Best e scooter

If it’s too far to walk, too short to drive, and you don’t want to be crammed next to someone on a bus or train, then one of the best electric scooters could be the option for you. 

Electric scooters have exploded in popularity because they’re are an easy way to get around, they don’t require much of a learning curve, and you don’t need a license to use one. From kids to commuters, there’s an electric scooter for just about everyone. But, before you make an investment, it’s important to get the best e scooter for your needs.

If it’s too far to walk, too short to drive, and you don’t want to be crammed next to someone on a bus or train, then one of the best electric scooters could be the option for you. 

Electric scooters have exploded in popularity because they’re are an easy way to get around, they don’t require much of a learning curve, and you don’t need a license to use one. From kids to commuters, there’s an electric scooter for just about everyone. But, before you make an investment, it’s important to get the best electric scooter for your needs, best electric scooters for commuting, and best electric scooters for adults.

Best e scooter

Xiaomi M365 Pro

WIRED Recommends: The Xiaomi M356 Pro is the best all-round scooter for 2020

Range: 27miles (45km) | Speed: 15.5mph | Charge time: 5hrs | Weight: 14.2kg

The original M365 was a game changer for electric scooter fans, boasting sleek looks, decent range and a not ridiculous price point, but after a couple of years dominating the global market Xiaomi has upgraded it and the M365 Pro (£550) now boasts more power, improved range and a more comfortable ride. It costs a bit more, but the extra is more than worth it if you’re planning on using it for your daily commute.

The motor has also been upgraded from 250W to 300W to give better hill climbing ability, which, in practice, means you won’t grind to a halt halfway, although you will be able to watch the battery drain if you’re going uphill for more than a few hundred metres.

Obviously, we wouldn’t expect it to hit its maximum speed of 15mph up hill, but it has no problems at all in Speed mode, where a slight incline got us closer to 20mph, before the override kicks in and slows us down again. It’s a super fun speed to cruise around at, but if you need the M365 Pro to squeeze out more than 25 miles on a single charge, you’ll need to spend plenty of time using Eco Mode, which caps out at 15kmph (9.3mph), and Driving mode, 20kmph (12.4mph).

Driven sensibly however and you’ll be delighted with the extended range offered by the 12800mAh/474Wh battery, although your leg and lower back muscles will be screaming by the end of it and do remember to plug it in as it will take most the day to fully recharge.

Despite the clever folding mechanism, at 14.2kg it’s simply too heavy to carry for longer than a few minutes, but it is impressively built and with a large 45 x 15cm foot deck appreciably more comfortable to ride than most. As with all the other designs we’ve tested, there’s no way to chain the scooter up like a bike, but the app does let you immobilise the wheels and alarm the M356 Pro.

Speaking of the app, if you like to nerd out on statistics, you’re well served by Xiaomi here, with reliable Bluetooth connectivity offering the ability to track your journey, speed, and battery life as well as customise the front and rear lights, toggle cruise control and set the alarm. While not exactly illegal, we know it’s also perfectly possible to jailbreak the scooter to override speed limiters.

Our review sample was supplied by Pure Electric, who offer a free 2-year UK warranty plus have injected puncture prevention fluid into the tyres to minimise the need to repair, which, in their words, ‘can take hours, even with the right tools!’

Pros: Long range; wide foot deck; control panel; great app
Cons: Heavy; slow charging; difficult maintenance

Price: £550 | Check price on Pure Electric | Amazon | Halfords

Turboant X7

A budget e-scooter for beginners (and big bones)

Range: 16mile | Speed: 20mph | Charge time: 4.5hrs | Weight: 13.5kg

With a low price and stylish looks the Turboant X7 (€349) looks every bit as inviting as the hugely popular Xiaomi M365, and with a removable battery and 350W of power, that can handle riders weighing up to 275lbs (124kg), it’s a versatile option for the bigger boned commuter.

Based around a folding aluminium alloy frame, the extra thick steering column hooks into the rear mud guard to create a handle for (relatively) easy carrying, but at 13.5kg, your big bones will need to be coated in muscle if you plan on carrying it for more than a few minutes.

