Beyond their relatively lower initial costs compared to other means of transport, electric scooters are pure fun to ride on.
This is actually the main reason for the current e-scooter craze.
Here are our review team’s picks of the best electric scooters street legal to buy this year.
What does street legal mean in electric scooters?
Generally, the term street legal is used to refer to vehicles that meet certain requirements that make them safe to use on public roads alongside other vehicles.
These requirements differ between countries but most of them tend to include signal lights, lighting, horns, and brakes to name but a few.
Electric scooters Law in the USA
In the USA, electric scooters aren’t classified as vehicles. Rather, they are governed by the federal law that regulates electric bikes.
Importantly, the bike’s speed should be less than 20 mph when powered by the motor alone.
Now, we all know that most electric scooters don’t come with pedals. This practically means that they don’t meet the street legal definition at the federal level.
To fit in, you’ll find some scooters that come with a pair of pedals that is generally there ‘to be seen, and not used’- to say the least.
The good news, however, is that not all states use this as a defining feature for an electric scooter.
So, before hunting all over for an e-scooter with pedals, understand your local laws first. This will save you a lot of headaches, money, and time.
According to California law, an electric scooter should have 2 wheels, a motor, a handlebar, and a floorboard to stand on while riding. The scooter can also have a rider’s seat although this isn’t used as a defining feature.
With regard to licensing, you don’t need to register the scooter with the DMV or get a license plate for it. But you need to have a driver’s license (of any class) to operate it.
You can also operate the scooter on roads with a speed limit of utmost 25 mph (and 35 mph if your local authority such as city or township allows), but still, you are not allowed to ride it at speeds of more than 15 mph.
Until the start of this year, both the riders and minors were required to wear a U.S. Department of Transportation-compliant helmet when riding on an e-scooter in Californian.
A new 2019 law, however, exempts adults from this.
Under Florida law, there is a big difference between a Motorized Scooter and a Motor Scooter.
Motorized scooter– this is any vehicle with a maximum of 3 wheels and without a rider’s seat or saddle. It also needs to travel at a top speed of 30 mph.
Motor scooter– this is a 2-wheel vehicle and may include a seat or saddle
Interestingly, while motor and electric scooters are allowed on roads and sidewalks, it does not allow motorized scooters.
Texas law defines an electric scooter as a vehicle propelled by either human power, a motor, or a combination of both.
Texas law on electric scooters is quite lenient considering that it allows motors of up to 900 watts. However, the scooter shouldn’t exceed 100 lbs in weight and speeds of 20 mph in electric mode.
Electric scooters should be used on paths designated for bicycles and on trails. But they can also be operated on sidewalks and streets with speed limits of 35 mph and below unless stated otherwise.
You need to have a drivers’ license to operate an electric scooter in Texas, but there are no licensing and registration requirements for the scooter.
According to Michigan law, an electric scooter should have 2 wheels, a floorboard to stand on, and an electric propulsion system with less than 2500 watts of power, and a speed that does not exceed 25 mph.
The scooter should also be not more than 60 inches in length and 18 inches in width.
In Michigan, you can operate an electric scooter on streets and highways that allow speed limits of below 25 mph.
If you are in Michigan and want to buy a scooter for your teen, you are on luck’s side since the law allows anyone above 12 years to operate it.
Generally, Illinois is yet to enact a law specific to electric scooters. At the moment, scooters can be ridden on public roads although you may be limited on where to operate one depending on the law.
Representative Marcus C. Evans Jr. recently introduced an amendment which once enacted as a law will define an electric scooter as a vehicle with 2-3 wheels and a weight of fewer than 100 pounds.
It will also need to have handles and floorboard and be propelled by human power or electric motor at speeds of no more than 20 mph.
Virginia law qualifies electric scooters as a moped. It defines moped as a vehicle with utmost 3 wheels and a seat no more than 24 inches from the ground.
It can be powered by gasoline, electricity, or a motor with an input of 1500 watts or less and can also allow human power propulsion. The moped should not be operated at speeds above 35 mph.
It’s good to keep in mind that moped is considered as a motorcycle when it’s operated at speeds above 35 mph.
In addition, it is regarded as a vehicle when you use it on highways in Virginia and you’ll, therefore, need to have state registration, title, and insurance for it.
Ohio law uses the terms Electric Kick Scooters to refer to e-scooters as opposed to motorized and motor scooters.
For a low-speed vehicle to be registered in NYC, it needs to be on the list of the approved list of vehicles. Unfortunately, electric scooters aren’t listed.
