Battery: 36v 6Ah Lithium-Ion battery
• Charging time: 3.5 hours
• Maximum speed: 18 mph
• Weight: 27.5 lbs
• Max weight: 320 pounds
• Wheels: 8.5’’ Air-filled tubeless Front, 8.5’’ Non-pneumatic Rear
• Brake system: Front e-ABS, Rear Disc brakes
• Dimensions: 41.5 x 17 x 19 in
If you feel that the Swagtron Swagger 5 Elite reminds you of another electric scooter that we’ve reviewed here, then that must be the Xiaomi Mijia M365- our top pick.
The Swagger 5 Elite uses a 250-watt front hub motor that, according to the manufacturer, should hit speeds of up to 18 mph.
I say ‘according to the manufacturer’ because Swagtron has been known to exaggerate numbers with their previous versions. We’ll see how this one performs in real life in a few minutes, though.
This scooter is relatively lightweight at 27.5 pounds and promises a range of up to 11 miles on a single charge.
I can’t deny that this range is on the lower side compared to what other 250-watt scooters offer. But the Swagtron Swagger does make up for that with its fast recharge cycles of 3.5 hours.
This scooter is blessed with 3 different speed modes:
- Speed 1 is the slowest and gets you around 3 mph- great when riding along with friends on foot;
- Speed 2 is double the first and can afford you up to 16 mph;
- while Speed 3 lets you hit the top speed of 18 mph.
The Swagger uses an air-filled front tire to flatten out small crevices and stones on the pavements, and an airless honeycomb rear tire. Only the rear wheel is fitted with a mechanical disc brake- but you can’t complain too much considering the price that this scooter comes at.
Quite unbelievable at this price tag, you can also connect this scooter to the Swagger 5 App.
This is a multi-function app available on both iOS and Android and that allows you to track your location via GPS, measure speed, and even turn on the headlight. Even better, there is a phone mount on the handlebar.
What I like
- Pneumatic Tubeless tires– air-filled tires are way much better than foam wheels as they absorb most of the minor bumps that you can avoid. But what’s more impressive about the Swagger 5 Elite is that it uses a tubeless tire that cuts the chances of getting a flat by a significant margin
- Very affordable– if you’ve ever wished to get your hands on the Xiaomi M365 but can’t afford its initial outlay, the Swagger 5 Elite seems like a cheaper option
- Several speed modes– a scooter with more than speed mode means a lot in terms of flexibility and accommodating multiple users. If you want something that can be used between adults who value safety more than speed, and teens who want more speed, this one might impress you.
What I don’t like
- Tubeless tires– while these tires don’t get flat often, the issue is that you might require to replace the entire tire in case of a puncture
- Low distance per charge– this scooter offers a considerably lower range compared to other scooters here. Remember that you get what you pay for, though.
5. Qiewa Q1 Hummer – Best Electric Scooter for Speed and Range
• Motor: 800W
• Battery: 48v 25Ah Lithium-ion
• Weight: 55 lbs
• Max Weight capacity: 550 lbs
• Top speed: 35 mph
• Range: 60 miles
• Wheels: 10-inch pneumatic tires
• Brakes: dual-wheel disk brakes
• Extra features: LED lights, tailgate lights, side lights, suspension, IP6 waterproof
The Qiewa is a top-of-the-range heavy-duty scooter driven by an 800-watt motor that outputs earth-shattering throttle speeds of up to 35 miles on flat terrains.
This motor is powered by a 48v 25Ah lithium-ion battery that offers an insanely incredible range of up to 60 miles with a single charge.
This scooter is quite heavy at 55 pounds- but it’s not hard to understand how this weight builds up. The Qiewa Hummer is crafted using high strength aluminum for durability regardless of where you want it to take you.
Its wheels are also much bigger at 10 inches. These are 1.5 inches bigger than what most of the low-end scooters in these reviews use and the benefits are obvious.
First, you get much better clearance below the platform. This makes negotiating bumps and small obstacles much easier.
Second, bigger wheels cover more distance and this means relatively higher speeds.
Speaking of obstacles, the Qiewa Q1 Hummer is fitted with not 1 or 2, but 4 suspension springs for unbeatable shock absorption.
The tires are air-filled and military-grade, and much better, each of the wheels has been fitted with a disc braking system.
