Electric Scooters

Buying Guide: How To Choose an Electric Scooter

Finding the right electric scooter in a vast market is challenging. This buying guide cuts through the clutter and teaches you everything you need to know to pick the perfect scooter for your needs and budget.

Rasmus from ERideHero sitting at the shore in front of a wide selection of more than 20 electric scooters
Founder & EV Reviewer
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After spending over half a decade rigorously testing a wide range of electric scooters, I've gained a deep understanding that there's no one-size-fits-all solution. Each rider has unique requirements and preferences.

In this guide, I dive into the nuances of different models and help you understand how to match a scooter's capabilities to your specific needs, ensuring you make a choice you'll be satisfied with for years to come. Let's ride!

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

Purchasing the perfect electric scooter starts with understanding your specific needs. This section helps you evaluate key aspects to make an informed decision that aligns with your lifestyle.

Factors to consider when buying an electric scooter infographic

Picking the right scooter takes time and requires research. However, a good place to start is to consider the following key factors:

  1. How will you use it?
    • Commuting: If the scooter is for daily commutes, consider factors like distance to your workplace, terrain type (flat or hilly), and whether you need to carry it on public transport. Look for a scooter with a balance of range and portability.
    • Recreation: For leisurely rides or weekend adventures, focus on scooters with higher comfort and performance. Consider features like larger tires, better suspension, and longer range for enjoyable rides.
  2. What is your budget?
    • Determine your spending limit as scooter prices range from $250 to $5000. Higher-priced scooters generally offer better performance, range, and durability, but there are reliable options in each price bracket.
  3. How much range do you need?
    • Assess the typical distance you need to cover on a single charge. Remember that real-world range is often 50-70% of the manufacturer's stated range due to factors like riding style, weight, and terrain.
  4. What terrain will you ride on?
    • If your commute or leisure rides include hilly or off-road terrain, opt for a scooter with higher motor power and shock absorption for a smoother ride.
  5. Do you need portability or power?
    • If you need to carry your scooter frequently, prioritize lightweight and compact models over powerful dual-motor options. Features like a foldable design are essential for ease of transport.

Actionable Tips:

Factors to Consider When Buying an Electric Scooter

When selecting an electric scooter, it's important to weigh various factors such as cost, performance, and features to find the best fit for your needs.

Many electric scooters standing next to each other, all owned and tested by ERideHero
Tip

Determine your budget, then rank the factors below based on what's most important to you. This will help you narrow down options in the buying process and determine which features to prioritize.

Price

Price is a crucial factor when selecting an electric scooter. Electric scooter prices span widely from $250 to $5,000, so it is important to establish a budget that aligns with your needs without compromising on essential features.

Higher-priced models typically offer better performance, range, and durability. However, there are quality options at various price points.

If you need a nimble solution for a 10-mile commute, paying $2,000 is overkill. Conversely, if your commute consists of steep inclines, a $300 scooter won't get you over the hill.

If you have a locked budget, the search starts there. Determine what is most important to you, be it motor power, range, portability, or comfort. See if the best picks within your category and budget match your needs. If not, you may need to save up more or make compromises.

If you have a flexible budget, you have the privilege of deciding on features first and price later. Still, be mindful of overall good value, brand reputation, and user feedback. Our electric scooter reviews will go a long way in telling you if a model is worth its price or not.

Top Speed

Buying Guide: How To Choose an Electric Scooter 1
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Electric scooters have top speeds ranging from 12 to 60 MPH and are largely determined by motor power (measured in W).

For daily commuting, 15-20 MPH is usually adequate, given the challenges of urban traffic and legal restrictions in many areas. From experience, 20 MPH on an electric scooter feels much faster than 20 MPH in a car.

For occasional joyrides on a budget, 25-30 MPH will do the job. It's enough to be exciting without being outright scary. Entry-level dual motor options start at around $1,000.

If you want the pinnacle of performance, you'll have to splurge on a model like the Nami Burn-E 2 Max, which tops out at 60 MPH but carries a premium price tag.

Note: Safety is increasingly important the more speed you have. Check our guide to e-scooter helmets or essential safety tips to stay on top of best practices.

Hill Climbing Ability

Riding an electric scooter up a steep hill

An electric scooter's ability to conquer inclines is mainly determined by motor power (W), torque, and whether it has one or two motors.