But with 8.5” tubeless pneumatic tyres offering plenty of cushioning against the tarmac it’s a really smooth ride, and being inflatable, you can adjust the pressure to suit the road surfaces you use most.

The battery is stored in the upright of the handlebars and is easy to remove and recharge if needed. You can also plug the scooter directly into the mains, but we appreciate the ability to take the battery inside and leave dirty scooters outside. The extra power on offer means quoted speeds of 20mph and a 16mile range, which is pretty impressive, although we never quite made that far or fast before the battery started to complain. In several head-to-head races the X7 was never the hare, but often the tortoise, which isn’t great at traffic lights, but might still get you there first.

Also, don’t expect the X7 to power up hills. You’ll get there in the end, especially if you hit the ascent at full power, but you may get passed by the odd power walking pedestrian.

Three speed modes and cruise control give ample options, the bright display is easy to read and the inclusion of a proper disc brake, as well as an emergency back foot brake give confidence when riding than inexperienced users will appreciate.

There’s no kinetic energy recovery system and the battery indicator is quite vague, offering basic bars rather than a percentage, or time remaining indicator, but given the low cost, solid build quality and quicker-than-most top speed, we had few real complaints.

Pros: Removable battery; pneumatic tyres; speed; value; loud bell
Cons: Heavy; spare battery costs $200+; slow acceleration

Price: €349 | Check price on Turboant

Ninebot MAX G30

The best e-scooter for long commutes

Range: 65km (40 miles) | Speed: 15.5mph | Charge time: 6hrs | Weight: 19kg

Sitting above the soon to be refreshed Ninebot’s ES2 and ES4 scooter models, the MAX G30 (£719) is an absolute beast designed for serious commuting, with an enormous 65km (40mile) range and 350W of power from the 551Wh (15300 mAh) battery.

Similar in design to the Xiaomi (which, incidentally, owns Ninebot), the fixed battery is stored in the base, the finish and components are extremely well made – the hinge mechanism in particular feels more substantial than the rest on test – and the 1.5W LED headlight surprisingly bright, even in daylight. The 10” tubeless pneumatic tyres give a smooth ride and surprisingly we didn’t want to throw it in the canal after bouncing down a gravel towpath for a few hundred metres. Just to be clear, the G30 is not designed to be off-road.

The display on the handlebars has all the info you’d expect and toggling between speeds – there are three riding modes (Eco, Drive, Sport) and Pedestrian Mode for when you’re walking with the scooter.

Why would you need assistance when walking with the scooter? Possibly because the G30 weighs a whopping 19kg. The Turboant X7 felt positively featherweight in comparison, and we found even that a pain to carry for more than a couple of minutes. If all you need to do is take it out the boot of the car, or from the curb to the office bike rack then you’ll be OK, but this is not a scooter for public transport.

But that is kind of the point of the MAX G30. It’s solid and definitely feels more like a vehicle than a toy, and with excellent rear-wheel power from the battery it purrs along, is pretty quick at the lights (not that we were on public roads you understand, because that is still illegal) and it eats up hills with relative ease.

The extended range also means you can hit the accelerator more often without fearing that the battery will drain. Riding a scooter at 10mph is economical and convenient, but incredibly dull after five minutes. Nipping around at 15mph is fun, and anything that makes our commute more fun is OK by us.

Pros: Solid build; great for hills; massive range; regenerative braking
Cons: Too heavy

Price: £719 | Check price on Segway | Amazon | Halfords

Micro Merlin

The best e-scooter for repairability and maintenance

Range: up to 15 miles | Speed: 15mph | Charge time: 3hrs | Weight: 11kg

The go to scooter brand for any self-respecting six-year-old, Micro have enjoyed phenomenal success with their lightweight folding, push scooters and, as well as owning the market share for kids, do a wide selection of grown-up commuter designs. The Micro Merlin (£800) is their only e-scooter, but like the rest of the collection, it collapses small and promises portability, but can it keep pace with the likes of Xiaomi?

