Electric Scooter VS Car [Pros And Cons Of Both]

As electric scooters gain popularity, the ongoing debate between electric scooters and cars persists. If you’re contemplating an electric scooter, understanding how it compares to a car is crucial.

In this guide, we aim to simplify the decision-making process based on your preferences, needs, and situational factors.

Electric scooter vs car

Choose an electric scooter for short-distance travel, such as errands or commuting, due to its affordability, ease of use, and maneuverability in tight spaces and traffic. Opt for a car when traveling longer distances with family or transporting heavy luggage, especially in extreme weather conditions.

electric scooter vs car

Electric scooter advantages and disadvantages

Electric scooters have their own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Are environmentally friendly
  • Are cheaper
  • Are more convenient
  • Require less maintenance
  • Have more health benefits
  • Are more accessible 
  • Charging/fueling cost
  • Operation technique
  • Shorter travel distances
  • Slower acceleration and top speeds
  • Limited power for uphill climbs
  • Susceptible to weather conditions

Electric scooter advantages

Let’s delve into their advantages.

Electric scooters are environmentally friendly

expenses for gas

Electric scooters are more environmentally friendly compared to cars. This is what spread the craze for electric scooters in the first place and is one of their main selling points. 

Cars contribute significantly to air pollution due to their combustion engines. Traffic jams exacerbate this issue as cars emit extra pollutants when stopping or slowing down.

While electric cars exist, they are not yet as widespread as traditional gasoline-powered cars.

An electric scooter emits seven times less greenhouse gases than a car, which means fewer air pollutants and negative health impacts.

E-scooters use rechargeable lithium batteries instead of burning fossil fuels, leading to reduced air pollution and a cleaner city and planet.

Electric scooters have their downsides too.

Their lithium batteries typically have an average lifespan of 2-3 years, after which they are left to rot in landfills if not recycled and handled properly.

Improperly disposed batteries may eventually start leaking chemicals and emitting toxic gases. To address this, responsibly dispose of e-scooter batteries according to government regulations.

In the case of regular gasoline cars, there’s not much you can do to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

Electric scooters are cheaper

Electric scooters are cheaper than cars. They are smaller, have fewer components, and have a simpler design.

On average, a good beginner-friendly electric scooter will cost you between $300 to $800.

above $1500
high-end e-scooters price

Though high-end e-scooters can go well above $1500, the cost is still significantly less than the average cost of a new car.

When purchasing a car, you’re obliged to pay registration, insurance, taxes, and ongoing parking fees.

However, with an electric scooter, you can entirely skip registration and parking fees, and in many places, insurance fees as well.

Electric scooters usually don’t require insurance, but even if you choose to insure yours, the cost is significantly lower than car insurance.

Electric scooters are more convenient

person navigating busy streets on an electric scooter

An electric scooter is ideal for beating traffic. Its compact size lets you navigate easily, and many places permit scooter use in bike lanes, allowing you to bypass traffic.

Forget parking hassles—just find a small space or fold it up and carry it. For longer distances, a foldable electric scooter is perfect for public transport.

I know a senior who relies on his scooter to travel to transit stops. It’s foldable, has a seat, prevents fatigue, and grants him independence.

Electric scooters require less maintenance


Maintaining an electric scooter mainly involves cleaning it regularly and taking care of the battery.

The biggest maintenance cost you’ll incur will probably be the battery replacement, but that’s usually after years of use. Regular checks prevent minor issues from escalating.

If a fix is needed, scooter maintenance is far cheaper than car repairs.

Electric scooters have more health benefits

person riding an electric scooter on a forest path

Believe it or not, electric scooters do have health benefits.

Electric scooters not only reduce air pollution but also contribute to improved balance and posture. While they may not provide a full cardio workout, riding them engages your body, offering light exercise.

The constant need for balance during turns, downhill descents, and stops enhances both balance and core strength over time as your muscles work to keep you stable on the scooter.

A study showed that standing can help you lose 8 additional calories per hour compared to sitting. So while riding your scooter, you’re also burning more calories than you would by driving your car or riding the subway. 

Electric scooters offer a chance to connect with nature and enhance mental well-being.

Riding through my neighborhood helps me calm my nerves during stressful times, making it a recommended hobby for everyone.

