Best electric scooter for commuting

When planning your daily commute to work there are several factors to consider and often several modes of transport to weigh up. Often, the two major factors that influence that decision is how long will it take you to get from A to B and how much is it going to cost you.  We will be looking at the best electric scooter for commuting, best folding electric scooter for commuting, and best electric scooter with seat for commuting, a few modes of transport, their pros, and cons and how an electric scooter can potentially solve some of your bugbears with your commute. 

Of course, you might be thinking that your commute may need to include more than one mode of transport, but fear not,  we’ve got that covered! Almost every commute is likely to involve some walking, even if it’s those 10 steps from the car park to the office. However, when we mention walking, we are referring to a significant distance.

best electric scooter with seat for commuting

Best electric scooter for commuting

We realize you are in a hurry to get to work, so without further ado, here are the best commuter electric scooters.

1. GOTRAX GXL Commuting Electric Scooter

The GOTRAX GXL Commuting Electric Scooter

Lightweight, compact, durable tires and design, and a 4 hour charge time—what more could you ask for in a commuter scooter? This scooter weighs in at 26.4 lbs and has a max speed of 15.5 MPH for those longer commuting trips. As mentioned before, the durable tires are made for traveling over less-than-ideal terrain between you and your office, making them perfect for sidewalks, roads, and side paths. With a dual braking system, you will feel in full control of this scooter every time you use it. And with variable travel speeds, you can take it nice and easy or travel at the maximum speed, the choice is yours. While this little scooter doesn’t go as far as some heavier scooters do on a single charge, what it lacks in battery it makes up for inconvenience and design. The sleek black build and light frame make it perfect for carrying up staircases and transporting when not in use, and the short battery charge time means you can give it an added boost of battery while still at work. As one commuter mentioned on Amazon, “I got this to help with my commute and I didn’t realize it would be so much fun. This thing flies! and it folds down really small so I can stash it under my desk.” So take some of the stress out of your morning commute and invest in this scooter, you won’t regret it.
SALE968 ReviewsGOTRAX GXL V2 Commuting Electric Scooter – 8.5″ Air Filled Tires – 15.5MPH & 9-12 Mile Range – Version 2 (Black)

  • Version 2 – Handbrake, Cruise Control, Reinforced Frame and Lock Mechanism
  • 8. 5″ PNEUMATIC TIRES – Making the GXL the ultimate commuting scooter for overcoming treacherous city streets
  • 250 WATT MOTOR – Our most powerful scooter yet, the GXL has a top speed of 15. 5MPH and holds a maximum of 220 lbs.
  • 36V BATTERY – The GXL travels up to 9-12 miles and recharges in about 4 Hours. Height from Handlebars to Deck-38 inch
  • PORTABLE DESIGN – The GXL Frame folds down and locks for easy storage making it a perfect commuting scooter

$248.00More Details

2. Turboant X7 Commuting Electric Scooter

The Turboant X7 Scooter

The next scooter in our roundup is the X7 from Turboant. This sharp scooter is definitely a rising contender in the electric scooter field, and boasts a number of impressive features. One of the most important is the 350 Watt motor on this scooter – the second strongest in our roundup. This power plant allows the X7 to go up to 16 miles on a single charge, and tackle inclines as steep as 15 degrees. The top speed of this scooter is a quick 20 miles per hour, which means you can get to and from work in a hurry.

Another feature we like is the simple folding mechanism that allows you to store your X7 once you reach your destination. This scooter can be stowed in only three seconds, which means no fumbling with complicated connectors during setup or take down.

The LED display on the Turboant is great – it allows you to see your speed and battery charge level even in bright daylight. This is a significant improvement over some of the other scooters in our roundup, which don’t even give you a hint about how fast you are traveling.

The battery pack for the Turboant X7 is removable, which we found to be very convenient. A removable pack means you can charge it while in the scooter, or take it with you (say, to your desk) and replenish your power while you work.

Overall, we are very impressed with all the X7 has to offer. It is one of the more expensive units in our collection, but given all the features it offers we feel it is still a bargain. If you are in the market for a commuting electric scooter Turboant should definitely be on your shortlist.33 ReviewsTURBOANT X7 Electric Scooter, Up to 20 MPH, Detachable Long-Range Battery Up to 16 Miles, 8.5″ Tubeless Rubber Tires, Portable Folding Commuting Motorized Scooter for Adults, Students