Compared to the sleek lines elsewhere, the Micro Merlin looks decidedly practical. It’s not ugly, but it definitely looks more like a push scooter with power than the future of urban transportation. It’s an aesthetic you might like, and there is method to the clunky madness, because, and again, this echoes the push scooter ranges available, you can buy spare parts for the Merlin, even book it in for a service. Oddly, given the antiquated aesthetic, it could actually be the most future proof design available.

Impressively, the battery fully charges in just three hours, and this is topped up helpfully regenerative braking in front and back brakes, that pump energy into the battery as you brake. A 15mile range is a little short these days, but at just 11kg in weight, you can at least lump it onto the bus without slipping a disc, if disaster does strike.

But what’s it like to ride? It’s fun, the suspension has an appreciable amount of bounce, but it does feel a bit rattly, partly due to the solid wheels. It doesn’t feel like it will fall to pieces on a towpath and happily keeps pace with the best of them, boasting four speeds, cruise control and a decent enough display, but we can’t shake a utilitarian feeling we get when buzzing about on it. A Ford to Ninebot’s Audi

Pros: Replaceable parts; adjustable; four speeds
Cons: Clunky; meagre mileage

Price: £800 |

AER 557

The best e-scooter for tackling anything

Range: 20miles (32km) | Speed: 27mph | Charge time: 5.5hrs | Weight: 23kg

The AER 557 (£2,199) came about because the UK-based company wanted to design a “high-performance e-scooter” that works, feels and rides differently to any other electric scooter on the market. This has been achieved mainly thanks to a 500W hub motor and the thumping great 20in wheels on the front and back set between an extra wide bamboo board.

Anyone who has ridden a normal scooter (read Vespa) has been charmed by the dinky small wheels, but then rued their design on hitting the merest hint of a pothole or dent in the road. Small wheels make for a bumpy ride. This is why the 557 is such a pleasure to zip around on. Holes and bumps are absorbed respectably while the extra size also makes for more assured cornering.

In our test prototype, the AER’s motor was 350W with 40Nm of torque. This comfortably got to a nippy 18mph on the flat and only struggled on the steepest of hills. The final production model will sport a 500W motor with 50Nm of torque. This results in a top speed of 27mph – not for the faint-hearted.

The build is quality, from that bamboo deck to the aluminium hydroformed frame, which flexes to act as the scooter’s suspension. The tyres are designed specifically for e-bike use (the Schwalbe compound can handle the large torque produced by the motor). You get front and back dual piston hydraulic brakes (which, trust us, you will need), a high-power headlight and rear light, top-spec handlebars and grips.

A small detachable screen on the handlebars offers up all the info you need on speed, charge and whether the regeneration system is kicking in. You can see which of the four power settings you are on, from pootle to “hold-tight”, and distance travelled, GPS etc (an app is coming next year). There’s no built-in lock, but when you remove the screen it immobilises the 557.

What’s not to like? Well, although this e-scooter folds it does so requiring tools and is meant to do so for storage. This is not a ride to be taking on the train – and AER says as much. After a long ride, we did experience some vibration numbness in the hands and we also discovered that the 557 has limited ground clearance as the foot deck drops down between the wheels: AER has fitted a skid plate for the production version.

Despite these niggles, the AER 557 is enormously enjoyable to ride, with a smooth feel on tarmac and the power to cope with just about anything, even off-roading to a limited degree. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s packed with the finest components available and is built to last. In short, you get what you pay for.

Pros: Big wheels equals smooth ride; design; range; wide foot deck; speed
Cons: Weight; price; folds only for storage; low ground clearance (despite the big wheels)

Price: £2,199 

Electric Scooter Categories

Budget Electric Scooters (<$300)

GOTRAX Xr Elite electric scooter
The Xr Elite is a no-frills, but capable electric scooter with pneumatic tires and a disc brake

Most scooters that fall into the budget e-scooter class are not recommended for anything but minimal or light recreational use. At this budget price point, expect under-powered motors, low capacity batteries, and weak brakes. However, there are some excellent and very functional electric scooters in this category. They are worth taking a look at if this fits your budget.

See Editor’s Choices for Best Electric Scooters Under $300

Commuter Electric Scooters ($300 to $1200)

The commuter class of electric scooters is the biggest one and therefore divided into three categories. At these price points, we generally find that scooters are fairly balanced in terms of features, quality, and performance.

