Most electric scooter manuals do an ok job of explaining how to charge your electric scooter.
However, many are either incomplete and miss some steps, or only cover the obvious basics. After a few years, I’ve found out the exact step-by-step procedure of the best way to charge an electric scooter.
How to charge an electric scooter – step-by-step checklist
- Let your scooter cool down before plugging in the charger
- Make sure your electric scooter or charger are not wet
- Use an original charger
- Charge in a dry, cool environment
- Turn off your scooter while charging
- Plug the charger into the power outlet first
- Plug the charger into the scooter’s charging port
- Charge your battery until it’s fully charged (if possible)
- Avoid overcharging your battery
- Don’t ride immediately after charging
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
I’ve found that many manuals don’t include this step at all, 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 at least 30 minutes before you plug the charger.
Otherwise you risk battery damage and shortening its lifespan.
2. Make sure your electric scooter and charger are not wet
Many electric scooters have some water-resistant features, but very few are truly waterproof.
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 (which is 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
This is the general rule of thumb, and it’s usually better to plug the charger in the wall first, and then plug it into your scooter.
Still, check your manual. If it says to plug the charger in the scooter first, and then in the power outlet, do as the manual says.
Anyway, to avoid short circuits and malfunctions, it’s usually recommended to plug the charger in 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. That way, 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 almost always 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)
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, then you can 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!
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.
9. Avoid overcharging your battery
The good news here is, many modern electric scooters have protection from overcharging built-in.
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.
10. Don’t ride immediatelly after charging
I know it’s a great feeling to unplug your scooter and storm out immediately, with a full tank and ready to ride like the wind.
And it’s not that big of a deal if you do it.
However, 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).
How to charge a Xiaomi 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 in 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.
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 fast speed mode, 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 performances. 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 that 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 and related damages from it. 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 5 hours to charge on average, 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 charge an electric scooter without a charger?
I’ve seen this question asked here and there, and we should address it.
But before we do that, a cautionary note: avoid doing this if possible! Keep in mind that 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.