Actually, NYC lists them in the category of vehicles that cannot be either registered or used on New York state highways, streets, and sidewalks. Yeah, it’s that bad.
There are high hopes of legalization, though, especially after NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio revised the rules governing electric-assist bicycles.
Several council members including Ydanis Rodriguez, Fernando Cabrera, and Rafael Espinal have also been very vocal on this issue and had already introduced 4 bills by January this year.
Electric Scooters Laws in Canada
In Canada, e-bikes and e-scooters are legal and are all governed by the laws that govern traditional bikes.
Under the Federal Law, you don’t require a license, insurance, and registration plate for the bike.
Follow the links I’ve included below to read on different provinces’, municipalities’, and cities’ regulations regarding these vehicles.
- Government of Canada
- Province of Quebec
- Ontario Ministry of Transportation
- City of Ottawa
- City of Toronto
- Province of Ontario
UK Electric Scooter Law
Good news. Electric scooters are legal in the UK. And the bad news? If you are hoping to use it anywhere, then you need to think again.
In the UK, you are not allowed to ride on a motorized scooter both on the road and on the pavements. Although legal, you can only operate them on private land.
UK law currently classifies electric motors as Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEV). Therefore, to use it on public roads, you’d need to register with the Department of Transport first, which would not be possible, at least for now.
Australia & NZ Electric Road Scooters Law
Electric scooter laws in Australia vary greatly from state to state. So, it’s up to you to check with your local vehicle and road safety regulations to ensure that you are not breaking any laws.
If you live in Brisbane City, you are free to get an e-scooter that can travel at a maximum speed of 25km/h. Such a scooter can only be used on footpaths but not in bicycle lanes and roads.
In New South Wales, powered scooters cannot be registered and can, therefore, be used only on private property.
However, there are speculations that there may be a trial in the nearest future considering that Lime recently trialed 300 bikes in Sydney.
In Victoria, it’s legal to ride an e-scooter in public but you cannot exceed 10 km/h in speed.
The scooter should also have a motor with a maximum rating of 200 watts or less.
Is your electric scooter road-ready?
When discussing electric scooters, being street-legal is one thing, and being road-ready is another.
And that’s to say that it needs to have an overall sturdy construction design for the frame, wheels, and handlebar. It also needs to have a strong and reliable motor and steering system that won’t fail when least expected.
If you’ll be using it on highways and roadways with other vehicles, then it’s important to get a model with several safety features including turn signals, lights, and side mirrors.
1. Razor EcoSmart Metro – Best Street Legal Adults Electric Scooter
• Range: 10 miles
• Motor: 500 watts
• Top speed: 18 mph
• Max load: 220 pounds
• Weight: 67 pounds
• Brake system: Rear disc system
• Wheel size: 16’’- Pneumatic
• Battery:36v SLA battery pack
Razor EcoSmart Metro is one of the best electric sit-down scooters in the market today. This is an affordable 500-watt model that averages speeds of up to 18 mph and a range of at least 10 miles on a single charge.
One of the best electric scooters for teenagers and adults, the Ecosmart Metro weighs 67 pounds. Interestingly, it can accommodate riders of up to 220 pounds.
This is what makes it a very recommendable option for students and office workers seeking a fun and effective means of travel.
But what exactly does it have to offer?
Well, the very first thing that I like about the Razor EcoSmart its super-size 16’’ pneumatic tires.
Although these tires need to be inflated now and again, the major advantage is that they can handle pretty much any terrain from dirt trails and roads to rough sidewalks.
To complement these versatile wheels, this scooter is fitted with a mighty 500-watt high-torque motor powered by a 36-volt sealed acid rechargeable battery system.
Note that this battery offers an average of 40 minutes per charge. Thus, I would only recommend the Razor Ecosmart Metro for short commutes and rides around the block.
As a guarantee of comfortable and safe rides, this scooter has a rear disc braking system operated using a lever on the right side.
Although a front wheel braking system would have been an excellent addition to this scooter, the rear brake is super responsive too and will halt the scooter in seconds during emergencies.
Other impressive features here include the option to stand on the bamboo deck or sit on the heavily padded and spring loaded seat, its retractable kickstand, and a detachable luggage rack.