The higher the motor power (W), the better hill performance you can generally expect. Torque is sadly rarely specified by manufacturers but also translates to better pull from a standstill. Lastly, dual-motor scooters are generally superior on hills (even at the same total W).

Low Hills (Gentle Slopes):

  • Gradient: 0-5 degrees (0-8.7% grade)
  • Motor Power Needed: 300W to 400W
  • Electric scooters with motors in the range of 300 to 400 watts are generally sufficient for navigating low hills or gentle slopes. 300W scooters will start to struggle around 8%, while 400W leaves sufficient headroom for heavier-than-average riders.

Moderate Hills:

  • Gradient: 6-10 degrees (10-17.6% grade)
  • Motor Power Needed: 500W to 1000W
  • Moderate hills require more motor power. 500W scooters should comfortably handle 6-degree inclines, while you may need up to 1000W of power for 10-degree slopes.

Steep Hills:

  • Gradient: 10-15 degrees (17.6-26.8% grade)
  • Motor Power Needed: 1000W to 2000W
  • Steep hills are demanding. You'll typically need at least 1000W of motor power, preferably in a dual-motor setup.

Ultra Steep Hills:

  • Gradient: Above 15 degrees (26.8% grade)
  • Motor Power Needed: 2000W or more
  • For ultra-steep hills, you'll need the pinnacle of motor performance. We're talking dual-motor options with at least 2000W, and the battery will be churned through at a rapid speed.

Range & Battery

Electric scooters offer between 5 and 90 miles of range. Mileage is mostly determined by battery capacity (measured in Wh), but secondary factors to motor power, scooter and rider weight, ride efficiency, tire pressure, and riding style can greatly impact range.

It is crucial to consider how much real-world range you need. Based on our experience, manufacturers overinflate maximum range numbers to sell more scooters. For the average rider, you can generally expect 50-70% of the advertised range.

If you'll be relying on an electric scooter for daily commuting, I recommend choosing a model with a bit more range and battery capacity than you think you'll need. This extra capacity acts as a safety buffer, ensuring you won't be left pushing your scooter for the last mile home - I've had my fair share of exhausting walks of shame during range tests.

Based on my real-world range tests as a 175 lbs rider of more than 80 models, you can expect to pay the following on range-focused models:

CostRange
<$300<6 miles
$300-$400<10 miles
$400-$60010-20 miles
$600-$80020-25 miles
$800-$1,00025-30 miles
$1,000-$1,50030-35 miles
$1,500-$2,00035-40 miles
>$2,000>40 miles

As you can see, between $400 and $1,000 is the sweet spot where you see the biggest increase in range relative to price. More expensive models tend to favor more advanced features, stronger motors, and better ride quality.

Pro Tip

Use our electric scooter range calculator to estimate your real-world range. It's based on an advanced algorithm developed from our extensive real-world ride data and takes factors like rider weight, motor power, and riding style into account.

Portability & Weight

Small compact electric scooter vs big powerful electric scooter
The ultra-compact Unagi Model One and the hyper-performance Nami Burn-E 2 Max

Portability and weight are key for those needing to carry their scooter regularly. Consider whether you'll be taking it on public transport, up stairs, or storing it in tight spaces.

Lightweight electric scooters are practical but sacrifice range, power, and comfort. Heavier models are typically more powerful and comfortable to ride, but they're difficult to carry and bring with you on the fly.

Consider if convenience or performance is most important to you, and look for a balance that suits your daily needs. You don't wanna carry 30 lbs of deadweight in a spec monster that never gets to shine. At the same time, if you have a 20-mile commute and the scooter only lasts 10 miles, practicality only goes so far.

The table below will give you an indication of the level of performance you can expect from certain scooter weights.

WeightRangeTop SpeedCarrying
20-25 lbs8 miles15 MPHUltra-light
25-30 lbs14 miles18 MPHVery light
30-40 lbs18 miles22 MPHFairly light
40-50 lbs25 miles28 MPHSomewhat heavy
50-60 lbs32 miles32 MPHHeavy
60-80 lbs40 miles38 MPHVery heavy
80 lbs and upOver 45 milesOver 42 MPHUltra-heavy
(Best to be two)
Based on our independent test data. Carrier is a 175 lbs male for reference.