Budget Commuter ($300 to $600)

Xiaomi Mi M365 electric scooter on dock of lake
The Xiaomi Mi M365 is one of the most popular, value-priced scooters in the world and helped launch the sharing market.

These scooters are great for traveling shorter distances, have a reasonable range, and suitable build quality for daily commuting. Expect occasional repairs over the few years expected lifetime. Budget commuter scooters are best when your commute has relatively smooth surfaces and not a lot of steep hills. They are light enough that you can fold and carry them up stairs once in a while.

See ESG Editor’s Choices for Best Electric Scooters Under $600

Mid-ranged Commuter ($600 to $900)

Man crouching with a folded Ninebot Max electric scooter
The Segway Ninebot Max has become the go-to scooter for many scooter rental fleets, due to its range and strong build.

A mid-ranged commuting electric scooter will have a slightly larger battery for more range and possibly more motor power than the budget commuter. You won’t see any dual-motor scooters at this price, but you will see the incorporation of suspension into some models.

See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $900

Premium Commuter ($600 to $1200)

EMOVE Touring Electric Scooter
The EMOVE Touring is a premium commuter electric scooter with great power, range, and brilliant suspension.

Scooters in the premium commuter class typically add suspension, larger motors, bigger batteries, and better brakes to the budget and mid-range offerings. The ride will be more comfortable, safer, and have a better range due to these upgrades. However, there is a tradeoff with increased weight (around 18 kgs) that makes loading into a car or carrying upstairs more difficult.

See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooter Under $1200

Performance Electric Scooters ($1200 to $1600)

Apollo Explore electric scooter
The Apollo Explore is a balanced Performance Electric Scooter with a single motor, comfortable ride, and long range.

Performance electric scooters start to offer either serious speed or ultra-long range. Many of these scooters incorporate dual motors and sizable battery packs. The longest-ranged scooter in this category can deliver up to 81 kilometers of real-world range. At this price point, which ranges from $1200 to $1600, you will also start to see some premium features including large tubeless pneumatic tires, semi-hydraulic or hydraulic brakes, powerful lights, and turn signals.

See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $1600

Extreme Performance Electric Scooters ($2500+)

Man riding the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11
The Wolf Warrior 11 is an extreme performance electric scooter capable of exceeding 64 kmh.

Extreme scooters like these are the highest performing in every category except portability. They have massive, dual motors (some reaching speeds above 64 kmh), extended battery life for extreme range (>64 kilometers), top-notch suspension, and hydraulically-activated disc brakes for stopping at fast speeds. Although still suitable for daily commuting, their larger tires are the only ones built for off-roading. These extreme performance scooters are the heaviest as well (typically +32 kgs), so if you need to fold and carry these scooters, make sure you are comfortable with the weight.

See ESG Editor’s Choice for Best Electric Scooters Under $2500

Electric Scooter Features

What else should you know before buying an e-scooter? Now that we’ve gone over some important factors to think about, let’s dive into some other topics that will likely influence which scooter you choose to purchase, including price, range, weight, top speed, rider weight, and IP rating.

Price

There are always going to be better and worse values in purchasing electric scooters, but basically quality and features improve with price. You won’t be buying an extreme off-road beast scooter for $200. Refer to the electric scooter categories for price brackets. 

You can use the comparison database to set min and max limits for the price to a budget range that suits your needs. This will return all scooter options available in that range, and you can jump to our detailed reviews (written and video) for most.

Range

Range refers to the distance a scooter can travel before it runs out of battery power. The range of your electric scooter will depend on various factors, including motor power, rider weight, scooter weight, weather, mode, and average speed. We perform a real-world range test on all scooters to determine a realistic assessment of range. 

Our ESG certified range test is performed by the same rider on the same urban route with frequent stops, rough roads, and uphill climbs in the scooter’s highest performance mode. The 74 kg rider pushes the scooter to its limit, maxing out the throttle and riding until the battery dies completely.

