First, it was skateboards, then bikes – car alternatives are rising in popularity, particularly as more awareness arises around the environmental burdens of driving. Now the latest trend to get you from A to B is an overview of the best electric scooters.
Fast, easy to ride, and super convenient, electric scooters are lightweight to carry, can usually fold up, and offer an easier way to travel if you suffer from mobility issues, don’t drive, or simply want to change up your daily commute.
Electric scooters offer a myriad of benefits. They can help you reduce your carbon footprint, they’re portable and easy to store so won’t take up as much space as a bike, they can save you time (which means you can sleep longer in the morning!), plus they’re now more affordable than ever thanks to their increasing popularity.
While scooters were once limited to child’s play, electric scooters have opened up a world of alternative travel for teenagers and adults, too. Most of them are sleek and smart, and in case you need any more convincing – they require minimal effort, so they’re far easier – and as a result, more accessible – than a bicycle.
To help you find your perfect electric scooter, we’ve put together our top 5 on the market right now, along with a handy buyer’s guide, so you know exactly what to look out for.
List of the 5 Best Electric Scooters
1. Best affordable scooter: Razor E300 Electric Scooter in Matte Gray
Designed especially for older riders, the E300’s super-sized deck and frame are built to comfortably hold up to 220 pounds in weight.
Travel up to 15mph, and continuously ride for up to 40 minutes at a time thanks to the rechargeable 24V battery system. With 250 watts of a high-torque, single-speed, chain-driven motor, this scooter certainly packs a punch and will make your commute to work effortlessly.
The E300 is also kitted out with a retractable kickstand, a hand-operated front brake, and a pair of extra-wide 10-inch pneumatic tires to ensure a smooth ride while you zip around the neighborhood. Buyers loved this model for its easy assembly, which means you should have this bad boy straight out of the box and assembled in a matter of minutes.
- Speed of up to 15mph
- Rechargeable 24v battery; ride consistently for up to 40 minutes at a time
- 250 watts of a high-torque motor
- Wide frame for adults – holds up to 220 lbs in weight
- Great if you’re on a budget and looking for a more affordable option
- Extra-wide 10-inch pneumatic tires for durability and comfort
- Some people found this scooter to have a weaker battery than advertised.
2. Best for speed and hills: Hiboy MAX Electric Scooter
If it’s speed and mileage you’re looking for, this electric scooter from Hiboy it’s likely to suit your needs. Featuring an upgraded 350 Watt motor and boasting an impressive 18. 6 MPH max speed and a 17-mile range, this scooter is perfect for longer journeys and frequent use. Thanks to its powerful motor, it also tackles steep 15% hills with ease.
This scooter has 1-second foot-actuated folding, meaning it can be quickly collapsed and carried one-handedly, making it a perfect commute companion, particularly if you’ll be using the metro or bus.
The Hiboy also features the latest technology, so you can easily connect to the app via Bluetooth to allow you to check your scooter is in working order, as well as track other riding statistics.
This scooter is great if you’re on the larger side, too. The wide board with anti-slip coating allows space for bigger feet and maximum comfort.
- Great mileage and speed; 18.6 mph, and a 17-mile range
- 1-second foot-actuated folding
- Tackles steep hills with ease
- Extra space for larger feet
- Anti-slip board
- Dual headlights
- Bluetooth capabilities and LED display
- Some users had issues with the folding function
3. Best high-tech scooter: Segway Ninebot ES2 Electric Kick Scooter
With a powerful motor of 300w, the Segway ES2 KickScooter will easily conquer longer journeys with speeds of up to 15 mph. It can bear weights of up 220 lbs, yet despite its sturdy frame, it’s actually surprisingly lightweight at 27.6 lbs, making it easy to carry with just one hand. It can also be folded, meaning it’s ideal for carrying on and off public transport, or for storing at home or in a car.
The Ninebot has front and rear wheel shock absorbers, along with large, solid tires, which maximize comfort and ensure any glitches in the road don’t knock you off-balance. The mechanical and electrical anti-lock braking system ensures an efficient and highly responsive braking distance of just 13.1ft, plus the Smart Battery Management System assures the battery safety and extends the battery life.
