Electric Scooters

Best Cheap Electric Scooters under $500

After extensive tests, we have picked the 5 top budget scooters for 2024.

Rasmus from ERideHero next to a wide range of entry-level electric scooters with the ocean in the background
Founder & EV Reviewer
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Looking for a reliable electric scooter under $500? We've done the hard work, testing more than 30 models to find the best for every use.

Electric scooters don't have to break the bank. Entry-level models can be reliable, too. Through a half-decade, we have rigorously tested numerous electric scooters to find the best at every price point.

Driven by our real-world test approach, here are five budget-friendly gems, all under $500. Whether you're new to electric scooters, need a dependable daily commuter, or want a portable ride for short trips, we've got you covered.

Let's find your next ride!

Top Picks Overview

Here's a quick overview of our top picks before we dive deep into their performance and why we chose them.

NIU KQi2 Pro
Best Overall
NIU KQi2 Pro
Read More
Hiboy S2
Best Motor Performance
Hiboy S2
Read More
TurboAnt X7 Max
Best With Quick-Swap Battery
TurboAnt X7 Max
Read More
fluid CityRider
Best Portability
fluid CityRider
Read More
Atomi E20
Best On A Dime
Atomi E20
Read More

What Are The Best Electric Scooters Under $500?

Best Overall NIU KQi2 Pro

Best overall electric scooter under 500 dollars award for the NIU KQi2 Pro $539.98 at NIU
Quick TakeQuick Take
The NIU KQi2 Pro is our favorite electric scooter under $500. It is incredibly reliable, highly comfortable and offers the longest real-world range on this list. It also has an industry-leading 24-month waranty, testament to its durability.
dashboard
Tested Speed
17.3 MPH
range
Tested Range
19.8 miles
Motor
Motor Power
300W
battery-charging
Battery Capacity
365 Wh
weight
Weight
40.6 lbs
weight scale
Max Load
220 lbs

What we like

  • checkmarkExceptional range
  • checkmarkHigh stability and good handling
  • checkmarkGreat lights
  • checkmarkIncredibly reliable
  • checkmark24-month warranty

What we don't like

  • crossSlow charging
  • crossLackluster acceleration
  • crossPoor on hills

Speed, Acceleration & Hill Climbing

Motor performance isn't where the 48V 300W NIU KQi2 Pro shines. In our tests, we clocked a 17.3 MPH top speed, and accelerated to 15 MPH in 8.83 seconds. It has its limitations on hills as well, but that is to be expected for majority of entry-level scooters. While it isn't the best choice for steep inclines, the KQi2 Pro has the power needed for flat urban commutes.

Range, Battery & Charging

The KQi2 Pro delivered the longest real-world range out of all models on this list. Thanks to its 365Wh battery, we got 18.9 miles on a single charge in normal riding conditions. The KQi2 Pro stands out with its 48V system, which provides better performance retention than the competitors as battery levels get low; it doesn't loose its zing. However, charging takes about 7 hours, which is slower than we'd like.

Ride Quality

The NIU KQi2 Pro offers a smooth and stable ride, thanks to its large 10" x 2.3" pneumatic tubeless tires which absorb road vibrations effectively and provide strong traction. Its rear-wheel drive and low ground clearance makes it very stable and reponsive in handling.

The low-maintenance braking setup, with a drum and regenerative brake, delivers excellent stopping power. Other highlights we love are the classic grip tape for good footing and wide handlebars for comfort.

Portability

At 40.6 lbs, this is the heaviest scooter on the list. However, anything below 45 lbs is still very manageable. The dimensions strike a balance between ride comfort and portability and it easily has the best folding mechanism in this round-up.

Build Quality & Safety

The NIU KQi2 Pro is built to perfection. The KQi2 Pro oozes reliability and functional design. From the sturdy yet easy-to-use folding mechanism to its great lighting setup, NIU doesn't cut corners despite the competitive price. Thanks to the large pneumatic tires and IP54 weatherproofing, it is one of the best options under $500 for riding in the rain, too. The 220 lbs max load does limit the fun for heavier riders, but very few cheap scooters will perform with loads above 200 lbs due to their limited motor power.