A cautious rule of thumb is to take whatever the manufacturer advertises and divide by two. Results from the 2018 electric scooter survey show most manufacturers overestimate by 30% in their range claims.

Like all batteries, as time goes on your battery capacity (and scooter range) will diminish. Most batteries will maintain their integrity for at least 300 to 500 charging cycles, with the best batteries enduring up to 1000 charging cycles before beginning to degrade. Think about your commute and how far you travel in a typical day. Remember that when your scooter runs out of power, no matter the size, you can still kick to push it.

Pro Tip: You can also bring your charger with you or buy an extra charger to leave at your destination. Some high performance scooters have dual charging ports, cutting charge time in half when using two chargers.

Weight

Weight can be a big consideration if you need to fold and carry your scooter, especially on a regular basis. 

Most scooters with a reasonable range (>24 kilometers) will weigh over 11 kgs. Scooters far exceeding 14 kgs will be fairly difficult to carry for long durations. Having a handle or shoulder strap will help bear the weight. Some scooters have extra wheels or a folded configuration that allow them to be rolled like the compact, commuter-friendly Glion Dolly. However, scooters will still have to be carried up stairs or lifted into a vehicle when transporting. Even the highly portable Dolly has folded dimensions of 94 cm by 30 cm by 20 cm and weighs 13 kgs, which can be awkward for some to carry. 

If you are in the market for recreational joyriding or beast mode off-roading and not focused on its portability, the weight is not as important a factor as build quality and top speed. If you are looking for a commuter electric scooter to solve the last mile problem on your everyday route, its weight is important to consider.

Think about your commute: 

  • Will you need to walk up stairs? 
  • Does your destination have an elevator? 
  • Do you have permission and space to store your scooter inside (primarily in workplaces)?
  • Do you have alternate transportation when poor visibility and/or inclement weather occur? 
  • Are you able to lift the scooter into a trunk? 

Some conditions, like rainy weather, may call for you to take public transportation or a rideshare home. Most drivers will allow you to put your scooter in the trunk, but you still need to be able to maneuver it into the vehicle yourself.

Pro Tip: For comparison, the average weight of a household standup vacuum cleaner is 5 kgs to 8 kgs and many have similar dimensions to large folded scooters. Alternatively, visit a sporting goods store and pick up a few dumbbells or kettlebells to test what weight you can comfortably manage.

Top Speed

Top speed is not a huge factor for most commuters as long as the scooter can reach 24 kmh. In fact, some municipalities have laws against going over 24 kmh on electric scooters and most restrict scooters from driving on pedestrian sidewalks. 

Riding in a car or even on a bicycle at 24 kmh feels different than riding an electric scooter at that speed because of the tires and acceleration. In reality, when traveling on roads or in bike lanes, 24 kmh to 29 kmh is fast enough. If riding in urban traffic regularly, scooters with good acceleration and top speeds in this range can help you avoid accidents. If you are interested in extreme performance scooters, those can go up to 81 kmh (like the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11) and we recommend wearing serious safety gear when traveling at those speeds.

Pro Tip: Always wear a helmet when riding your scooter at any speed.

Rider Weight

The max load or max rider weight is the weight limit that the electric scooter can support. For most scooters, this limit ranges from 100 kgs to 120 kgs. If you weigh more than this, you’ll want to make sure you’re looking at scooters that can support your weight. For safety reasons, you shouldn’t exceed the weight limit specified by the manufacturer.

Keep in mind that even if the scooter is rated for your weight and you’re at the top of the limit, it will be slower and have less range compared to a lighter rider. Also consider if you’ll be carrying a backpack or anything else that will add to the overall weight the scooter will bear. For riders near or above 100 kgs, you should focus on electric scooters with at least a 500-watt motor.

Pro Tip: You can filter the comparison database based on rider weight.

Motor Power

Adult electric scooters have hub motors, which are brushless direct current (BLDC) electric motors that are built into the hub of the wheels. All electric kick scooters have at least one motor while more powerful ones will have dual motors.

Electric motors are rated based on their power consumption, which is expressed in units of watts (e.g., 600 watts). More powerful motors will have greater wattage. Motor power generally starts at 200 watts and goes all the way up to 6270 watts on the Dualtron X.