If you’re after something with the latest technology installed, this may be the scooter for you, as the Ninebot comes equipped with an LED display, Bluetooth capabilities, cruise control, customizable ambient light colors, and mobile app connectivity for additional security, firmware updates and more.
- Powerful 300w motor
- 15mph speed
- Carries up to 220lbs
- Lightweight – only weighs 27.6lbs
- Can be folded and easily stored/carried
- Latest technology installed
- High responsive breaking time
- Not the best customer service
4. Best value for money: YONOS Electric Kick Scooter
Made of lightweight yet strong aluminum alloy and an ‘easy-learn’ 8.5″ board, this foldable scooter is simple enough for beginners, yet durable enough to last a while. Yonos take safety seriously with an LED front light and red side marks for riding in low light conditions or at night time. Plus it’s passed all the tests under UL2272 to make sure the whole scooter and battery are reliable.
While this scooter has a top speed of just 12.4mph, it has an 18.6 max mile range. The 36V, 250W battery makes this a powerful bit of kit, and, an added bonus is that you can easily check how much battery you’ve got left thanks to the LCD display, which also shows driving speed and mileage.
Yonos also provides a free helmet with this purchase, making it excellent value for money.
- LCD display provides mileage, battery, and speed
- LED light
- 18.6 max mile range
- Free helmet
- Not the best top speed
5. Best sit-down scooter: Razor EcoSmart Metro Electric Scooter
This scooter is environmentally friendly but also user-friendly, thanks to its seat for added comfort and convenience, which makes it perfect for those with mobility issues or injuries.
Fitted with a steel frame and bamboo deck, this scooter is built to last. Travel speeds of up to 18mph thanks to the powerful chain-driven, 500W motor, and twist-grip acceleration control. The 36V (three 12V) sealed lead acid rechargeable battery system allows for 40 minutes of continuous use, while the padded saddle ensures maximum comfort on longer journeys.
This scooter also features a handy removable luggage rack and basket, as well as a retractable kickstand, making it perfect for running errands, shopping, or commuting. The EcoSmart combines efficiency and power with convenience, making it ideal for all ages, but particularly those in the older age group.
- Sit-down style with a comfortable, padded saddle
- Steel frame for ultimate durability
- 500w motor
- Twist-grip acceleration control
- 18mph speed
- 36v batteries for up to 40 minutes of continual use
- Basket and rear rack included
- No LED display or lights
- Doesn’t fold
The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Electric Scooters Under 500
Thanks to the wide range of electric scooters on the market, you can now buy a decent electric scooter for under $300. Quality varies with price, and while expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best, the more expensive models will indeed come with more features, technological capabilities, and a better battery.
If you’re going to be using your scooter to commute to work, you’ll probably want something foldable and lightweight enough to carry in one hand. Thankfully a lot of designs and manufacturers take this into consideration, and there are plenty of featherlight, versatile designs out there.
Most scooters with a reasonable mile range will weigh over 25 lbs, but anything over 30lb will probably be quite difficult to carry for long durations. Some designs may offer a handle, shoulder strap, or add wheels for rolling, but it’s worth considering that if you’re going to be carrying the scooter frequently, it’s best to just look for one that has a folding configuration and can be carried one-handed.
A top speed of 15mph is sufficient for most commuters and riders, as some municipalities may have laws prohibiting you from going above this speed. Check the laws in your area before purchasing or riding your scooter.
For commuting or general riding, look for something that has a motor of at least 250 watts, which will be sufficient for zipping from A to B and tackling small hills. If you live in an area with uneven terrain and steeper hills, then a 350-500 watt motor will probably serve you better.
It’s worth bearing in mind that even a 500-watt scooter is not designed for powering up very steep hills, however, you can always kick to help push yourself along.
There are two variations of tires on electric scooters:
Pneumatic tires – these are air-filled tired, which have the advantage of shock absorption and better handling/traction, particularly when riding in bad weather. The downside to pneumatic tires is they require more maintenance than the airless variety, and need constant assessment as they are prone to punctures and in this instance, will need to be filled with air when they have low pressure.
