Choosing an electric scooter may seem like a daunting task, with so many models and features to choose from. Picking an electric scooter from the selection of electric scooters on our website might even seem a bit overwhelming at first. By asking yourself a few simple questions about how you plan to use your new scooter, it is easy to make an informed decision.
The key factors to consider when selecting your electric scooter (in this order) are range, rider weight, terrain, portability, climate, budget and stand up vs. sit-down. But before you consider these you must first determine what you will use the electric scooter for. This will help you when it comes to the other factors. Will you ride it to work or school? Is it just for recreation? Will you take it with you to swap meets and flea markets? Racetracks and campgrounds?
Range: 'Range' refers to how far the batteries will take you on a single charge. Most electric scooters have a standard range of approximately 8 miles under ideal conditions (flat land, no wind, and a lightweight rider.) Realistically, you can expect the range to come in at a few miles less if all of those ideal conditions are not met. Range varies a lot depending on rider weight, hill climbing and temperature. The heavier the rider is the less range the scooter will get. The more hills, the less range. Extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, affect battery performance too, by about 20%. What you need to ensure is that your scooter matches your route. Figure out how far you need to go and what the terrain is like to be sure you will get enough range (don't forget to calculate your weight in too, as a dishonest calculation might leave you stranded mid-commute.)
Rider Weight: Riders under 180 lbs can ride any scooter out there and achieve maximum performance. Riders between 180lbs and 250lbs can ride most electric scooters available with excellent performance. Riders 250 lbs + have a limited selection of scooters to choose from, but there are definitely electric scooters available for them. A heavier rider wouldn't be able to ride the Go Motorboard, for example, but would have no problem on a Goped electric scooter.
Terrain: The best case scenario is to live in a relatively flat area. Any scooter (provided the rider is within its load capacity and it meets the individual's portability factor) would work because any electric scooter is capable of running on relatively flat streets and roads. Introduce some hills and options are limited. Be sure the electric scooter has at least a 350 watt electric motor for hill climbing. The Pacelite 707 and the Go-Ped ESR 750 are both fantastic hill climbers.
Portability: How much will you need to carry the electric scooter around? Electric Scooters are great because they are so small, but some are heavier than others and not as easy to fold. They range in weight from 19.5 lbs all the way up to 98 lbs! Not everyone can carry all of those scooters. For some, a 46 lb scooter up a five-story walk up is no big deal. Others wouldn't dream of carrying that weight more than 5 steps.
Climate: The climate where you live must also be considered. If you live in a warm and sunny climate (hello California!) then, just like those flatlanders out there, you can have pretty much any scooter you want (once again, provided the rider is within its load capacity, it meets the individual's 'portability factor' and it is appropriate for the terrain). Electric scooters can be used year round but riders will notice range is reduced when the weather is extremely hot or extremely cold. Many customers ask about the rain and if it is safe to ride in the rain. We always tell them if you are stuck in the rain, by all means ride on home, but if you can avoid it, you should. Most motors are sealed and a little rain won't damage them. If water manages to get inside the motor it is likely it will short out. Manufacturers may not honor a warranty replacement on a motor if they can see it was frequently ridden in the rain. Some scooters are sensitive to water (like the GoPeds) while others have absolutely no water issues (like the Pacelites.) Most people end up parking their electric scooters over long hard winters or on rainy days, so for them weather is not an issue at all. But if you do decide to ride in the cold or rain be conscious of these facts and plan for reduced range and potential motor issues.
Budget: If you are under 150 lbs, never need more then 3 miles range, live in a relatively flat terrain where it is always warm and sunny you should be able to buy and successfully use the least expensive electric motorized scooter you can find. Too bad that's not most people! As long as you are under 250 lbs, you can easily find a suitable scooter for around $500 or $600.
Stand-up vs. Sit-down: This is simply personal preference. There are a handful of scooters that do not come with a seat option but by and large many electric scooters can be used as either stand-up or sit-down units.