Ask yourself these seven questions before taking the plunge
If it feels like your daily commute is taking longer than usual, that's because it truly is. A survey from the US Census Bureau revealed that the average commute time in the United States has increased from 26.6 minutes to 26.9 minutes. While that 18-second leap may appear negligible, back-of-the-envelope math shows that it actually means spending an extra two and a half hours a year in bumper to bumper traffic.
Assuming you work roughly 50 weeks in a year means that your daily commute has now gone up to consume nine whole extra days of your life. For those living in areas with heavier traffic, the time spent commuting is inevitably higher.
Unfortunately, we have no one else to blame for the ordeal but ourselves, with 86 percent of commuters heavily depending on their cars, driving over 3.2 trillion in vehicle miles every year. The morning and evening rush hours also put a dent in the commuters' budgets with total congestion spending reaching a mind-boggling $305 billion. We’re currently living in a world where going from one place to another is costing us not only time but also tons of money.
This is where electric scooters come in. Offering a myriad of benefits to its users, one of the main advantages of using an e-scooter is avoiding getting stuck behind the wheel for hours on end. It doesn’t hurt that it’s pretty fun to ride one, too!
However, there are a handful of things you should know before buying an electric scooter. Here’s a quick guide to help you get started:
1. How does an electric scooter work?
You don't need to be an expert on electric scooters to become a well-informed buyer. However, it'll help if you understand some basic tech behind the product before you take the plunge. After all, how will you choose the best electric scooter if you don't have any idea about how they work? While you obviously don't need to memorize all the components and complex systems of electric scooters, you do need to be an expert when it comes to your own needs, requirements, and goals.
Here are the basics of how an electric scooter works:
An electric scooter is powered by rechargeable batteries which can either be lithium or lead. Most batteries allow your scooter to travel somewhere between 10 and 40 miles. The electric scooter's motor can be found mounted on the frame. The batteries produce the electricity which is transmitted to the motor via a network of wires. Depending on the make and model of your electric scooter, the motor pushes the electric scooter forward either through the front wheel or both wheels.
2. What is the purpose of your electric scooter?
This is not an existential question to test your sanity – although it can feel like one. The goal of answering this question is to figure out what kind and model of an electric scooter would perfectly match your needs and objectives – knowing your "why" before purchasing this product will be extremely helpful in narrowing down your options.
Remember: no two electric scooter models are the same. Each one is made with particular purposes in mind. Not only that – there are electric scooters designed to fulfill the needs of specific people.
For instance, there’s an entire segment called electric mobility scooters, which are designed for older riders or those who need assistance walking. A great example of these is the 800 Watt MotoTec Electric Powered Trike, nicknamed the “Personal Transporter,” which essentially works like a three-wheel Segway (but costs a lot less). Another remarkable electric mobility scooter is the airport-approved, foldable, and lightweight eWheels EW-07 Eforce1, which can carry a rider weighing up to 325 lbs.
Meanwhile, there are electric scooters for kids – like the Injusa Repsol Wind scooter – that consider the child’s height, weight, and ability to control the vehicle.
Options for electric scooters for adults can be extensive as well. Are you looking for an electric scooter for commuting like the MotoTec Fat Tire 500w Electric scooter? Or do you just want an electric scooter for tours? Some people even opt for electric scooters designed for drifting.
3. What’s your style and how do you want your electric scooter to match it?
It might seem frivolous to actually consider this before buying an electric scooter but always keep in mind that this item is an investment -- one that would probably be with you for years. So, you should definitely choose one that matches your “look” and lifestyle.
Do you want a really tough-looking electric scooter with style and design? You should consider this beauty with ergonomic shapes and fat wheels. Designed by Alessandro Tartarini, one of the top 100 industrial designers in the world. The MotoTec Velocifero Mad 48v 1600w Scooter. Or would you prefer something with a softer look like the eWheels EW-80 Pretty In Pink or an electric scooter with a “personality” like the “happy” electric scooter called eWheels EW-82 “Happy Day?”
No matter what design you choose, just make sure that it matches your aesthetic. So buy an electric scooter you’d be proud to be seen driving around.
Another important thing to remember is the way the electric scooter’s batteries are set in the vehicle. That is, the batteries shouldn't cause distractions in your riding experience or comfort. An ideal battery will be seamlessly integrated into the overall design and build of your electric scooter.
4. What are the riding conditions your electric scooter will face?
If your plan is to simply go around your neighborhood or attend to short-distance errands, then it's not necessary to get an expensive electric scooter with all the bells and whistles powering it up for longer ranges. In this case, you may want to go with a more affordable one that can fulfill your needs. The UberScoot 36v 1000w Folding Scooter should be considered for its affordability and innovative features.
If you want to splurge a bit, however, you can choose an electric scooter that can provide a higher range than what you currently need, like the eWheels EW-21 1000w Fat Tire Electric Chopper Scooter. That way, you can still use it when you unexpectedly need to drive further than you planned. It'll also be a good investment in the long run for when your electric scooter gradually drops its range due to its aging battery.
If you're still uncertain about this concept, here's a quick overview of what you can expect based on the batteries:
- For electric scooters offering batteries under 350 watts, you can expect slower acceleration and speed. Uphill drives will be a challenge as well.
- If you want a decent acceleration and passable speed, then consider buying an electric scooter with 500 watts of power.
- If your area requires uphill drives, then check out electric scooters at 750 watts or higher for more power that can handle those riding conditions.
5. How far can an electric scooter go?
This is one of the primary considerations you should think about. Today, there are electric scooters that can cover 12 to 15 miles after a single full charge. These types are generally small enough as well, so you don't compromise the compact design.
Keep in mind that electric scooters were primarily designed for those who plan to commute within their city and only need to travel short distances between their office and home. Needless to say, electric scooters were not built for extremely long drives, so you might need to reconsider if this is what you're after.
6. What does an electric scooter cost?
Unless you're Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates, it's likely that your budget has a limit. Consider your price point when canvassing for an electric scooter. There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to this concern as riding expectations and requirements vary from user to user. The crucial point is to strike a balance between the level of functionality you need and your funds.
Clearly, the most technologically advanced electric scooters lean more on the expensive side, while your basic models can be bought at lower costs. As always, your purpose for buying an electric scooter comes into play in this decision-making process. Avoid choosing an electric scooter with features that are of no use to you.
Before you look at all the add-ons, make sure that your electric scooter has all the basics. You should check the quality of its braking system along with its suspension. Ensure that you choose one with a sturdy frame as well as the model and type with spare parts that are readily available in the establishments near you.
7. Does the electric scooter come with a warranty?
Electric scooters can be an expensive investment for some – particularly those who are looking to use one as a daily transport vehicle. This is why it's vital to guarantee that your hard-earned cash is safeguarded from any manufacturing defect or parts that will quickly wear out. Before handing over your money, check if the electric scooter comes with a warranty. That way, you can be at ease with the knowledge that the majority of the replacement parts and repairs will be covered at least for the first year or so.
Owning an electric scooter is a low-maintenance, cost-efficient, and environmentally friendly alternative to driving cars. If everyone starts using these incredible innovations, then we might just say goodbye to endless traffic jams forever.