Why We Chose The KQi2 Pro

We chose the NIU KQi2 Pro because it is the best overall option below $500 in our books. It ticks all the boxes with long range, great ride quality, excellent durability and a 24-month warranty. Everything is above standard apart from the modest motor performance.

Read our full NIU KQi2 Pro review

Best Motor Performance Hiboy S2

ERideHero Awards - best motor performance electric scooter under $500 - Hiboy S2 $599.99$299.99 at Hiboy
Quick TakeQuick Take
The Hiboy S2 leads the game in acceleration and handles hills well, but its narrow handlebars and small solid tires makes for a rough ride. Still, plenty of value at a very low price.
dashboard
Tested Speed
18.9 MPH
range
Tested Range
11.4 miles
Motor
Motor Power
350W
battery-charging
Battery Capacity
270 Wh
weight
Weight
31.9 lbs
weight scale
Max Load
220 lbs

What we like

  • checkmarkImpressive acceleration
  • checkmarkExcellent value
  • checkmarkLightweight and portable
  • checkmarkGreat braking performance
  • checkmarkApp compatible

What we don't like

  • crossPoor ride quality
  • crossRough around the edges
  • crossLacks stability at speed

Speed, Acceleration & Hill Climbing

Motor performance is the strongest feature of the Hiboy S2. Its 36V 350W front-drive motor reached a top speed of 18.9 MPH in our tests, and it scored the best in acceleration to 15 MPH out of the bunch (6.89 s). Thanks to its strong torque, it performs well on moderate inclines up to 15%, so if your commute has hills, it's likely a better pick than the KQi2 Pro. The Hiboy S2 offers the most speed relative to both price and weight.

Range, Battery & Charging

With a relatively small battery capacity of 270 Wh, we "only" got 11.4 miles of real-world range on this electric scooter. This limits it to shorter commutes or as a last-mile scooter in conjunction with other means of transport. Still, the range isn't bad for its price. It took us 4 hours to fully charge the Hiboy S2 which is considered moderately good.

Ride Quality

The ride quality is where the Hiboy S2 falls short. Its 8.5" x 2" solid honeycomb tires are convenient but they don't absorb any road vibrations. To alleviate that, the S2 has two rear springs. However, in our testing, they do little to nothing to improve comfort. With nowhere for vibrations to go, the ride quality is rough on anything but perfect roads. The rear disc and regen braking performance is still solid.

Portability

At 31.9 lbs, the Hiboy S2 is one of the lightest scooters on this list. It has an effective folding mechanism with a safety pin for extra protection that seamlessly hooks to a latch on the rear fender. It's compact and easy to carry around thanks to its even weight distribution and slim stem.

Build Quality & Safety

The built quality of the Hiboy S2 is good although it is a little rough around the edges. It's based on the immensely popular Xiaomi M365 design that has been a staple for years. The fenders are fairly sturdy and the lights are bright and visible from any angle. Despite having an IPX4 rating, it is not recommended for riding in the rain due to its small solid tires as traction is compromised. With a 220 lbs max load, it isn't ideal for heavy riders either.

Why We Chose The S2

We chose the Hiboy S2 because it is great value for the money and offers the best motor performance found at its price. It isn't perfect; the ride lacks comfort and stability at full speed, but its a solid foundation for those with hills to climb.

Read our full Hiboy S2 review

Best With Quick-Swap Battery TurboAnt X7 Max

ERideHero awards 2024 - best quick-swap battery scooter under 500 dollars - TurboAnt X7 Max $599.98$449.98 at TurboAnt
Quick TakeQuick Take
The TurboAnt X7 Max delivers reliable performance at a great value. Its unique quick-swap battery makes it convient and portable, and its max load of 275 lbs welcomes heavier riders.
dashboard
Tested Speed
19.5 MPH
range
Tested Range
15.4 miles
Motor
Motor Power
350W
battery-charging
Battery Capacity
360 Wh
weight
Weight
34.2 lbs
weight scale
Max Load
275 lbs

