Before buying an electric scooter, most people will have a lot of questions. I sure did.
While researching, choosing, buying, owning, and maintaining an electric scooter, I’ve had dozens and dozens of questions pop into my mind. Most of them I researched and answered.
Here are the most common questions that I and a lot of other owners have had about electric scooters.
Are electric scooters safe?
Electric scooters are reasonably safe, or at least as safe as the rider tries to be.
As long as you follow these important safety tips, you will be perfectly safe:
- always wear a helmet
- respect your local traffic laws
- wear all the safety gear you have
- don’t drink or do drugs before riding
- never ride too fast
- turn carefully
- check that your tires are sufficiently inflated and in good shape
- make sure all your brake systems work
- make sure you have enough battery to get where you need to go
- stay focused on your ride
- avoid riding in the rain, snow, or wet weather
- avoid ice or slippery surfaces
- avoid pedestrian areas
- avoid heavy traffic
- ride as the manual instructs
- only ride by yourself
- always use your lights at night
If you want to learn everything there is about staying safe on an electric scooter, make sure to go through our complete safety guide.
Are electric scooters legal?
In most places, scooters are either street-legal or unregulated. Only a few places in the world completely prohibit them on public roads, most notably London, UK. They will typically have a speed limit, usually 15 mph / 25 kmh.
Also, places that have special laws for electric scooters will sometimes have a minimum age requirement for riding them. Most of the time, wearing a helmet while riding is required.
When electric scooter usage is unregulated, usually the same laws for bikes will apply to them.
Are electric scooters easy to ride?
Electric scooters are very easy to ride. Learning how to ride them only takes a few minutes.
How do electric scooters work?
This is the simplest explanation possible about how every electric scooter works.
Every electric scooter will have the following components:
- throttle button or lever
When you hit the throttle, the motor draws power from the battery and starts turning the wheels.
To learn more about how electric scooters work, check out our full guide on that topic here.
Also, if you want to gain a deeper understanding of all the performance aspects of an electric scooter, check out our performance guide for electric scooters.
How to use an electric scooter?
Using an electric scooter is very simple:
- make sure you have all the safety equipment on you
- make sure your scooter has sufficient battery charge
- turn on the scooter, start in the slowest mode available
- put one foot on the deck, and use the other foot to kick-start the scooter if needed
- press the throttle button as you kick to start moving
- keep pressing the throttle if you want to speed up further
- lean forward if you want to speed up, or when climbing
- steer by turning the handlebar and slightly leaning your body to the side
- hit the brakes if you want to stop
The actual process is very simple, and you will get the hang of it immediately. For most people, it looks harder than it is if they’ve never tried it.
However, once you try it yourself, it becomes clear.
To learn more about how to use your electric scooter, check out the guide.
Are electric scooters reliable?
Electric scooters produced in the last 5 years will be very reliable. Electric scooter technology has advanced very fast, and both quality, motor power, and battery capacity have increased many times over. Most modern models will have great ranges and last for years.
Of course, that will not be the case for all electric scooters. Some are simply low-quality models. Also, there are many old models still in use, which may have been of acceptable quality for their time, but are not almost obsolete.
To learn about the most reliable electric scooters today, check out our list of the most reliable models.
When was the first electric scooter invented?
Depending on how we define an electric scooter, an argument can be made that electric scooter history spans all the way to the first propelled vehicles almost 150 years ago. The modern electric scooters as we know them today were reintroduced in the late 1990s / early 2000s, and started becoming widely popular around 2016.
What are the most common electric scooter problems?
The most commonly reported defects and problems in electric scooters are problems related to the electronics of the scooter, including the wirings, the motor, and the controllers, and they are the most common reas for dead-on-arrival situations as well. Also, battery issues are very common as well, ranging from the battery delivering much less than the promised performance, to the battery not working at all.
Are electric scooters good for commuting?
Electric scooters are excellent for commuting. They are fast, efficient, and great for avoiding traffic jams. They will be perfect for any commute up to 8 miles / 13 kilometers, as they have ranges many times that distance.
Compared to other means of transport, they will usually be the better option, especially in big cities. Naturally, there will be some scenarios they don’t fit. To learn more about their commuting capabilities, check out our commuting guide for scooters here.
Are electric scooters good for last-mile transport?
Electric scooters are the best possible solution for the last-mile problem today. Their portability, low weight, and low space occupancy make them perfect for being both ridden through busy urban environments, and taken along in public transport systems like trains, buses.
There are almost no scenarios where electric scooters can’t help with the last-mile transport problem.
Are electric scooters environmentally friendly?
Electric scooters are very good for the environment. They don’t cause greenhouse gas emissions, and they also help reduce traffic jams. Much of their building material, including their batteries, can be recycled and reused.
