Electric scooters are an ultra-convenient, low cost and environmentally friendly way to get around. As their popularity soars, they’re now ridden by millions of people across the world.
But what makes a good e-scooter? Although most of them look similar, key differences make them either a pleasure to ride or frustratingly limiting.
To avoid disappointment, here are five important things to think about when choosing the best e-scooter for you.
1. Some scooters don’t have enough power to get you up a small hill.
E-scooters use an electric motor to propel you forward – the same way a car uses an engine. But to cut costs, some manufacturers use motors that are small and under-powered.
Unfortunately, these motors struggle to power you up small hills, or even slight rises, which means you have to get off and push.
To make sure you’ve always got enough power, look for a scooter with at least a 300W motor (or ideally 500W if you can afford it). And check this figure refers to the scooter’s average power, not its maximum.
2. You can’t ride most scooters in wet weather.
Most electric scooters are designed for countries where it rarely rains.
Some even have a system inside the scooter to detect if you've used it in wet conditions. And if you have, your warranty can be invalidated.
So if you don’t want to get a taxi every time it rains, make sure you pick a scooter with a high waterproof rating.
An ‘IP’ rating describes how waterproof a scooter is. If you live in the UK or Northern Europe, we recommend scooters with an IP65 rating (avoid IP54).
The best brands clearly make it clear whether their scooters are waterproof. If you can’t find any information about it – or if it’s described as ‘splash proof’ – assume it’s not waterproof.
3. Not all scooter brakes are the same.
Every good quality electric scooter has two brakes – one on the front wheel and one on the back.
It’s also common to have one electric brake and one physical brake. The physical brake is more powerful, so it’s often positioned at the front to reduce stopping distance and improve safety.
There are two main types of physical brakes – drum brakes and disc brakes. Though both are very good, there's a key difference.
Disc brakes are prone to letting in dirt and grit, which means they can require regular maintenance.
Drum brakes, on the other hand, have covered brake pads to keep dirt out. That’s why they’re our recommended option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance ride.
4. Some scooters are designed to carry more weight.
Scooters are rigorously tested to a specific weight limit, to ensure they last for many years of normal riding.
Many e-scooters are designed with a 100kg weight limit.
But although 100kg is enough for the average rider, a higher weight limit of 120kg gives you extra reinforcement and reassurance. For example, if you ever need to carry a heavy backpack.
A higher weight limit also suggests premium build quality. So to ensure your ride is as strong and sturdy as possible, look for a scooter with a 120kg maximum load capacity.
5. Larger wheels = a more comfortable ride.
Whatever the surface, you're bound to feel some bumps as you ride. But wheel size has a big effect on how much you feel beneath your feet, as well as your overall comfort.
Our dedicated team has ridden electric scooters across Europe on nearly every surface type – from cobbles, to tarmac, to concrete. So we know from experience that 10 inch wheels give you a much smoother ride.
Wheel size is normally measured in inches, not centimeters. Opt for a scooter with a 10 inch wheel, not 8 inch, for a more comfortable experience.