If it's too far to walk, too short to drive, and you don't want to be crammed next to someone on a bus or train, then one of the best electric scooters could be the option for you.
Electric scooters have exploded in popularity because they're are an easy way to get around, they don't require much of a learning curve, and you don't need a license to use one. From kids to commuters, there's an electric scooter for just about everyone. But, before you make an investment, it's important to get the best electric scooter for your needs.
There are several categories of electric scooters, from budget models that cost around $300 to serious off-road versions with full suspension and huge tires that cost upwards of $1,500. Regardless of the electric scooter you choose, we suggest plenty of practice with ample protection before you hit the road.
What are the best electric scooters?
After taking a number of models for a spin, we think the best electric scooter overall is the Unagi Model One (E500). This scooter has motors in each of its wheels, which allows it to cruise up hills better than the other models we tested. The Unagi has a large, bright display, easy to use controls, a built-in horn, and bright head- and taillights. It also has a sleek design that's sure to turn heads, and you can even get a custom skin as an add-on. However, the Unagi Model one is a pricey $990.
If you need a scooter that can go the distance, we recommend the Segway Ninebot Kickscooter Max. While It weighs more than 40 pounds — heavier than most models — it has a battery that will last up to 40 miles on a charge, which is double that of many other scooters. And, it's powerful enough to get you up pretty steep hills.
Looking for something compact? The best electric scooter for commuters is the Glion Dolly, because it folds up more compactly than others, and even has a handle and two small wheels that lets you tote it like a rolling suitcase when you're not riding it.
Razor just announced three new electric scooters, all under $500 and aimed at newer riders. The first, the Razor EcoSmart SUP, has large 16-inch tires and a wide footrest. The Razor EcoSmart SUP is available now for $449.
Curious to ride an electric scooter and wonder what's available? Here are the best electric scooters in varying price ranges.
The best electric scooters you can buy today
Thanks to its dual 250-watt motors, the Unagi Model One powers up hills with aplomb, zipping along twice as fast as other scooters with just a single motor. Using both motors (you can opt to use just one) causes the battery life to drop significantly lower than the scooter's advertised 15-mile range.
The Unagi also has a great display that's bright enough to easily see even in daylight; we also liked its intuitive controls and loud, electric-sounding horn. It has both head and taillights, the latter of which blinks rapidly when you hit the brakes.
We were also enamored with the Unagi's sleek design; its carbon-fiber front post changes in geometry from a circle to a triangular shape, making for an intriguing look. And, on Unagi's site, you can personalize the look with custom skins. All of this comes at a price: The Model One with dual motors costs $990.
Read our full Unagi Model One review.
Because of its ultra-folding design, the Glion Dolly is the best electric scooter for those who have to take it on public transportation. The Dolly is foldable, and at 27.3 pounds, it's light enough to cart up a flight of stairs on your way home. It can reach top speeds of 15 miles per hour and lasts for about 15 miles of roaming, which makes it a good fit for small city dwellers.
The Dolly has a bright headlight and built-in tail reflector, helpful when riding home in the evening or in the winter months when the sun sets too early, as well as integrated fenders for protecting the wheels. You can also transport the Dolly like a suitcase when you're not riding it, and it comes with a kickstand so that it stays upright on its own.
Perhaps the only drawback of the Glion Dolly are its small hard rubber wheels and lack of suspension, which makes for a bumpier ride than other electric scooters.
Read our full Glion Dolly review.
The Segway Ninebot Kickscooter Max is large and heavy — more than 40 pounds — but it's all battery weight. With an estimated range of 40 miles, the Kickscooter Max has more than double the range of most other scooters, making it the best electric scooter for those who have long rides.
And, with a powerful rear-wheel drive 350-Watt motor and large 10-inch inflatable tires, the Kickscooter Max will not only be able to get up hills with ease, but do so comfortably, too. In our tests, it was second only to the Unagi in maintaining its speed as we went up steep inclines. We also really liked the Kickscooter Max's bell, which was beefy and loud enough to clear people out of our path.