Other cool features that this scooter offer include a very bright headlight, taillight, sidelights, keyless starter, an alarm system, waterproof IP6 waterproof capabilities, 2-second folding, and USB mobile phone charging.
What I like
- Sturdily built– when you are spending over a grand on an electric scooter, you want to know that you are getting the best of everything. Anyone who has the Q1 Hummer will affirm that this manufacturer didn’t cheap out on the components
- Meant for all roads– the size of the wheels, pneumatic tires, 4 shock absorbers, and dual-wheel disc braking system all suggest that this scooter is meant to take you through the most demanding routes
- Speed and Battery– The fact that you can attain speeds of up to 35 mph makes this scooter an incredible option for daily commutes. It also has among the most powerful lithium-ion batteries on the market today
- Dual-shock absorber– it’s a great idea too that this manufacturer cared to include a heavy-duty dual shock absorber considering its speed and off-road ability
What I don’t like
- Very heavy– at 55 lbs, you need to be very keen on the charge left at any time. Pushing it won’t be fun at all
- Breaks require frequent maintenance– while disc brakes offer the best stopping power, they also require you to adjust them regularly to ensure that they are in the best working conditions
6. Segway Ninebot es2 Pro– Best Electric Scooter for Compact Design
• Motor: 300w (600w peak)
• Battery: 36v 5.2Ah Lithium Ion
• Weight: 28 pounds
• Max Weight capacity: 220 lbs
• Top speed: 15 mph
• Range: 15 miles
• Wheels: 8-inch front, 7.5-inch rear
• Brakes: Electric and Regenerative front brake, step fender brake rear
• Extras: front and back shock absorption, rear brake lights (flushing), ambient lights under the footboard
The Segway Ninebot es2 is an improved version of the ES1- a previous model that was already doing so well when it debuted in 2017.
This is a simple and sleek 28-pound scooter meant for adults as well as teens weighing up to 220 pounds the Ninebot es2 uses a 36-volt 5.2Ah lithium-ion battery to power its 300-watt motor.
In return, this motor offers speeds of up to 15.5 mph and can carry you up to 25 miles away on a single charge.
The Ninebot es2 has a front and rear shock absorbers installed underneath the footboard and meant to flatten out small bumps and pavement inequalities.
This may not be the scooter for you if you plan to test its endurance on the roughest off-road. Both the 8-inch front wheel and 7.5-inch rear wheel are made of foam and might, therefore, get damaged easily.
A series of LED lights under the footboard, a very bright flashing rear light, and side lights add a cool touch to the ride besides boosting your visibility at night.
This scooter has 3-speed modes:
- Sports mode that allows maximum acceleration and speed,
- Standard mode with a max speed of 12.5 mph, and
- A speed limit mode that curbs the peak speed to 9 mph but with reduced battery consumption
What I like
- Very comfortable acceleration– whether you are used to electric scooters or this will be your first, you’ll find the acceleration very smooth, comfortable, and safe
- An impressive lighting system– in case darkness catches up with you, this scooter has a bright headlight, side lights, and a series of LED lights under the board for increased visibility
- Sleek– it’s intriguing how the Ninebot es2 manages to include almost everything that you’d want in an electric scooter while still maintaining a very clean look
What I don’t like
- Hard rubber– for its price, I’d expect this scooter to use pneumatic tires to make it less bumpy on uneven terrains
7. NANROBOT D4+ – Fast Speed Electric Scooter
• Motor power: 2000-watt (dual motor)
• Speed: 40 MPH
• Weight: 70 lbs
• Weight limit: 330 lbs
• Range: 45 miles
• Battery: 52-volt, 23.4Ah Lithium Ion
• Wheels: 10-inch pneumatic
• Brakes: dual wheels EBS Disc Brake system
• Suspension: 6 shock absorbers
If you thought that you had seen it all with the Qiewa Q1 Hummer in terms of speed, I suggest that you check out the Nanrobot D4+.
This scooter is around a hundred bucks cheaper than the Q1 Hummer, yet it might make a much better appeal to people who want more power and speed.
What’s so unique about the Nanrobot D4+ is that it is fitted with 2 1000-watt motors, one on each wheel, to give it a total motor power of 2000 watts. This power means that this scooter can reach speeds of up to 40 mph.
To match its out-of-this-world motors, the Nanrobot D4+ is fitted with a 52v-volt, 23.4Ah lithium-ion battery that can last you up to 45 miles with each charge.
