The best electric scooters offer more than just a fun way for kids to commute to their best friend’s house on a Saturday afternoon. These machines are green alternatives for those who’d like to ditch their gas-guzzling car for a more economical way to make the daily commute.
Electric scooters come in a broad range of types, ranging from kids scooters that are limited to safer speeds of 10 miles per hour to serious commuter scooters that can reach speeds of 20 miles per hour and cover up to 40 miles on a single charge.
Ahead, learn more about what features you should consider when shopping for an electric scooter and find out why the models below are some of the best electric scooters on the market.
— Best Overall: Unagi Model One E500 Electric Scooter
— Best Budget: Gotrax GXL V2 Commuting Electric Scooter
— Best for Commuting: Segway Ninebot MAX Electric Kick Scooter
— Best for Kids: Razor E100 Electric Scooter
— Best with a Seat: Hiboy S2 Electric Scooter
How We Picked the Best Electric Scooters
We used several criteria to review more than a dozen of the top electric scooters on the market. The motor is crucial to the functioning of an electric scooter, determining not just how fast the scooter can go but how well it can tackle hills. With this in mind, we limited our search to scooters with 250-watt motors with the exception of our selection for best kid's scooter.
Since range is also crucial, we chose electric scooters that could go for at least 15 miles on a single charge. For our commuter selections, we expanded that range to 25 to 40 miles to account for longer trips to and from work.
Scooters are capable of reaching speeds of 15 miles per hour more, so safety and comfort are key. We chose models with pneumatic tires and large wheels that provide stability, traction control, and cushioning even on bumpy roads. We also leaned toward scooters that have such features as anti-lock brakes and shock absorbers.
While cost was secondary to other criteria, we did include models that cover a variety of price points to appeal to different budgets.
The Best Electric Scooters: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Electric Scooter Overall: Unagi Model One E500 Electric Scooter
Why It Made The Cut: It’s hard to resist the sleek looks and high top speed of what can best be described as the sports car of scooters.
— Max Speed: 20 miles per hour (m.p.h.) (when unlocked)
— Weight: 26 pounds
— Range: 15 miles
— High top speed of 20 m.p.h.
— Sleek design with hidden brake lines and integrated control panel
— Lightweight and durable carbon fiber construction
— Twice the cost of other electric scooters
With its ability to reach top speeds of 20 m.p.h. (when unlocked), the Model One E500 is one of the fastest electric scooters on the market. This scooter from Unagi, which means “eel” in Japanese, accomplishes this feat by having two motors. The “official” top speed for the scooter is 15 m.p.h., but entering a cheat code on the control panel will put the scooter in unlocked mode, allowing you to reach those 20 m.p.h. speeds. Small levers allow the user to control the throttle and brake and two buttons activate a horn or the LED headlight.
A scooter that hits such high speeds needs to handle well and the Unagi does, thanks to a carbon- fiber construction that makes the scooter both sturdy and light. The ability to collapse into a small shape coupled with its 26-pound weight make it ideal for commuters.
In terms of looks, the Unagi is noticeably sleeker than other scooters thanks largely to a carbon-fiber frame that’s devoid of any graphics. Brake lines that are hidden inside the frame and the digital display that shows battery power and other trip information is integrated seamlessly into the handlebars, adding to its eel-like looks.
The Unagi does have its drawbacks. It’s about twice the cost of other electric scooters and only gets about 15 miles on a full charge.
Best Budget Electric Scooter: Gotrax GXL V2 Commuting Electric Scooter
Why It Made The Cut: The GoTrax GXL performs similarly to much higher priced electrics scooters
— Max Speed: 15.5 m.p.h.
— Weight: 26 pounds
— Range: 12.5 miles
— Good top speed of 15.5 miles per hour
— More affordable than other electric scooters
— Large 8.5-inch pneumatic tires
— Digital display integrated into the handlebars
— Shorter range than other electric scooters
While there are some compromises with the Gotrax GXL, which is less than half the cost of other electric scooters, it mostly keeps pace with its pricier rivals. This model comes with a 250-watt motor that allows it to reach top speeds of 15.5 m.p.h. with a modest range of up to 12.5 miles. The cockpit consists of a digital display that shows speed and battery charge with a lever for speed control and a manual hand brake.