What I like about the Razor Ecosmart Metro
- Impressive design- this scooter has a simple, yet very clean and eye-catching design featuring a padded seat, a bamboo deck, and classic white powder-coated frame
- Pneumatic tires- although flat-free tires sound like a great option, they are limiting on the types of terrains that you can cruise over. Pneumatic tires tend to be all-terrain and won’t get stuck easily in grooves and between stones
- Lead acid battery- while it does take some time to charge this scooter’s 36v battery to capacity (12 hours per the manual), the good news is that it’s safe to leave it plugged in overnight
What I don’t like
- Has no ignition key- this scooter starts by pressing an ON/OFF switch on the battery pack as opposed to an ignition key. Therefore, you need to be careful before leaving it in public
- Short range- this scooter’s 10-mile per charge is a far cry from what most high-end models offer
2. eDrift UH-ES295 Electric Fat Tire Scooter – Perfect Street Legal Commuter
• Range: 25 miles
• Motor: 1500 watts
• Top speed: 27 mph
• Max load: 350 pounds
• Weight: 100 pounds
• Brake system: Rear and front disc system
• Battery:60v lithium-ion battery pack
Electric scooters are all about fun, and I bet nothing brings out this aspect better than the eDrift Fat Tire.
This is a 100-pound heavy-duty moped scooter propelled by a 1500-watt motor that averages speeds of up to 27 mph. The motor draws power from a 60-volt 20amp lithium-ion battery pack that is capable of taking you up to 25 miles on a full charge.
This scooter’s 350-pound weight limit will allow most adults to use it comfortably. Actually, odds are that can also bring along your backpack or laptop bag.
For maximum traction and stability, the eDrift is fitted with really fat tires that are highly recommendable for smooth surfaces and lawn.
An interesting highlight of this scooter is that it is fitted with front and wheel disc brakes for unbeatable stopping power. It also has a bright LED headlight.
What I like about the eDrift Fat Tire
- Design- -the moped design of this electric scooter makes it a great option for first-timers. While most scooters are generally intuitive, this moped design with a large saddle and easy-to-reach handlebars is much easier to get a good hang of.
- Dual wheel disc brakes- these offer tons of braking force and allow you to make emergency halts on a dime
- Upgradable- you can upgrade to a powerful battery for a higher mileage
What I don’t like about the eDrift Fat Tire
- It’s heavy- you need to be very careful with battery capacity if you don’t want to push a 100-pound machine home
- Seat has no suspension- this means that you feel all the bumps
- Note that the eDrift Fat Tire is not perfectly street legal in most states debit to its 1500-watt motor. If you live in Michigan and Virginia, you are lucky
3. OJO Commuter Scooter – Road Legal Adults Electric Scooter
• Range: 25 miles
• Motor: 500 watts
• Top speed: 20 mph
• Max load: 300 pounds
• Weight: 65 pounds
• Battery type: Li-ion
• Battery:60v lithium-ion battery pack
• Colors available: blue, white, black, orange, and Rose Gold
• Wheels: all weather, pneumatic
• Extra features- LED display, Bluetooth speakers, rear and tailgate lights, key fob
We can’t deny that the initial outlay of this scooter makes it a very exclusive model. If your budget allows, though, this is hands down, the best electric scooter for adults street legal that almost everyone wants to have today.
The Ojo is a 65-pound 500-watt scooter that is purposely designed to change the way you maneuver around the city.
This scooter boasts a top speed of up to 20 mph which is made possible partly by the ultra-lightweight aluminum frame that steps up its acceleration and agility.
The Ojo has a wide footboard if you like to scoot while standing. But there’s an optional saddle for long trips.
Considering its high price tag, we expect this scooter to come loaded with lots of features- and it surely does. For the money, this scooter has a key fob, a Bluetooth speaker, and a motion-triggered alarm system.
It also has an anti-glare display panel that gives it its next-level design, and rear and tailgate lights for your safety when around other motorists.
What I like about the Ojo
- Lots of color options- this bike is available in 5 colors; blue, white, black, orange, and Rose Gold. Remember, to get a color that impresses you
- Futuristic design- there’s no denying that the Ojo is sleek and stylish
- It has lots of extra features most of which will come in handy in your commutes
What I don’t like about the Ojo
- It’s quite pricey- you could get up to 4 eDrift UH-ES295 scooters at the price of this scooter
- It lacks an effective anti-theft system
4. GigaByke Groove – Street Legal Electric Moped with Pedals
• Range: 35 miles
• Motor: 750 watts
• Top speed: 20 mph
• Max load: 250 pounds
• Weight: 180 pounds
• Battery type: 48v 14Ah Silicon Battery
• Brake: Hydraulic (Rear) Disc (front)
• Frame colors: Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, White
• Extra features- tailgate signals, turn signals and LED headlight
This scooter moped comes second after the eDrift in terms of power at 750 watts. Although it’s not the most powerful for a bike that costs over a grand, it still has enough oomph to add lots of fun to your short trips around the city.
