You've got places to go and people to see. An electric scooter is a great way to get to where you're going. It's more efficient than driving a car a few miles up the road, and it's faster than waiting for the bus to take you a few blocks. If you're tired of renting a Lime or Byrd scooter, or live in a city where they're not available, then you may want to consider buying an electric scooter of your own.
While scooters aren't overly expensive, starting your search can be a bit intimidating, since there are so many brands and types available. But like buying a car or looking for a place to live, taking inventory of what you need beforehand can help streamline your shopping experience. We've put together a list of criteria to consider before you click the Buy Now button for your new electric scooter, including our top five picks.
Three Quick Electric Scooter Buying Tips
How much do you want to spend?
A good electric scooter will start at around $300, but as you go up in price, you'll get additional features, such as faster speeds, longer range and better suspension.
Can you carry it?
If you need to haul your scooter up several flights of stairs, or onto a bus or train, you'll want a model that can fold down into a compact size and isn't too heavy.
Where will you be riding it?
Think about the roads that you'll be using. If they're smooth, you can use a scooter with smaller wheels, but if there are a lot of bumps and uneven surfaces, you'll want larger tires. And, if the terrain is hilly, you'll want a scooter with a more powerful motor to get you up those hills.
Best Electric Scooters for Adults
Ready to adopt a new way of commuting? There are plenty of options on our Best Electric Scooters page, but here are three of our top picks for adults. But if you'd rather not deal with poring over that list, here are our top three picks to start. If you're considering purchasing an electric scooter for your child, be sure to check out our best scooters for kids guide.
Best electric scooter overall
1. Glion Dolly
Long range and good speed make it the best electric scooter overall
Size: 36.2 x 11.8 x 5.9 inches | Weight: 28.7 pounds | Max Speed: 15 mph | Range: 15 miles | Max Rider Weight: 255 pounds
The Glion Dolly is the best all-around electric scooter. It weighs about 27 pounds, so it's not too heavy to cart up a flight of stairs, and it's foldable. It can reach top speeds of 15 mph in the right conditions and manage up to 15 miles of roaming, which make it ideal for suburban commuters and small-city dwellers. It has a bright, built-in headlight, so you're not riding around in the dark after the sun sets. Its mounted controls are also water resistant, which helps you make it through light sprinkling days or a misty blanket of morning fog.
The Glion Dolly's only drawback is that its lack of full suspension and rubber wheels makes for a bumpy ride on pothole-ridden streets. But for those merely cruising around town, the Dolly is the right choice for an electric scooter.
Read our full Glion Dolly review.
Scooter for beginners
2. Razor E Prime
A good electric scooter for beginners
Size: 40.6 x 40.2 x 18.2 inches | Weight: 21.56 pounds | Max Speed: 15 mph | Range: 15 miles | Max Rider Weight: 176 pounds
If you're looking to get a feel for the electric-scooter lifestyle, the Razor E Prime is an excellent choice. It's small, but it's capable. The E Prime is a beginner's electric scooter that's light enough to cart around and quick enough to get you to the office on time in the morning. The E Prime can reach top speeds of 15 mph, though the scooter is suitable only for up to half an hour of continuous riding.
Best scooter with a seat
3. Razor EcoSmart Metro
The best electric scooter for those who want to stay seated
Size: 59.5 x 41.5 x 20.3 inches | Weight: 67 pounds | Max Speed: 18 mph | Range: 10 miles | Max Rider Weight: 220 pounds
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 buyers found a way around this by swapping in a higher-capacity battery pack. ) But it's a good option for casual commuters and first-time scooter riders.
Big, fast and expensive
4. Turbowheel Dart T9
Big, fast and expensive, and offers nearly double the range.
Size: 35 x 19.5 x 5.25 inches | Weight: 39.5 pounds | Max Speed: 25 mph | Range: 30 miles | Max Rider Weight: 220 pounds
If the entry-level models aren't your scene, consider spending a bit more on the Turbowheel Dart T9. This 1,200-watt scooter is powerful enough to haul you up steep hills, and it can reach top speeds of 25 mph for up to 30 miles. Unlike some electric scooters that feature rear brakes, the Dart T9 offers a dual-wheel braking mechanism, so you can more easily stop at a moment's notice. It also comes with a light kit that lets you customize the lighting design around your commuter vehicle.
Perhaps the only drawback is that the Turbowheel Dart T9 is a bit heavier than the entry-level scooters mentioned above. At nearly 40 pounds, it will take some muscle to haul it up a flight of stairs. But it's fast, and it has a fast-charging battery that's even bigger than those offered by some electric-bike models.
