Personal electric vehicles weren’t off to a good start. The first Segway model looked dorky (officially retired on July 15), and it didn’t help that its CEO fell off a cliff using one. Rideable technology has improved ever since, thanks to small yet powerful motors coupled with denser batteries.
Hoverboards, monowheels, and electric scooters appeared. Even Segway reinvented their original model to catch up with the market. You can buy a Tesla, but that involves a bigger investment than a regular gas-fueled car.
In the post-pandemic future, we’re certainly going to need a transportation solution that takes public safety and sustainability into account. Portable electric vehicles greatly reduce gas, parking space, and maintenance costs compared to a car. It’s also social distancing on wheels. You can use an electric bike but they’re heavy and expensive.
By design alone, electric scooters are the most practical type of personal electric vehicle. Here’s why you should buy one for your commute.
The electric scooter doesn’t look as cool as a hoverboard and monowheel, but they can be stylish in their own way (such as the Unagi scooters). But they don’t really need to be. The handlebar, deck, and two wheels come together in a practical design that anyone can use and fit for daily commuting. You’re still standing upright, but it’s far easier to learn and less prone to falls than a self-balancing scooter. More importantly, it can easily be incorporated with safety features.
In general, self-balancing scooters have a range of 12-16km. Electric skateboards pretty much do the same thing but are capable of higher top speeds. But you’ll need the experience to ride them. Budget electric scooters, which people use as entry-level e-scooters, can go as far as 23km with a top speed of up to 22 km/h. When it comes to price and feature, you’ll get more out of an electric scooter as an alternate mode of transportation.
Hoverboards (which needed to be certified safe because their batteries can explode) and monowheels are fun as long as you’re on smooth flat surfaces. On paper, 12-16 km/h doesn’t sound fast. In city streets where you’ll encounter uneven roads, hills, speed bumps, and potholes this can be dangerous. You probably won’t even go that fast for safety, which means you’re better off walking. Segway modified their original into the Segway MiniPro, but the fact that you need a guide to avoid falling on your face when using it means you’re better off using it inside private property.
In electric scooters, front and rear lights, skid-resistant deck, and disc brakes are standard features. Spending a bit more can give you a LED display, suspension, and an external battery.
The fact that ridesharing companies such as Bird and Lime use electric scooters already tells you that they are convenient for commuting in the city. At around $600 you can already have your own electric scooter.
Electric scooters have proven to be more than just a tech bro toy. They’re a convenient last-mile solution or portable component to your commute. The fact that there are electric scooter laws in places means they are considered as a form of vehicle. If you’re buying an electric scooter for the first time, ask yourself this question first.