The latest crop of electric scooters are practical and pack up easily. As a “last resort”, there is probably nothing better.
Over the last year or so, the landscape of the electric scooter market has changed a lot. A huge number of new companies have dipped their toes into the water, meaning that there are now many more practical scooters for adults on the market, and as the technology becomes more widespread, it improves, giving you a much smoother ride for the most part.
And let’s face it, technical gimmicks or not, the joy of riding an e-scooter that can rocket along at 25 mph is something most people can appreciate (though admittedly, it may certainly feel like too much power for some). .
If you have a trip or car ride that is suitable for this type of personal transportation, there are electric scooters that can reduce your travel time and get you through. However, the question of ‘whether electric scooters are legal’ really depends on your local jurisdiction, so be careful here.
Electric scooters are only growing in popularity, they’re nocturnal, they’re fun, and they could be the form of personal transportation you’ve been looking for. We’ve reviewed and rated the best you can buy because, while they may all look pretty similar, not all electric scooters are created equal.
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Electric scooters are more than just battery powered scooters. As far-fetched as that statement is, it’s also true: they’re much faster than regular scooters, they’re much heavier, and electric scooters are also much more manageable than their cousins.
You’re unlikely to pull any sick tricks on them – and at top speed you shouldn’t even try – but the advantage of low torque at the wheels means you’ll be expertly maneuvering up hills and down the street in no time.
Our buyer’s guide includes Xiaomi’s excellent M365 Pro, the Segway-Ninebot ES4 and our pick for the best electric scooter you can buy right now, the extremely practical and affordable Xiaomi M365. It’s a brilliant, quality scooter that offers something for everyone, and it’s surprisingly cheap against the stiff competition.
How to buy an electric scooter
Choosing the best electric scooter for you is absolutely essential – it’s a proper investment, so you need something you want to ride and something that meets your needs. These things are essentially a narrow board going up to 20 mph, so safety should be a major concern. But that’s not the only thing you’ll have to consider…
Some electric scooters are good for quick jump-on-off, sacrificing distance for significant weight reduction and increased portability. They are ideal for long distance trips where you also need to travel by train or bus. Other e-scooters pack maximum range on the battery, but keep themselves top-heavy in the process. This is better if you live and work in the same city and want to avoid using buses or the subway. Basically, it’s a balancing act. If you’re going a long way, invest in batteries, but if you’re just going the last mile, a lighter and more compact scooter may be a better choice.
The best electric scooter is the fastest electric scooter? Not necessarily. The maximum speed limit in the UK is 25 km/h (15.5 mph), and while most e-scooters go faster than they’re worth, it’s worth noting that you’re more likely to be stopped by the police and have your scooter confiscated (and potentially fined) if you ride speed, drive recklessly and weave through traffic. Of course, common sense is a priority here – don’t drive like an idiot and you probably won’t get pulled over.
One of the main things to look for is lightweight materials like aluminum and carbon fiber, as these will reduce the weight of your scooter when you’re moving it from place to place. But if you use your electric scooter for more than just playing, avoid plastic parts that are more likely to crumble and break.
Also consider the wheels – heavier wheels are needed for intensive use. Most affordable electric scooters come with 8-inch wheels, and while they’re great for flat city streets, we recommend the smooth ones for a model with 10-inch pneumatic tires and suspension for a much smoother ride.
Most of these scooters also come with add-ons that offer a range of useful features. You can digitally lock and unlock the electric motor, which is very useful for safety. You can also track your walks – kind of like a lazy man’s meal. Some optional apps also allow you to customize your e-scooter, choosing between eco mode to extend the scooter’s battery life or sport mode to leave gasping cyclists in the dust. We like to think of the companion app as a nice bonus, not a necessity.
Price is also an important point to consider. The cheapest electric scooter you’ll find is around £250, and prices can go up to around £2,500. It goes without saying that you get what you pay for, so going for the cheapest model you can find isn’t the best idea. You want to be able to trust the scooter under your feet, because a mechanical failure at around 20 mph will lead to a crash and emergency ride.
We think you’ll probably want to reserve between £450 and £700 for a reliable, well-built e-scooter from a popular brand. This will keep your electric scooter efficient for getting around town quickly and won’t break down after a few miles.
If you want the ultimate in luxury and performance, you can check out the AER 557 (aer.store), priced at £2,199. Not only does it look elegant, with gentle curves and beautifully rounded lines, it’s also ergonomically designed for stability. Its 20-inch wheels can glide smoothly over small bumps, and the wide, anti-slip bamboo deck makes it easy to find a comfortable standing position. It can also reach a very respectable 25 mph and can travel nearly 20 miles on a single charge.
If you’re in the UK, the best place to buy is Pure Electric, the official importer of many of these scooter brands. Pure Electric offers great service, low prices and a long warranty.