Rider Weight & Max Load

All electric scooters have a manufacturer-specified max load (or weight limit). While there are scooters designed for heavier riders, weight limits typically fall between 220 lbs and 330 lbs.

infographic explaining how rider weight affects the performance of electric scooters

Exceeding the weight limit can negatively impact motor and battery performance, durability, and safety. It is important to ensure that the scooter you're eyeing is up for the task. The structural integrity of entry-level models typically isn't as good as that of high-end models.

Apart from the obvious safety issue with budget scooter frames not being designed to hold upwards of 300 lbs, rider weight greatly impacts speed and range.

The more load the scooter is under, the harder the motor has to work to propel you forward. As it draws more energy from the battery to achieve the same momentum, mileage will drop as well.

Most manufacturer-stated performance numbers - especially range - are based on light test riders in a perfect environment. If you're on the heavier end, consider buying yourself some headroom performance-wise to account for diminished performance.

Size & Dimensions

The dimensions and size of an electric scooter play a pivotal role in ride stability and comfort.

If you're a tall rider, you won't be as comfortable on a small, ultra-portable scooter. Big feet and a wide frame require wide handlebars and a spacious deck to ensure an ergonomic riding posture.

For short riders, behemoth high-end models may be too large to handle and may even strain the rider during longer rides.

A deck-to-handlebar height of 39.3 inches (100 cm) to 41.3" (105 cm) is the sweet spot that most scooters fall within. This height caters well to riders between 5'5" (165 cm) and 6'2" (188 cm) of height. Riders below or above should look for more niche-designed scooters to ensure proper posture.

Pro Tip

If the electric scooter is to be used by more than one rider, consider getting a model with an adjustable handlebar height like the Fluid Mosquito.

Tires & Suspension

Segway Ninebot Max G2 suspension test
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The tires and suspension system (if present) have a major impact on ride quality.

There are two main types of electric scooter tires:

  • Pneumatic tires (air-filled)
  • Solid tires
Man holding a pneumatic inner tube tire for an electric scooter wearing an ERideHero shirt
A pneumatic (air-filled) electric scooter tire with an inner tube.

Pneumatic tires come in two variations: tubeless and tubed. Tubeless tires are most popular among riders as they hold air better and reduce weight. They're typically more expensive and harder to change, though.

Air tires are vastly superior in ride comfort as they provide better traction, absorb road vibrations, and handle better, particularly in the rain. However, they require more maintenance as you have to regularly check and maintain optimum air pressure and deal with possible punctures.

Man holding a honeycomb solid tire for an electric scooter wearing an ERideHero shirt
A solid electric scooter tire with a honeycomb pattern

Solid tires are also found in two variations: solid core and honeycomb. While solid core tires are solid all the way through, honeycomb tires feature air pockets either inside or outside of the tire to mimic the bounce pneumatic tires offer.

The main benefit of solid tires is that they're cheap and virtually maintenance-free (at least until you wear down the tire tread). On the flip side, they offer little to no cushioning, which makes for a rough ride, and honeycomb tires, sadly, aren't anywhere near as comfortable as air tires.

Dual spring suspension at the rear of the Apollo City Pro 2023

Suspension systems help to improve ride comfort further by absorbing shocks. The most common types include spring, hydraulic, and rubber suspension. In some cases, the suspension system may be adjustable.

Hydraulic suspension is typically considered the best, but it's typically only found in high-end models, and even still, suspension quality may differ greatly between models despite using the same technology.

Electric scooters with solid tires and no suspension are extremely rough to ride as there is no way for vibrations to go. This results in what many riders describe as a "brain massage." Despite what your needs are, I recommend looking for a scooter with at least one type of shock absorption - whether that is pneumatic tires or suspension.

From personal experience, an air-tire scooter with no suspension feels a bit better and provides a more versatile riding experience than a solid tire scooter with suspension. If you have both, you're golden, but I prioritize pneumatic tires, as solid tires perform poorly on wet surfaces.

Tip

Consider where you'll be using the electric scooter. Poor road conditions call for dampening, while you can get away with a more static setup on smooth pavement.

Brakes

Reliable braking is crucial for safety. There are four types of brakes:

  • Disc brakes (mechanical and hydraulic)
  • Drum brakes
  • Electronic regenerative brakes
  • Rear foot brake
Electric scooter brake types comparison table

Disc brakes offer the best stopping power but require the most maintenance. Hydraulic disc brakes are superior for high-end performance but are generally more expensive.