Read our full Segway Ninebot Kickscooter Max review.
This is one fast electric scooter. Thanks to its 1,000-Watt motor, the Apollo Explore can hit speeds of up to 31 miles per hour, more than fast enough to keep up with local traffic. The beefy motor also takes you up hills with ease. And, because it has dual suspension and air-filled tires, it offers a smooth ride, even when going over the bumpiest of roads. We also liked the Explore's colorful display, but it was hard to read in daylight.
Turn on the Apollo Explore's lights, and you're in for a visual treat: Blue running lights along both sides of the scooter will make everyone turn their heads. But all this comes at a price: The Explore costs $1,299, and, at 52 pounds, is a lot to lug up stairs. But on the road, this scooter is a beast.
Read our full Apollo Explore review.
We loved riding the Levy electric scooter; its 8.5-inch air-filled tires handled sidewalks and potholes with ease, and its powerful 350-Watt motor got us up the steepest of hills. The Levy also has a good range, but if you have to go longer distances, you can swap out its battery—a feature almost all other electric scooters lack.
The Levy electric scooter also has a bright display that was easy to read in daylight, and a handy cruise control feature, so you don't have to hold down the accelerator when traveling long distances. We also liked that its taillight flashes when you hit the brakes — an important safety feature. And, at $500, the Levy is one of the best electric scooters at this price.
Levy has a newer model, the Levy Plus ($699), which has a larger 10.4aH (374wH) battery and large 10-inch tires, in case you're looking for something with a longer range.
Read our full Levy electric scooter review.
The Swagtron Swagger 5 Elite is another affordable scooter, though this one is a little faster at a top speed of 18 mph. It's well-equipped, with a collapsible chassis, a 250-watt motor, and an air-filled front tire, which makes for a smooth ride.
The Swagger 5 weighs 27.5 pounds and supports up to 320 pounds on the journey. It also comes with a shock-absorbent spring and a phone mount, which you can use to monitor the Swagger's top speed and battery power along with the Swagtron companion app. However, its range is a bit more limited, and it struggles up hills more than scooters such as the Glion Dolly.
Read our full Swagtron Swagger 5 review.
You won't win any drag races on the GoTrax XR Ultra, but this affordable electric scooter will get you where you need to go. Its 8.5-inch air-filled tires provided a comfortable ride, even without any extra suspension, and its 300-Watt motor was powerful enough to get us moving.
We wish the XR Ultra had a rear brake light, but in this price range, that's a feature you don't often find. Weighing 26.5 pounds, the XR Ultra isn't too heavy, so most people should be able to carry it up a flight of stairs. However, we found the locking mechanism on the rear fender to be a bit temperamental. Overall, though, it's a good electric scooter at a good price.
Read our full GoTrax XR Ultra review.
If you'd rather sit for the frenzied commute across the metropolis, the Razor EcoSmart Metro is an affordable option. This scooter features a seat and a large bamboo deck for resting your feet while riding, as well as a rack on the back of the vehicle for carting around things like groceries.
The scooter has a maximum speed of 18 mph and lasts up to 10 miles per charge. The Ecosmart Metro isn't a high-performance vehicle, nor is it very portable. (Some riders on Amazon swapped in a higher-capacity battery pack). But it's a good option for casual commuters and first-time scooter riders.
The Razor E100 is the best electric scooter for parents who want to get a scooter for their kids to safely ride around town. It comes in a variety of colors and features twist-grip acceleration controls, as well as a hand-operated front brake. The E100 tops out at 10 mph but offers enough torque for heading uphill or over steep bumps. And with 40 minutes of drive time, that's plenty to get to school and back with a pit stop in between.
The Razor E100 is available in a variety of colors and styles, so you should be able to find a model that best fits your child's personality. Just remember to get them a helmet. One caveat of the E100 is that it uses a chain-drive motor, which can be noisier than hub motors, and could require some maintenance over time.
