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If you’re in the big city or the suburbs, chances are that you’re familiar with e-scooters. Those speedy two-wheelers have proven to be a cheap, reliable, and even fun way for adults and kids to commute or zip past street traffic en route to the beach. Best of all, even the best electric scooters are relatively affordable, available online, and very cheap to run.
Although many people grab electric scooters through services like Bird and Lime, we think it’s a good idea to buy your own if you use them regularly. Besides being more cost-effective in the long run, there’s no need to scour the surrounding blocks for available scooters — and no chance of getting a lemon when you finally find a scooter.
Electric Scooter Buying Guide
Rider and scooter weight: Electric scooters’ maximum weight capacity can range anywhere from 220 to just over 300 pounds. You’ll also want to consider the weight of your e-scooter, especially if you plan on carrying it on a bus, subway or another mode of transit.
Motor: If your route is mostly flat with a few moderate hills, a 250-watt motor should suffice in getting you where you need to go. Beyond that, a 500-watt motor will offer the power you need for moderate inclines.
Mileage: A full charge can only take you so far on an e-scooter. Keep in mind the actual distance that you need to travel on your scooter, whether you need to tackle any inclines, the terrain quality and the amount of continuous use. All of these factors will affect your scooter’s performance and mileage.
Speed: Some of the fastest electric scooters can hit a top speed of 20 miles per hour, while others might have a max of 17 miles per hour. You should always consider the road conditions and weather, too.
Brakes: Yes, you’ll need to slow down at some point — and depending on how much maintenance you’re comfortable with, you’ll want to consider the type of brakes on your new e-scooter. Many scooters are equipped with a combination of brake types for safety. Here are the most common braking systems:
- Disc brakes: Considered the safest and very effective in wet and dry conditions, but these tend to be on the pricier side.
- Electric brakes: A great low-maintenance option, but these tend to be heavier.
- Regenerative brakes: Designed to recover energy during braking and extend the battery range, but aren’t always great as a standalone system and usually work in tandem with other brake types; battery regeneration tends to be pretty minor.
Kick Ride Ability: The best electric scooters can still be operated by manual pushing if they run out of juice. For this reason, look out for e-scooters that you can kick ride, especially if you plan on scootering long distances.
Warranty: Moving parts always run the risk of damage from regular use, which is why it’s important to consider the warranty when buying an electric scooter. Some manufacturers will offer limited coverage on certain components.
What Are the Best Electric Scooters for Adults?
Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best electric scooters for adult commuters and casual cruisers alike — all of which are available to buy online right now.
1. Unagi Model One
Despite its sleek, lightweight build, the Unagi Model One can hit 20 miles per hour, travel as far as 15 miles on a single charge (depending on rider weight), and carry riders up to 280 pounds. This combination makes it the best electric scooter on the market, whether for commuting or weekend pleasure cruises.
Weighing a mere 26 pounds, the Unagi can be carried into an office building or apartment (it can be folded up for storage), and it’s easy to maneuver at low speeds. Power comes from two 250-watt motors, which can be turned off independently for more battery life, and deliver ample torque for cruising up hills and flying down open stretches.
But part of the Unagi’s superior performance comes from its build quality. The scooter incorporates strong, lightweight carbon fiber, providing that low weight but also ensuring damage protection. Controls are reliable and intuitive as well, with a toggling LED headlight and a horn, as well as a throttle and brake.
2. Segway Ninebot Max G30LP
Perhaps the most popular name in the e-scooter market, Segway’s Ninebot Kick Scooter Max G30LP comes equipped with a 350-watt motor that offers a maximum speed of 18.6 miles per hour and the ability to travel up to 25 miles. It’s a great choice for commuters looking for a high-performance and responsive ride. It’s also conveniently portable, thanks to a one-click folding system.
The scooter offers three riding modes and an LED dashboard that makes it easy to toggle settings and keep track of your speed, mileage and battery life. You’ll use your smartphone to connect to the e-scooter via Bluetooth, and you can use Segway’s app to see all of your stats. The smart battery management system and regenerative brakes work together to extend energy for longer distances, and the motor can accommodate a 20 percent hill incline. An LED headlight ensures visibility and safety in the dark, too.
The 10-inch tires are designed to absorb shock, making them well-equipped to handle bumps for a comfy and safe ride. It takes about six-and-a-half hours for the battery to fully charge, and this unit also converts to a kick scooter when it’s out of power. It clocks in a total of just under 39 pounds and has a maximum load of 220 pounds, and we like that Segway offers a one-year or 180-day warranty for certain parts.
3. GoTrax G3
Looking to spend a bit less on your electric scooter? Check out this GoTrax G3. Powered by a 350-watt motor, the G3 has an advertised top speed of 15.5 miles per hour and an impressive 18-mile maximum range.
Build quality is solid too with an aluminum alloy frame, supporting riders up to 220 pounds. On the handlebars is a bright LED display showing speed, battery life, and headlight. There’s also a wide foot deck for various positions and any large-footed riders. When you’re ready to carry or store the G3, the front post quickly folds down.
The G3 also has a few useful anti-theft features, including a digital lock and an integrated steel cable. The digital lock requires a keycode to unlock the wheels, and the steel cable lets you attach the scooter to bike racks and other stationary objects.
4. Hiboy S2
Hiboy’s S2 foldable electric scooter boasts a solid aluminum frame and features a detachable seat, making it an ideal sit-stand option for riders weighing up to 260 pounds. Its 350-watt brushless hub motor gives you a maximum speed of 18.6 miles per hour (depending on your terrain), and the battery lasts up to a 17-mile range. Expect smooth acceleration and turns (thanks to the adjustable rear dual shock absorbers), plus a double braking system that features both disc and ABS regenerative anti-lock brakes on its 8.5-inch rubber tires.
A built-in LED display lets you lock the unit, switch between riding modes and keep track of statistics such as battery life and mileage. The scooter also connects to iOS or Android phones via Bluetooth, and Hiboy’s accompanying app allows you to view all of your stats on your device.
The S2 weighs around 33 pounds, and its folded size is 45.7×16.5×19.3 inches. Unfolded, it stands at a height of 47.2 inches. Hiboy offers a warranty up to 12 months for the scooter and up to six months on the battery.