This scooter boasts a sturdy aluminum frame that is meant to support most adults weighing up to 330 pounds although it also makes this scooter quite heavy at 70 pounds.
Engineered to take you through all terrains, the Nanrobot D4+ has 10-inch pneumatic wheels each fitted with an EBS disc brake system and a total of 6 shock absorbers.
What I like
- Lots of power– as I told you earlier on, I love power and speed- and this beast has these 2 in plenty.
- 2 independent motors– dual-motor design is not something that we see every day in electric scooters. But what’s more appealing is the ability to switch between single motor mode and dual motor mode. The former gives you a higher range but lower speeds while the latter offers you record-breaking speeds but a shorter range
- 6 shock absorbers– for a scooter this powerful, a heavy-duty suspension system is more of a safety feature than a bonus
What I don’t like
- Keyless and no lock– my major gripe with this scooter is that it uses an ON/OFF switch and has no way to lock it.
- Price– although the Nanrobot D4+ does offer great specification, I am still expecting a price reduction in the future.
8. Razor E300– Best Electric Scooter for Budget
• Motor: 250w
• Range: up to 40 minutes
• Speed: 15 mph
• Battery: 12v lead acid battery
• Wheels: 10-inch pneumatic tires
• Weight: 46 lbs
• Weight limit: 220 lbs
• Brake: Hand operated rear
• Throttle: twist grip
The Razor E300 would be our first recommendation if you are looking for an affordable yet reliable electric scooter to run errands around the town.
It might also interest first-timers on a budget who’d prefer a simple scooter without a ton of complex systems to require regular maintenance.
The E300 is Razor’s biggest electric scooter. It is powered by a 250-watt motor and it’s capable of supporting adults weighing up to 220 pounds.
Quite different from other scooters that we’ve seen here, this model uses a chain-drive system. As I have explained in the best electric scooter for adults buying guide section in this post, a chain-drive system is generally more dependable than belt system as it’s very hard to break.
Razor is not specific on the range of this scooter but states that the 2 12-volt lead acid batteries could haul you for around 40 minutes. This should be anywhere between 8-10 miles depending on your weight and the gradient of the pavements.
Weighing 46 pounds, the E300 is relatively lightweight compared to the Nanrobot D4 above. But it still has some heft to it compared to other scooters fitted that use a 250-watt motor.
But this can be attributed to its 10-inch pneumatic tires, all-steel frame, chain-drive system, and the 2 12-volt lead-acid batteries.
This scooter is basic in terms of features. There’s nothing else on the handlebars other than the throttle control and brake level.
What I like
- Sturdy construction– the combination of a chain-drive system and all-steel frame gives this scooter a solid look and feel. I’d expect it to hold up so well even with rough usage
- Simple controls– the one-speed mode of this scooter makes it very straightforward to use for everyone in the family
What I don’t like
- Very basic– this scooter lacks a lot in terms of features. It doesn’t have even the most basic battery charge indicator
- Takes so long to charge– the 2 lead-acid batteries under this scooter’s footboard take up to 12 hours to charge fully only to run flat in 45 minutes of continuous usage
9. Mercane WideWheel– Best Electric Scooter for Eye-Catching Design
• Motor: 1000 watts (2x 500-watts motors)
• Range: 15 miles
• Speed: 20 mph (dual motor 25+ mph)
• Battery: 48V, 8.8 Ah (single-motor) or 13.4 Ah (dual-motor)
• Brake: 120mm rear mechanical disc brake
• Weight: 42.1 pounds
• Weight limit: 220 pounds
• Dimensions; 43.1’’ x 21.6’’ x 43.3’’
The chunky airless wheels of the Widewheel are perhaps what makes it so unique from the rest. Actually, Mercane- the manufacturer- must have derived this scooter’s name from these 4-inch wide wheels.
The Widewheel is a premium 42.1-pound scooter with an ingenious design that points at ultimate riding comfort.
Similar to the Nanrobot D4+, the Widewheel has a dual-motor configuration that outputs an impressive 1000 watts in total.
This scooter averages speeds of 20 mph on single-motor mode and can stretch this to over 25 mph when running on both motors.
These are hub motors and are powered by a 48-volt battery pack that outputs 8.8Ah on single motor, and 13.4Ah on dual-motor mode.
