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The Ultimate Guide To Electric Scooters [Updated For 2020]

Electric Scooters...Let's Kick Off

Space is a commodity that we lack in, especially if you’re living in the city. That is why parking and driving around in your own car isn’t the most economical for many. You’ll need something that’s smaller-scaled and lightweight—the more compact, the better.

This is where electric scooters come in. They are more portable than cars or even bicycles without sacrificing superior performance. Effortlessly commute around the city, pass through narrow side streets, and store the e-scooter under your desk after use. And with how easy they are to ride, more and more people are experiencing the wonders e-scooters provide whether it be for travel or fun.

With the lack of space and their contribution to a more sustainable way of moving around, electric scooters are definitely the vehicles of the future. Discover why e-scooters are the way to go and learn which models you should get by reading on below.

How Electric Scooters Work

It seems uncomplicated if you think about it at first. Of course, this kind of scooter works through electricity as its name implies. But there are more components to consider to understand how an electric scooter works.

Before going into detail, it’s best to know how an electric scooter differs from a traditional kick scooter. At first glance, both might look the same, but an e-scooter has additional parts that are unique to it alone. 

A kick scooter needs outside manipulation (you kicking the ground) for it to move. An e-scooter has a motor and a battery that allows it to move without you needing to put your feet on the ground constantly.

What’s more, a kick scooter can go only as fast as you can strongly kick off. Some e-scooters can do more than 60 kph although a 25kph limit is usually implemented in cities.

Both scooters have a frame and brakes. A frame is the body of your scooter from the long handle down to the base. 

The brakes are the mechanisms that help you decelerate or stop moving. If your scooter has electric brakes, it may be using one of two systems: either a drum system or a disc system. Both systems will help you decelerate (wholly or partially) by creating friction between a moving surface (your e-scooter) and a flat surface (the road).

As mentioned above, an e-scooter has auxiliary components to help you reach maximum speed and top range. Some of these parts are:

  • Motor
  • Battery
  • Motherboard
  • Throttle

A motor is what makes you move forward. It provides the force that the e-scooter needs for movement, and is usually located outside of the wheel (for chain-driven motors) or inside the rim of the wheel (for hub motors).

A battery is what stores the electric energy that is needed for the motor to work. The energy travels through a series of wirings that serve as your e-scooters connectors.

A motherboard acts as the brain of your e-scooter. It is the component that tells all the other e-scooter parts what they need to do. Signals from the battery, motor, throttle, and brakes go to the motherboard, and it sends out the necessary information to other parts.

A throttle can be found in the handlebar, and it controls how slow or fast you can go. When you press down on your throttle (gently or forcefully depending on how fast you go), you’re telling the motherboard the exact momentum the e-scooter needs to generate to get the speed you want.

Let all of these parts work together, and voila! Your e-scooter starts to move and off you’ll go.

Why Should You Buy An Electric Scooter?

Just like any other vehicle, an electric scooter also has its own advantages and disadvantages. It’s a smart idea to learn how an e-scooter can impact your life by learning both. Below are a few pros and cons listed:

Pros

Ease of Use

One excellent reason to get electric scooters is that they’re super easy to use and so much fun! Learning to ride an e-scooter is loads more simple than learning how to ride a motorcycle or even a car.

Anyone can ride an e-scooter even without the same level of technical knowledge. Even children, if you let them try, can make an e-scooter move without any specialised training (in fact, you will struggle to get it back from them after as they will be having too much fun!). Plus, some e-scooter models come with a detachable seat which makes it all the more convenient and uncomplicated.

Mobility and Speed

Another good reason to get an e-scooter is its mobility. You can easily wind through side roads or dirt trails. Unlike motorcycles (which are bulkier) or bicycles (which can be slower and harder to manoeuvre), there is more freedom of movement when riding electric scooters. Scooters are easier to fold up and carry on public transport, so no longer do you have to be “that guy” or “that girl” on the train taking up all the space...you know the ones. 

Aside from public roads and bicycle lanes, some places even allow e-scooters to be ridden on pedestrian tracks which really broadens the places you can reach.

