Еlectric Scooter vs Kick Scooter – Which One To Choose?

In this article, we will answer all your questions about the debate on electric scooters vs kickscooters.

electric scooter vs kick scooter illustration

Differences between electric and kick scooters

E-scooters run on a motor and battery, powered by electricity, making them faster and easier to ride with no manual effort.

In contrast, kick scooters rely on the rider’s physical energy, resulting in slower speeds and fatigue. Despite being more affordable, kick scooters offer more health benefits.


side view of the Dualtron Ultra 2

Electric scooters come in different shapes and sizes, with tons of models, each one with a different set of features and benefits. You can find them priced anywhere from under $300 to $7000 or more.

They are divided into three price ranges: budget, middle-priced, and premium, while based on their intended use they can be urban commuters, off-road, or multi-terrain.

Despite various categorizations, all electric scooters share a common design: an open cockpit, two wheels, a motor, and a battery. While this structure offers advantages, it also has some drawbacks.


controls and buttons and key on Turbowheel Hornet electric scooter

The pros of an e-scooter include higher speed, ease of use, comfortability, more features, and tireless rides.

Electric scooters are motorized and outpace kick scooters significantly.

With an average top speed of around 25 mph / 40 kmh, they far exceed the speeds achievable on kick scooters

Electric scooters are also much easier to ride on than kick scooters.

Just stand on them, press the throttle, and let the vehicle handle the rest. Unlike kick scooters, you don’t need to master maintaining balance, braking techniques, or other tricks for smooth use.

Electric scooters surpass kick scooters in features. They typically include lights, disc or hydraulic brakes, an LCD screen, and some even have suspension systems.

Most electric scooters can also be equipped with a seat, providing a level of comfort not found in kick scooters, which are limited to standing. These features make electric scooters more reliable and enjoyable.


The main disadvantages of electric scooters are higher prices, heavier and less portable builds, and maintenance.

Even the most affordable electric scooters, starting at around $300, can be three times pricier than some top-quality kick scooters.

On Amazon, the average kick scooter costs around $80, highlighting the considerable cost difference between motorized and non-motorized options.

Greater speed on electric scooters poses an increased danger. Cruising at 25 mph / 40 kmh in an open-design vehicle is riskier than doing so in a car.

While electric scooters are generally safe, any misstep or abrupt stop can lead to serious consequences, making them riskier than the slower kick scooters.

E-scooters are heavy due to their packed design, with the motor, battery, and thick frame contributing to their weight.

On average, electric scooters weigh around 50 lbs / 23 kg, significantly more than the typical weight of kick scooters, which is around 10 lbs / 4.5 kg.

Electric scooters demand more maintenance compared to non-electric kick scooters. Kick scooters, in general, have minimal maintenance issues.

In contrast, electric scooters require to be properly cleaned, protection from water damage, daily recharging, frequent checks on electric components, tire inflation, and extensive upkeep for long-term durability.

Kick scooters

Kick scooters are generally divided into two categories: ones for kids, and ones for adults. The differences between the two are very small.

Adult kick scooters have longer decks, larger wheels, minimalist looks, and often include features like shock absorbers for added comfort on long rides.

In contrast, kids’ kick scooters are smaller, lack extra features, and are brightly colored for a more appealing design.


The main advantages of kick scooters are lower costs, no charging, very few maintenance issues, some workout benefits, and generally longer lifespan.

Kick scooters are widely available, found in local bike shops, hardware stores, e-shops, and wholesale supermarkets, typically priced between $50 and $100.

Even the most expensive high-end kick scooter is significantly cheaper than the most affordable e-scooter.

Beyond affordability, kick scooters offer health benefits, providing a workout as you engage your legs for propulsion and your entire body for balance.

Kick scooters cause fewer headaches—they don’t need charging or maintenance.

Their tires, often made of hard materials like polymers, don’t require inflation and are puncture-resistant, eliminating the risk of flats during a ride.

