How to Charge an Electric Scooter [11-Step Checklist To Avoid Damage]

Last Updated on May 17, 2023 by Matt

Surprisingly, most people are unaware of how to charge an electric scooter. They either miss some steps, which can be detrimental to the scooter over the long run, or perform the steps in the wrong order.

After a few years of dealing with electric scooters extensively (and making lots of charging mistakes), I’ve put together the perfect step-by-step checklist of the best way to charge your electric scooter.

person showing how to charge an Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter

How to charge an electric scooter?

These are all the steps to how to charge an electric scooter properly.

1. Let your scooter cool down

Manuals often omit this step, and yet it’s very important for increasing your battery’s lifespan.

Batteries and heat don’t work well together, especially during charging. If you’ve just ridden your scooter in hot weather, let the battery and the other electronics cool down for at least 30 minutes before you plug in the charger.

Otherwise, you risk battery damage and shortening its lifespan.

2. Make sure your electric scooter and charger are not wet

If you’ve just ridden in wet conditions (rain, snow, ice, puddles, mud, etc), your scooter may have some water that has accidentally ended up where it shouldn’t, like the battery case.

If you see some water or other liquids on your scooter, make sure to let it dry, or dry it off yourself before you charge it.

If you leave your scooter to dry off (my preferred method), give your scooter at least 30 minutes after riding and the water will evaporate.

If you dry it yourself, don’t use a hairdryer – it may push the water inside the scooter. Use a wet-dry vacuum cleaner instead.

3. Use an original charger

If your charger has broken down, avoid the temptation to use a charger from a different brand, or a charger from the same brand but for another scooter.

Repairing your old charger, or buying a new one, is by far the best choice here.

Avoid using any chargers other than an original one. If you must, triple-check that the voltage is the same as the old one’s, otherwise you can easily damage your battery.

4. Charge in a dry, cool environment

Ideally, you want to charge your scooter in a dry room, at room temperature. Avoid charging it in extreme temperatures, like colder than 0°C / 32°F or hotter than 45°C / 113°F (source).

Don’t charge your scooter in the sun under any circumstances!

This can not only damage your scooter’s battery or other electronic parts permanently, but may cause the battery to explode and cause harm to you or those around you.

5. Turn off your scooter while charging

If your scooter shows the battery level while charging even when turned off (like lights on the charger or status on the screen), go ahead and turn it off while charging. It’s a good charging practice that prevents simultaneously charging and discharging the battery, thus damaging it.

If a scooter has no way to let you know its battery level unless turned on, then leave your scooter on while charging.

6. Plug the charger into the power outlet first

electric scooter and an electric scooter charger plugged into power outlet on a wall but not plugged into scooter yet

This is the general rule of thumb, and it’s usually better to plug the charger into the wall first, and then plug it into your scooter.

Still, check your manual. If it says to plug the charger into the scooter first, and then into the power outlet, do as the manual says.

Anyway, to avoid short circuits and malfunctions, it’s usually recommended to plug the charger into the power outlet before it’s connected to the scooter.

It’s kinda logical, too. If something goes wrong when plugging in the charger in the power outlet, you don’t want your scooter plugged in as well. If a short circuit happens, the only part damaged will be the charger, and your scooter will remain safe.

Make sure the charger works properly. It will have a green indicator light that lights up when plugged in to indicate this.

If the green light doesn’t light up, your charger may not work properly. Don’t use it to charge your scooter – either repair it or get a new one.

7. Plug the charger into the scooter’s charging port

Sometimes your scooter will have a charging port cap, which you need to remove so that you can plug the charging head into the port.

Once you do that, your scooter should start charging.

Most scooters have a way of indicating that they’re charging. Usually, it’s with lights on the chargers themselves, and often by displaying the battery status on their screens too. Some scooters can show the battery levels through their apps as well.

The rules of thumb are:

  • a green light on the charger when only plugged into the power outlet and not into the scooter means it’s working properly
  • red light while charging means the scooter means it’s still charging
  • green light while plugged in the scooter means the charging is complete

These are just the general rules, and may be different for your specific model. Double-check your manual to be sure.