What’s more, electric scooters can take you to places faster than your typical kick scooter or even bicycle. The average speed that an e-scooter can do is about 25-32 kph (although you have to keep in mind the speed limit of your location). Easily reach that speed without breaking a sweat! Some e-scooters are even designed to go faster at 100 kph for chosen models!   

Portability

Living in the city means having to deal with the lack of parking space. Cars and motorcycles obviously take up a lot of that. However, you might even find bicycle parking hard to find in some areas.

An electric scooter doesn’t have a problem with portability. Most e-scooters are designed to be foldable and lightweight. This way, you can easily take it with you on the train, store it under your office desk, or even keep it in the trunk of your car. 

If your house doesn’t have a garage, no worries, you can store your scooter inside the house.

Time Efficient

Time is one of the most valuable resources that we have, and arguably one of the most taken for granted. That’s why it’s essential to put as many time-saving methods into our routine as we can. 

Commuting to school or to work can take up a lot of time, and most people are forced to waste hours on the roads due to traffic.

With an e-scooter, you can avoid the traffic since you won’t necessarily be stuck in traffic. You are freer to find alternative routes to your school or work. You wouldn’t even be dependent on public transport. This being said, many people that buy an electric scooter from us use it to travel to the train station or local transportation, allowing them to shave hours off their commute with our scooters conveniently folding and clipping to carry. 

Environmentally-Friendly

A big reason why electric scooters are making so much noise in the market today is that they’re a great solution to environmental issues concerning personal transport. Sure traditional kick scooters and bicycles still have a leg up on e-scooters on this front, but electric scooters are still way better for the environment than motorcycles and cars.

E-scooters do not emit carbon dioxide, so they don’t contribute to exhaust gases polluting the air. They don’t require fossil fuels to move. In a way, riding e-scooters can minimise your carbon footprint significantly.


Cons

Price

Electric scooters are understandably more expensive than your traditional kick scooter or bicycle. That’s because e-scooter batteries come with quite a hefty price tag. Batteries are costly and hard to produce, after all. And if you want to get the most out of your e-scooter, you’d want it to have the best battery.

If you already have a car, getting an electric scooter might add to expenses that you’re not yet ready to shoulder. But if you don’t have a car, an e-scooter is a logical buy. It is more affordable than a car (even with the maintenance taken into account). 

Commuting Distance

As mentioned above, you should also consider the distance of commute. If you live nearby school or work (less than a kilometre away), the cost might not be justifiable. You can comfortably go to work walking or riding a traditional bike which is more affordable and beneficial to your health. If you need to travel longer distances, the Segway Ninebot Max has a range of 65km before needing to recharge, so if your commute is longer consider a higher-end scooter like this one.

If you live far away from school or work, riding an electric scooter may be a slower way to travel as opposed to driving your car (however, considering traffic it can actually be a much faster ride!). You also have to think about your route. If you need to go on the highway, e-scooters are automatically a no-go. Exercise

Unlike traditional kick scooters, e-scooters are easier to use because they don’t require you to exert a lot of effort for them to move physically. You’ll just mainly be standing up. While that may seem like an advantage for some, it’s not that great if you’re looking to get an e-scooter for exercise.


What to Look for When Buying an Electric Scooter

Now that you know more about the benefits of getting an electric scooter, you should be aware of some components you need to consider when buying one.

Here are a few features that are key to getting the perfect electric scooter for you:

Speed

Speed is affected by your electric scooter’s motor power and tyres, your weight, and the surface you ride on. The heavier you are and the steeper the road, the slower your speed will be.

Most people would think that speed is the baseline of what the best electric scooter would be. But that’s not entirely the case. Sure, for more adventurous people who ride e-scooters for sports, aiming for the top speed might be ideal.

For the average user and daily commuter, the maximum speed is not the be-all and end-all, but it is heaps of fun to go fast! Electric scooter speeds range from around 15kph maximum on the slower side to 65kph+ on the higher side. The most common speed is 25 to 30kph.

