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Electric Scooter Buyer's Guide

The electric scooter that's right for you is out there and our goal is to help you find it. This section outlines key factors to consider when purchasing an electric scooter.

PRICE: There is a big price range among electric scooters, but generally speaking electric scooters for kids sell for about $150 - $400 dollars and electric scooters built for adults sell for $300 - $2,000 and up. The better the specifications and the more bells and whistles the scooter comes with the more it will cost.

QUALITY: Quality is an important factor to consider when buying an electric scooter. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of overseas factories flooding the market with poor quality scooters. Poorly manufactured electric scooters aren't built to last. They break down shortly after purchase, repairs are expensive, parts may not be available, safety can be a concern and ultimately these scooters find themselves in an early grave.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid poorly manufactured electric scooters:

  • Stick with brand name electric scooters.
  • Buy electric scooters that offer at least a warranty.
  • Purchase from a reputable vendor.

SPEED: Electric scooters vary in speed from 8 mph to 25 mph. The speed of an electric scooter is affected by several factors. The weight of the rider, the level of charge in the battery, tire pressure, inclines, hills and rough terrain can all influence an electric scooters speed. The manufacturer top speed quote will be under ideal conditions.

RANGE: As with speed, the range of an electric scooter is affected similar factors. This is the distance an electric scooter will take you on a single charge. Electric scooters vary in range from 8 miles to 20 miles per charge. Electric scooters that offer a range of more than 15 miles are rare and more costly to purchase.

CARRYING CAPACITY: This is the maximum amount of weight an electric scooter can carry. Keep in mind that the heavier the rider the slower the acceleration and top speed of an electric scooter. Heavier riders will also reduce an electric scooters range and decrease its hill climbing ability.

PORTABILITY: Will you need to carry your electric scooter around? If so, then portability is a big factor to consider. Check the weight of the scooter and its dimensions when folded. Electric scooters can weigh anywhere from 30 lbs. to 100 lbs. You'll also need to check the folded dimensions of the scooter to make sure it fits in the trunk of your car or wherever you might need to store it for travel.

MOTOR: An electric scooter motor or engine is rated by its output in watts. Electric scooters with a watt rating under 300w are not recommended for use on steep, hilly, or rough terrain, or with riders over 180 lbs. Generally speaking, the higher the watt rating of the motor the better your scooter will handle demanding terrain and a heavier load.

BATTERY: The power storage device of an electric scooter. The standard electric scooter battery is a sealed 12 volt rechargeable lead acid battery. Electric scooters will come with 1 to 3 batteries depending on the brand and model. The range of an electric scooter has much to do with the quality and power rating of the batteries. The life span of a battery tends to run 300 – 500 charges and varies by brand and model. When fully drained a battery will take anywhere from 2 to 8 hours to recharge depending on the brand and model of the electric scooter and the quality of the battery charger.

TERRAIN: The ideal riding surface for an electric scooter is a relatively flat street or road. If you plan of taking your electric scooter off-road, climbing hills or scooting through rough terrain you will want to purchase a scooter with a high watt motor.

CLIMATE: Temperature will affect the battery of an electric scooter. Extremely hot or extremely cold weather will decrease a scooters range. You will typically want to avoid the rain. Electric scooters tend to offer some resistance to wet weather and your scooter will probably survive a real light rain. However, if water gets into the motor, the motor will short out and need to be replaced. Some Currie built scooters (Currie, Schwinn, Mongoose and GT) come with weather resistant motors and can handle wet weather.

WHEELS: The entire part that includes the axle, hub, spokes and rim. Wheels come with wire spokes, solid spokes or a spoke-less solid design. Wheels come in steel, aluminum and reinforced plastic.

TIRES: Most tires are made of rubber, foam rubber or polyurethane. Styles vary from pneumatic with an inner-tube to pneumatic tubeless to solid and can come with a smooth, semi-smooth or knobby surface. Tire size will have an effect on the performance of the scooter. Taller tires will generally increase the top speed of a scooter but will lower its hill climbing ability. Taller tires will also increase a scooters ground clearance. Enhanced ground clearance helps the scooter handle speed bumps, pot holes, curbs and off-road terrain better. Shorter tires generally increase the hill climbing ability of a scooter but will lower the top speed. Shorter tires decrease ground clearance. Tire width will also have an effect on the scooters ability to grip the road, wide tires will increase traction and skinny tires will decrease traction.

BRAKES: The stopping system for the scooter. Brake types vary by brand and model. The most common types are drum, hub, disc and caliper (cantilever). Most scooters will come with any combination of the above brake types. Some models offer rear brakes, others offer front brakes and some offer both front and rear braking systems. Some models will come with an automatic throttle shut-off system. This is a safety feature that keeps the engine from engaging while the brakes are being applied.

FRAME, BODY & DECK: The overall construction of the frame structure and body of the scooter. The frame is typically constructed of steel. The body covers the frame and the deck is the area you stand on. Bodies and decks can be constructed of steel, aluminum, plastic or any combination of the three materials. Plastic bodies and decks are more susceptible to cracking and breaking.

ACCESSORIES: Some electric scooters offer a host of accessories and other stick with the basics: removable seat, adjustable height handlebars, handlebars that fold, key ignition, headlights, taillights or brake lights, reflectors, turn signals, horn, rear view mirrors, battery indicator gauge, speed indicator gauge, kick stand, basket or cargo box, tool kit.