Electric scooters are more accessible 

Apart from being more affordable than cars, electric scooters are also accessible to more age groups.

The age requirement for riding an electric scooter varies from state to state in the U.S. In some states, children as young as 12 are allowed to ride them, and a few have no age limit at all.

No license is required to ride an e-scooter, making it an ideal option for those facing challenges like difficulties with a driving test, a suspended license, or ineligibility due to medical issues or non-citizenship.

Electric scooters are particularly suitable for individuals with limited mobility, offering easy operation.

Those who tire easily can choose comfortable electric scooters with a seat, wide footrest, and stable tires to minimize physical exertion.

Charging/fueling cost

Dualtron Ultra 2 charging

Fuel prices have been rising for the past few months and show no signs of stopping.

With inflation and the global fuel crisis, prices are expected to increase further. The gas price right now in the U.S. is $3.937 per gallon, which can get you anywhere between 20-30 mi / 32-48 mi.

In comparison, a single charge for an average e-scooter battery will only cost you a few pennies. This will get you about 15-30 mi / 25-48 before needing a recharge. 

Operation technique

Learning to ride an electric scooter is quick and easy, usually taking just a few minutes to grasp the basics with some practice in a safe, open space.

The simpler operation makes electric scooters a more manageable option, especially for individuals with disabilities.

In contrast, acquiring the skills to drive a car involves more comprehensive instruction on various gears, pedals, parking techniques, and a thorough understanding of traffic rules and regulations in your area.

Electric scooter disadvantages

Let’s delve into the disadvantages of e-scooters.

Shorter travel distances compared to cars

Electric scooters have shorter travel distances than cars due to their smaller batteries and compact design.

The limited battery capacity makes scooters suitable for short commutes, whereas cars, with larger fuel tanks or advanced electric systems, are a more practical choice for extended journeys, requiring less frequent recharging.

Slower acceleration and top speeds than cars

Electric scooters exhibit slower acceleration and top speeds compared to cars, largely due to their smaller and less powerful motors.

The modest acceleration of electric scooters makes them better suited for short-distance travel in urban settings, where quick maneuvers are often unnecessary.

However, their reduced top speeds may limit their appeal to those seeking faster and more efficient transportation.

Limited power for uphill climbs

Electric scooters often face limitations in power when tackling uphill climbs, as their motors may struggle with the increased resistance.

The reduced power output can result in slower ascent speeds and may require riders to dismount and manually assist in challenging uphill situations.

Susceptible to weather conditions

electric scooter on snow.

Electric scooters are susceptible to various weather conditions, which can impact their performance and rider experience.

Rain and snow, in particular, pose challenges as wet surfaces can affect traction and stability, increasing the risk of accidents.

The open design of electric scooters also leaves riders exposed to the elements, making them less comfortable during adverse weather.

Car advantages and disadvantages

Cars aren’t that perfect either. So, let’s see their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Are better for traveling long distances
  • Offer a much better riding experience
  • Are more family-friendly
  • Cars are faster
  • Higher carbon footprint
  • Contributes to traffic jams
  • Difficulty finding parking and parking expenses
  • Higher maintenance costs
  • Continuous expenses for gasoline or diesel

Car advantages

Now that you know the advantages of electric scooters, let’s get into the benefits of having a car.

Cars are better for traveling long distances

Cars are better for longer distances because they have more range than electric scooters.

On average, budget electric scooters can get you around 9-18 mi / 15-30 kilometers on a single charge.

average mi per charge

On average, budget electric scooters can get you around 9-18 mi / 15-30 kilometers on a single charge.

There are a lot of long-range electric scooters that can cover distances much bigger than that (100 mi / 160 km and even more), but they will be quite more expensive.

Cars offer greater comfort for long rides compared to electric scooters, which, even at their most comfortable, aren’t practical for extended road trips.

Additionally, cars provide more luggage space with trunks, while electric scooters are limited to carrying a backpack due to the potential impact of excess weight on the motor and battery drainage.

Cars offer a much better riding experience

Cars offer amenities like air conditioning, extra legroom, and comfortable seating, providing better comfort and handling on rough terrains.

In contrast, electric scooters with smaller seats and wheels are more susceptible to bumps and vibrations.

