Electric Scooter riders

Everything You Wanted To Know About Electric Scooters

Did you know that the earliest electric scooters were created more than 100 years ago?

The company named Ajax Motor Vehicle produced them and during this time, the product were first mentioned in the earlier editions of Popular Mechanics. In the beginning of the 1920s, Ransomes created an electric powered cycle, and it was followed by a French corporation, the Applications Electro Mecaniques mirrored.

They created something called the electrocyclette in 1927, although it rode more like a trike than a scooter because it had two wheels in the front and one 1 the back.

In any regard, the electric scooter really took off during World War 2 era because gas was becoming a rare commodity and people still needed to get around.

This is when Earle Williams was interested in figuring out how to transform a fuel powered cycle into an electric cycle.

He called the design a Par-Car and it was created by a company called Marketeer.

Countries all over Europe started creating their own version of the electric vehicles. These were all created by a European company called Socovel.

Electric scooters of 1916

Over the years, there have been numerous advancements to the electric scooter. During the 60s and 70s, the Union Carbide company created an alkali fuel cell that would be used for the electric motor, and the improvements continued to shape the electric scooter from back then into the modern scooters we know and love today.

People love electric scooters because they are lightweight and they take up very little space, whether it is in your home or your garage. These electric scooters can be used to take you down the street quickly and effortlessly, but they can also take you further, depending on the battery life!

In this guide, we are going to shed some light on everything you need to know about electric scooters. If you’re thinking about purchasing one for yourself or a loved one, this guide will prove to be quite useful!

What Makes a Self-Balancing Electric Scooter Different?

When it comes to modes of transportation, people often confuse the terms hoverboard, skateboard, and self-balancing electric scooters with one another. These are very different items and it’s important that you understand the differences before you go out an purchase one product, thinking it is the same thing as the other.

Skateboards

You may think that a skateboard is just a board with wheels strapped onto the bottom of it. The truth is, they are a bit more complex than that.

Three people on skatebords

They are a designed piece of Maplewood that has been coated in a polyurethane coating so that the board is going to be more durable.

They will also have some type of gritty texture on top where your feet will go for additional traction while you’re using the board.

A skateboard consists of three pieces of hardware:

  • Board – this is what you’re going to be standing on while you are using the skateboard
  • Trucks – the metal pieces under the skateboard where the wheels are attached
  • Wheels - the skateboard features wheels that are very similar to roller skates

As you ride the skateboard, your main method of movement is going to be by pushing yourself with one foot while the other remains on the board. The rider can also use gravity to help keep you rolling, which is helpful when you get tired of pushing.

Hoverboards

When you hear “hoverboard” you might think back to the gadget used by Marty McFly in Back to the Future 2, but unfortunately, our technology hasn’t quite figured out how to actually create a real hoverboard that is available for the mainstream.

There have been many companies who have tried to bring every 80s and 90s child’s dream a reality, without much success. Except, there are two companies, Lexus and Hendo, that are making strides.

Lexus uses numerous strong magnets for their hoverboard, which also requires the use of liquid nitrogen, oh and a track for the magnets. This, unfortunately means that their particular hoverboard isn’t going to be a real option for some time.

Hendo, however, is making great progress! Their hoverboard uses a the magnetic levitation principle. This means the board will need non-ferromagnetic metal surfaces (like aluminum) to work.

Self-Balancing Electric Scooter

The self-balancing electric scooter really became popular in the past few years. People bought these things because they seemed to be the closest thing to a real Back to the Future type of hoverboard that we’re going to get. 

These toys consist of two wheels that are connected by two platforms where you’ll stand.

Inside the toy, there is an internal balancing system and gyroscopic sensors that will help you, the rider, balanced.

Black and red hoverboard

To move, you will need to rely on your feet, as they control the direction that you’re going to move and as well as how fast you can go.

These “scooters” are battery powered and some can even go as fast as 12 mph! We can thank the Chinese company, Chic Robotics for the innovative mode of transportation. The company first introduced their design in 2014 with the Smart S1, the first version.

Other companies copied the design and that’s why you see so many different brands of the next best thing to a hoverboard we’re going to get right now.

