The 10 Best Electric Scooters
This wiki has been updated 27 times since it was first published in April of 2015. We've kicked the tires and gone for a spin to bring you the rundown on the best electric scooters for various uses, and judged them based on features, comfort, power, price, and reliability. Note that some may exceed safe and/or legal speeds in your area, so it is up to you to ensure you comply with all local laws and always use appropriate protective safety gear. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
November 12, 2019:
Electric scooters can be a fun and convenient way to get around town. They come in a variety of styles, allowing you to find one that perfectly fits your needs, whether you are a 13-year-old teen looking to cruise around the neighborhood or a 30-something professional who wants an eco-friendly way to commute to and from work. We've made sure to include options perfectly suited to all of these needs, along with something for mobility impaired individuals.
During this update, we had to remove quite a few models we previously ranked for a variety of reasons. In the case of the Segway MiniPro, there were simply too many complaints of it being dead on arrival, and we didn't want to recommend something with that kind of spotty track record, no matter how well a perfectly-working one might perform. The Glion Dolly was removed for safety issues because it only featured an electronic brake, and there were reports of it malfunctioning and leaving riders unable to stop. We also eliminated the Swagtron Swagger 5 simply because it didn't perform to buyer's expectations.
Taking the place of one of the removed models is the Razor EcoSmart Metro, which has a well-padded seat and large, 16-inch spoked wheels for a comfortable ride. Plus, its speed and range make it perfect for running errands or commuters who live close to their job. We also added the Qiewa QPower for the extreme riders who are looking to go fast, and we mean really fast. This one is definitely best in the hands of experienced users.
Replacing the Segway MiniPro, we have the Segway Ninebot S, which doesn't appear to suffer from the same issue as our former recommendation. It offers a compact size that fits into most trunks, is easy to learn to control, and lightweight enough to carry.
Whichever model you choose and no matter how slow you think it goes, it is important to remember to wear a helmet and other protective gear. These things are notoriously dangerous, as evidenced by the increasing number of people showing up in emergency rooms around the country after riding them.
October 06, 2018:
Removed discontinued items and expanded range of offerings to include not only models designed for recreational use and commuter transport, but also personal mobility devices and options for various riding modes and situations.
Incorporated additional notes on issues of safety and legality.
Boosted Rev Faster than the average model, but not so fast as to be incredibly dangerous, the Boosted Rev straddles that middle ground for individuals who want something speedy enough to get around town quickly, but no so much so that it becomes too scary to ride. Its wide tires and rigid frame give it a sense of stability, and three braking mechanisms ensure you can always stop when you need to. boostedboards.com
Hollyburn P5 The Hollyburn P5 is a heavy-duty, off-road model that boasts a top speed of 35 MPH and a 28-mile range. It has a fully-armored chassis to stand up to the unexpected tumble or loose gravel flying up and hitting it, and a thermally-managed battery system to prevent overheating. works-electric.com
The Myriad Benefits of Owning an Electric Scooter
If you own a vehicle, you can even fit an electric scooter in the corner of any trunk.
If you're considering an electric scooter, chances are you might also be considering a manual scooter, or a bike. In light of that, the question becomes, "Why should I buy an electric scooter as opposed to one of those more traditional choices?"
It's a fair question, and there are any number of answers. First, an electric scooter gets you from point A to point B quicker than any manual scooter, and an electric scooter requires a lot less effort than riding a bike. Second, an electric scooter won't leave you dripping in sweat. You can ride that scooter to work, where you can fold it down, and then place it underneath your desk.
You can take an electric scooter along on any train, or bus, or subway. If you own a vehicle, you can even fit an electric scooter in the corner of any trunk. If you live in a walk-up, it's easy to carry an electric scooter up and down a flight of stairs. If you live in a one-bedroom apartment, you can basically store an electric scooter wherever you want.
You can use an electric scooter to run errands. You can use it to take a long ride through the park. You can use an electric scooter as an alternative to wasting your money on gas. If you've suffered a leg injury, you can use an electric scooter to avoid putting weight on your foot.
You can use an electric scooter in all of these ways, and most scooters come at a relatively reasonable cost. If you'd like to see some of the best scooters on the market, check out our comprehensive breakdown above.
"I Want to Buy an Electric Scooter, But I'm Afraid I'll Break My Neck!"
In January of 2016, Wired Magazine published a full-length article predicting that the electric scooter might well be the future of inner-city commuting. Amidst population growth, inflation, and environmental concerns, the article argued, an electric scooter appeared to make an increasing bit of sense.
That is to say, people see these narrow boards weaving in and out of pedestrians and they think, My God, I'd break my neck on that.
So why haven't electric scooters become a more significant trend? The most common reason is what might be referred to as a "fear of the new." That is to say, people see these narrow boards weaving in and out of pedestrians and they think, My God, I'd break my neck on that. The reality being that this is anything but the truth.
Electric scooters are a lot less accident-prone than bikes. Electric scooters move at a slower average pace than bikes. An electric scooter's operator stands vertical, which means that there is very little chance that he or she will end up skidding into a slide.
Most electric scooter riders wear safety helmets, and elbow pads. These riders can avert almost any head-on collision by hopping off the scooter, and then picking it up by the handlebars (to keep it from veering out of control).
The primary requirement for learning how to ride an electric scooter is balance, which is easy, given you're holding onto a set of handlebars. In the end, the entire process boils down to a bit of trial and error. A little coordination and some patience is all it takes.
How The Manual Scooter Went Electric
Throughout the early 1900s, the kick scooter was a garage project, much like the go-kart. Both items represented something to be built between a father and his son. The footboard on these early kick scooters was made out of wood, or plastic. This footboard was connected to a pair of roller skates on the bottom, and a metal pole at the top.
There were three-wheeled scooters and four-wheeled scooters.
Manufacturers showed little interest in the kick scooter until the early 1970s, when Honda decided to take a chance on a commercial scooter that it named - and then marketed as - the Kick N Go. The Kick N Go was not aerodynamic. Customers would joke that it necessitated "too much kick, without enough go." Despite this, the Kick N Go remained a popular item, and it gave rise to a variety of sleeker two-wheeled scooters that were intentionally designed to allow any rider to coast.
Throughout the 1980s, kick scooters were still considered a novelty product. There were streamlined scooters, along with folding scooters. There were three-wheeled scooters and four-wheeled scooters. There were giant scooters and there were mini scooters. But there was still no innovation that would allow a traditional scooter to compete with a skateboard or a bike. All of that began to change during the early aughts, as a handful of scrappy manufacturers - including GoPed and U-Scoot - assumed the initiative by putting electric scooters on the market.
Today, these electric scooters continue to be increasingly popular, particularly among adult commuters in metropolitan areas. By and large, electric scooters don't compete for market share with traditional kick scooters. Both items serve a slightly different audience, while commanding a vastly different price point.