There has been a series of articles claiming that electric scooters are not good for the environment. The point they’ve tried to make has been that the process of battery production causes a lot of pollution.
I’m not sure why the authors of the original study have chosen to look at the problem that way.
When we talk about pollution from cars, we only talk about their greenhouse gas emissions, not the pollution created in manufacturing them as well. When we talk about pollution from burning wood for heat, we only talk about the poisonous gases released from the process, not the additional environmental damage from cutting down trees.
Not sure why electric scooters are held to an impossible standard, and other energy processes are not. In any case, electric scooters are a clear environmental win. Learn more here.
Can you ride electric scooters at night?
Electric scooters can easily be ridden at night. They come with both headlights and taillights, and even additional lights on the bottom of the deck. Wear a fluorescent vest when riding at night, so that other participants in traffic can spot you even easier.
Not only can you ride your scooter at night, but it’s also very fun. The empty streets are simply a blast to glide through. If you want to learn more about riding at night, see my electric scooter night riding guide or my guide on electric scooter lights.
Can electric scooters be used manually?
It is possible to use electric scooters manually, but it’s usually inefficient and difficult. Most electric scooters were not built for that purpose. The main problem is that the deck is too high off the ground, and the rider is unable to kick with sufficient force.
Still, if you really want to ride your electric scooter like a regular kick scooter, you absolutely can. Learn more about the details here.
Is an electric scooter worth it?
For most people, electric scooters are definitely worth it. They will be both a great investment and a source of fun. Typically, electric scooters pay themselves off in the very first year, by cutting down public transport costs almost entirely.
Still, they will not be worth it for everyone. There are some cases where electric scooters would not be a good solution. If you’re curious to find out whether that’s the case for you, check out our article on are electric scooters worth it.
Will an electric scooter save you money?
Electric scooters save their owners a lot of money. The public transport costs get either entirely eliminated, or drastically cut down. Charging them costs only a few cents per full charge. They don’t require additional expenses, and rarely break down or need expensive maintenance. Most electric scooters pay themselves off in the first year of ownership.
Maybe the only instances when this isn’t true is when people buy an electric scooter, and simply don’t ride it.
Of course, there are some unfortunate cases where the users get a faulty model and can’t catch a break from all the defects and repairs.
But as scooters become more universal, those instances are becoming rarer and rarer.
Check the car commute cost calculator to see exactly how much money your electric scooter can save you.
How much do electric scooters cost?
Electric scooters prices can range from anywhere between $149 and $7400. On average, electric scooters cost around $1200, while the average budget scooter will cost around $310.
To learn everything there is to know about electric scooter prices, price ranges, and categories, check out our comprehensive guide here.
How much does it cost to rent an electric scooter?
In the US and Canada, the most popular scooter rental programs like Lime and Bird charge $1 for unlocking the scooter and starting the ride, and then $0.15 for every minute of riding.
How to buy a used electric scooter?
There are several key points to keep in mind when buying a used electric scooter:
- to calculate how much you should pay for a used electric scooter, take the original price of the scooter when it was first bought, and then subtract 10% to 20% from that price for every year of usage, depending on the reported usage and mileage
- learn the scooter basics, and figure out as many of your needs for buying an electric scooter and where you want the scooter to excel
- ask for many pictures from different angles
- ask as many questions to the previous owner as you can think of
- perform a test drive
- perform a detailed visual inspection
- keep proof of the transaction
- negotiate for a return period if something is wrong with the scooter
- if possible, buy from a person you know and trust, and consider using the EScooterNerds used scooter marketplace to find sellers
These are some good questions you can ask when buying a used electric scooter:
- Why is the scooter being sold?
- When was it bought?
- At what price was it bought?
- Where was it bought from?
- Is it still under warranty?
- How many miles has it covered?
- Is it damaged? Where?
- Has it suffered any major damage, a crash, a serious fall, or a serious impact?
- Has it been repaired?
- Does it need repairs?
- How old is the battery and has it been replaced (if yes, how many times)?
- How long does it take to charge now?
- How much range did the scooter provide when first bought?
- How much range does the scooter provide now?
- What is its current top speed?
- How old are the tires and have they been replaced (if yes, how many times)?
- Are the tires worn out?
- Are the brakes operational, and do they need new pads?
- Has it been opened, unassembled, modified, or tinkered with?
- Has it been hacked, or has it had custom firmware installed?
How much does a good electric scooter cost?
Good electric scooters will cost between $550 and $1500. On average, a good electric scooter costs $1030. These scooters will have a solid range, medium-powerful motor, quality build, and design, coming from a reputable brand, and having good ratings online.
Of course, “good” will mean different things to different people. I chose the criteria for “good” to be what most people would need from a scooter for their daily lives. To learn more about the cost of scooters, check out our full guide here.