Drum brakes are the second most performant and require less maintenance than disc brakes. They're typically found on commuter models with limited power, but we're seeing the industry moving towards dual drum brakes on more performance-oriented models as the stopping power is still good.

Electronic regenerative brakes (or E-ABS) are a secondary type of brake system that works directly in the motor(s). It is typically not enough as a standalone but can work well in conjunction with disc or drum brakes to increase stopping power. Regen brakes feed kinetic energy back into the battery to increase range, but from my hands-on tests, the range boost is negligible at best.

Rear foot brakes involve stepping on the scooter's rear fender, creating friction against the wheel to slow down. They're rare, and for good reason. They're inconsistent, ineffective, and cause premature tire wear. I personally would stay away from using them whatsoever unless you need extra stopping power in an emergency situation.

For high-performance electric scooters, look for dual brake systems (preferably discs). This will deliver the best stopping response possible. Motor regen brakes are a welcome addition.

For electric scooters under 30 MPH, dual drum brakes are sufficient - especially if there's regenerative braking as well.

For electric scooters under 25 MPH, a single disc brake and regen braking are typically enough, and for 20 MPH scooters, a single disc or drum brake is adequate.

Tip

Look for an electric scooter with at least one mechanical brake (disc or drum). Relying solely on electronic braking is risky if the scooter shuts off.

Weather Resistance (IP Rating)

Weather resistance is important, especially if you'll frequently be riding in the rain. Lucky for us, the industry widely uses IP (Ingress Protection) ratings to describe how weatherproofed their scooters are.

IPX5 weather resistance rating explained

The first digit describes dust resistance (with 6 being the highest), and the second digit describes water resistance (with a maximum of 9, although you won't see anything above a 7 in electric scooters). The higher the numbers, the stronger the resistance.

For instance, an IP54 rating means the scooter is protected against limited dust ingress and splashing water. Resistance to water is generally more important for electric scooters than dust unless you're specifically doing heavy off-roading.

IP CodeRecommended Limit
IPX4Wet surfaces, light rain, avoid puddles
IPX5Light-medium rain, avoid puddles
IPX6Heavy rain, can handle puddles
IPX7Heavy rain and big puddles
IP34On-roading, light rain, avoid puddles
IP44Minimal off-roading, light rain, avoid puddles
IP54Dry trails, light rain, avoid puddles
IP55Smooth wet trails, light-medium rain, can handle puddles
IP65Off-roading, light-medium rain, avoid puddles
IP66Off-roading, heavy rain, can handle puddles
IP67Heavy off-roading
NoneBe wary of all wet conditions

IP34, IP44, and IP54 are the bare minimum for light rain riding. If you're commuting in the rain often, look for IP55, IP65, or IP66, as it'll offer better protection in more demanding conditions.

Tip

If you ride on wet roads frequently, consider an electric scooter with pneumatic tires, as they offer much better traction and handling in the rain.

Warranty & After-Sales Support

Electric scooters, despite their improving quality, usually last 2-4 years. Having a solid warranty from a reputable company is beneficial, especially for any manufacturing issues that may not arise right out of the box.

Most electric scooters are covered by a 1-year warranty. However, within the entry-level space, you'll find models with as little as 90 days of warranty. I recommend staying away from those - the short warranty period speaks volumes about the structural integrity of the product and a lack of belief in the brand's own product.

On the other end of the spectrum, manufacturers like NIU offer 2 years of warranty, and others (e.g., FluidFreeRide) combine a 1-year warranty with after-sales repairs at cost.

How do I choose an electric scooter with a good warranty?

  1. Choose a model with at least 12 months of warranty if you're paying more than $500 for your electric scooter. Look for at least 6 months on cheaper models.
  2. Check the manufacturer's reputation online. Look for reviews on Trustpilot, their Facebook page, or Google.
  3. Carefully read the full warranty disclosure related to the model you're interested in. What parts are covered? Who pays for service/repair shipping?
  4. Ask r/electricscooters and Facebook communities for firsthand experiences with retailers/manufacturers you're considering. More often than not, you'll quickly get a

Before buying an electric scooter, it's essential to understand your area's e-scooter laws to avoid potential legal issues. Imagine the frustration of having your new $2,000 scooter confiscated and receiving a fine shortly after purchasing it.