An average budget commuter scooter, like the Xiaomi Mi M365 has a 250-watt motor; a mid-range commuter scooter like the Fluid FreeRide Horizon has a 500-watt motor; and an extreme performance scooter, like the Kaabo Wolf Warrior 11, has dual 1200-watt motors (or 2400-watt motor power).

For adults, we do not recommend anything under 250 watts for daily commuting. This will be adequate for flat surfaces and very small hills. If you live in an area with steeper hills, think about going to 350 or 500 watts. Even with 500 watts, your scooter will slow down on medium-sized hills. Larger motors will not only help with powering up hills, but they will also get you up to top speed more quickly.

Suspension

Suspension, similar to that in a car, smooths out bumps and indentations in the road and improves ride quality. Without it, and especially if you have solid (airless) tires, you will feel every bump that you travel over. If your commute is longer or has rough terrain to cross, strongly consider purchasing a scooter with suspension. 

There are three main types of suspension systems that are typically found on electric scooters: spring, hydraulic or air piston, and rubber suspension. Scooters with the best suspension will have some combination of spring and piston — a combination called coil-over-hydraulic or coil-over-air.

Suspension can be attached to the front, rear, or both wheels. Scooters in the premium commuter class should have either front or rear suspension.

Close up of Apollo Pro Ludicrous suspension
Many electric scooters have no suspension, while high performance ones, like the Apollo Pro feature a beefy spring suspension.

Many scooters forgo suspension in favor of large pneumatic tires that provide damping effects. These can offer a better form of suspension than cheap spring suspensions.

Lighting

Close up of red LED taillights of the EMOVE Touring
Some scooters, like the EMOVE Touring have corner “button” LEDs which help with visibility but aren’t bright enough to stand on their own.

Scooters, like bicycles, can have a white front light and a red rear light. If you ride after dark, it is necessary to have both a front and rear light. Due to the design of electric scooters, they typically do not have very visible rear lights. If you are going to ride at night, strongly consider adding some flashing red rear lights to your helmet or backpack.

Read our guide to electric scooter lighting.

Brakes

Qiewa QPower front disc brake and wheel
The Qiewa QPower has massive fully-hydraulic disc brakes that give very strong stopping power.

A quality braking system is essential for staying safe and in control while riding an electric scooter. Like those on a car or bicycle, brakes are what slow the electric scooter down. Electric scooter brakes can be broken into two categories: mechanical and electronic.

Mechanical brake systems are those that rely on a physical mechanism to slow the scooter down and include foot, drum, and disc brakes. The typical 24 kmh stopping distance for mechanical systems is 6 meters, with the absolute best being under 3 meters. 

  • Foot brakes, which are activated by pushing your foot down on the rear fender, cause it to rub against the rear tire, slowing it down. This type of brake has stopping power but is not as effective as drum or disc brakes.
  • Drum brakes are enclosed inside the wheel hub, are generally lower maintenance than other braking types, and have consistent performance in wet conditions.
  • Disc brakes have the most stopping power and are lighter than drum brakes. They are typically found on higher-end premium commuter and high-performance scooters, but may appear on better quality budget commuter scooters as well.
  • In our real-world road tests, we found disc and drum brakes to be the most effective. 

Electronic braking systems rely on using the motor itself for braking and include strictly electric and regenerative braking systems. Electric and regenerative brakes are the weakest. If you are traveling at 15+mph and need to stop quickly, these alone will not do the job. The typical 15 mph stopping distance using an electronic brake alone is 30 to 40 feet. 

Mechanical braking systems will offer much stronger braking than electronic systems. However, electronic systems benefit from not requiring any periodic adjustments or maintenance. Many scooters will have a combination of both electronic and mechanical braking systems. For safety reasons, we recommend scooters that have at least two braking systems in case one fails.

Learn more in our technical guide to electric scooter brakes.

Tires

Close up shot of Thunder electric scooter LED taillights

Tires come in two types: solid (airless) tires and pneumatic (air-filled) tires

  • Solid tires There are a few varieties of airless tires and these include honeycomb, polymer-filled, and solid. Solid tires are inferior to pneumatic in every way except they have virtually no maintenance required. When riding on solid tires, you’re more likely to feel every bump and even stumble over lines of paint on the road. 