The wheels are only 8-inches in diameter. While you still need to check out for big potholes, their 4-inch width allows you to open the throttle wide open with excellent stability on asphalt and concrete bike lanes.
These sturdy wheels made of a mixture of aluminum, rubber, and aluminum foam get a really good boost from a dual-wheel swingarm suspension system to assure you greater control throughout your rides.
What I like
- Torquey motors– if you live in areas with lots of small hills, this scooter’s 1000-watts motor capacity is definitely what you need
- Very responsive suspension system– the swingarm suspension system of the Widewheels is an unbeatable twist from the rather too common vertical system and it’s undeniably an excellent performer
What I didn’t like
- No speedometer– you’ll need to device a way to determine your real-time riding speed on this scooter
- No digital display battery percentage– the traditional LED light bar battery percentage indicator is, in my opinion, an insult to this scooter’s overall design and performance on other fronts
10. UberScoot 1600– Best Electric Scooter for Commuting
• Motor: 1600 watts
• Top speed: 25 mph
• Range: 12 miles
• Weight: 117 pounds
• Max weight: 265 pounds
The Uberscoot is another very dependable and sturdily built scooter that could easily be an alternative to your daily driver.
This scooter is powered by a massive 1600-watt chain-driven motor that can generate speeds of up to 30 mph on flat terrains.
The motor draws power from a pack of 4 12-volt batteries that can average a maximum of 12 miles per charge.
At a glance, the Uberscoot looks quite bulky especially around the floorboard where the 4 batteries are hidden. But we can’t deny that this deck is the most spacious of all the scooters in these reviews and will offer enough legroom whether you are sitting or standing.
The 10-inch pneumatic tires that Uberscoot is blessed with are a perfect match for its 1600-watt motor. These tires are among the most aggressive that we’ve come across and I really doubt there’s anything that can bring them down.
Other noteworthy features include front and rear lights, dual-wheel disc brakes, eco-mode, a key ignition, and a horn.
What I like
- Lots of power– while I wouldn’t compare it to the 2000-watt Nanrobot D4+, this scooter’s 1600-watt power coupled with chain-drive technology makes it a beast on wheels
- Excellent stability– I didn’t expect the Uberscoot to tick this box, but I was mistaken. Its excellent stability must stem from its spacious deck, large pneumatic tires with optimum grip, and consistent motor power supply
What I don’t like
- Relatively short range– the 12-mile range that this scooter offers is a far cry from the 60 miles that you’d get from the Qiewa Q1 Hummer that has half its power
The benefits of owning an electronic scooter are self-evident. Besides being fun to ride on, a scooter offers a clean and agile way to commute short distances within the city.
By a matter of fact, it could also replace your daily driver. But it all boils down to getting a reliable model in terms of performance and safety.
So, what matters when buying an electronic scooter?
1. Think of Your Safety First- UL 2272 Fire Safety Certification
When they debuted, hoverboards were very prone to catching fire. And while the industry has put all stops to curb this issue, the recent explosion of an electric bike that left the cyclist nursing minor fire burns in Adelaide, Australia is a clear message that you need to be very careful with an electric scooter too.
For optimum safety, ensure that the scooter is UL certified. All UL certified personal e-mobility devices have the UL mark somewhere on the packaging and even on the product itself.
This is an assurance that the scooter’s electric system; drive train, battery, and charger system has been evaluated for safety. Read more about UL Certification here.
All electric scooters employ a similar design consisting of a pair of handlebars and a floorboard set on a pair of wheels at the most basic level.
However, there are a few essential features that might add a great deal of convenience and comfort to your rides;
- Foldability– a folding electric scooter is so easy to get into a bus or train with and you won’t be interfering with other passengers’ comfort. It also slides into your car’s trunk breezily thereby making transportation easy.
- Handlebars– it’s important to consider a scooter with shorter handlebars as they make it easy to maneuver your way through crowds without hitting pedestrians or riding into motor vehicles’ wing mirrors.
- Deck/floorboard– the deck is what supports your feet throughout the rides and it has a considerable contribution to the overall comfort of your ride. Beware of scooters that have very narrow and short decks more so when buying an electric scooter for adults. Beyond, the size of the floorboard, consider its height too. A deck that is lower to the ground makes it easy for you to propel the scooter by giving it some kicks when climbing a hill and in case the battery goes flat.
