In this guide, we will explore the best ways to increase the range of your electric scooter.
How to increase the range of your electric scooter – best tips
- range optimizations
- inflate the tires
- make sure the brakes are not too tight or cause friction
- electric scooter range extender
- never drain the battery completely
- upgrade the battery
- add an extra battery
- rewind the motor (advanced)
- reduce the scooter’s own weight (advanced)
Tips to increase the range of your electric scooter
We will go over various ways to increase your electric scooter’s range. We’ll begin with easy methods that don’t need any scooter modifications and then explore tips that change internal parts significantly.
Choosing the right mode and speed is key for a longer range.
We’re talking about slower, power-saving modes for less powerful scooters.
For instance, the Xiaomi M365 Pro went its farthest in Eco mode at 9 mph (15 km/h).
On the other hand, more powerful scooters like the Inokim OXO might be more efficient when ridden at higher speeds. The Inokim OXO provides better range in full-speed mode compared to Eco mode.
To get the most range from your scooter starting with the eco or power-saving mode is a safe bet.
The scooter’s battery is super important for how far your scooter can go and while riding do these two things to save battery:
- Turn off the scooter’s lights if it’s daytime.
- Turn off Bluetooth. This way, the battery only powers your scooter, which makes it last longer.
Cleaning your scooter is one more simple trick that might sound too simple, but it actually works quite well.
Once, my Xiaomi M365 Pro scooter was slower, seemed to struggle, and its battery drained fast. I checked, and there was a yucky mix of stuff stuck near the rear wheel. It didn’t make noise but caused extra friction and cleaning it felt like a miracle.
Dirt can affect your scooter’s wheels, so keep them really clean. If your scooter has disc brakes(not important for range but still good maintenance form) check them too.
Other than cleaning the exterior of the scooter, also clean your battery sometimes.
Some warranties don’t allow you to open your scooter. But in the first year, you likely won’t have battery problems due to dirt, so wipe the battery clean with a towel or toothbrush, especially if you’re in a dusty area.
Lighten the load your scooter has to carry if possible. Consider leaving heavy bags at work. It might not make a huge difference, but even a little less weight can help your scooter go farther.
These are all pretty basic tips, but it’s surprising to me how often people forget to apply them, and then wonder why they have reduced range in their electric scooter.
What follows are some more advanced tips.
Inflate the tires
Properly inflating your scooter’s tires is vital for getting the most out of your battery.
Under-inflated tires increase ground contact, leading to extra friction, and reduced efficiency and range. (Wikipedia article on rolling resistance goes into detail).
Make sure to inflate your tires to the recommended pressure, but not too much. Going a little over the recommendation might give you more range (this doesn’t apply to scooters with solid tires), but it can also make your ride more slippery. It’s a trade-off between range and grip, so choose wisely.
If you’re new to scootering, stick with the recommended tire pressure until you’re more experienced and understand your scooter better.
Make sure the brakes are not too tight or cause friction
If you have cable brakes on your scooter and you tighten them too much, they might rub against the wheel as you ride. This extra friction makes your scooter use more power for the same distance, reducing your range.
To avoid this, make sure your brakes are set just right. You can check by spinning the wheels by hand and see if they rub too much. If they do loosen your brakes a bit and try again.
Also, if your scooter has a rear foot-press brake, check for things stuck between the brake and the wheel, as it can cause the same problem as overly tight brakes.
Electric scooter range extender
An electric scooter range extender is a valuable accessory designed to enhance the distance your electric scooter can cover on a single charge.
These innovative devices are perfect for riders seeking extended commutes or prolonged recreational journeys.
Here are a few common types of electric scooter range extenders:
- External battery packs: these are additional battery packs that can be attached to the scooter, they provide extra power to supplement the built-in battery, effectively extending the scooter’s range.
- Solar panels: some scooter models have solar panels integrated into their design. The panels capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity to recharge the scooter’s battery, increasing the range over time.
- Smart battery management: advanced scooter models use smart battery management systems that optimize power usage and improve the overall efficiency of the scooter, effectively extending its range.