Pneumatic tires We always recommend pneumatic tires because they give better ride quality (with or without suspension) and their supple rubber performs much better in adverse road conditions. Some air-filled tires have inner tubes that can be replaced if damaged; other air-filled tires are tubeless. Pneumatic tires have the advantage of shock absorption and better handling (especially in bad weather). 

The downside to pneumatic tires is there is more maintenance required than the airless variety. Pneumatic tires are prone to punctures and need to be filled with air when they have low pressure. Pneumatic tires, with tubes and tubeless, are common in all price classes except the budget range, where tires are almost exclusively solid.

Pneumatic tires are common in all price ranges, except the Budget range, where tires are almost exclusively airless (solid).

Pro Tip: Do not underestimate the improved ride quality you will get with pneumatic tires. These will make a huge improvement when rolling over even minimally bumpy terrain, where road vibration can be very uncomfortable on your feet and legs. Additionally, you can prevent flat tires by following a few simple tips.

Learn more about the differences between pneumatic and solid tires in our electric scooter tire guide.

IP Rating

The ingress protection or IP rating tells you how resistant an electric scooter is to dust and water. The IP rating consists of two numbers, but we focus on the second because it tells you how water-resistant the scooter is. The greater the number is — the more resistant it is to water and moisture.

Not all scooters have an IP rating. If you are planning on riding your scooter in all weather conditions, you will want to invest in one with at least IPx4 water-resistance.

IP RATINGMEANING
IPx0No protection
IPx1 to IPx3Very limited water resistance
IPx4 to IPx6Suitable for riding in the rain
IPx7+Can be fully submerged in water

Pro Tip: You can sort our electric scooter comparison database, based on IP rating (the column is titled “Water”).

Read our guide on Electric Scooter IP Ratings.

Distributors

Where you buy an electric scooter can be almost as important as what you buy. When deciding who to buy from, you have a few options.

  • Domestic
    • Brick and mortar
      • PEV store
      • Big box store (e.g., Best Buy, Costco)
      • Department store (e.g., Macy’s) 
    • Online
      • Specialty distributors (e.g. Apollo, Fluid Freeride VORO Motors)
      • Big box (e.g., Amazon)
  • Direct from China
    • e.g. Alibaba / AliExpress
  • Crowd-funded Campaigns

Domestic

The ESG Editors tend to favor buying from a good domestic distributor, even though it will generally cost more. A decent electric scooter will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. The value added from buying an electric scooter from a gooddomestic distributor will be enormous. These distributors will often provide a good warranty with customer support for troubleshooting, replacement parts, repair, and so on. 

Generally, the benefits of buying domestically is fast shipping and better post-purchase support. The main downside is that buying domestically tends to be more expensive than buying directly from China.

Local personal electric vehicle (PEV) dealers are a good option if you have any nearby. You can check out scooters in person and the dealers will offer the best post-purchase support. However, they tend to be the most expensive option with the smallest scooter selection.

As an online retailer, Amazon will have the fastest shipping, easiest returns, and a wide selection. However, you’ll have to rely on the manufacturer for post-purchase support after the return window has closed (typically 30 days). For popular scooters, like the Xiaomi Mi M365 with many parts and repair guides readily available, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Specialty distributors are online retailers that import, sell, and provide post-purchase support for electric scooters. Each of these retailers tend to specialize in a specific brand. Some scooter distributors include ApolloFluid FreeRide, and VORO Motors. Due to their specialization, they tend to offer a balance of the best prices and post-purchase support.

Direct from China

The benefit of buying direct from China is cost savings, which can be significant. The downsides include:

  • Slow shipping time It can sometimes take months to receive an order.
  • Meager customer support If there is a major problem you will not be able to return the scooter, though they may be willing to ship you parts to perform repairs yourself.
  • Brand authenticity The scooter you buy may be a similar-looking cloneof the branded model you really wanted. Some parts may be identical, but others may be different and worse.

Leave a Comment