Laws can vary significantly by region, country, and even city, affecting where and how you can ride. Some areas/countries completely prohibit the use of electric scooters. Most regulations involve:

  • Speed limits - Speed limits vary greatly by state in the U.S., but the average is approximately 18 MPH. In the EU, most countries reinforce 20 KMH or 25 KMH limits.
  • Mandatory helmet use - Around 12 states in the United States enforce helmet requirements, often pertaining to riders under 18, but some for all ages. EU countries such as Spain and Denmark have also made helmets mandatory.
  • Age restrictions - Many U.S. states have minimum ages, often 16 or 18, for riders without adult supervision. In the EU, some countries allow riders as young as 14, though often with specific limiting regulations.
  • Designated riding areas - Riding on the sidewalk is prohibited in most places. An equal share of the EU and the US limit electric scooters to bike lanes and roads over pedestrian sidewalks.

Despite the fact that many electric scooter riders admittedly break the law, I strongly advise against it. Not only do you compromise your own safety and that of other road users, but you also run the risk of getting expensive fines and confiscations.

Maintenance

Tightening a nut on an electric scooter

Maintenance is an inevitable part of owning an electric scooter, but some models require more upkeep than others. Generally, more moving parts mean more maintenance. Decide how much maintenance you're willing to do.

Pneumatic tires and disc brakes enhance ride comfort and safety but require significantly more care. Suspension systems will also require lubrication from time to time for optimal performance.

If you want a low-maintenance electric scooter, look for drum brakes. They require much less maintenance than disc brakes, which require you to deal with brake pads and rotors.

If you want a zero-maintenance scooter, look for drum brakes combined with solid tires, but be aware that the ride quality is much rougher, and they have less traction than air-filled tires. Remember, components requiring more maintenance often elevate the riding experience.

Note

Almost all high-performance models (>30 MPH) have air tires, suspension systems, and dual disc brakes. If you aren't ready to undertake maintenance, consider if high-speed models are the right choice for you.

Electric Scooter Categories by Price

The age-old saying, "You get what you pay for," holds true with electric scooters. So, how far does your budget reach, and what performance level can you expect?

To help set expectations, we've sectioned the scooter market into price categories. Let's find out what your budget brings in terms of power, mileage, portability, and features.

Infographic comparison electric scooter categories by price

Entry-Level Scooters (<$500)

Four images of different entry-level electric scooter models from a sideview. Each scooter is held by a person standing on a path by the water, illustrating the scooters' design and build

Entry-level scooters, priced between $200 and $500, are basic in features, typically with minimal customization and few settings.

These affordable options typically have a single motor with a power output of 200W to 400W. Most models have top speeds of 12-18 MPH, but a few get close to 20 MPH.

E-scooters in this price class typically offer 5-12 miles of range and have up to 365 Wh of battery capacity. However, if you're lucky enough to catch a good sale, you can get scooters with up to 18 miles of real-world range under $500.

These scooters are best for short, light commutes in flat, urban environments. They are good for beginners, those seeking a basic scooter for occasional use or for kids and teenagers. A benefit of their small motors and batteries is that they're practical and lightweight (typically 20-35 lbs).

Due to their limited motor performance, they're not ideal for hilly commutes or riders over 220 lbs, as the motor simply can't keep up. As they typically have relatively small tires (often solid), they are not ideal in poor road conditions or on wet roads.

I recommend the following entry-level electric scooters:

Mid-Range Urban Commuter Scooters ($500 - $1,000)

Four images of different mid-range electric scooter models from a sideview. Each scooter is held by a person standing on a path by the water, illustrating the scooters' design and build

If your budget lands between $500 and $1,000, you're looking at much more commuter-focused scooters with improved range and more features.

If you're looking for a reliable commuter scooter rather than a leisurely joyride, set your budget starting at around $500, or even $400 during sales, as your entry threshold.

This price range comes with notable upgrades in performance across the line. Most options are still single-motor but with 350W to 600W of nominal power. The increased power translates to top speeds of up to 25 MPH, stronger acceleration, and better hill climbing ability.

Mid-range commuter scooters often have larger batteries with between 365Wh and 600Wh of capacity, translating to 15-30 miles of real-world range.

They also come with enhanced features like suspension, larger tires, more comfortable decks, improved braking systems, and customization settings to dial in performance to your preference. Due to their stronger hardware, they're typically heavier than entry-level options (30-50 lbs), but there are ultra-portable exceptions.

This category balances performance with value, making it ideal for regular commuters seeking more performance than entry-level models offer. They're better geared for hills, heavier riders, and offer a more comfortable ride with increased range.