What we like

  • checkmarkQuick-swap battery
  • checkmarkPortable design
  • checkmarkGood range
  • checkmark10" pneumatic tires
  • checkmarkSolid overall value

What we don't like

  • crossNot the best acceleration
  • crossTop-heavy design
  • crossNarrow handlebars
  • crossFlimsy rear fender

Speed, Acceleration & Hill Climbing

Thanks to a 36V, 350W the TurboAnt X7 Max scored a high top speed of 19.5 MPH in our tests. While the acceleration isn't impressive, its high top speed translate to solid performance on hills up to 15%.

Range, Battery & Charging

We got a solid 15.4 miles of real-world range on the X7 Max. It sets itself apart with a 360Wh quick-swap battery that opens up a world of convenience. You can bring the standalone battery in for a charge, carry it separately for portability or extend your range by purchasing an extra pack. It took us just over 5 hours to charge the battery, which is considered fast for its size.

Ride Quality

The X7 Max is fairly comfortable to ride, thanks to its large 10-inch pneumatic tires. However, the stem-mounted battery gives the scooter a high center of gravity, making it harder to handle and control. Combined with fairly narrow handlebars, the X7 Max leaves a bit to be desired in comfort, but greatly favors practicality with its battery.

Portability

The X7 scores well on portability at 34.2 lbs. Its folid mechanism is solid and easy to operate, although the rear fender hook requires a bit of precision to hit. The battery makes for a thick stem that is a bit awkward to carry. Removing the battery leaves you with a too-slim stem that is also not ideal. Still, the X7 Max is nimble for the functionality it delivers.

Build Quality & Safety

The TurboAnt X7 Max is very sturdy, considering it is a cheap electric scooter. At its price, it is hard to beat on durability. With a weight capacity of 275 lbs, it can support heavier rider, although the motor may not be strong enough to carry max load riders over steep hills. The lighting setup is decent and thanks to an IPX4 weather resistance score combined with large air-filled tires, it handles light rain and wet roads confidently.

Why We Chose The X7 Max

We chose the TurboAnt X7 Max electric scooter for its high weight capacity, convenient swappable battery setup and high top speed. It is a reliable machine with great value that strikes a good balance in overall performance.

Read our full TurboAnt X7 Max review

Best Portability fluid CityRider

$599$399 at FluidFreeRide
Get 5% off with code ERIDEHERO
ERideHero Awards 2024 - Best portability in an electric scooter under 500 dollars - Fluid CityRider $599$399 at FluidFreeRide
Get 5% off with code ERIDEHERO
Quick TakeQuick Take
The Fluid CityRider is excellent value for the money. It is highly portable, low maintenance, and has the best range relative to weight on this list. It falls short in low-end power and ride comfort.
dashboard
Tested Speed
17.9 MPH
range
Tested Range
16.9 miles
Motor
Motor Power
350W
battery-charging
Battery Capacity
360 Wh
weight
Weight
31 lbs
weight scale
Max Load
265 lbs

What we like

  • checkmarkBest range for its weight
  • checkmarkHighly portability
  • checkmarkTurn signals
  • checkmarkRequires minimal maintenance
  • checkmarkSolid build

What we don't like

  • crossRough ride quality
  • crossLong brake distance
  • crossSubpar motor performance
  • crossGrip tape may loosen

Speed, Acceleration & Hill Climbing

The fluid CityRider has mediocre motor performance. Powered by a 36V, 350W front hub motor, it reached a GPS-verified top speed of 17.9 MPH and accelerated to 15 MPH in 8.24 seconds in our tests. Similar to the NIU KQi2 Pro, it doesn't set any speed records. It also struggles on inclines above 10% - while it's adequate for flat urban commuting, it isn't ideal for challenging hill commutes.

Range, Battery & Charging

The fluid CityRider's 36V 360Wh battery delivers great performance. It stands out for providing the longest range for its weight among scooters under $500, with a verified 16.9 miles. However, its charging time is a bit slow, taking about 6 hours for a full charge. If you're after long range in a lightweight package, the CityRider doesn't disappoint.