  • 【DETACHABLE LONG-RANGE BATTERY】 The imported lithium-ion battery is globally covered by Product Liability Insurance. Its exclusive detachable structure allows you to bring the battery for flexible charging everywhere without the need to carry the whole scooter. Travel up to 16 miles (26 km) under specific conditions on a full 4-6 hour charge.
  • 【POWERFUL 350-WATT MOTOR FOR HIGH SPEED】The 350 W electric hub motor allows for speeds up to 20 mph (32 km/h), and easily tackles 15° steep hills and other obstacles. 3 speed settings allow you to freely select the speed you desire, and a triple braking system ensures safety while braking.
  • 【COMFORTABLE RIDING EXPERIENCE】Large 8.5” tubeless pneumatic tires are fuel-efficient and anti-puncture, which brings you a smooth ride by absorbing great shock on uneven road. The cruise control mode allows you to release your thumb by maintaining a constant speed. Super bright LED headlight and taillight allow for safe nighttime riding.
  • 【FOLDING & PORTABLE DESIGN】A 3-second folding system makes the scooter more portable and space-saving. The sturdy aluminum alloy frame is durable and rust-resistant, reliably supporting a max load of 275 lbs (125 kg).
  • 【UL APPROVAL】The TURBOANT X7 Electric Scooter is certified by UL LLC, a global safety certification organization. If you have any quality problems within 1 year, please feel free to contact us for after-sales services.

3. Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter

The Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter

One of the lightest scooters on our list, this scooter is sleek, efficient, and easy-to-use. Weighing in at under 27 pounds, this scooter has an easy flip, fold, clip compaction system that means you can go from riding to walking in 3 seconds flat. Talk about convenient! With both headlights and taillights to help increase your visibility, this scooter works well on later in the evening commutes to help you get across large parking lots or down less-than-lit sidewalks with no issue.

While the charging time for this product is slightly higher than some of our earlier entries to this list at 5 hours, the over 18-mile use distance per charge makes up for the added charge time, hands down. As an added bonus, this scooter has a weight range of up to 220 lbs. This scooter also comes with an energy-saving braking system meant to extend your battery life. As one reviewer pointed out, “Braking is great. The front wheel uses some type of regenerative braking that charges the battery, the back disk brake adds kinda a trail braking effect.” If you’re looking to commute to work in style, this scooter is right up your alley.
1,722 ReviewsXiaomi Mi Electric Scooter, 18.6 Miles Long-range Battery, Up to 15.5 MPH, Easy Fold-n-Carry Design, Ultra-Lightweight Adult Electric Scooter (US Version with Warranty)

  • [SCOOTER REPAIR PROGRAM]- Launching of Repair Programme for M365 Mi Electric Scooter with the Hook Made of Aluminium Alloy. Contact Xiaomi Support for more information
  • [EXTREMELY FAST AND LONG-RANGE BATTERY LIFE] – A 250W motor propels the e-scooter to a max speed of 15. 5 MPH. High capacity battery with a maximum travel range of up to 18. 6 miles under specific conditions
  • [PORTABLE FOLDING DESIGN] -Weighs just 26. 9 lbs. Portable folding design for easy storage at home or hand carry when necessary. The sturdy frame is made of aerospace-grade aluminum
  • [DOUBLE BRAKING SYSTEM] – Features a disc braking and eABS regenerative anti-lock braking system for an efficient, responsive braking distance of just 13. 1ft. The large 8. 5-inch front
  • [INTUITIVE AND EASY-TO-LEARN] – Intuitive controls simplify learning and use for all ages while improving safety. The scooter frame, components and accessories use the same geometric design language

$399.00

4. Razor E100 Electric Scooter

The Razor E100 Electric Scooter

The Razor E100 Electric Scooter’s best selling feature is its size. This tiny scooter packs a fair amount of punch, able to reach speeds of up to 10 MPH. If you’re looking for a simple, easy-to-use scooter, this is the perfect option. Coming in at a lower price point than most of the scooters on this list, this tiny powerhouse is perfect for anyone who isn’t sure they’ll take advantage of their new set of wheels that often.

This biggest downside for this scooter is the battery charge time. While other electric scooters boast a charge time of around 3 to 4 hours, this scooter takes a full 12 hours to recharge or more. However, unlike other electric scooters, this scooter can handle an up to 40-minute constant driving speed, making it ideal for those slightly longer trips that would take forever when on foot. While this little scooter is not ideal for traveling up and down hills, as one reviewer said, “I take this to and from work (25 minutes each way) and it has yet to die on me! It’ll definitely slow down by the end of the journey, but it hasn’t failed me yet.” If you’re looking for a scooter to introduce you to the joys of commuting using an electric scooter, this product will not disappoint.
SALE330 ReviewsRazor E100 Electric Scooter – Sweet Pea