The Segway Ninebot ES2, Xiaomi M365 and M365 Pro, and E-Glide G60 all travel at a top speed of 25 kph. The Segway Ninebot ES4 and MAX can travel up to 30 kph and the Zero 8 up to 36 kph.

Both the Mercane Pro WideWheels, Single and Double Motor, can travel up to 40 kph while the Zero 9 up to 45 kph. The Zero 8X can reach speeds of 55 kph. The Mercane MX60, Kaabot Mantis and Kaabo Skywalker 10S+ can travel at a maximum speed of 60 kph. While the Zero 10X can reach 65 kph and the Zero 11X can go as far as 90 kph. 

Distance

Distance, often called range, is the length your electric scooter can travel in one charge. Maximum range is vital to note when buying an e-scooter as you will highly depend on this during your commute. 

Make sure that the distance your e-scooter can travel can take you to your desired place, at least one way. You can always recharge throughout the day. Many factors impact the distance moved; this can include rider weight, speed travelled, terrain, hills slopes and more. Average scooter distances range from 10km to 100km. Usually, the more expensive scooters will give you a higher range.

The Segway Ninebot ES2 and E-Glide G60 both have a range of 25 km while the Xiaomi M365 has 30 km and the Zero 8 has 40 km. The Segway Ninebot ES4, Xiaomi M365 Pro, Mercane Pro WideWheel Single Motor, and the Zero 9 all have a maximum range of 45 km (which is the average max. range in the industry).

The Mercane Pro WideWheel Double Motor and Segway Ninebot Max have 50 km and 65 km maximum range capabilities, respectively. For farther distances, the Zero 8X, Zero 10X, Kaabo Mantis, and Kaabo Skywalker 10S+ can all go up to 80 to 90 km.

If you’re really going for superior range capabilities, the Mercane MX60 can travel a 100 km while the Zero 11X can go until a whopping 150 km.

Hill Climb

Being able to go up steep hills might be a necessity for some people who live in hilly cities. Most e-scooters, thankfully, can climb angles at an average of 10° to 12°.  Other models made for off-road adventures can climb steeper angles. Many also have a dual-motor system which makes for even stronger hill climb ability. 

Like speed, many outside factors can affect the climbing capabilities of your electric scooter. As a general rule, you have to remember that the steeper the hill to climb, the harder it will be for your scooter to finish it. 

Rider weight can make a big difference between success and failure: the more weight the e-scooter is carrying, the more work your motor has to do and vice-versa.

The Segway Ninebot ES2, Xiaomi M365, and E-Glide G60 can go up a serviceable 10 degrees. The Xiaomi M365 Pro can climb 12 degrees while the Segway Ninebot ES4 and MAX can go up 15 - 20 degrees. 

All the Mercane electric scooters can do 20-degree angles while most of the Zero e-scooters can climb up to 35 degrees except for the Zero 8 (30 degrees). The Kaabo Mantis and Skywalker 10S+ can also climb 35-degree angles or less.

Price

Your budget will directly affect which kind of electric scooter you can purchase. Obviously, the more powerful the electric scooter you want to get, the higher the cost you’ll have to shell out. But don’t worry! Electric scooters come in a wide range of prices. All you have to do is determine what you’re going to use your e-scooter for.

For light recreational purposes, electric scooters under $500 will provide you with the entertainment you need. Of course, you shouldn’t expect much for this category. They’ll probably have low-capacity batteries and sub-par motors. Just enough for you to leisurely move around. You may also have little or no shock absorption so you’ll feel every bump. They may also break down a lot. 

If you’re looking for an electric scooter for commuting, you’re in luck. This is the biggest category and has the most extensive price range. Ranging from about $600 to $1000, commuter scooters will definitely have better range, longer-lasting batteries, and average to superior motors. As a guide, be prepared to pay more if you want better specifications.

Some people prefer performance electric scooters that can go zooming really fast or go long distances (think 80 km!). For these powerful e-scooters, prepare to spend about $1300 to $2500. For extreme performance e-scooters who have large, dual motors that can go well beyond 65kph and over 80km, don’t be surprised at their expensive price tags. These road warriors can go from $3500 and higher. 