Ride Quality

While the CityRider is both sturdy and reliable, the ride quality suffers with small, solid tires and no suspension. In our braking tests, the CityRider's drum and electronic regen braking setup performed relatively poorly. It's not a safety concern, but it had the longest stopping distance on this list.

Portability

The CityRider is a true featherweight in the electric scooter space. At a mere 31 lbs, it's super easy to carry, and its compact dimensions make it a great option for carrying on the train or bus. The folding mechanism is good, too. It is easy to operate without excessive force and has a safety pin and plastic slider that ensure it doesn't come undone by accident.

Build Quality & Safety

The FluidFreeRide CityRider offers impressive build quality, especially for its price. It's unique in its category for including turn signals, a key safety feature for commuters. Our stress tests on its folding mechanism and kickstand showed it's quite durable. It also has excellent weather resistance with an IP55 rating, the best in its class. However, due to its lack of suspension and solid tires, we recommend avoiding use in wet conditions.

Why We Chose The CityRider

We chose the fluid CityRider because it is a reliable and lightweight electric scooter packed with value. It has the best range-to-weight ratio on this list and safety features like turn signals, and two-layered folding mechanism protection. For the practical commuter, the CityRider is a low-maintenance dream.

Read our full fluid CityRider review

Best On A Dime Atomi E20

Eridehero awards for the best electric scooter on a dime - Atomi E20 $259 at Amazon
Quick TakeQuick Take
The Atomi E20 is the cheapest electric scooter we can confidently recommend. It is surprisingly comfortable and very lightweight.
dashboard
Tested Speed
15.6 MPH
range
Tested Range
10.8 miles
Motor
Motor Power
250W
battery-charging
Battery Capacity
270 Wh
weight
Weight
30.2 lbs
weight scale
Max Load
265 lbs

What we like

  • checkmarkComfortable ride quality
  • checkmarkLightweight
  • checkmarkHighly affordable
  • checkmarkWide handlebars

What we don't like

  • crossLow speed
  • crossSlow acceleration
  • crossStruggles on hills
  • crossHandlebar grips can twist

Speed, Acceleration & Hill Climbing

As the cheapest electric scooter on this list, the Atomi E20 doesn't match top performers with its 250W motor. We clocked a top speed of 15.6 MPH and accelerating to 15 MPH to 12.5 seconds. In other words, this scooter is only suited for flat terrain and riders below 220 lbs.

Range, Battery & Charging

Powered by a 270Wh battery, the Atomi E20 delivered 10.8 miles of range on a single charge in our tests. While it isn't as much as the more expensive KQi2 Pro, it is still competitive relative to its price. For short inner-city commutes or in connection with public transport, the E20 is both practical and capable.

Ride Quality

The Atomi E20 surprised us with its ride quality. Thanks to its 8.5-inch pneumatic tires and ultra-wide handlebars, it offers one of the most comfortable rides on the list. However, there are a few imperfections, like the handlebar grips being a bit loose, and the braking distance, while adequate for its limited power, could be better.

Portability

At only 30.2 lbs, the Atomi E20 is the lightest electric scooter is this guide. The less-powerful hardware explains a lot, but the folding mechanism is decent and it is easy to carry and store in compact spaces.

Build Quality & Safety

The structural integrity of the Atomi E20 is good, although it feels a bit creaky here and there. Through our extensive testing, it's held up well and handled several rainy rides with no complaints. It has a decent light setup and an IP54 weather resistance rating.

Why We Chose The E20

We chose the Atomi E20 because it is incredibly cheap yet reliable and comfortable. It's a solid choice if you're on a very limited budget and need a practical last-mile solution.

Read our full Atomi E20 review
Tip

Use our daily updated electric scooter price tracker for the best deals on popular models.

How We Tested & Picked

Rasmus from ERideHero sitting at the shore in front of a wide selection of more than 20 electric scooters

Our selection of the best electric scooters under $500 is based on extensive hands-on testing rooted in data and in-depth research. We aim to give you trustworthy and straightforward recommendations.