The Gotrax GXL’s frame has a sturdy feel and wide platform that inspires confidence while riding at high speeds. Two beefy 8.5-inch pneumatic tires provide ample control, making the GXL a suitable option for riding unpaved roads and rail-to-trails style pathways. When not in use, the scooter folds in half, allowing you to carry it on the bus or subway, which is certainly doable given that it weighs just 27 pounds. Though the GXL lacks the top speeds and extended range of pricier models, it costs a fraction of those higher-end scooters, making it an ideal option for those looking to own an electric scooter on the cheap.
Best Electric Scooter for Commuting: Segway Ninebot MAX Electric Kick Scooter
Why It Made The Cut: With a high top speed, long 40-plus mile range, and plush suspension system, this is the ideal ride for commuters.
— Max Speed: 18.6 m.p.h.
— Weight: 42 pounds
— Range: 40 miles
— High top speed of 18.6 miles per hour
— Long 40-mile range
— Large 10-inch pneumatic tires and shock absorbers
— Self-healing tires
— One of the heavier electric scooters on the market
Ample range, a high top speed and plenty of oomph for climbing hills make Segway’s Ninebot Max Electric Kick the ideal scooter for those commuting to work. The Max Electric Kick lives up to its name with a 350-watt motor that can push this scooter to an impressive top speed of 18.6 m.p.h., ensuring you’ll get to work on time. It also boasts one of the longest ranges you’ll find on an electric scooter, getting up to 40 miles on a single charge. That’s more than enough juice for even longer jaunts to and from work. Large 10-inch tires coupled with shock absorbers on both wheels add stability and cushioning even when riding over rougher roads. The tires also protect the scooter from various road hazards you might encounter on the daily commute.
The Max Electric Kick is also one of a handful of scooters to offer anti-lock brakes, an ideal feature when traveling on congested roadways. While it’s clearly designed with commuters in mind, it may be best suited for commutes that don’t involve the bus or subway. That said, at 42 pounds, the Max Electric Kick is a tad heavy to carry around.
Best Electric Scooter for Kids: Razor E100 Electric Scooter
Why It Made The Cut: No scooter we reviewed does a better job of catering to the needs of kids than the Razor E100
— Max Speed: 10 m.p.h.
— Weight: 30 pounds
— Range: 10 miles
— Easy to use twist speed controls and hand brake
— Kid-friendly top speed of 10 m.p.h.
— Enough torque to scale hills
— Heavy weight makes it difficult for kids to pick up
No one wants their child racing down the road at speeds approaching 20 miles per hour on a bike with brakes designed for adult-sized hands. That’s why the Razor E100, with its speed limitations and easy to use controls, make it an ideal choice for younger riders. Twist grip speed controls let kids accelerate without having to take a hand off the handlebars while a short reach on the brake lever suits smaller hands.
Perhaps most important, the E100 tops out at a kid-safe speed of 10 m.p.h., yet still and has enough torque to get up even steeper neighborhood hills. The E100s’s 24-volt rechargeable battery offers 40 minutes of drive time, which is enough for tours around the neighborhood or even a daily commute to a nearby school.
Eight-inch pneumatic tires do a good job of absorbing bumps in the road, keeping the E100 stable even at higher speeds. The E100 is also available in a variety of kid-friendly colors, including hot pink, purple, and black. The Razor will also hold up to abuse, thanks to an all-steel frame and fork, though that sturdy build does make it a bit heavy for kids at more than 30 pounds.
Best Electric Scooter with Seat: Hiboy S2 Electric Scooter
Why It Made The Cut: Of the scooters that offer seats, Hiboy scored the highest thanks to its high top speed, ability to climb hills, and rear suspension system.
— Max Speed: 19 m.p.h.
— Weight: 33 pounds
— Range: 17 miles
— High top speed
— Light weight for commuting
— Rear suspension absorbs shock
— Wide comfortable seat
— Shorter range limits its use as a commuter scooter
For those who wish to turn their scooter into something that better resembles a moped, the Hiboy S2 is a great option. The S2 comes with a seat that snaps into the scooter’s platform just in front of the rear wheel. The seat itself provides a wide stable base and plenty of cushioning for comfort.
Given that the S2 can reach speeds of up to 19 m.p.h. with its 350-watt brushless motor, it’s crucial that the scooter be able to absorb shocks to keep the rider from bouncing off the seat. Beefy pneumatic tires and a rear suspension system help smooth out the ride. While this design makes the Hiboy S2 a good choice for commuting, its range is a bit limited at about 17 miles.