- Scooter regenerative braking: some scooters use regenerative braking systems. They capture energy when the brakes are applied, and convert it back into battery power, increasing the range.
Never drain the battery completely
While not a direct range-boosting tip, it’s crucial for your battery’s long-term health.
Scooter batteries, typically lithium-ion, naturally wear out over time. They usually last about 2 to 3 years or 300 to 500 charge cycles.
If you let the battery completely drain often, it can lose capacity much faster. So, to make your battery last longer, charge it regularly, and never let it completely run out.
This helps maintain your scooter’s range over time.
Upgrade the battery
Sometimes, getting a stronger battery with more voltage can immediately increase your range.
But not all scooters can handle this. You can only upgrade to a stronger battery if your motor and controller can handle higher voltages than your current battery.
For example, the Xiaomi M365 motor and controller can work with up to 63 V, but it comes with a 37 V battery. People often upgrade to a 48 V battery, which is easy to find and can extend the range by up to 30%.
Remember to check the battery’s Ampere-hour rating too. A higher rating means more energy storage, which is good for range.
When it’s time to replace your battery due to too many charging cycles, think about getting a stronger one if you need more range. You’ll be taking out the old battery anyway.
Add an extra battery
The most reliable way to make your electric scooter go much farther is by adding another battery.
Some scooters are designed for this, like the Ninebot ES2. Without the extra battery, it can go 15 miles, but with it, it nearly doubles to 28 miles. For scooters like the Ninebot ES2, adding the second battery is easy – just a few screws.
But most scooters aren’t set up for this and to add a second battery, you might need to customize your scooter.
You can attach the extra battery in series or parallel. Both boost your range, but adding it in parallel is better because it increases your overall battery capacity.
Rewind the motor (advanced)
One advanced technique that can get you more range if you’ve had your scooter for a while is to see if you need to rewind the motor. This is a somewhat complicated mechanical procedure, so I don’t usually recommend it.
Motors are subject to wear and tear over time. Rewinding a motor is like refreshing it, and if the motor needs it, it will increase its efficiency. New scooters will rarely need this.
Unless you know how to do this and have the necessary equipment for motor rewinding, you will need to take your scooter to a professional.
Reduce the scooter’s own weight (advanced)
You don’t have to remove things from your scooter’s load. Just making the scooter lighter will make it use less energy and go farther.
There are several warnings when it comes to this method:
- modifying your scooter’s weight will most likely void your warranty
- modifying your scooter’s weight can decrease its stability, and thus its safety, as scooters are tested for safety with their normal weight, and making them lighter may cause them to shake more (see the list of safest electric scooters if safety is your biggest concern)
- you either need to know exactly what you’re doing, or find someone who does
While you can make small changes like lighter tires, it’s usually not worth it.
It’s better to focus on other ways to increase your scooter’s range. Instead of making big modifications, consider choosing a scooter designed for a longer range.
To reduce weight without heavy customizations, start by removing extra accessories and avoid carrying bags.
Further modifications and customizations (advanced)
In this video, Albert Nario builds his custom electric scooter, which reportedly covers 45 mi / 73 km on just 30% of the battery, potentially offering a total range of 124 mi / 200 km.
While the motor he uses is only 800 Watts, the construction is probably as light as it can be, and the battery is pretty strong too at 72 V, which might make it reach 124 mi / 200 km on a single charge.
How much range do electric scooters get?
Electric scooters will get anywhere between 8 and 18 mi / 15 and 30 km on a single charge in most cases.
The manufacturers advertise the range of these scooters under test lab conditions, which don’t show how scooters are actually used in the real world.
Those ranges will typically be about 3 to 6 mi / 5 to 10 km more than what you can expect to get (see the electric scooter real range calculator to figure out exactly how much range you will get from your specific scooter).
However, we’re talking about regular scooters here. There are many higher-end models, with more power, that are able to get more than 100 kilometers on a single charge!
Check out the detailed guide on long-range electric scooters to learn more.