- Type of gear shifter– thumb or twist shifter? Either of this will work just fine in moving the gears up and down. In my experience, though, thumb shifters are so much easier and safer to use considering the small size of most e-scooters’ handlebars.
- Lights– this isn’t a standard feature among e-scooters yet. But we really advocate for a scooter with headlights and a tailgate light more so if you’ll be riding very early in the morning and in the evenings.
The motor is what makes all the difference between an electric and a kick scooter. To a larger extent, it is also what makes the difference between a $150 and a $1500 scooter.
The first thing that you want to consider when comparing scooter motors is its size- usually measured in wattage.
Generally, higher wattage means more power, and this is reflected in speeds and the ability to tackle hills.
It’s also important to consider the type of motor. There are 2 types here;
- Brushless– these weren’t so common on electric scooters a few years ago. But the need for power and speed has led manufacturers to make the switch. The major benefits that these motors offer are relatively higher power output and long working life. But they tend to make the initial outlay of the scooter notably pricier
- Brushed– these traditional motors are still commonly used on most low-end scooters. Their major drawback is that they tend to get hot at high speeds thereby leading to a shorter working life
4. Type of battery – is lithium ion battery the best?
Depending on the brand and price, a scooter may be fitted with a lithium-ion battery or a pack of sealed lead acid.
- Lithium-ion– The biggest advantage that lithium-ion batteries offer is their very high power capacity which means that they last longer. These batteries are much lighter too and this means that their contribution to the overall weight of the scooter is much smaller too. This is a versatility that you’ll have to pay dearly for, though.
- Lead acid batteries– these do pack some power too and they are much cheaper compared to lithium-ion alternatives. The issue, however, is that they discharge fast thereby leading to shorter ranges. In addition, they are both bulky and heavy and this tends to affect the scooter negatively.
5. Battery capacity and recharging times
Regardless of the type of battery, you need to ensure that it is a good match for the motor/motors.
Battery size is determined in terms of volts and Ampere hour (abbreviated Ah). A high-power motor is best fitted with a high capacity battery. Usually, batteries with a higher capacity will generally give you a longer range before the need to recharge
Consider how long the battery takes to recharge fully too. All factors held constant, lithium-ion batteries recharge faster (usually 3-8 hours) than their lead-acid alternatives that could take up to 12 hours.
If you intend to use the scooter as your main driver, for instance, to and from work, then you need to ensure that it has enough power for each one-way commute before the need to recharge.
Most low-end scooters offer a range of 9-15 miles per charge. But premium models could offer 30-60 miles with each charge.
7. Tire (Pneumatic or Non-pneumatic?)
Scooters use either pneumatic (air-filled) tires or foam (non-air filled) tires. Each of these has its set of strengths as well as drawbacks.
Air-filled tires generally act as shock-absorbers and do flatten the effects of small crevices, stones, and sticks. They don’t replace the importance of an abled suspension system, though.
The only issue is that they require frequent airing or even replacement in case both the tire and tube are badly damaged.
Non-pneumatic tires don’t require maintenance or filling. On the downside, they are more susceptible to tears on uneven terrains.
In addition, they have minimal shock absorption and, therefore, tend to transfer all the bumps to the handles unless the scooter has a sturdy suspension system.
8. Size of wheel- does it matter?
The size of the wheel is an important aspect of that most people tend to overlook, yet it matters a big deal. Here, you need to think about both the diameter as well as the width of the wheel.
Generally, larger wheels are known for speed. They also offer you better clearance below the footboard thereby making it easy to negotiate small bumps with ease. Unfortunately, they are not the best performers when climbing hills.
Smaller wheels, on the other hand, are the best for climbing hills. But they are generally slower compared to larger wheels.
Lastly, consider the thickness of the wheel. Thicker wheels tend to offer better traction and also boost stability by a greater margin.
9. Weight of the scooter
While the scooter is meant to haul you, there’ll always come a time when you’ll need to either lift or even lug it around.
That being said, consider its weight plus any other additional features that might make this easy, for instance, compact folding.
10. Extra Features
As you may have realized in this list of the best electric scooters for adults to buy in 2019, there are those that maintain a basic design while others come loaded with features.
Some features including a headlight and taillight are a must-have if you regularly get late. A speedometer and a battery level indicator- no matter how basic- are great to have onboard too.
