So you are considering an electric scooter purchase, but you don’t know how to choose an electric scooter in 2021.
Now, there are more electric scooters on the street than ever before, which also means more options. The good news is you have more choice as the rider, but the decision may seem overwhelming for some.
So, what is the best electric scooter in 2021?
The answer depends on your riding habits and needs. The most important questions to consider are:
- Size: Do I need a smaller or larger scooter? Will I ride with a passenger?
- Durability: Where will I ride my scooter? What conditions will I ride in?
- Range: How often will I ride my electric scooter? How far will I travel in an average week?
- Performance: Do I need a fast scooter?
- Design: Do I prefer eye-catching or functional design?
- Experience: Will I need extra accessories for my scooter riding habits? How will I get service and support?
Maybe you plan to replace a car as your daily commute vehicle. Or perhaps you plan to use it for short distances to run errands or visit friends around the city.
Regardless, you can follow these tips to find an electric scooter that meets all of your needs.
Choose an electric scooter that best fits you
Feeling comfortable on your scooter is a crucial factor in choosing an electric scooter.
You want your scooter to be easy for you to handle. Your feet should touch the ground comfortably without any strain, so you can maneuver the scooter in and out of parking spaces, or rest when at a stop.
But don’t worry! You can find an electric scooter that suits someone with any build or stature. Be aware of these details when you are researching electric scooters:
- Seat height: Scooters offer quite a range of seat heights, so make sure to schedule a test drive before you buy. Some scooters may have a seat height as low as 700mm (27.5 inches) or as high as 815mm (32.1 inches).
- Seat length: It’s important to consider whether you plan to ride with a passenger or not. Some electric scooters may only offer space for one person, while others like the NIU MQi GT are specifically built for extra passenger space.
- Vehicle weight: You don’t want to be embarrassed with a heavy scooter that may fall over, but you can’t lift it up again. You will have much more fun with a scooter you can easily drive and manage. There are plenty different models of electric scooter, from 72 kg (158 lbs.) for the NIU MQi+ Sport to 275 kg (606 lbs.) for the BMW C Evolution.
- Maximum passenger weight: Every scooter supports a maximum weight. Make sure the electric scooter you choose has a sufficient max weight for you and any potential passengers.
Consider the durability of the scooter
For many owners, urban mobility is the main consideration when choosing an electric scooter.
However, you still want to make sure your electric scooter will hold up over time in your regular riding environment. Most electric scooters are built with urban trips in mind. You should consider whether you plan to ride outside the city, on uneven roads, or in conditions that require extra durability.
Some electric scooters are built especially for these types of riding conditions. If you need this extra durability, then keep an eye out for scooters with larger 14″ wheels, which provide extra stability during your ride. This is especially helpful if you ride on roads with bumps or potholes.
Similarly, ground clearance is also important to protect your scooter in the long term in more rugged riding situations. Choosing a scooter with larger wheels may mean it already has higher ground clearance, but you should still confirm this before you buy. Approximately 180mm (7 inches) should be sufficient for most riding conditions, if this is important for you.
Other scooters offer optional steel bumpers so you can protect your vehicle further. This is a nice add-on to give you extra peace of mind about your vehicle’s durability.
Pick a quality battery with enough range
The battery inside an electric scooter is one of the most essential components, because it is the heart of the vehicle. In 2021, most electric scooters are equipped with a lithium-ion battery (Li-ion) but some are still using lead, acid, or nickel. Lithium-ion technology is preferred for a vehicle because it is lighter with a higher energy density in the same package.
Be careful! If you are looking to receive a government incentive for buying an electric scooter in 2021, the battery should not be made of lead in most cases.
A small but very significant feature to pay attention to is whether or not the battery is removable. If you live in an apartment complex or a home without a location to park and charge, make sure you choose an electric scooter with a battery you can remove and recharge separately.
Battery capacity and range
Can an electric scooter travel far?
The answer to that question largely depends upon the battery capacity. Some electric scooters, like the NIU NQi GT, can travel over 130km before they need to be recharged. This is thanks to a dual 35Ah battery system. Other scooters may only have a single battery system or a different capacity (measured in amp-hours), which will affect the distance you can travel.
You also want to pay attention to the battery recharge time. You don’t want to feel that charging is a burden. If you plan to use your electric scooter for your daily commutes, you are probably looking for a battery that can be recharged in one night or one morning.
In 2021, you can find electric scooter batteries that can be fully recharged in only 5.5 hours, and will last for a range of 95 km. That offers plenty of range for most daily commuters.
Check the scooter’s power and performance
When you choose an electric scooter, you want to be confident in the ride and how it will perform on the road. That’s why the power output is important.
The power output of an electric scooter is measured in watts. This will determine the top speed and general performance of the vehicle.
Although the measurement of power is very different from their gas-powered counterparts, electric scooters are sometimes still classified in the same way. Most electric scooters fall in one of two categories related to gas-powered scooters: 50cc or 125cc equivalent.
This classification depends on the power of the motor and the maximum speed. If the power is between 1000 and 4000 watts and the speed does not exceed 45km/h (28 mph), the electric scooter should be a 50cc equivalent. In some countries, this type of electric scooter may not require a license or may be permitted for younger riders.
For the 125cc equivalent, if the motor power is above 4000 watts or the speed exceeds 45km/h (28 mph), the electric scooter requires a driving license.
But which electric scooter is fastest? In 2021, many scooters are capable of speeds up to 70km/h (43 mph), like the NIU MQi GT.
Choose an electric scooter with smart features
In 2021, the best electric scooters have an app you can use to manage the vehicle.
Often, the app will provide information about your scooter’s battery status or the GPS location of the vehicle. This will allow you to easily locate your scooter in a large parking lot, or get an overview of how far you can travel.
The app may also provide notifications about your vehicle, including anti-theft movement notifications.
Find an electric scooter design you like
Technical features are essential, but design matters, too.
There are plenty of different styles of electric scooters in 2021, and you will certainly find one that suits your personality and tastes.
Some electric scooters look similar to bicycles, while others may have a design like a moped or motorcycle.
Whether you are looking for something modern or just need a functional commute vehicle, you can ask yourself: what is the best electric scooter design for me?
Consider the user experience
When choosing an electric scooter, there are also other factors besides the vehicle specifications or design that may impact your user experience.
For example, you may want to choose an electric scooter brand that offers a wide variety of additional accessories. If you purchase an electric scooter but cannot customize it to your liking, then you may not enjoy the riding experience. Consider extra storage you may need, like a topcase, or other necessities for your trips, like a phone holder.
Furthermore, you want to choose a scooter brand that offers a large dealer network in your country. You should feel supported with your new scooter purchase, and you want to make sure you can ride with no worries, in the event you need service or support.
And last, but certainly not least: you want a scooter that feels comfortable to ride!
Of course, the best way to know if a scooter is the perfect for you is to try it! The good news is that there are NIU test drive locations around the world.
What are you waiting for? Find the store closest to you and book a test drive!
No matter what type of electric scooter you are looking for, we are certain you can choose an electric scooter that meets your needs by following these simple steps.
Do you know someone who is considering an electric scooter? Feel free to share this article with them so they can make an informed decision!