8. Charge your battery until it’s fully charged (if possible)

battery level illustration, from full to empty

I know that always charging your scooter fully is kind of hard. Often times you will need to use your scooter before it’s fully charged.

Still, try and charge your battery to full as often as you can.

It is useful to know the exact time you should charge your scooter. Check your manual, the Internet, and the guide on electric scooter charging times to find that information about your scooter. If you still can’t find the exact time for your model, use the electric scooter charge time calculator to get a general idea.

It’s not the end of the world if you don’t charge your scooter fully. After all, lithium-ion batteries may not have any real consequences from partial charges.

The reason I recommend fully charging your battery is to reduce the chance of completely draining it. The more times you ride with a full battery, the fewer times you will come close to draining it. And draining it does damage it!

9. Unplug the charger from your scooter

When your scooter is fully charged, unplug the charger head from the charging port of the scooter first, and then unplug the charger from the power outlet. Avoid leaving anything plugged in when you’re not around.

10. Avoid overcharging your battery

Many modern electric scooters have protection from overcharging built-in. Still, the best practice remains to unplug your scooter soon after it’s 100% charged. Leaving it plugged in after fully charged for a few minutes will not be so bad, but don’t leave it for too long, even if it has overcharging protection.

I recommend figuring out a daily charging pattern. This will depend on your scooter’s charging time.

For example, if your scooter takes around 3 hours to charge, plug it in after getting home from work, and plug it out in the evening. If it takes 8 hours, you can plug it in before you go to bed, let it charge overnight, and plug it out in the morning.

11. Don’t ride immediately after charging

If you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to prolong your battery life, wait for at least 5 minutes after charging to ride. The battery may still be overheated from charging, and ideally, you shouldn’t ride it in that condition.

How do electric scooters charge?

Most electric scooters run on lithium-ion batteries, which is the same type of battery in your phone or laptop.

When charging, the power source (your outlet) applies voltage on the battery, higher than the voltage the battery produces. This is why, for example, we may say that the battery has 42 V input voltage and maybe 37 V output voltage, but the charger has 100-240 V input voltage and 42 V of output voltage.

This forces a current to flow through the battery from the positive to the negative electrode, which is the opposite direction from when the battery is used.

Electrons move from the positive to the negative electrode, effectively “filling” the battery (source).

Fast charging

Some electric scooters, particularly ones with larger battery capacities, provide the option for fast charging through a fast charger.

Fast chargers are sometimes just chargers that have more amperage and voltage, but sometimes those can be adjusted by the owner as well.

In general, fast charging is exactly what it sounds like – your battery gets charged faster because of the higher amperage and voltage.

However, you should be aware that using faster chargers is typically not as optimal for the battery life as using the regular charger. The faster you charge a battery, the lesser its lifespan will be.

Dual charging

Some scooters, especially powerful and fast scooters, come with the option for dual charging. The scooter will have two charging ports, and you will be able to use two chargers at the same time.

This will result in the battery being charged faster, typically almost twice as fast.

While dual charging is also not as optimal as regular charging for the battery life, it’s typically much better than fast charging, since it doesn’t use higher voltage. That’s why the effects on the battery life will be minimal.

How to charge a Xiaomi scooter?

Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter being charged with a charger, demonstrating how to charge a Xiaomi scooter

To charge a Xiaomi M365 or Xiaomi M365 Pro scooter:

  • use only the original charger that came with your scooter, or an identical one
  • don’t let your battery get completely drained
  • make sure your scooter is completely dry before charging
  • if you’ve just ridden your scooter, wait for a few minutes to cool off before plugging it in
  • plug the charger in the power outlet, the green light on it should light up
  • remove the charging port cap and plug the charger in, the charger light should be red
  • charge until the battery is 100% full, the charger light should be green again
  • unplug the charger from your scooter and from the wall
  • wait for a few minutes before riding

How to charge a Razor scooter?

To charge a Razor scooter:

  • use only an original charger
  • avoid discharging your scooter’s battery completely
  • your scooter and charger should not be wet before charging
  • plug the charger in the power outlet, the green light on it should light up
  • plug the charging head into the charging port of your scooter, the light on the charger should turn red
  • unplug the charger from the wall and from the scooter
  • wait for a few minutes before riding

How do you charge an electric scooter at home?