Other notable features on the S2 include an anti-lock braking system and front, middle and rear lights, adding to visibility in low lighting. The scooter is also Bluetooth ready, allowing you to link the scooter to a smartphone to set custom riding modes or lock it when it’s not in use.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Electric Scooter
Most electric scooters have motors that put out 250 watts, which is usually enough to push the scooter up to speeds of around 15 m.p.h. If you’re looking to get more out of your scooter, look for a model with 350 watts or two 250-watt motors that are capable of reaching top speeds of 18 to 20 m.p.h. Just keep in mind that a bigger motor or scooter with multiple motors will draw more from the battery, which could mean a shorter range if it’s not equipped with a larger battery. If you’re purchasing a scooter for a child, look for a model with a smaller 100-watt motor that has a top speed of 10 m.p.h., making them safer for children.
Though all scooters have rechargeable batteries, the range they offer can vary significantly. Scooters with smaller batteries may get around 15 miles before requiring a recharge. Scooters with more powerful batteries can cover more than 40 miles before needing a charge. Keep in mind that batteries that offer greater capacity are bigger and heavier, adding to the overall weight of a scooter. This makes a difference if the scooter is designed for a child or if you plan on folding it up and carrying onto public transportation or up the stairs to a third floor walk-up.
Given that electric scooters can reach speeds of up to 20 m.p.h or greater if going downhill, it’s crucial that they have certain safety features. Powerful disc brakes are a must to ensure the scooter can stop quickly. Some scooters that are capable of reaching higher speeds have anti-lock brake systems, allowing you to brake hard without losing control of the scooter. A good electric scooter should also have pneumatic tires that capably grip the road, preventing the scooter from sliding out from under you on turns. Other safety features include horns and LED lights that make the scooter more visible in low lighting conditions.
Electric scooters also have features that make them more comfortable to ride. Scooters with larger wheels and thicker pneumatic tires are better able to absorb road shock than those with smaller wheels. High end scooters come equipped with suspension systems that add stability and comfort by smoothing out bumpy roads.
Q: How long does an electric scooter last?
A good electric scooter will last three to five years with daily usage. This lifespan is based largely on the battery. After the first two years, the efficiency of the battery, which makes up a significant chunk of the scooter’s total cost, will begin to drop to 80 to 90 percent of a new battery. That efficiency will gradually decrease with time, which means the range and top speed of the scooter will also decline. To get the most out of the battery, avoid completely draining the battery and don’t continue charging it after the battery is full.
Q: How do I choose an electric scooter?
There are two main specs you should look at when selecting an electric scooter. First and foremost, choose a model that has at least a 250-watt motor. That output ensures that you’ll be able to reach sufficient speeds on flat ground and be able to ascend moderate hills. If you live in a hilly area, consider buying a scooter with a larger 350-watt motor or dual motors. It’s also important to check range. If you’re only planning to use the scooter for recreational purposes, a range of around 15 miles should suffice. If you plan on making the daily commute to work, then you may want to consider a scooter with a longer range.
Q: Which brand of electric scooter is best?
That depends on what you’re looking to get out of the scooter. For raw speed, exceptional handling and light weight, Unagi sits at the top with a lightweight carbon-fiber scooter that can reach speeds of 20 m.p.h. If you’re looking for a scooter that’s ideal for the daily commute, Segway’s Ninebot brand offers scooters that are comfortable to ride with long 40-plus mile ranges.
Q: What is the most reliable scooter brand?
The Segway Ninebot MAX Electric Kick Scooter is one of the most reliable scooters you can buy. This is largely due to rugged steel construction that’s built to take on the rigors of a daily commute. That said, this heavy-duty construction comes with a cost. The Ninebot Max is one of the more expensive scooters on the market not to mention one of the heaviest.
Q: What are the disadvantages of electric scooters?
The biggest drawback of an electric scooter is undoubtedly its battery. All rechargeable batteries give out over a relatively short period of time and the ones that power scooters are no different. Most will only last three to five years before they’ve degraded to the point where the scooter’s range and top speed are seriously compromised. Replacing a scooter battery can cost between $100 and $500.
Q: How much does an electric scooter cost?
Electric scooters range in cost from $200 for kids models up to $1,000 or more for high-end commuter electric scooters that can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour with ranges that exceed 40 miles.
Electric scooters come in a broad range of price points. To select the right one for you, consider how you plan to use it. While a higher top speed and longer range may be worth the investment for a good commuter scooter, purchasing a more affordable electric scooter with a shorter range and a lower top speed is a smarter choice for a scooter that may only see recreational use.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.