The best high-end scooter
5. Nanrobot D4+
A high-end model with impressive range and speed
Size: 49 x 45 x 10 inches | Weight: 70 pounds | Max Speed: 40 mph | Range: 45 miles | Max Rider Weight: 330 pounds
If you don't mind dropping a bit of cash, the Nanrobot D4+ is one of the better deals in the $1,200-and-up price range, as it's a full-featured package. However, this shouldn't be your first pick if you're a novice scooter rider.
The D4+ features both front and rear suspension, along with two shock absorbers on the rear and four on the front, which allow for a smoother ride than most models — it should even be able to handle cobblestone streets. The D4+ features two 1,000-watt electric hub motors — one in each wheel — which provide enough torque and power to enable it to reach its top speed of 40 mph. You'll want to wear ample protection while riding this thing, however. And since this is likely to be your primary ride around town, the Nanrobot D4+ is equipped with a bright headlight for seeing and being seen.
Six questions to ask before buying an electric scooter
Before buying an electric scooter, ask yourself these questions to help narrow your search.
How far will you go?
First things first: How far do you plan to travel on your electric scooter on a day-to-day basis? Range is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing an electric scooter. You want it to get you to where you need to go without worrying you won't have enough juice to get you there and back.
Most electric scooters for adults have a maximum travel range of 15 miles. However, you'll want to scale back that estimate, since overall speed, carry weight, terrain and the conditions of the tire affect the final number. Try to anticipate how much ground you hope to cover. Mapping out your daily route with Google Maps and predicting where you might detour along the way can help with this estimate.
Many electric scooters also fold up. In the event you do run out of juice, you can take it with you when you hop on a bus, train or rideshare to help complete your journey home.
Will you stand up or sit down?
Contrary to what you might have seen around your city, not all electric scooters require you to stand on your journey. If you were hoping to sit down on your commute, you could grab something like the Razor EcoSmart Metro, which is equipped with a comfortable seat and a large bamboo deck for resting your feet. If you're not sure about sitting down for every ride, there's also the Nanrobot D4+, which offers a separate, detachable seat. Whatever the method, the choice is yours.
Can you carry it?
Are you planning to haul your scooter up a flight of stairs or into the elevator? The sit-down type shouldn't be your first choice. Electric moped-type vehicles look superneat and are fun to ride, but they're not so easy to stow once you arrive at your destination.
Instead, consider a foldable electric scooter that can go under bus or train seats and into utility closets. You should also consider the overall weight of the scooter and whether you'll feel able enough to carry it while balancing a backpack or bag full of stuff.
Suburbs, city or hills?
If you're in the suburbs riding back and forth between home and school, you likely have the benefit of smooth, paved streets to ride on. This will bode well for any electric scooter, whether you choose a budget model or one that's high performing. But, if you happen to reside in a city, where the hills are minimal and the potholes are constant, you might consider a vehicle with bigger wheels.
Solid rubber tires, for example, are great for cruising on those suburban streets, but they will have trouble handling the impact of potholes. Inflated air tires between 6 and 10 inches in diameter fare better in these types of environments. They can absorb the shock and make your ride a bit more comfortable. The drawback is that you'll have to watch for glass, nails and other sorts of prickly things that exist in the road, as these tires can blow out. You'll also need to ensure that the tires are filled with air in between rides.
For folks living in hilly areas, a scooter with a minimum 250-watt motor is essential for the uphill climb — or 350 watts if your hill rises more than 10 degrees. Otherwise, you may find yourself walking up the hill, which is all very well for your calves but not so much for the reason you bought an electric vehicle in the first place.
What's the weather like?
Where you live can radically impact the life span of your electric scooter. If you're somewhere that's dry and hot, like the desert, your scooter could see a dip in performance. Keep the vehicle in a cool, enclosed space away from the heat, especially when it's charging. As for performance out on the road, you may find your scooter is less able to manage its maximum distance once peak temperature season arrives.
Similarly, folks living in icy-cold climates may also find that their electric scooter isn't operating at capacity. As reported by City Lab, electric scooters in snowy cities like Denver took longer to charge fully and often encountered battery-reading errors.
It's a bad idea to ever take out your electric scooter in heavy rain. Flooded streets and deep puddles can damage the electrical system or flood the battery. Plus, you're likely to get soaked, too. Consider other methods of transportation during this time of year.
How much money do you want to spend?
Now that you've figured out what you need from an electric scooter — such as how far you want to travel and what the terrain is like where you live — it's time to establish your budget. Most electric scooters fit for adults start at $300. They include a speedometer on the vehicle itself or a companion app. There are plenty of models in this price range that are foldable, easy to maintain and offer enough battery life to get you through a day's worth of commuting.
As with most motor vehicles, the higher you go in price, the more features you can expect. Scooters in the lower thousands come equipped with better suspension, air-filled tires and bigger motors that can manage long distances. They go faster, too, but that sometimes means longer charging times after the fact.