Types Of Electric Scooters

If you aren’t interested in a self-balancing electric scooter or a skateboard, but you don’t want a bike either, you have your choice of 3 main types of electric scooters and scooter-like vehicles:

Electric Kick Scooter

If you’re looking for children electric scooters, then you may want to consider one of these.

Green Electric Kick Scooter

These feature a compact design and they are safe enough that a toddler can even use one (granted, you purchase the appropriate size for them).

These electric scooters for kids aren’t like the scooters you used to play with as a child, as they can reach up to 20 mph.

Of course, these particular scooters are geared for young adults or children who are going to be supervised by their parents so they don’t get hurt.

Electric Motorcycles

While these electric scooters may be considered more of a motorized bike, we are putting them in this category because most examples of an electric motorcycle aren’t going to be as powerful as a regular motorcycle, although you can find some that can go up to 100 mph. With these, the motor is air cooled for a nice riding experience.

If you’re interested in finding an electric scooter for adults, then this could be a great option.

Electric Sit-Down Scooters

These are the scooters that you see commercials for on television. This is an electric scooter with a seat for adults who have difficulty moving around for long periods of time. These scooters sometimes have three or four wheels that cannot go flat.

They also feature an anti-tip design so the unit doesn’t tip over when riding over uneven surfaces.

You can find mopeds, which is a sit down electric scooter that is geared for leisurely rides and they have two wheels.

These scooters are often seen (and used) in large cities or in European countries where owning a car is not always the most economical option.

Driving the Electric Scooters with seats

Benefits Of Using An Electric Scooter

If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should start thinking about owning an electric scooter, let’s check out some of the benefits!

Easily To Replace Parts

The more frequently you use the scooter, the greater the possibility there is that you may have to replace parts on it. Fortunately, with electric scooters, parts like belts and batteries can be replaced without much hassle. With these minor repairs, you can bet that your scooter is going to last for many years.

Built For Longevity

While you are going to have to replace parts on your scooter from time to time, the overall body of the scooter is durable. You can use them every day for numerous hours on end and they’ll still work. Depending on the type of scooter you have, you can even use it on a variety of terrain types and it would still work perfectly.

Portable

As you would expect, a scooter is going to be light weight and compact.

Easy to handal kick scooter

This is a huge perk of having an electric scooter because not only can you put it in the trunk of your car if you want to scoot around the park,

But if you live in the city and having a car isn’t feasible, you can rely on a scooter to get you around.

And, once you’re done with your errands, you can carry the scooter up to your apartment and store it inside without it taking up too much space. Some scooters can even fold up, making it even more compact!

Safety Is Important

It isn’t uncommon that parents will purchase a motor scooter for kids as a Christmas or a birthday gift. Scooter manufacturers understand that this is a possibility and they have increased the safety standards on these devices so that children can play with them without getting hurt.

Of course, it’s always a good idea to equip your children with other protective gear like a helmet, knee and elbow pads.

Environmentally Friendly

Despite what some people will have you believe, preserving what we can of our environment is important.

People are taking the Green movement to heart and are choosing other ways of getting around.

Sure, you could do public transportation, but that still has an impact on the Earth.

By using an electric scooter, you can go for several miles without adding to the pollution problem we have.

White Electric Sit-Down Scooter

Barely Any Maintenance

When you own an electric scooter, you’ll quickly find that there is very little maintenance involved. You may have to replace a belt or battery here or there, but other than that, there isn’t much more to it. You’ll want to keep it clean, just for appearance sake, but other than that, it’s a very cost effective mode of transportation in every regard.

Features To Look For In An Electric Scooter

When you’re looking at electric scooters, it’s always useful to know what you should be looking for so that you are able to purchase the best product for yourself or your child. These are the features that you should really pay attention and look for when shopping:

Quality

An electric scooter is going to be a lot like a bike and they often share similar components. If you are going to be using the scooter as a mode of transportation and not something for leisurely activities, you’re going to want to make sure you purchase a scooter that is made well.

Look for a scooter that is made from a reputable manufacturers like Razor, Currie Technologies, Super Cycle & Scooters, or Hudora. You could go for a cheap off-brand scooter, but you may be faced with multiple repairs or poor construction.

Brake System

Many times when people are buying an electric scooter, they tend to not pay attention to the brake system. This is incredibly important because you’re going to want to have well designed system because it is going to have to be able to stop or slow down the scooter when the rider and scooter is in motion.