You can get a whopping 35 miles of range from a single charge of the 4 12v 14Ah Sealed Lead Acid batteries that make this scooters battery pack that is fitted under the saddle.
What’s so good about this battery pack is that it can be removed to lower the overall weight of the scooter by up to 41.5 pounds. It’s also very easy to replace, and it can also be charged ON or OFF the bike.
As far as speed is concerned, the Gigabyke can let you cruise at speeds of up to 18 mph. To hit the 20 mph speeds that the manufacturer indicates, you’d need to saddle the scooter at starts to build speed.
What I like about the Gigabyke Groove
- Has pedals- although I wouldn’t recommend you to pedal it home, the pedals on this bike means that you won’t have to lug it home
- Suspension- compared to other scooters here, the Gigabyke Groove has rear and front wheel suspension systems for smooth rides
- Effective anti-theft system- this bike has a reliable built-in steering column lock to prevent theft
- Lots of convenience features; 30 LED headlight, front and rear turn lights, and brake lights
What I don’t like about the Gigabyke Groove
- Weight- although the onboard pedals mean that you can pedal it to the nearest charging point or home, its weight suggests otherwise. I would rather push it
- Rear wheel uses a mechanical drum brake system which doesn’t offer a better stopping power than the hydraulic disc brake system used for the front wheel
- Seat suspension feels stiff at first
5. Tian Run Electric Scooter – Cheap Electric Scooter Street Legal
• Top speed: 10-15 mph
• Max load: 264 pounds
• Weight: 16 pounds
• Wheels: 5.5’’ front, 5’’ rear wheels
• Battery capacity: 24v 2800 mAh
The Tian Run is the most affordable scooter here and might interest you if you want the convenience of noise-free and gas-free means of travel without parting with a kidney for it.
This scooter weighs 16 pounds- 10 times lighter than the Gigabyke- and this means that you can comfortably lift it and even lug it around whenever necessary.
This electric scooter’s lightweight design can be attributed to its carbon fiber construction that gives it a sturdy look and feels without adding a lot of weight.
Interestingly, the Tian Run can support most adults weighing up to 264 pounds. This high weight limit coupled with its low speeds of 10-15 mph makes it a viable option, for instance, if it will be shared between adults and teens.
This scooter is fitted with a 24v 2800mAh battery that powers a 250-watt motor to propel the user 8-15 miles.
The most standout feature of the Tian Run is its folding capability which greatly increases its portability.
It also has a 3-level speed and a reliable LCD display to keep you posted on your cruising speed, odometer, time, and battery life.
What I like about the Tian Run
- Foldable- foldability means that you can comfortably carry it in your hands or even in your car’s trunk
- Has lots of useful features- they include a 3-level speed that allows you to maximize the available power. It also has an LCD display that shows the speed as well as the remaining battery capacity
- Charges fast- this scooter’s battery takes utmost 4 hours to charge fully to offer you 80+ minutes of non-stop rides
What I don’t like about the Tian Run
- Low speed- while this scooter is quite fast downhill and on flat terrains, it does suffer a lot uphill
- It has a very short range
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Best Electric Scooter for Adults Street Legal
Motor and Speed
The motor is the heart of the electric scooter- so to speak. This is what runs the wheel system and that practically means that its size correlates to the speed of the scooter.
In motor jargon, size does not basically refer to the actual measurements of the engine. On the contrary, it refers to the amount of power that it can produce in terms of watts, for instance, 200 watts or 1500 watts.
Usually, motors with a higher wattage will offer higher speeds and vice versa.
One thing that most people overlook is that while larger motors come with a promise of higher speeds, they also tend to deplete the battery much faster resulting in shorter runtimes.
So, as you get the best electric scooter for speed, ensure that the motor is matched with a powerful battery too.
Depending on the size of the motor, most scooters will average between 10 mph and 60 mph. While a high-speed capability is good with these transit units, remember that there are legal limits on how fast you can ride the scooter on public roads.
In addition, keep in mind that your safety and that of other road users tend to be compromised as you cruise at enormous speeds.