How much does it cost to charge an electric scooter?
In the USA, the average cost of charging the average scooter from empty to full is $0.03. In the EU, the cost would be $0.04 on average. In the rest of the world, the price is even lower.
To find out exactly how much it would cost you to charge your exact model in your country specifically, check out our charging cost guide here.
Also, take a look at the electric scooter charge cost calculator if you can’t find the information for a particular model.
How long does it take to charge an electric scooter?
On average, electric scooters take 5.5 hours to charge. Most regular commuting scooters will take between 3 and 8 hours to fully charge. Powerful off-road models can take up to a full day to charge.
There are some other factors in play here, of course. This will largely depend on your model, the charger and charging mode you use, and the country you live in. To learn more about it, go through our electric scooter charging time guide.
If you can’t find the charging time for a specific scooter, take a look at the electric scooter charge time calculator.
How often should you charge an electric scooter?
You should never let your electric scooter’s battery get completely empty. Plugging in your charger when your battery is at 30% is ideal. If you use your scooter daily, charge it every day.
Should you buy or rent an electric scooter?
Renting an electric scooter makes more sense when you travel, or want to test out a specific model. For any other use case, owning an electric scooter is both more cost-efficient and more convenient. Your own scooter will always be safer and in better shape than a rented one.
When and why should you buy an electric scooter?
The following are very good reasons and scenarios for getting an electric scooter:
- you want to save money
- you want to save time
- you don’t like being stuck in traffic
- you want to save energy
- you want a very fun hobby
- you need a convenient transport mode
- you care about the environment
To understand all of these reasons in depth, and learn about other potential great reasons, check out our guide here.
How do electric scooters compare to other electric rideables?
Electric scooters are a more mature, more efficient technology than other electric rideables. They fit more use-cases, and are usually a better commuting option.
The only other electric rideable that can be considered a serious transport option is electric bikes. Compared head-to-head, they are pretty similar to electric scooters for many scenarios. But electric scooters are slightly better.
If you’re interested in the comparison, check it out here.
How do electric scooters compare to bicycles?
While traditional bicycles are a great mode of transport, they have several disadvantages when compared to electric scooters. The biggest advantage that electric scooters have against bicycles, is that electric scooters don’t require the rider’s energy to move. That makes them a more efficient transport mode.
Still, that doesn’t mean that bikes are not awesome anymore. In fact, I own one of each, and I recommend everyone own both as well.
The learn about the pros and cons of bikes vs electric scooters, head over to our comparison article here.
What are the best brands and manufacturers of electric scooters?
The most trusted, reputable brands and manufacturers of electric scooters are:
- Fluid Free Ride
- Minimotors USA (Dualtron, Speedway)
To learn more about each, check out the guide to electric scooter brands.
Should you ride electric scooters in the rain?
It is not recommended to ride electric scooters in the rain or any other type of wet environment. No matter how water-resistant your scooter is, avoid riding in the rain and through bodies of water. That said, most scooters will not be damaged by light contact with water.
Should you ride electric scooters in the winter?
Electric scooters are best not ridden in winter. The snow, ice, puddles of water, mud, and slippery surfaces can make the rides unsafe and damaging to you and your scooter.
Should you ride electric scooters in the summer?
Riding an electric scooter in the summer is one of the best use cases for most electric scooters, but you need to keep in mind several tips that will make those summer rides a much more enjoyable experience. Those include:
- Buy a light-colored scooter
- Wear a helmet with good ventilation and that protects against sweating
- Wear polarized glasses with UV protection
- Don’t ride in flip-flops or other light footwear
- Check your scooter’s maximum operating temperature, and maybe avoid riding in too hot weather
- Don’t push your scooter’s performance too much
- Don’t charge your scooter immediately after riding
- Don’t leave your scooter under the sun
- Frequently check the brakes and tires
- Decrease the tire pressure by around 2-3 PSI
Are electric scooters waterproof?
About half the electric scooter models today come with some IP rating, which means they are certified for at least some level of water-resistance. The scooters without an IP rating are probably very sensitive to water. Most models today are only water-resistant, but only a few are truly waterproof.
Water-resistant and waterproof scooters can be a real need depending on the place where you live. If your location sees a lot of rain throughout the year, you’ll probably want to consider a waterproof scooter. Check out our guide for waterproof electric scooters.
How to waterproof your electric scooter?
The following tips can make your electric scooter more waterproof:
- get a waterproof cover
- tape the gaps in the deck
- carry some duct-tape and cover the charging port
- use o-rings around non-sealed screws and holes
- use silicone
- use plastic protectors for the power button, screen, and throttle
- extend the mudguards
To learn how exactly to do these, and some other more advanced waterproofing techniques, check out our full guide here.