The Segway Ninebot ES2 and ES4, Xiaomi M365, and E-Glide G60 are all priced under $1000. The Kaabo Skywalker 10S+, Xiaomi M365 Pro, Zero 8, and Segway Ninebot Max all cost under $1300.

Both Mercane Pro WideWheel models, the Zero 9, and the Kaabo Mantis Single Motor are all within the $1500 to $2000 price range. The Kaabo Mantis Double Motor costs $2,699 while the Mercane MX60 costs $3,999. The electric scooter with the heftiest price tag is the Zero 11X at $5,399. 

Charge Time

Charging time can affect how you use your e-scooter. Some electric scooter models who have higher specs might take longer to load, from about 8 up to 12 hours. If so, it might be prudent to have a backup battery or schedule your charging times in a way that’s convenient for you.

If you plan to use your electric scooter for daily commutes, it’s a good idea to stick to ones with relatively low charging time. 3 to 4 hours is not a bad average. You can always recharge while at school or work. Some scooters have the capacity to connect multiple chargers at the same time, increasing the charging speed. 

The Segway Ninebot ES2, Kaabo Mantis Single Motor, and E-Glide G60 have a charging time of 3 to 4 hours. The Xiaomi M365, Segway Ninebot ES4 and Max, both Mercane Pro WideWheel e-scooters and the MX60, and the Zero 8 have a charging time of 5 to 8 hours.

The Kaabo Mantis Double Motor, Xiaomi M365 Pro, and the Zero 8X, and 9 all have charging times of 8 to 10 hours. The Zero 10X and 11X, and the Skywalker 10S+ charge for 10 or more hours.

Off-road Capability

Not every scooter has the ability to travel off-road. From your motor and waterproof rating to your suspension and tires, you have to ensure that all these features can withstand the effects off-roading can have. 

Instead of discussing each part, it might be more productive to learn what ‘off-road’ actually means. In the simplest terms, ‘off-road’ is terrain that isn’t on a paved, flat road. You can categorise the types of off-road into three: Rough, Uneven, or Flat. 

Rough terrain is hilly, rocky, and bumpy. These are the trails that look like mountains and are usually very steep. Uneven terrain is bumpy and can be slightly hilly. Forest paths and hiking trails are a good example. Flat terrain can be grassy parks, fields, or in some instances, sandy ground. 

If you love going on off-road adventures, you will have to make sure that your electric scooter can withstand any or all of the terrains mentioned above.

The Segway Max, Mercane MX60, Zero 8X, 10X, 11X, and the Kaabo Mantis are all off-road electric scooters. All other models available at Electric Kicks are more suitable for daily commutes.

Water Resistance

Ingress Protection (IP Rating) is the measure of how resistance your e-scooter is to water and dust. It consists of two numbers, the second one showing you how water-resistant your electric scooter actually is. The higher the number, the more resistant your e-scooter is to water and moisture.

An IP rating of IPX0 means your e-scooter is not at all resistant to water. IPX1to IPX3 shows highly limited resistance to water. IPX4 to IPX6 means you can ride through light rain. IPX7 and higher means your e-scooter can fully be submerged in water.

Sometimes, a single e-scooter model can have two IP ratings. An overall IP rating which includes your frame and motor, as well as an IP rating for your battery alone. Make sure to take both into account.

The Segway Ninebot ES2 and ES4, all Xiaomi e-scooters, and both Mercane Pro WideWheel e-scooters have IP54 ratings. The Mercane MX60 has a rating of IP65. Both Kaabo e-scooters have IPX4 ratings while the Segway Ninebot Max has a rating of IPX5. The E-Glide G60 and all Zero e-scooters don’t have official IP ratings. 

Brand

Brands can definitely factor in when you’re buying an electric scooter. If you’re looking for an e-scooter that will last you a long time and provide high performance, stick to more well-known brands like Segway Ninebot, Xiaomi, Mercane, and the like. A huge reason why they became the leaders in the industry is that their electric scooters have been tried and tested by many customers before you. 