  • 24V (two 12V) sealed lead acid rechargeable battery system
  • Twist-grip acceleration control and ages 8 and up; Handlebar: Height 22 (552 mm)
  • Boasting a high-torque, ultra-quiet chain-driven motor, and a handy twist-grip throttle
  • Uses a simple kick start motor and can travel at powerful speeds up to 10 mph
  • Features rear wheel drive for increased traction and control

$134.99

5. Glion Dolly Foldable Lightweight Electric Scooter

The Glion Dolly Foldable Lightweight Adult Electric Scooter

This scooter answers the issue of walking around with your scooter once your commute is finished. With a collapsible design that converts into a rolling dolly set up so you can carry your scooter like you would a rolling suitcase, this scooter is perfect for short commutes and making the trip from one commuting location to another. Its economically-friendly charging system allows you to go upwards of 500 miles on just $1 worth of electricity.

As another bonus, this commuter scooter weighs in at 28 pounds, which is easily manageable with the help of the dolly system. This scooter has a maximum speed of 15 MPH, and a maximum distance per charge of 15 miles, making it slightly less efficient and speedy than some of the options on this list. Still, its portability and overall sleek design make it perfect for the commuter looking to take some of the hassles out of the end of their daily commute. According to one reviewer, “This scooter is extremely useful, has saved me many hours of time I would’ve had to spend walking or waiting for shuttles, and is very enjoyable to ride.” However, the largest complaint from buyers is that the scooter itself does not come with a covering case as shown in the pictures, but that can easily be purchased separately to cover the scooter when in the dolly configuration.
SALE559 ReviewsGlion Dolly Foldable Lightweight Adult Electric Scooter w/ Premium Li-Ion Battery

  • Patented dolly and vertical self-standing feature with 1-second foot-actuated folding.
  • Electronic anti-lock brakes and rear fender foot activated press brake.
  • Front fork suspension for a smooth and comfortable ride.
  • Clean, quiet, gearless hub motor powered by a 36 volt 7.8 ah lithium-ion battery.
  • A portable, personal electric vehicle. Cover sold separately.

$429.00

6. TOMOLOO Two-Wheel Self-Balancing Scooter

The TOMOLOO Adult Two-Wheel Self-Balancing Scooter

This is a good introductory scooter for the commuter looking to take scootering to work for a test drive. The controls are simple to use and easy to adjust to, with a readout screen on the top handle area of the scooter. The lithium battery pack allows you to go further on a single charge, and with an energy-saving braking system that converts the lost kinetic energy into extra juice for your scooter, you’ll be hard pressed to find yourself with a dead battery. The internal battery system has a full recharge cycle of 3.5 hours, making it easy to recharge while at work or while relaxing at home. And with a maximum speed of 15.5 MPH, this little scooter can get you further faster than you would on foot.

Unlike many of the lighter weight models of scooters, this scooter does come in at almost 30 pounds weight wise, but the collapsible design makes up for the slightly heftier build. Overall, this is a great beginner scooter for anyone looking to start using a scooter on their daily commute. But don’t just take our word for it. As one satisfied Amazon customer put it, “Overall I do love the scooter. It’s VERY quiet. Battery life is good, goes up to 20mph on smooth roads and the lights are beautiful.”20 ReviewsTOMOLOO Electric Scooter for Adults, Self Balancing Scooter Hoverboard with Color Changeable LED Lighting (L1-Black) …

  • 【Powerful brushless Motor & 8.5-inch Air Filled Tire】The e scooter boasts a 500W high-temperature resistant brushless motor, which satisfies a 15.5 MPH max speed and a 15.5 miles max range , one button controls and switches three gears speed. 8.5-inch pneumatic tires increase ride comfortably feeling, and have excellent wear resistance.
  • 【Lightweight Frame & Portable Design】Solid Folding electric skateboard design, complete the folding action just in three steps. 28.4LBS net weight Lengthen and lightweight frame, pick up with one hand, easy to bring into the elevator, bus, subway, car trunk.
  • 【The largest pedal space of similar products】47 inch Lengthen body, the largest pedal space of similar products, the height of the pole fully considers the human body standing, ergonomic design, more comfortable and smoother riding experience.
  • 【High-bright Lights & dual braking system】 The UL2272 certified TOMOLOO adult scooter is equipped with high-bright headlights, colorful ambient lights and warning taillights, ensuring safer riding when at night. Mechanical disc braking and eABS regenerative anti-lock dual braking system, provide multiple guarantees for riding safety.
  • 【Intelligent design】The Tomoloo lightweight electric bicycle equipped a smart dashboard, fireproof material pure ternary lithium battery, fixed speed cruise, brake energy recovery system, and provides one year of online technical guidance.

$399.99

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.

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