Electric scooters, commonly known as e-scooters, are gaining traction around the globe as a cost-effective, efficient, eco-friendly, and fun way to travel. With rising fuel prices, more and more people are turning to electrical means for their daily commutes. If that isn’t a significant deal-breaker, getting stuck in traffic or finding parking spots can easily turn anyone’s day into a nightmare.
Time wastage and added emissions from gas guzzlers only add to the stress and frustration. The risk of missing an appointment or spending more money on fuel also adds a burden to one’s pocket. Luckily, the solution to all these has been on the market for quite some time now — electric scooters. However, to a beginner, navigating through this industry can be daunting, considering the plethora of available options.
Hence, this guide narrows down the best e-scooter choices and takes a potential owner through the buying process. It’s a must-read for those in the market for a new mobility device.
What Are Electric Scooters?
Simply, e-scooters are battery-operated and motorized two- or three-wheelers that convert electricity into forward motion (mechanical energy). These rechargeable lightweight vehicles are designed to give riders a fast-paced ride. Most of the best models are foldable and compact, making it easy for commuters to get around in congested areas, where motor vehicles aren’t a practical option.
A more convenient and efficient alternative to traditional methods of travel, e-scooters are easy to ride, less expensive, and have minimal maintenance requirements. These motorized vehicles clock, on average, a top speed of 26mph. Advanced models could reach up to 100mph. Such scooters also go a distance of up to 80 miles on a single charge, depending on the model.
The above-mentioned functionalities make electric scooters a worthy investment for an efficient means of a daily commute. Besides, they champion the cause of going green to preserve the environment and curb emissions. E-scooters comprise the following parts:
- Speed controller
Each component contributes to the performance and comfort of the vehicle. It’s up to the rider to decide which model works best. Factors like weight, length, motor size, battery, deck type, and others are among the things to consider when making a purchase.
Researching the Perfect Electric Scooter
Electric scooters are fast-selling mobility devices that come in various shapes and sizes. And just like other transport vehicles, there is always a new one with better features coming on the market. When shopping for a new e-scooter, here’s what to consider:
For optimal performance, a 110mm wheel provides smooth and stable rides with enough ground clearance. However, note that the ideal wheel size varies from one rider to another, based on weight, motor capacity, manoeuvrability, speed, and terrain. These factors have an impact on riding performance and safety. Also, the tyre type influences traction, which is important for acceleration or braking.
Two options are available: pneumatic and airless tyres. The former provides better navigation through all terrains, which improves the riding experience. But that’s not all. Choosing between fat and slim tyre can be a matter of preference. Fat tyres offer better traction and perform excellently around corners, unlike their counterparts. But they don’t do well with handling, range, and durability, which is where slim tyres shine.
Modern e-scooters are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, which are lighter, more compact, and more energy-efficient than lead batteries. However, they are more expensive, which, in the long run, shouldn’t be a deal-breaker since they have longer life cycles of up to 1,000 charges. The battery capacity of an e-scooter largely depends on the model and type of wheels.
For example, a 36V li-ion battery with a capacity of 7.5Ah can provide an impressive top speed of up to 18.6mph.Some e-scooters come with 40V batteries with a capacity of 24Ah, which can go up to 31mph. Considering the options of battery size, quality, capacity, and efficiency, it’s always ideal to choose a battery that fits one’s needs.
As the heart of an electric scooter, a motor determines the strength, speed, and range. More powerful and efficient motors provide a better ride and performance. They can also be pricey. When shopping for a new model, compare the prices and efficiency levels of different motors to choose one that works best. A rider who is looking for a speedier ride might want to opt for a 1200-watt hub motor. However, this comes at a larger cost in terms of power consumption, which may reduce the range when in full performance.
A rider’s safety and comfort are of utmost importance. Hence, the braking system should always be a top priority. This mechanism comes with one or two channels. For maximum braking power, the master brake control system comes in handy. A basic scooter has an anti-lock braking system that automatically stops the vehicle when activated. Regenerative braking systems capture and recharge energy to power the more expensive options. As such, riders can enjoy a longer range.
A lightweight electric scooter minimizes the risk of injuries and accidents. This is especially important for beginners who might not be used to the handlebar yet. The ideal weight limit of an e-scooter depends on the weight of the rider. Selecting a mobility device is that below the individual’s weight may put a strain on the machine’s performance and range, further resulting in damage.
As a general guideline, riders should choose e-scooters that exceed their weight by more than 30lbs. It’s always ideal to consult a dealer before purchasing this device to ensure maximum safety and comfort.
These listed factors will be incomplete without discussing pricing. No matter how great an electric scooter is, some buyers may still opt for an affordable model while others are willing to spend a premium for higher-end options. A beginner who doesn’t want to break the bank can select a low-cost, entry-level model. Such affordable mobility devices are best for learning how to ride. They are typically priced between $300 and $600.
There are also mid-range models for frequent commuters, which are a good value for money. They come with a few high-end features to enhance the riding experience. These range in price from $600 to $1,000. And for those with deep pockets, high-end e-scooters are available. They sit at the pinnacle of comfort, quality, and performance. With prices ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 or more, they have premium features through any terrain, endure high speeds, and cover long distances.
An electric scooter is among the best modes of transportation on the market today. Not only are they efficient and convenient, but they also improve traffic, fuel, and emission reduction. They meet budgets, needs, and preferences. As with other vehicles, e-scooter riders should practice caution and always abide by traffic rules to ensure safety.
Article by Born Realist