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Electric scooters are currently an efficient, quick, and affordable way to get around. Popular brands such as Segway, Xiaomi, and Mearth electric scooters offer quality models at decent prices. However, if you’re considering owning one, how do you choose the right e-scooter? This quick guide offers some tips and insights on electric scooter specifications that you should consider when buying an e-scooter.
What kind of e-scooter do you need?
If you’re not sure which scooter to get, you can start by determining what you generally need based on these three e-scooter categories.
Budget Electric Scooters
As its name suggests, these types of e-scooters are the most affordable that you can buy. If you’re conscious about cost, budget e-scooters cost below $300 and offer decent quality. However, keep in mind that budget e-scooters are mostly recommended for light recreational use, as these types of e-scooters usually include lower-powered motors and batteries.
Commuter electric scooters can range from $300 to $900 and offer higher specs and better features compared to budget e-scooters. This category offers a wide range of e-scooters from lightweight, portable everyday e-scooters, like the Mearth RS electric scooter, to heavier off-road e-scooters, so you are sure to find the right one for you. Overall, commuter electric scooters offer a balanced quality, performance, and cost.
Premium Electric Scooters
Lastly, premium electric scooters typically range from $900 to $2500 or higher and offer the most high-performance e-scooters in the market. For example, the GTS MAX is a premium off-road electric scooter from Mearth with a top speed of 70 kph and a max range of 100 km. Given its cost, premium e-scooters offer the most comfort, safety, and range given its high-spec material, design, and power.
Here’s what to look for
If you already have an idea of what type of e-scooter to get, here are more factors to consider to find the best in the market.
Knowing how far and how fast an e-scooter can take you will help find the right one for you. When looking at an e-scooter’s overall performance, consider the following factors:
E-scooter motors are rated on power consumption (watts). Higher wattage means a more powerful motor. Budget e-scooters normally have a 250-watt motor; commuter e-scooters have a 500-watt motor; and, premium e-scooters have a 1200-watt motor or higher. Anything under 250 watts isn’t recommended for daily commuting.
The average maximum allowable speed in Australia is 25 kph, so most e-scooters are set to this standard. If you’re looking for e-scooters above this limit, several models go over 25 kph. However, it’s only recommended to ride at a higher speed if you’re riding in a safe and controlled environment, never in public.
If you’re concerned about an e-scooter’s range, choose a model that offers more range than what you need for travel. After all, several factors affect an e-scooter’s range such as speed, battery capacity, and rider weight.
Lithium-ion batteries offer the best capacity. However, these are usually expensive, so e-scooters using this type of battery will cost more. If possible, avoid lead-acid batteries since it charges longer and offers a shorter range.
In any type of vehicle, safety is a priority. Here are some factors to consider when determining an e-scooter’s safety.
Quality electric scooter brakes help you stay safe and in control while riding. Most e-scooters offer mechanical disc brakes, which offers the best braking power and control. Some models also add more types of brakes such as a regenerative brake for saving battery power and a foot brake for quick, emergency brakes.
All e-scooters have a maximum load capacity. Going over this capacity can overburden your battery motor, damage your e-scooter, and put you at risk. Always look for an e-scooter with a weight limit higher than the total weight of the rider and the accessories (e.g. bags) that will be added to the e-scooter.
To keep you safe when riding at night, an e-scooter must have a front and rear light that’s bright enough to offer visibility in the dark. However, most rear lights are relatively dimmer, so it’s best to add additional light to your helmet or backpack, or wear reflective lights.
An IP rating consists of two numbers and determines if an e-scooter is resistant to dust and water. The higher the number for the second number, the more resistant it is to water. If you would like to ride in different types of weather or conditions, it’s best to get an e-scooter with a good IP rating.
Make sure to invest in the right electric scooter accessories that will help you ride safer and more comfortably.
If you plan on commuting daily with your e-scooter, it’s best to find a lightweight and portable model. The average e-scooter weighs around 10 kg to 15 kg. E-scooters weighing 10 kg to 12 kg are already considered the lightest in the market. Most budget and commuter e-scooters are portable. Meanwhile, premium e-scooters are usually on the heavier side given that it's made from heavier material and parts.
When choosing a portable e-scooter, consider how you will fold and unfold the unit, where you will be keeping it, how heavy you can carry, and where you will be carrying the e-scooter.
No matter the brand or specs of an e-scooter, it should still be worth its value. Often, e-scooters from big brands cost more simply because of the brand. You can find affordable e-scooters in the market for the same specs or better. However, keep in mind that the cost will depend on what you prioritise in an e-scooter. If you prefer a high-powered motor with better battery capacity, be prepared to shell out more money. If you only need an e-scooter for occasional light travel, then budget e-scooters are enough. In the end, the e-scooter's value should justify the cost, so get one that makes the most of your money.
Before you check out, always read if an e-scooter has a warranty. After all, not all e-scooters offer a warranty. Moreover, e-scooters that have a warranty only offer up to a year of warranty. It’s always best to find a brand with good warranty services. For example, Mearth electric scooters offer customers 2 years of warranty for the frame and a 1-year warranty for the battery and motor. Find a brand that offers a warranty service according to your needs.
Lastly, it’s also important to check a brand has a dedicated and responsive customer service. This will help you have a hassle-free experience in case you need to replace or repair your unit.
The bottom line
While all of the factors and tips above are important, keep in mind that your e-scooter should cater to your needs and lifestyle. Determine the factor or feature that’s most relevant for you and base your standards according to your relevant criteria. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for the right bags to carry your stuff on your e-scooter or bicycle, check out Kulie Bags for affordable and functional travel bags.