Our Testing Process

Vbox Sport next to a screenshot of data in VBox Test Suite

We believe in a rigorous testing approach, which is why we used the VBox Sport data logger to extensively test over 30 electric scooters within the $500 price range. Our methodology involved conducting more than 32 tests and measurements on each scooter.

Key Performance Tests

  • Top Speed: We measured the scooter's top speed on a flat, smooth road, conducting two-way tests and averaging the results to account for wind momentum.
  • Acceleration: We performed at least 10 acceleration runs to 15 MPH, averaging these out and conducting tests in various directions to neutralize wind effects.
  • Hill Performance: We tested each scooter on a consistent 8% incline over 250 ft to measure completion time and average speed. Then, we pushed them on increasingly steeper hills to determine the maximum grade they could handle.
  • Braking Efficiency: We measured the braking distance from 15 MPH to evaluate the brakes' effectiveness.
  • Range Variability: Conducted three range tests at different speeds to assess mileage performance across the speed spectrum.
Braking test on the NIU KQi3 Pro
play

Additional Quality Assessments

  • Size and Weight Verification: We independently measured each scooter's size and weight to verify manufacturer claims.
  • Battery Quality: We used voltmeters and stress tests under load to assess battery integrity.
  • Durability Tests: We simulated wear by folding the folding mechanism 100 times and using the kickstand 500 times, checking for any loss in integrity.
  • Weather Testing: Scooters were tested in several rain rides to ensure weather resilience.

Consistency in Testing

Riding an electric scooter up a steep hill

To ensure a consistent basis for comparison, all tests were conducted under similar conditions.

Test rider: Rasmus Barslund
Weight: 175 lbs
Height: 5'11"

All tests were carried out in temperatures between 10-25 degrees Celsius and in dry weather conditions, except for rain test rides. Each scooter was ridden for a minimum of 150 miles, adhering to our 'minimal miles rule,' to provide a thorough evaluation.

To learn more about our testing methods, check out our How We Test page.

Basis of Our Picks

Our picks are rooted in our expertise from testing over 70 models since 2017, detailed ride data, and ongoing market research, including customer and expert feedback, brand reliability, and retailer reputation.

Picks For Specific Needs

We understand there's no single best scooter for everything, especially under $500. Rather than choosing the five fastest models, we focused on a diverse selection. We've chosen models that excel in specific areas like range, motor performance, portability, or rain riding. This ensures there's an option for everyone.

Data-Driven Analysis

Rasmus Barslund from ERideHero looking at ride data for hoverboards he tested

Based on our own test data, we used metrics like $/MPH, $/mile, MPH/lbs, and mile/lbs to objectively assess performance relative to price or weight. This ensures our picks offer the best balance of cost and capability.

Quality and Reliability Focus

Closeup of using the folding mechanism on the Segway G2 Max
play

Build quality and reliability are crucial in our selection, particularly for budget scooters where manufacturers are known to cut corners. Through our stress tests and wear simulation, we were able to find the models with the best structural integrity and reliability.

How To Choose an Electric Scooter Under $500

With a $500 budget, finding the perfect electric scooter means prioritizing what matters most to you, be it range, hill performance, or comfort. This section will help you dial in on the features that align with your needs.

How To Choose a Cheap Electric Scooter infographic

It's hard to tick all the boxes with a small budget. Ask yourself the following questions to help you decide which electric scooter is right:

  1. How much range do I need?
    Electric scooter batteries are expensive, so it's inevitably an area where some manufacturers cut costs. Consider the distance of your commute or recreational rides. Electric scooters under $500 typically have 270-360Wh of battery capacity, yielding 10-15 miles of real-world range.
    • Best for range: The NIU KQi2 Pro had the longest real-world range of 18.9 miles in our tests. If the range is crucial to you, it is a good option that also offers solid ride comfort. (Full KQi2 Pro review).
  2. Will I ride on hills?
    Climbing hills is demanding in terms of motor power. If you have inclines to conquer, focus on high motor power (W). Cheap electric scooter motors typically have 250-350W of nominal output.
    • Best for hills: The Hiboy S2 and TurboAnt X7 Max are the best options for hilly terrain. The TurboAnt X7 Max is more comfortable but also more expensive. The S2 is a rougher ride but accelerates faster.
    • Tip: Manufacturers may state nominal and peak motor output (in W). It is important to differentiate between the two. Nominal/rated power is most indicative of performance.
  3. What are the road conditions like?
    Entry-level scooters typically have no suspension, often with solid tires. If road conditions in your area are poor, consider models with large pneumatic tires for shock absorption.
    • Best ride quality: The NIU KQi2 Pro has the best ride quality of sub-$500 electric scooters. On the lower end, the Atomi E20 is also worth mentioning, though it falls short in other areas.
  4. Will I need to carry it?
    Most entry-level electric scooters are fairly lightweight and portable due to their low-end hardware. Still, a 30 lbs scooter will be easier to carry than a 40 lbs one. If you need to do a lot of carrying, consider lightweight options.
    • Best for portability: The Fluid CityRider is the best for its weight. It only weighs 31 lbs, folds easily, and boasts an impressive 16.9-mile real-world range.
  5. Will I ride in the rain?
    Consider the scooter's weather resistance if you plan to ride in wet conditions. E-scooters use the IP rating system; the second digit refers to the water protection level - the higher, the better (e.g., IP55 is better than IP54). Solid electric scooter tires have bad traction in the rain, making for an unsafe ride, so prioritize large pneumatic tires.
    • Best for the rain: The NIU KQi2 Pro has large tubeless air tires and an IP54 rating, making it ideal for light to moderate rain. The TurboAnt X7 Max is also worth considering.
    • Note: Manufacturers and retailers do not cover water damage. An IP rating is not an insurance, so ride with caution.
  6. What weight limit do I need?
    Electric scooters typically have a rated weight limit. Exceeding the maximum load may cause premature wear and tear, compromise safety, or even overload electronic components. Electric scooters in this price range typically have a weight capacity of 220-275 lbs.
    • Highest weight capacity: The TurboAnt X7 Max has a weight limit of 275 lbs, the highest in its class. This makes it ideal for heavier riders.
    • Note: Performance drops under heavier loads. This means you get less speed and range, slower acceleration, and worse performance on hills.

Cheap E-Scooters: Frequently Asked Questions

Are Cheap Electric Scooters Safe?

Yes, cheap electric scooters can be safe, provided you choose models with essential safety features like effective brakes, adequate lighting, and a solid build.

Stick to tried and tested models with positive customer feedback and buy from reputable brands or retailers to avoid less reliable options. Always wear a helmet and adhere to traffic laws for safety.

Can They Be Used For Daily Commuting?

Yes, many cheap electric scooters are suitable for daily commuting. Ensure their real-world range falls within your travel distance, and the scooter can handle the terrain of your route. Most electric scooters can only cover 60-70% of their advertised range in real-world conditions. Our electric scooter reviews are a great resource for GPS-verified range tests.

Tip

Get a range estimation using our range calculator before buying an electric scooter. It uses an advanced algorithm based on our real-world ride data for high accuracy.

How Long Do Cheap Electric Scooters Last?

Cheap electric scooters typically last 1-3 years, depending on usage, maintenance, and build quality. Regular care and avoiding extreme conditions can extend their lifespan. Keep in mind that battery performance may decline over time.

What Are the Key Differences Between Cheap and Expensive Electric Scooters?

Expensive electric scooters generally offer longer battery life and range, superior build quality, and more powerful motors for higher speeds and better hill climbing. They also tend to feature advanced extras like enhanced suspension, higher water resistance, and smart connectivity.

With the extra hardware, more expensive scooters are typically heavier and may, in some cases, require more maintenance with additional moving parts.

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Rasmus is the founder of ERideHero. Through half a decade, he has tested more than 110 electric rides across more than 6,400 miles. He handles the review process, content creation, and all things web and video.