Make sure the room where you charge your scooter is dry, not too hot, or not too cold. Plug the charger into the power outlet, and then connect it to your scooter. The wheels are often dirty, so use old cardboards or another protective cover under the wheels of your scooter to keep your place clean.

How long does it take to charge an electric scooter?

The most widely used electric scooters today will take between 3 and 8 hours to fully charge. The average charging time for popular and budget electric scooters is 5 hours, and the average for all electric scooters is 6 hours and 40 minutes.

If you need a detailed list of charge times, check out the detailed post here, or check the electric scooter charge time calculator.

Should you charge your scooter fully every time?

With most modern scooters, especially ones with lithium batteries, it is not necessary to charge your battery fully every time.

Sealed-lead-acid batteries were an older technology that required full charging, and their capacity diminished if they were not charged fully. Today, lead-acid batteries are mostly obsolete thanks to lithium batteries, which typically come with the ability to charge them partially without reducing their capacity.

Should you charge your scooter after every ride?

You don’t have to charge your scooter after every ride. In fact, with long-range scooters, you will probably go many rides without charging your scooter.

How long does an electric scooter charge last?

When riding in power-saving mode, electric scooter charges can last as long as 6 hours, but the average is 2 hours. When riding in faster speed modes, the average electric scooter will last 50 minutes on average. Higher-quality scooters can hold charges for up to 6 or more hours of constant riding.

Still, battery life is not a very useful measurement for electric scooter performance. You will get a much better idea about that by looking at the range of electric scooters, as that’s the equivalent of battery life, but the specification has more real-world usage.

Can you overcharge an electric scooter?

Most modern electric scooters will come with smart charging features, which will provide protection against overcharging. However, it’s still possible to overcharge an electric scooter, even with the latest technology. The recommendation is to unplug the scooter after it’s fully charged as soon as possible.

Can you charge an electric scooter overnight?

Popular and budget electric scooters take less than 8 hours to charge, and leaving them to charge for a full night of 8 hours puts them at risk of overcharging. If your scooter’s charging time is about the same as your sleep time, then charging your scooter overnight is a good idea. Otherwise, find another time to charge your scooter.

How to know if your electric scooter is charging?

With almost every electric scooter, the indicator light on the charger will be red while the scooter is charging, and it will turn green when the scooter is fully charged. Some scooters may also display their charging status or battery level on their screen or through their app.

How to charge an electric scooter without a charger?

jump start cable for starting a dead battery

Before we get into how to charge your scooter without a charger, a word of caution: avoid doing this if possible! Even using a different charger than the original one is strongly discouraged, let alone using alternative methods for charging!

That said, sometimes you may have no other choice but to go ahead with this. To do that, you will need another power source (your car battery for example), and jumper cables.

To charge your electric scooter without a charger, follow these steps:

  • your car battery voltage should be greater than your scooter’s battery voltage for effective charging
  • turn off your scooter
  • remove the battery (this may void your warranty!)
  • find the positive and negative leads on the scooter battery (“+” is positive and can sometimes be marked by a red color, “-” is negative and usually black)
  • take the jumper cables and spread them, don’t let the jumper cable leads touch each other
  • leave the black leads on the ground, they shouldn’t touch any metal
  • take a red lead from the jumper cable, and attach it to the red/positive lead of your scooter’s battery
  • take the other red lead from the jumper cable, and attach it to the red/positive lead of your car battery
  • attach the black lead of the jumper cable to the black/negative lead of your car battery
  • attach the other black end of the jumper cable to bare metal or another grounding point (do not attach the black lead to your scooter’s battery, this can cause an explosion!)
  • start the engine of your car and let it run for a few minutes
  • let your battery charge
  • remove the black lead from the grounding, don’t touch it against anything
  • remove the red lead from the scooter battery, make sure it doesn’t touch the black lead
  • remove the red lead from the car battery
  • remove the black lead from the car battery

This is a very useful Youtube tutorial demonstrating the process with two car batteries, and in our case, the scooter’s battery would be the dead car battery.

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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, 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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