Can you bring an electric scooter on a plane?
Many airlines strictly prohibit electric scooters on board. Some only allow ones with batteries smaller than 160 Watt-hours.
Of course, the specific answer will depend on your scooter model, your airline, the places of departure and arrival, and your ticket type.
To see if you can take your scooter with a specific airline, check out our detailed guide about electric scooters in airplanes here.
How fast can electric scooters go?
Most electric scooters today can reach speeds of 15 mph / 25 kmh. The average speed of an adult electric scooter is 25 mph / 40 kmh. In most countries, the speed limit for electric scooters is 15 mph / 25 kmh.
Even many budget models today can go pretty fast. To learn exactly how fast electric scooters can go, check out this article.
What is the fastest electric scooter in the world today?
The fastest electric scooter in the world right now is Rion2 RE90, capable of reaching speeds of 100 mph / 160 kmh.
Can you make an electric scooter faster?
While not recommended in most cases, making an electric scooter faster is definitely possible.
How to make an electric scooter faster?
These are all the tips you can consider to make your electric scooter faster:
- make sure your scooter is in the fastest mode
- make sure your scooter is fully unlocked
- charge your battery fully
- turn off the lights and other things that drain the battery
- reduce the load
- clean your scooter, especially the wheels
- add an extra battery
- get a new battery
- remove speed limits by hacking the firmware (unsafe)
- try a stronger battery (unsafe)
- if the controller is the limiting factor, upgrade it (unsafe)
- change the sprockets if your scooter has them
- rewind the motor (requires a professional)
To get more in-depth with these tips and find out exactly how to do them, read our full guide here.
Can you increase the range of your electric scooter?
It is possible to increase the range of your electric scooter.
How to increase the range of your electric scooter?
To increase the maximum range on a single charge of your electric scooter, try the following methods:
- use the power-saving mode
- turn off any unnecessary electronics, such as lights during the daytime
- clean your scooter and make sure it’s in good shape
- reduce the weight the scooter carries
- reduce the weight of the scooter itself
- upgrade the battery
- get an extra battery
- rewind the motor (advanced)
To learn exactly how to apply these techniques, and some other more advanced ones, check out the full guide on increasing the range of your electric scooter.
What is the electric scooter with the longest range today?
The electric scooter with the longest range today is the Dualtron X. It has a range of 93 mi / 150 km on a single charge.
Can electric scooters go up hills?
Most electric scooters can climb most moderate hills. The more powerful scooters will be able to climb very steep hills, while many budget scooters will struggle with even the mildest hills.
Naturally, the hill-climbing abilities of the scooter will depend on the scooter itself. To see what scooters are the best for climbing hills, check out the guide to the best climbing scooters.
Can heavier adults use electric scooters?
There are many electric scooters suitable for heavy adults. Most electric scooters for adults have weight capacities of at least 265 lbs / 120 kg. There are many models with weight capacities over 330 lbs / 150 kg.
Still, for people on the heavier side, it’s always best to get a scooter with as much weight capacity as possible. Check out the guide for scooters for heavy adults if you want to learn more.
Can kids use electric scooters?
As long as the age of the rider fits the age requirement for electric scooters in the specific country, a child can ride an electric scooter. There are scooters produced especially for children, and they are smaller in size and power.
How to store your electric scooter?
Follow these tips to store your electric scooter properly:
- store it in a dry, dark room, at room temperature
- charge the battery at least to 60%
- recharge your battery at least once a month, never let it fully discharge
- make sure your scooter is clean before you store it
- make sure it’s turned off, folded, and properly locked
- if you keep the original package and protective covers, store it in them, otherwise store it in a fitting waterproof cover
- check on your scooter occasionally to make sure it’s not stolen and it’s still working properly
- when taking it out, make sure the battery is charged, the tires are inflated, and all the electronics and the brakes work properly
To learn exactly how to apply these tips, and see a few more, check out the full guide for storing your electric scooter.
What are the disadvantages of electric scooters?
Generally, these are the main electric scooter disadvantages:
- Batteries wear out as they get older and may require replacement
- Possible breakdowns and short lifespan for some budget models
- Range may not be as advertised
- Handlebar height is not adjustable for many scooters
- Some places don’t allow electric scooters on the street
- Many places limit the top speed for electric scooters to very low speed limits
- Some places have age restrictions for electric scooters
- Electric scooters are (mostly) not allowed on airplanes
- Electric scooters shouldn’t be used in the rain or the winter
- Good scooters are affordable but still not trivially cheap, most good scooters cost at least $500
- Many electric scooters will struggle on steeper hills
- Accidents are always a possibility, and there are some small health risks associated with frequent scooter use
- Repairs can be hard