Still, if you live in areas with extreme hills or if you're over 250 lbs, you may want to look for dual-motor options in the $1,000 - $1,500 category.

I recommend the following mid-range electric scooters:

Advanced Commuter Scooters ($1,000 - $1,500)

Two images of two electric scooter models in the advanced commuter category priced between 1000 and 1500 dollars

In the $1,000 to $1,500 group, you'll find the most advanced commuting-first electric scooters. These models come with another notable increase in motor and battery performance, often with two motors instead of one. With an additional motor, they can conquer very steep hills and accelerate fast - even for heavy riders.

Advanced commuting scooters offer an extra level for the challenging terrain on long commutes that exceed city borders. With 1,000W to 2,000W of motor power, they can reach top speeds between 25-35 MPH.

Advanced commuter options have larger batteries that can travel further on a single charge. The capacity is usually between 800Wh and 1,200Wh. In my tests, they yield anywhere from 20-40 miles of range.

Almost all advanced commuter scooters have beefy suspension (in some cases hydraulic) which combined with sizable pneumatic tires, greatly improves shock absorption and overall ride quality.

With larger batteries, stronger motors, and a sturdier overall build, they're also notably heavier than sub-$1,000 models. Electric scooters in this category typically weigh 50-70 lbs.

This is the turning point in weight, where you want to carry the scooter as little as possible. If you have lots of stairs to climb daily or need to store it in a tight space, consider some of the portability-focused models within this category.

I recommend the following advanced commuter scooters:

High-Performance Scooters ($1,500 - $2,500)

Two images of a man next to two different electric scooter models - the Apollo Phantom V3 and Apollo City Pro 2023

High-performance electric scooters transcend the commuting space with extreme speeds and/or incredibly long range. Scooters in this class are for thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies who want more than just a convenient means of transportation.

Performance models are—almost without exception—geared with dual motors with 1,500W - 3,000W of power. They reach zipping top speeds up to 45 MPH, and their blazing acceleration and torque allow them to conquer the most demanding hills you can find.

Most high-end scooters deliver impressive range thanks to their sizable high-voltage batteries. With anywhere from 900Wh to 1,500Wh of capacity, they can travel 25-50 miles in the real world.

Above $1,500, electric scooters become luxury. Cutting-edge technology, premium materials, and thrilling performance become standard. These scooters aren't just about getting from A to B; they're an experience - an adventurous kick of adrenaline.

Riders can expect enhancements such as GPS tracking, mobile app connectivity, full customization of the acceleration and braking curve, electronic horns, 10" or 11" air tires, full suspension, and larger disc brakes. With max loads of up to 330 lbs and enough power to pull a trailer, these scooters are ideal for heavy riders in demanding terrain.

Once again, with more hardware comes added weight. High-end scooters typically weigh 60-85 lbs, so carrying them is almost a two-man job. Practicality is traded for power.

I recommend the following high-performance scooters:

Premium Luxury Scooters ($2,500+)

Two images of a man next to two different luxury electric scooters - the Nami Burn E 2 Max and Segway GT2

Scooters priced at $2,500 and above fall into the luxury category, offering top-notch technology, advanced customization, and unmatched, adjustable comfort. Performance is exceptional, with no compromises on any aspect of design or functionality. They embrace the philosophy that more is indeed more.

Premium luxury scooters, with their racecar-like performance ranging from 2,000W to 10,000W motor output, reach staggering speeds of 40 to 70 MPH. These are not for the faint-hearted but designed for thrill-seekers craving the utmost in speed, acceleration, and hill-climbing prowess.

Battery-wise, these scooters boast advanced setups ranging from 1200Wh to 3000Wh, often utilizing the newer 21700 cells for higher energy density over traditional 18650 cells. This translates to a real-world range of 40 to 90 miles, ensuring extensive travel distances on a single charge.

Ride comfort in these models is unparalleled. They often feature ultra-sized, air-filled tires (up to 12 inches) and fully adjustable, often hydraulic, suspension setups that can be tuned to rider weight and preferences, including steering dampeners for high-speed stability.

The feature set on these scooters is extensive, including turn signals, customizable acceleration and brake curves, and robust lighting systems for safety and visibility. They're designed to offer a comprehensive, high-tech riding experience.