If you are set on splurging for an electric scooter, the Nanrobot D4+ is one of the better deals in the $1,200 and up price range. But this shouldn't be your first pick if you're a novice scooter rider.
Since this scooter can reach speeds of up to 40 mph, the D4+ features both front and rear suspension, along with two shock absorbers on the rear and four on the front. This all helps contribute to a smoother ride than most models and will be comfortable to ride even on pothole-ridden roads.
What's more: the D4+ features two 1000-watt electric hub motors — one in each wheel — which provide enough torque and power to reach its top speed. And since this is likely to be your primary ride around town, the Nanrobot D4+ is equipped with a bright headlight for seeing ahead even on poorly lit streets.
The D4+ has an LCD readout at the handle, so you know how fast you're going, how much time you have left before you need a charge, and which gear is propelling you forward. The D4+ can take you far, too, with up to 45 miles of travel with the included 52-volt battery pack. That's more than twice most other scooters.
For stylish kids who prefer to sit while trekking across town, Razor's Pocket Mod miniature electric scooter is a real treat. The high-performance Pocket Mod features twist-grip throttle for a motorcycle-like feel and 12-inch pneumatic tires with a rear-suspension system, so it's as comfortable to ride as it is cute to look at. It comes in a variety of colors, and there's a cubby underneath the seat for storing books and other things.
The Pocket Mod can manage a cool 15 mph for a sustained 40 minutes of riding time. Some Amazon customers complained of flat tires and the scooter's snail's-pace crawl up hills, but for the most part, this is a popular product for kids who want a bit of independence when riding around the block.
How to choose the best electric scooter for you
For the most part, you can tell which class of scooter you're looking at based on the price.
- $100 to $300: These scooters tend to be of the budget variety and come with smaller motors, low-capacity batteries and simple braking mechanisms, though they don't require maintenance and are great for getting the feel of the electric scooter.
- $300 to $600: These scooters can be considered as either midrange or entry-level commuters, and they tend to include bigger wheels, slightly longer ranges, fast-charging batteries and the ability to scale hills.
- $600 and up: These scooters are in the premium range. You can expect a longer, more comfortable ride, along with larger tires, faster speeds, disc brakes and tighter suspension.
How we test electric scooters
There are dozens of varieties of electric scooters on the market, but only a few are worth bringing home to ride.
For entry-level and commuter scooters, we primarily considered things like portability — how easy it is to fold up to bring on the bus or other types of public transportation, or how light it is to cart up a long stretch of stairs — along with range and top speed.
Commuter scooters don't need to be the fastest things around, but it helps if they can manage at least 15 mph for a sustained time so that you're not holding up anyone in the bike lane. We also looked at braking mechanisms, including hydraulic disc brakes, which are the best for stopping quickly and safely at top speeds, and mechanical disc brakes, which are considered the second best for their reliability. Extra features like headlights, reflectors and available speedometer also factored into our commuter picks.
For the performance-based, higher-end rides, we considered range, speed and braking mechanisms, but we also looked at suspension. If you're paying upward of $1,000 for an electric scooter, it should be comfortable to ride and able to scale curbs, hills and bumpy roads. We also verified our picks by cross-referencing reviews between Amazon, manufacturer's sites, and in some cases, Walmart.
For our picks for kids, electric scooters in this category don't offer the same bells and whistles as commuter models. For instance, many of the child and preteen picks don't fold up for portability, so we considered overall weight and size for kids with longer rides to school. We also stuck with scooters that topped out at 15 mph for utmost safety. And like our commuter and high-performance picks, we pored over reviews from parents where accessible.
Lastly, we called in some of the top performers and took them for a ride, noting how they handled both on pothole-filled city streets and hilly, leafy suburbs. We also considered such things as the brightness of their lights, ability to climb hills, controls, portability, and price.