What Should I Look for When Buying an Electric Scooter?
You may have seen locals breezing by you on their electric scooters, and maybe you think an e-scooter would be a good fit for your commuter lifestyle, too.
After all, an e-scooter is an environmentally friendly mode of transportation that’s as convenient as it is fun. But with all the options out there, how do you choose a high-quality scooter that puts your safety first? We’ve compiled this beginner’s electric scooter buying guide to help you decide.
Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Scooter
If you don’t want to look like a kid on a kick scooter, choose an e-scooter with elegant design features. While some scooters have messy wiring, the sleek Unagi Model One scooter has everything encased in the handlebar.
All the controls are right at your fingertips, and the foldable design makes the Unagi Model One easy to carry and store. You can even customize the colors on your scooter to suit your personal style. While looking cool on your ride may not be your top priority, it’s definitely worth considering.
When choosing an e-scooter, you should consider both the carrying weight of the scooter, which impacts its portability, as well as the weight limits for riders. Think about your commute and how much weight you can maneuver up the stairs or hold steady while riding the bus.
The Unagi is one of the lighter scooters on the market, weighing in at just 23–26.5 lbs, depending on the motor you choose. The Model One is built for riders weighing 275 lbs or less.
Miles per charge
The battery life of an e-scooter affects how often you’ll need to charge it. If you’re traveling with your electric scooter over long distances, you’ll want to make sure that a full charge will at least get you where you need to go.
You’ll also want to look at how long it takes to charge your scooter and how portable the battery pack is. The Unagi Model One has a 15.5-mile range and takes just 4–5 hours for a full charge.
Just how fast do you want to go, speed demon? Make sure to pick a scooter that can keep up with you, but also consider weather conditions and safety when answering this question. Top speed for most electric scooters is around 20 mph, but you may not need to travel that fast. The Model One hits 17 mph at its fastest.
You should choose an electric scooter with at least 250 watts of power. That’ll be sufficient to get you across flat ground and over small hills. A scooter with dual motors, or a more powerful single motor, will be a better choice for someone living in an area with a lot of hills.
If you’re going up a steep hill, even a 500-watt motor will slow down.
To ensure your safety, make sure you have sufficient lighting for your e-scooter. You can always purchase additional lights for your e-scooter, but the best scooters have great lighting built in. Any after-dark riding requires both front and rear lights. The Unagi Model One comes equipped with high-brightness LED headlights in addition to LED taillights.
There are a few different types of brakes available for e-scooters:
- Electric or regenerative
- Foot brakes
- Drum brakes
- Disc brakes
Of these types, disc brakes are the most effective and reliable, but they’re typically only found in the most costly electric scooters. Electric brakes require zero maintenance and work well when combined with a foot brake, as in the Unagi Model One braking system. The braking distance on dry road for the Model One is just 13 feet.
Electric scooters either come with pneumatic or airless tires. While pneumatic tires provide more shock absorption, they also require more maintenance than airless tires. The Unagi Model One has airless rubber tires that are ventilated for shock absorption, so you can enjoy a smooth ride without the risk of getting a flat tire.
While you have a wide range of price options when buying an electric scooter, the quality typically increases with the price. Most high-end scooters for adults cost at least $600, but you’ll get more features if you spend more than that.
Not all e-scooters come with a warranty you can count on, and you should be especially cautious when buying direct from a foreign country. There are also plenty of cheap scooters available on Amazon that don’t come with a warranty to protect your purchase. Unagi electric scooters, on the other hand, come with a one-year warranty. And if there is any malfunction in the first three months, we will send you a brand new scooter.
The Bottom Line on Choosing an Electric Scooter
While all the features of an e-scooter are important, some may be more relevant to you than others. For example, if you’re riding in relatively flat terrain and don’t plan to ride in the rain, you may not need the motor power, brakes, or tires that come with the most expensive scooters. Consider your individual needs when choosing the best electric scooter for you.