In terms of build quality, these scooters use the highest-grade aluminum alloy, often employing advanced welding techniques to endure extreme stresses. They're built to support riders up to 360 lbs. However, their robust build means they can weigh 70 lbs to 110 lbs, making them virtually impossible to carry alone or fit in a trunk.

These premium luxury scooters are the embodiment of extreme performance and unmatched quality, catering to those who seek the best in personal electric transportation.

  • Nami Burn-E 2 Max (One of the fastest production scooters ever made)
  • Segway GT2 (Possibly the smoothest ride I've ever tested)
  • Apollo Pro (Award-winning design with state-of-the-art technology)
  • Inmotion RS - $50 off with code "ERIDEHERO" (IPX6 makes this a winner for wet conditions)
  • Wolf King GTR - $50 off with code "ERIDEHERO664" (Incredible for off-roading and performance value)

Boutique Scooters ($7,500+)

In the exclusive world of boutique electric scooters, priced over $7,500, performance and customization reach new heights. These aren't mass-produced but are individually crafted, with each scooter typically being a custom creation per the customer's specifications.

With motor outputs ranging from 5,000 to 20,000W, they boast top speeds of 60-100 MPH and ranges of 60-120 miles, supported by 2,500-5,000Wh batteries.

Weighing between 90 and 130 pounds and capable of supporting 330 to 380 pounds, these scooters are rarities, mainly seen in racing competitions or specialized events.

Brands like WEPED and Rion dominate this niche market, where exclusivity and performance are the hallmarks.

Where To Buy an Electric Scooter

Where's the best place to buy an electric scooter? It really depends on what you're looking for.

Lineup of electric scooters on asphalt with the ocean in the background in golden hour

There are seven main ways to buy an electric scooter:

Let's explore the options and weigh the pros and cons of each to help you decide which buying route is right for you.

Quick Takeaway:

If you want peace of mind and specialized after-sales service, go for a knowledgeable online or physical retailer or directly from the brand.

If you're serious about saving money and don't mind doing maintenance yourself, there are good deals to be made second-hand or directly from China.

General Online Retailers

General online retailers like Amazon are a one-stop shop for everything you can think of, including a diverse range of electric scooters. They offer the convenience of shopping from home and have a wide selection of models from dozens of popular brands.

While online mega stores are convenient, they lack the firsthand expertise specialized retailers offer. In some cases, orders are fulfilled by 3rd party sellers, which can result in varying customer service quality.

Pros

  • Extensive selection of brands and models
  • Competitive pricing and frequent deals
  • Plenty of unregulated customer reviews for firsthand insights and experiences

Cons

  • Limited expertise in electric scooters
  • Potentially overwhelming selection without guidance
  • Varied customer service experiences

Ideal for: Shoppers who value a broad selection and competitive pricing and are comfortable making decisions based on customer reviews and self-research.

Recommended General Online Retailers

Specialized Online Retailers

Specialized online retailers focus exclusively on electric scooters (or other electric rides) and related gear. The main benefit of going with a specialized retailer is their in-depth knowledge of electric scooters.

They typically carry a smaller selection of scooters, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing; every model they carry is carefully chosen based on reliability and reputation. If they were carrying unreliable products, they'd drown in repair jobs, effectively destroying their base of existence. In other words, they only carry proven brands.

Their expertise ensures that customers receive guidance and recommendations tailored to their specific needs and preferences.

Specialized retailers often establish direct relationships with manufacturers, which translates to better overall customer support, warranty services, and sometimes exclusive models or special editions. The selection might be narrower compared to general online retailers, but it's more refined and focused on quality.

Pros

  • Expertise and in-depth knowledge of e-scooters
  • Curated selection of high-quality models
  • Personalized customer service and support
  • Direct relationships with manufacturers

Cons

  • Limited selection compared to general online retailers
  • Potentially higher prices due to specialization and import
  • Not as many extensive user reviews as found on larger platforms

Ideal for: Riders who seek expert advice, quality assurance, and a premium selection of electric scooters, especially those who value specialized knowledge and customer service:

Recommended Specialized Online Retailers

Physical PEV Stores

These shops, including some like VoroMotors and FluidFreeRide with physical locations, specialize exclusively in personal electric vehicles. They often offer a range of high-quality electric scooters, accessories, and parts, along with expert knowledge and service.

More often than not, they also act as a service center, so if you like to have technical wisdom and repair parts around the corner, you may want to go local.