Cars also provide superior weather protection, allowing safe rides in rain or on muddy roads without concerns about slipping or damage to vehicle components.

Cars offer a sense of safety on unpredictable roads, with a significantly lower injury rate (8 injuries per 1 million trips) compared to electric scooters (115 injuries per 1 million trips), as indicated by a study.

Cars are more family-friendly

family in a car

One of the major benefits of cars that put them ahead of all other vehicles is that they are family-friendly. Cars can seat more people and keep them safe with the help of seatbelts and airbags. 

While an e-scooter is great for running errands and leisure rides, it’s designed to serve an individual person rather than a group.

Cars are faster

Cars outpace electric scooters in speed due to their powerful engines. While the fastest electric scooters can reach speeds of 100 mph or more, such instances are rare and potentially dangerous.

Achieving and maintaining high speeds is comparatively easier and safer in cars, making them the preferred choice for faster travel.

Car disadvantages

Higher carbon footprint compared to electric scooters

Cars generate a higher carbon footprint than electric scooters due to their reliance on combustion engines fueled by gasoline or diesel, releasing substantial carbon dioxide and pollutants.

Contributes to traffic jams in urban areas


Cars significantly contribute to traffic jams in urban areas, creating congestion and hindering the smooth flow of traffic.

Their larger size and relatively slower maneuverability often lead to bottlenecks and delays, especially during peak hours.

The sheer volume of cars on the roads in densely populated urban settings strains the existing infrastructure, exacerbating the challenges of navigating through congested city streets.

Difficulty finding parking and parking expenses

parking car

In urban areas, cars face challenges in finding parking due to limited space and high demand, causing frustration and contributing to traffic congestion.

The associated parking expenses add to the financial burden of car ownership in crowded city environments.

Higher maintenance costs

Cars incur higher maintenance costs compared to electric scooters, as their complex combustion engines require more frequent and intricate servicing.

Regular maintenance tasks such as oil changes, brake replacements, and exhaust system repairs contribute to the overall cost of car ownership.

Continuous expenses for gasoline or diesel

Owning a car comes with the continuous expense of purchasing gasoline or diesel, as traditional combustion engines rely on these fossil fuels for operation.

The fluctuating prices of fuel add an element of financial unpredictability for car owners, affecting their overall transportation costs.

Unlike electric scooters, which use rechargeable batteries, the ongoing need to refuel with gasoline or diesel contributes to the persistent and potentially volatile expense associated with car ownership.

Can an electric scooter replace a car?

guy on a scooter riding very fast

An electric scooter can replace a car in scenarios where city travel distances are short (less than 10 mi / 16 km daily) and public transport is frequently used.

Despite being more environmentally friendly and convenient, a car remains more reliable in certain situations.

For those who own both a car and an electric scooter, a balanced usage approach can enhance overall convenience.

When to use an electric scooter?

An electric scooter is useful for navigating narrow pathways and avoiding traffic, making it convenient for short errands or commuting to work.

It saves time by bypassing rush hour traffic, eliminates fuel expenses, and eliminates the hassle of finding parking space.

When to use a car?

person preparing their car for a long travel

An electric scooter is not ideal for long road trips, whereas a car offers more comfort and less exertion. In extreme weather conditions like heavy rain or snow, a car is a safer choice.

Additionally, for transporting heavy luggage or traveling with passengers, a car is a more practical and reasonable option.

Should you get a scooter instead of a car?

For maximum transport versatility, it’s advisable to have both an electric scooter and a car, unless one is rarely needed.

If you seldom leave your city, cover short distances, and frequently use public transport, an electric scooter can fully replace a car.

Conversely, if you have a lengthy car commute and a limited need for alternative transport, an electric scooter may not be necessary.

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
My name is Matt Trajkovski. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general. I like doing a lot of testing, reviewing, and research on various electric scooter models and brands, following our proprietary rigorous editorial and testing process developed here at EScooterNerds, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience. All of the content published on this blog goes through a rigorous review and editorial process, and our product reviews not only include the hands-on experience of our own team members, but the experience of our audience members as well. My goal is to provide you with the best information about electric scooters possible. You can see all of my posts in my articles archive.

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