Owning one of the best electric scooters means you don't have to worry about finding a Bird or Lime or some other rental scooter on the street, hoping it's charged and not dinged up in some way.
What's more, there's a lot more variety when you decide to buy your own electric scooter. You can spend less than $300 on a budget model, or splurge on a high-end $2,000 unit that screams along at 35 miles per hour. Or, you can get a super-light model that's ideal for taking on public transportation.
Whatever your reason, we've tested a number of electric scooters of all types to give you the best choices when making your buying decision.
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, though you can also find it for less, and Unagi lets you rent it for as low as $39 per month.
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.
Read on for all of our favorite picks for the best electric scooters.
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 costs $990. However, Unagi now has a scooter rental program (opens in new tab) in New York, LA, Austin, Miami, Nashville, Phoenix, Seattle, and San Francisco, which lets you rent one of its scooters for $49/month, or $39/month with an annual subscription.
Read our full Unagi Model One 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.
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.
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 Apollo City has something most other electric scooters lack: Turn signals. It's a lot easier to let other drivers know you want to go left or right if you can switch on a light, rather than holding your arm out. Yet, the Apollo City is also a great scooter on its own; its 500-Watt motor can get you up and down hills easily, it has full suspension and puncture-resistant tires, and, when connected to an app, you can customize its performance.
Still, at 57 pounds, this is a pretty heavy electric scooter — it's not our first choice if you have to carry it up a flight of stairs — and its latching mechanism is more finicky than you'll find on many other electric scooters. But, otherwise, this is a fun and fast electric scooter with a good safety feature built in.
Read our full Apollo City 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.
If you want something even faster, check out our Apollo Ghost review: That model goes up to 35 MPH and has a range of up to 39 miles, as well as a key ignition lock.
Read our full Apollo Explore 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.
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. Also, the E100 lacks a bell or reflectors of any kind, so you'll want to purchase some at a bike shop to help make your child more visible on the road.
Read our full Razor E100 electric scooter review.
The Glion Balto is the best electric scooter for those who want something they can use to pick up groceries or carry things to and from the store. It's just as powerful as the Razor EcoSmart Metro HD, yet the Balto is more portable, as it can fold up on itself, making it much easier to store.
We also really like that the Balto comes with a side-view mirror, lights, and turn signals, which made us feel safer in traffic. And, the Balto's battery is removable, so you don't have to park the scooter near an outlet. As a bonus, you can also use the battery to charge your phone — but you'll need to buy an adapter first.
Read our full Glion Balto review.
While the Segway eMoped C80 isn't an electric scooter per se, it shares many of the same characteristics as the other models on this page in that its top speed is around 20 miles per hour, to keep it in line with motor vehicle laws. It has a range of about 40 miles (less in practice), but is very comfortable and easy to ride.
We loved its big padded seat and full suspension, which smoothed out all the cracks and bumps in the road. While we wished it went faster, it was zippy enough to scoot us around town in style. We also liked its security features, which include an NFC tag to unlock the bike, and an alarm and parking lock if someone tries to move it.
Read our full Segway eMoped C80 review.
In many ways, the Slidgo X8 is a lot like the Levy electric scooter; it has a removable battery, a similar design, and an equivalent price. However, where the Levy's battery is fully encased in the downtube, the Slidgo's sits on the outside. It's a less sleek look, but makes it easier to remove.
The Slidgo X8 also has rubber, rather than inflatable tires, which makes them more durable, but also results in a rougher ride over potholes. As with the Levy, we enjoyed riding the Slidgo X8 around town; it made it a lot easier to get places that were previously just a bit too far to walk.
Read our full Slidgo X8 review.
How to choose the best electric scooter for you
How are you going to use the scooter?
How you plan to use your scooter will go a long way to determining the best electric scooter for your needs. If you're using it as a "last-mile" vehicle — getting you from your home to the bus or train, and then from the bus or train to your office — you'll want to prioritize an electric scooter that's small and light. Look for a scooter that weighs between 20 and 30 pounds.
You'll also want an electric scooter that folds quickly and easily. There's nothing worse than having to fumble with a latch when you're rushing to catch a train — and your fellow passengers will appreciate it, too.
Are you riding on hilly terrain?
Where you plan to ride your scooter should also help determine your purchase. If you live in a flatter area, a scooter with a 300W to 350W motor should give you all the power you need. If, however, you live in, say, San Francisco, you'll want a scooter with a stronger motor to get you around. Larger individuals should also consider electric scooters with more powerful motors.
Price: For many, the price of an electric scooter will be the starting point for any buying decision. Here's a quick rundown of what to expect at each price tier.
- $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. This is where you'll also find most electric scooters for kids.
- $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 better suspension.
Battery life/range: After price, this will be the next deciding factor for many. It's a bit difficult to provide an accurate estimate of battery life and range, because it's dependent on a variety of factors, including the rider's weight, the temperature, and the terrain — if you're riding on flat surfaces, you'll be able to go much farther than if you're riding up and down hills. Battery life is typically measured in Amp Hours (aH); the higher the number, the longer you'll be able to ride.
Speed: Most electric scooters will top out at around 15 to 18 miles per hour on a flat road. That's plenty fast for most uses, but there are scooters that will zip along at speeds in excess of 25 MPH.
Motors: The majority of electric scooters will have a single hub-mounted motor (meaning the motor is built into the wheel itself), and will typically have a power rating of 250 to 350 Watts. If you live in a particularly hilly area (or want to go fast) you'll want a motor with higher wattage.
Tires/suspension: There's nothing worse than a jarring ride as you bump over potholes and cracks in the road. To mitigate this, some electric scooters are outfitted with air-filled (pneumatic) tires, which help cushion things. Others will have front or rear suspension (or both), which makes for an even more comfortable ride.
Lights: If you plan on riding your electric scooter in the early morning, at dusk, or among city traffic, it's worth getting a model with lights so you can see and be seen. Look for electric scooters with headlights and taillights — the better ones will have taillights that flash when you apply the brakes. Unfortunately, turn signals are rare, so you'll have to look out when changing lanes.
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.