Airless tires – these are inferior in terms of their performance and potential, however, the big plus side of these is that they require minimal maintenance as you do not need to pump air into them.
Most tires in the budget range are airless tires, so bear this in mind if you’re looking for something more durable that can better tackle rough surfaces.
Brakes are important in any form of transport, even electric scooters. If you’re riding in busier areas, you’ll definitely want something that is equipped with reliable breaks that have good stopping power.
These are the different types of brakes you’ll find on electric scooters:
Electric and regenerative brakes: These kind are by far the weakest. If you are traveling at speeds of 15+mph and need to stop at short notice, these alone are unlikely to do the job.
Foot brakes: these are activated by pushing your foot down on the rear fender, causing it to rub against the rear tire, and as a result, bringing it to a stop. This type of brake has slightly more stopping power but is not as effective as the disc or drum brakes, which have a much faster breaking time.
Drum Brakes are enclosed inside the wheel hub and are generally lower maintenance than other braking types. These perform well in wet conditions.
Disc brakes have the most stopping power and are lighter than drum brakes. They are typically found on scooters at the higher end of the price range but may occasionally appear on good quality budget options.
Seen as it’s 2020, you may be looking for a scooter that can connect to your phone via Bluetooth so you can track your journey or scooter maintenance. Another benefit of LED screens that some scooters have installed is that they may also display your mileage, speed, and battery capacity, meaning you won’t be caught short if your battery runs out mid-journey.
However these technical features do come at a higher cost, so if you’re on a budget and this isn’t an essential feature for you, it may be worth going for one without the fancy extras.
Extra features aren’t everything but they can make a big difference when it comes to the convenience and versatility of your scooter. If you’re commuting and find yourself going to or from work in low-light, it’s good to have built-in lights or safety strips on your scooter, while a folding configuration is almost essential for commuting and easy storing/portability.
You may also want to look out for a kickstand which is ideal for propping your scooter up or locking it up. If you’re using your scooter for commuting or shopping and have to carry a lot of luggage, it’s worth considering a scooter with a seat, which allows you to have a rear rack which you can attach a bag or basket to, to increase your carrying capacity.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best electric scooter for adults?
This is entirely subjective, as it depends on which features you prioritize. We like the Segway Ninebot for its technical features and lightweight foldability, while the Hiboy Max is excellent for uphill riding.
The best way to assess how good a scooter is is to think about which features will best suit your needs. Ie., if you’re going to be using it for commuting, how much mileage can it do? Does the scooter fold so you can easily carry it, and how much does it weigh? Don’t forget to refer back to our Buyer’s Guide so you can get up to scratch with everything worth knowing about electric scooters.
How safe are electric scooters?
There have been mixed reviews on the safety of electric scooters. For example, earlier this year the University of California, San Francisco, suggested that hospital admissions increased rapidly by 222% between 2014 and 2018, as the number of electric scooters on the road also increased.
However, a more recent study by the International Transport Forum (ITF) published in February of this year, found that electric scooters and other modes of micro-mobility (such as skateboards) did not face a significantly higher risk of road traffic death or injury than cyclists. As well as this, a journey via car or motorcycle is more likely to end up in a fatality than a journey via scooter, bike, or other forms of micro transport.
Every mode of transport has its risks, but you can definitely reduce your risk of an accident by investing in a good helmet, not wearing headphones while you ride, staying alert to your surroundings at all times, and ensuring your scooter has good braking power and reliable brakes. You may want to look back at the brake section in our Buyer’s Guide for more information.
Is it worth buying an electric scooter?
Electric scooters offer a range of benefits, including the speed they can travel at, meaning they’re excellent for saving you time and effort, thanks to there being no need to pedal – like a bike – or continually push – like a regular scooter.
Because of this, they’re also good for people who can’t cycle because of mobility issues, or for people who don’t drive. Thanks to an increase in popularity, there’s more range than ever out there, and online prices are extremely competitive – meaning you’re likely to be able to find something that is good quality but won’t break the bank.