A kick scooter can last a lifetime, even for multiple generations. In contrast, e-scooters, with batteries lasting only a few years, inevitably require replacement.

Fun fact: professional kick scooter riding is actually regarded as an extreme outdoor sport, akin to mountain biking or BMX.


Kick scooters have some notable downsides like being way slower than e-scooters, tiring you off after a couple of miles, not being suitable for long, all-day rides, and just not looking that cool.

The slow speed of kick scooters, limited to around 10 mph / 16 kmh because of manual propulsion, is a key factor in the recent popularity of e-scooters.

Even with effort, exceeding this speed on a kick scooter is challenging and short-lived, making it difficult to maintain higher speeds.

Using your body weight also means you get tired very quickly while riding a kick scooter.

It turns out, nobody actually despised scooters, people just didn’t like riding them themselves and having to push them home after an exhausting day at work.

On that point, pushing the scooter yourself isn’t just more tiring, but also makes it unsuitable for long-range rides. You absolutely can ride a kick scooter all day, every day, but it would be one of the most uncomfortable quests you set yourself upon.

Kick scooters just don’t look as cool as electric scooters do.

They are less functional, have worse aesthetics, and their lack of features makes them look more like toys rather than actual commuters.

Can you use an electric scooter as a kick scooter?

Depending on the model, you can use most e-scooters like kick scooters when the battery runs out, or if you just want to.

Some e-scooters have their motor go into auto-lock when the throttle is released.

This is a feature integrated for electric breaking, and it usually can be turned off. But this feature is more often an exception rather than a rule.

With most scooters today, it is even recommended that you kick-start them at all times.

Are kick scooters suitable for adults?

person riding the GoTrax G4

Adults can ride kick scooters, provided they choose an adult model with the appropriate deck size, wheel size, weight limit, and without cartoon designs to avoid attracting attention.

Previously, there was a stigma against adults on kick scooters, but the rise of electric scooters in the past two decades has eliminated this belief.

It’s now commonplace to see adults riding scooters, whether electric or kick models, to work.

Is it hard to balance on a scooter?

Riding scooters, whether electric or kick, is extremely easy. Even for beginners, maintaining balance and riding poses no significant challenge.

Contrary to some fears, learning to ride a scooter is much easier compared to activities like roller skating or skiing.

Now, when it comes down to kick vs electric scooters, electric ones have the upper hand and are a tad bit easier to ride.

This is due to many helping features that electric scooters have, like heavier bottom, better suspension, and usually a larger deck.

How long does an e-scooter last?

On average, electric scooters will last you between 3-5 years, depending on the level of quality of the model and how well you maintained it.

A more expensive model, like those priced above $2000, can last you for an eternity if you take proper care of it.

The first thing that usually fails on an e-scooter is the battery, but you can easily buy a new one and replace it aftermarket.

Make sure to check out my guide on e-scooters lifespan to have a clearer picture of how long can they serve you.

Can I ride my scooter on the street?

Countries are increasingly updating laws to regulate electric scooters.

Some forbid street riding due to safety concerns for both riders and cars. It’s advisable to use bike lanes or pedestrian walkways, even if street riding is legal in your area.

See my electric scooter legal guide for the exact details on scooter laws in your country.

Should you get an electric or a kick scooter?

Kick scooters are way cheaper than electric scooters, but they are nowhere near as practical.

Electric scooters are designed for comfortable long rides, powered by a motor rather than your own body. If your daily commute is lengthy and tiring, an electric scooter is a suitable choice.

Although these two types of scooters look very similar, they provide very different things.

E-scooters offer fun, thrilling rides at various speeds, while kick scooters focus on health benefits and serve as a light workout for pre- and post-work commutes.

If your mind sways towards e-scooters, I recommend you visit my guide for the best electric scooters for beginners and start your search there.

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
I am Matt Trajkovski, the owner and main editor of EScooterNerds. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general, and I’ve been involved in the industry for more than 10 years. I enjoy 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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