Going by most states’ electric scooter regulations, most the best electric scooters for adults street legal tend to range between 15 mph and 25 mph. That’s pretty much good speed in my opinion.
Wheels, suspension, and brakes
There are a few things to think about when sizing up different electric scooters’ wheels. The tires come first- pneumatic or non-pneumatic tires.
Non-pneumatic (a.k.a airless) tires bring the convenience of not requiring regular filling. Their major drawback, though, is that they have a higher rolling resistance and they also offer lesser suspension compared to similarly sized and shaped pneumatic tires.
Pneumatic tires, on the other hand, add a degree of suspension and also roll with relative ease thereby adding to the efficiency of the motor.
You also need to think about the height and thickness of the wheels. Everything else held constant, high tires offer more speed, but they tend to struggle when going uphill. On the other hand, small tires have lower speeds, but they climb hills much more easily.
Still on the wheels, consider whether the scooter has a suspension system. It adds a good level of comfort when going over rough patches. The best adults electric scooter will have a suspension on all wheels, but this also makes them quite pricey.
The brake system is another critical component that you should never overlook. There are 3 major types of brakes used for electric scooters：
- Disc- this is by far the best since it requires lesser energy to apply and has the highest stopping power. On the downside, discs are heavy and this affects the aerodynamics of the scooter
- Rim/caliper- scooters with caliper brakes have better aerodynamics. These brakes can also offer an incredible stopping power if they are set well. Unfortunately, they are easily affected by wet and muddy conditions.
- Drum brakes- this system is highly rated too due to its high braking force- actually better than disc brakes. However, although cheaper to make, the best electric scooter brands for adults don’t use it since it requires a lot of energy to engage. It also has complex maintenance.
Battery, runtime, and charging rate
It goes without saying that you want a battery that offers you a longer runtime since this equates to higher mileage. You also want a battery that charges fast.
Lithium-ion batteries are the most preferred since they tend to charge fast while offering longer runtimes.
Most of the best rated electric scooters for adults street legal use 12-36v Li-ion batteries that offer anywhere between 25 and 50 miles.
Although they make the scooter quite pricey, they also tend to charge fast- usually 3-7 hours depending on size.
If you are operating on a tight budget, there’s still an option to consider scooters that use lead-acid batteries since they are much cheaper. Unfortunately, their lower cost also comes with poor charge retention and lower durability.
The initial cost of the scooter will be determined by among other things the size of the motor and the type of battery used. The quality of the materials used as well as the features onboard also affect the overall cost significantly.
In most instances, premium scooters tend to offer better construction qualities, high-end components, and lots of features. But that’s not to say that high prices always correlate with performance.
The most important bit is to get a model that offers all the features that interest plus a few more you within your budget.
Of course, you don’t want a scooter that won’t support the weight of the intended user. So, ensure that you check this info first before swiping the card especially if you are buying it for an adult. Most scooters have an average weight capacity of 250-350 pounds.
Safety is a big concern with motorized scooters especially after reports reveal that accidents related to e-scooters are on the rise.
To ensure your safety when operating a scooter;
- Always double check that it is in good working conditions before hopping on
- Maintain speeds that you are comfortable with and always adhere to stipulated limits
- Adhere to your local traffic laws
- As much as possible, don’t use in the rain or maintain low speeds at least
- No piggybacking
- Don’t ride under the influence
1. Do I need a license to operate an electric scooter?
Most states require that you have a driving license of any class to be allowed to use a scooter on public roads. In addition, remember that it needs to be marked as street legal.
2. Can I ride on an electric scooter at night?
This will depend on your local regulations. Some states prohibit the use of scooters on public roadways very early in the morning and as soon as darkness falls unless you have reflectors that make you visible from a distance.
3. Where should I ride an electric scooter?
This varies from state to state. In most states, however, street legal scooters can be operated on public highways that have speed limits of 25-35 mph, trails, and bike lanes.
Most states tend to prohibit riding on sidewalks.
The best electric scooters for adults street legal are generally a new technology that is quickly ushering in the future of fast, cheap, and convenient transit.
As more states continue to legalize them, electric scooters are becoming a popular choice for short distance commutes thanks to their affordability, eco-friendly operations, and easy and silent operations.
As a recap, when hunting for the perfect electric scooter for the money, first consider your states/city’s/municipal’s e-scooter regulations regarding speed, size of motor, age, and operations.
Next, compare different models in terms of weight of the scooter and weight capacity, battery rating, motor rating, how long it takes to charge fully, range, and brake system used.