Scooter weight

If you’re going to fold and carry your electric scooter sometime during your commute, then weight can be a significant consideration you need to look into. Of course, you can always fold and roll around your e-scooter or use an escalator or elevator to move up or down.

Most scooters weigh about 11 kg or more. This is still reasonably easy to carry while you walk upstairs. Anything above 13 kg can be more difficult to lug around for longer durations. A good tip for determining how heavy a weight you can carry is to go to a sports store and pick up a few dumbbells to test your comfort. Generally the more powerful the electric scooter, the heavier it will be. Scooters like the Ninebot Max are around 20kg, and for many, this won’t be a problem to carry but over longer distances or up long flights of stairs this could prove challenging.

The Segway Ninebot ES2 and ES4, E-Glide G60, Xiaomi M365 and M364 Pro all weigh under 15 kg. The Mercane Pro WideWheel Single Motor, Zero 8 and 9, and Segway Ninebot Max all weigh under 20 kg.

The Mercane Pro WideWheel Double Motor, Mercane MX60, Kaabo Mantis, and Kaabo Skywalker 10S+ weigh below 30 kg. The Zero 8X weighs 33 kg, the Zero 10X at 36 kg, and the 11X at 52 kg. 

Wheels

Wheels can be the difference between a smooth or bumpy ride. You will definitely feel an improvement (or lack thereof) with regards to road vibration and terrain depending on what kind of tyres you have.

That’s right; not all e-scooters have the same kind of tyres. You’ll have to check which ones will work the best for you. You can easily group the tyres into two categories, pneumatic and airless. 

Pneumatic tyres are also called air-filled tyres. They use air pressure to maintain their shape. Most tyres on vehicles like cars and motorcycles are pneumatic. You can further divide these tyres into two groups.

Tubeless tyres are tyres that form an air-tight seal around the tyre rim. They are heavy-duty and more puncture-resistant, which makes them the higher-performing choice. A disadvantage of tubeless tyres is harder to change.

Inner tube tyres are pneumatic tyres that are seen more in e-scooters and bicycles. They have a heavy outer shell featuring treads and a separate inner tube for filling. They are easier to change since only the inner tube needs to be replaced.

Airless tyres are also called solid tyres. They use rubber or solid polyurethane foam to maintain their shape and are immune to puncturing and will never go flat. However, they wear down more quickly then pneumatic tyres, are more massive in weight, and can be nearly impossible to change out. 

Honeycomb tyres are a new type of solid tyres that are featured in some e-scooter models. They are made from solid rubber and cannot be punctured but have a cushioning effect. The downside is that honeycomb tyres are still at an early stage of designing and current testing hasn’t shown any difference from other solid tyres.

Self-Healing tyres are made from self-healing rubber which uses bromine atoms. When the tyre is punctured or cut, the rubber can mend itself through chemical bonds at room temperature. Electric scooters that feature these kinds of tyres are usually immune to punctures. This means if the hole isn’t made too deep, you can still continue riding. A disadvantage, however, is that they might be costly to replace.  

Battery Quality and Motor Power

If you want the best performance, a powerful battery is a definite requirement. You’ll need significant power to speed up and even climb steep angles. The more powerful your battery, the better the performance of your electric scooter. 

As for your motor, motor power usually starts at about 200 watts. If you’re getting an e-scooter for daily commutes, 200-250 watts is enough. You can comfortably ride through flat surfaces and small angles. For hillier locations, you’re better off with electric scooters within the 350 watts to 500 watts. 

Look and feel

The aesthetics of your electric scooter is definitely essential! You need to be comfortable while riding on it so that you get the best experience (plus look absolutely bad-ass).

It’s critical to get an electric scooter that you like looking at. After all, what’s the point of spending hundreds of dollars on a product you don’t even like the look of? Most e-scooters have a sleek and minimalist design that fits almost anyone’s aesthetic. Other chunkier models might look nicer for sporty and adventurous souls.



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