Other features including mobile phone App compatibility are good to have but not a must-have especially if you are on a budget.
Q: How to maintain an electric scooter?
A: While e-scooters aren’t as complex as motorbikes and vehicles, they also demand a good level of maintenance to remain in a good working condition and to guarantee its optimal capability. Otherwise, you might have to fork quite a hefty amount on repairs down the road.
Here are a few tips on how to maintain an e-scooter:
- Know it well– it goes without saying that the better you know your scooter model, the easier it will be for you to detect any issue that may arise and be able to solve it fast.
- Check the wheels and tires constantly– if your scooter runs on pneumatic tires, then develop a habit of checking the air level regularly. Air leaks out of all tires whether you are using the scooter or not. Riding a bike with low air levels not only causes serious drop-offs in performance, but it also lowers your safety level.
- Maintaining the battery– the secret to maximizing your scooter’s battery is to avoid overcharging it. In addition, it’s recommendable to use the charging system that the scooter shipped with from the manufacturer or any other manufacturer-recommended system.
- Maintain the chain– if your scooter is powered by a chain-drive train, remember to monitor its tension regularly and also lubricate on a regular basis.
Q; Are Bluetooth speakers and Apps necessary in an electric scooter?
A: Electric scooters with Bluetooth speakers allow you to stream music from your phone as you ride down the pavements.
There are some that can also be paired with an App to let you track your location using GPS besides offering other information such as battery level and speed.
These features only make your scooter rides cooler, but do you really need them? If you are on a budget, you could opt out of such features to make the scooter more affordable for you.
Q; Do you need a scooter with a big battery capacity?
A: Generally, big battery capacity will allow you to ride for a longer distance before the need to recharge. But it’s also important to keep in mind that batteries with a big capacity also tend to take longer to recharge fully.
If you’ll be using the scooter to commute to and from work only, a battery that takes 7-12 hours to charge fully might not be an issue since you can charge it overnight.
However, if you want to ride on the scooter intensely during the day, then you need a battery that offers a sweet spot between range, speed, and charging time.
A scooter that manages speeds of between 15 mph and 18 mph, a range of 15 miles, and recharges in 3-4 hours isn’t so bad in my opinion.
Q: What are the advantages of electric scooters?
A: The biggest advantage that e-scooters offer is that they don’t get stuck in traffic. These personal mobility devices also don’t burn fossil fuels, so they keep your carbon footprint much lower compared to using your car.
Even better, they make your short commutes much cheaper. On average, a 250-watt electric scooter consumes 0.028 units for every 0.62 miles/1 kilometer traveled.
Q: How fast can an electric scooter go?
A: This varies greatly between scooters and it will also be affected by other factors such as terrain and user weight.
Most scooters fitted with 250-watt motors have a manufacturer-rated speed of 15.5 mph while others with powerful motors can run at speeds of up to 40 mph.
Q: Do electric scooters ride uphill?
A: Yes, they do. But how each scooter handles different gradients ultimately depends on a few things including the weight of the user, the power of the motor, and the size of the wheels.
Some manufacturers do include the angle of inclination that the scooter can climb while hauling the user.
Q: How do you charge a scooter battery?
A: Electric scooters ship with a wall charger and instructions on how to charge it. In most instances, this is as simple as plugging it into the wall socket, but confirm with the manual first.
Q: Are electric scooters safe?
A: According to research, e-scooters are pretty much similar to bikes. Actually, some studies suggest that scooters are much safer since they are lower to the ground and the feet of the user remains planted on the footboard.
You could make it much safer by riding at speeds that you are comfortable with and following all road safety rules to the latter.
Q: What safety equipment should I use when riding an electric scooter?
A: Similar to riding a bicycle or motorbike, you need a helmet to protect your head from injuries in case of crashing or falling off the scooter. Depending on your experience level, you might also consider adding knee and elbow protective pads to your safety gear.
Q: Are electric scooters legal in the USA?
A: Yes, they are legal in almost all states. But keep in mind that each state has its own regulations regarding motor size and where and when you can ride the scooter.
Whether the best electric scooter for adults are a worthy investment or not is no longer a debate. The biggest advantage that these vehicles offer is that they don’t get stuck in traffic.
In addition, they are much cheaper than a car. But what’s more impressive is that they don’t require gas. So, you save thousands of dollars while reducing your carbon footprint with each mile.