Pros

  • Firsthand expertise in electric scooters
  • Personalized recommendations
  • Opportunity to test tide different models
  • Local after-sales service and maintenance

Cons

  • Smaller selection compared to large online retailers
  • Potentially higher prices
  • Limited number of physical locations (you may have to travel far)

Ideal for: Riders who want to test one or more scooters firsthand before making a purchase and a personalized shopping experience.

General Physical Stores

Several big box and department stores around the world carry electric scooters as part of a broader range of products.

While they're convenient and allow you to pick up your electric scooter already today, their focus is not solely on electric scooters. This means you won't get the same level of firsthand knowledge and service as with specialized stores.

Pros

  • Wide availability and convenient locations
  • Competitive prices and frequent deals
  • Immediate purchase and pickup

Cons

  • Limited expertise and focus on e-scooters
  • Mostly beginner-friendly models (lack high-end scooters)
  • Less personalized customer service

Ideal for: First-time buyers, beginners, and those looking for a convenient purchase they can pick up today without the need for specialized guidance.

Direct from Brands

Purchasing directly from the brands themselves is an increasingly popular option. This way, you cut out the middleman, be it a general retailer like Amazon or a physical store like Walmart. The main benefit is that you're in direct contact with the brand behind the product, so questions and support queries don't have to go through a 3rd party.

Buying directly from brands also means that there isn't a 3rd party that needs to profit, resulting in competitive pricing. Buying directly from brands does have its limitations; the selection is typically small, and you risk getting a one-sided buying experience. Therefore, it is best to do external research on the product before going direct.

Pros

  • No middleman means competitive pricing
  • Direct customer support
  • Brand-specific promotions, exclusive products
  • Assurance of receiving genuine products

Cons

  • Limited product range
  • Hard to compare side-by-side with other brands
  • Direct purchases sometimes have worse return policies compared to larger retailers

Ideal for: Buyers looking for a specific brand and want competitive pricing with a direct point of contact with no middleman.

Recommended Brands for Direct Purchase

UK & EU
  • NIU Scooters
  • Segway
  • TurboAnt
  • Varla
  • Splach

Direct from China

Buying an electric scooter directly from Chinese platforms like AliExpress and Alibaba offers a unique set of opportunities and challenges. This route is appealing due to lower costs, but it is not for everyone.

Sourcing directly from Asia may be tempting, but ensure you have the technical know-how to handle maintenance yourself and the patience to wait for your scooter to arrive. You also want to double-check if any import fees/taxes apply.

Pros

  • Lower prices compared to other retail options
  • Access to a wide range of products, including lesser-known brands
  • Buying directly from manufacturers or wholesalers

Cons

  • Longer shipping times, often taking weeks or even months
  • Inconsistent tracking and uncertainty in delivery times
  • After-sales service and support can be challenging due to distance, timezones, and language barriers
  • Long wait for spare parts if they aren't widely available locally

Ideal for: Buyers who are looking to save money and have the patience to deal with longer shipping times and potential after-sales service issues. Only suitable for those comfortable with self-maintenance and/or who have easy access to spare parts locally.

Recommended Platforms

  • AliExpress: Individual sellers with a wide range of models that aren't necessarily mainstream in the west. Access to all kinds of spare parts and addons.
  • Alibaba: Mainly a B2B site with a focus on bulk purchases.

Second-Hand Markets

Buying electric scooters from second-hand markets like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace can offer significant savings. However, it's crucial to be cautious, as these markets sometimes have stolen scooters listed.

To avoid inadvertently buying a stolen scooter, you should:

  1. Ask for proof of purchase or ownership documentation.
  2. Check the scooter's serial number and verify it against theft databases or with local law enforcement if possible.
  3. Is the scooter being sold without a charger? Chances are it may be stolen.
  4. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true, as they often are.

Buying a used electric scooter requires a bit of knowledge. It's important to inspec the scooter (ideally in person), ask about its history, and test it before finalizing the deal.

Pros

  • More affordable prices
  • Access to a variety of models, including discontinued ones
  • Opportunity for local pickups and test rides

Cons

  • Risk of hidden issues or wear and tear
  • Likely no warranty or manufacturer support
  • Necessity for careful inspection and verification to avoid buying stolen goods

Ideal for: Those seeking bang for their buck who are comfortable in assessing a scooter's condition, and willing to do the extra legwork to ensure the scooter isn't stolen.

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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.