Razor E300 Electric Scooter

Front band brakes tend to be dangerous because they can cause the front wheel to lock up and send the rider over the handle bars and really get hurt.

Ideally, you are going to want a scooter that features front and rear V or disk brakes, as these have the best chance of being able to stop you.

You don’t want to choose a scooter with only one brake because it isn’t going to stop you fast enough.

Construction Of Frame And Fork

The frame and fork construction is something you should take into consideration. If the scooter has been made from thin steel sheets, they are likely to bend or break with regular use. However, if you choose a scooter that is made from tubular steel and uses thick steel plate construction, you are going to have a more reliable and stronger scooter.

Chain Or Belt Drive

Choosing a chain drive is going to prove to more reliable of the two types of drive systems because they are going to last longer. However, with that said, chain drives are going to be a little noisier. So depending on where you’re going to be riding the scooter, that could be a nuisance.

But, then again, that noise could also serve as a safety feature to alert people that you’re coming and to get out of the way. With a belt drive, it is going to be much quieter, but you may have some trouble at times because it isn’t as reliable and will require periodic replacements.

Chrome

Some scooters will feature chrome plating, which could be a selling point for some buyers. However, not all chrome is created the same.

A scooter with poor chrome quality is likely to chip and rust after it gets wet. Typically, popular brand named scooters will have good quality chrome, so that isn’t going to be an issue.

Super turbo electric scooter read wheel on a white background

Companies that manufactures electric scooters will try to cut costs and use inferior chrome plating, and you’ll usually find that small brands will do this. This is another reason why you should purchase a scooter from a reputable brand.

Plastic Parts

While the main body of the electric scooter is made from metal, there are going to be some plastic pieces on it. These are going to cover up the sharp corners and edges of the scooter. However, there are some electric scooters that are completely enrobed in plastic, which is going break down a lot quicker than just an exposed metal frame.

If you’re purchasing a scooter for a child, we recommend giving them a full metal body with little plastic. However, if you’re purchasing a scooter for yourself, you can opt for plastic bodies because you’ll be able to properly care for the scooter so that the plastic lasts longer.

Battery

There many scooters on the market today that use batteries that are very much like the battery in your car. This is type of battery is going to be cost effective in comparison to lithium batteries, but that doesn’t always mean it is going to be the best option.

Razor battery for electric scooter

When you’ve fully charged your lithium battery, it will have only take 3 to 4 hours to do that, and you’ll be able to run it for at least two hours (depending on the weight of the rider).

With a traditional battery, it takes 12 hours to charge and you’re going to get a measly 40 minutes of riding time (again, depending on the weight of the rider).

Fortunately, there are some companies that will offer lithium upgrade kits for their scooters, which will allow you to turn your cheap toy into something that is going to be worthwhile.

Weight Capacity

As far as electric vehicles go, the electric scooter is going to have the lowest weight capacity. Scooters that are marketed for adults will start at a 150 pound mark and the frame of it is going to be larger than what a child can handle. You can find scooters that are capable of carrying 300 pounds, but they are going to be expensive.

For a moderately priced unit, they tend to max out at 200 to 250 pounds.

Wheels

Depending on where you are going to be riding your scooter, you can get away with the basic solid rubber wheels that come with the scooter. However, if you plan on taking your scooter on any other terrain that isn’t flat or smooth, then you’re going to want pneumatic tires and maybe even a suspension system so that the ride is going to be more enjoyable.

Budget

Before you start looking at scooters, you’re going to want to determine how much money you are going to be able to spend. The more advanced the features, the higher the price tag is going to be.

Summary Of Electric Scooters

Of all the ways you can get around, an electric scooter may not be the most attractive option. Some people may poke fun at you, but that doesn’t mean you should underestimate the practicality of owning one of these products.

These scooters are especially popular among those who are trying to reduce their carbon footprint and live an eco-friendly lifestyle.

If you’re on a budget, these can be a great way to get around without having to rely on public transportation.

You never have to worry about insurance, the license requirements tend to be much more relaxed, and when it comes to upkeep—you have very little to worry about!

Black&White electric scooter

Electric scooters aren’t just for adults. Companies have created countless electric scooters for children and they prove to be a great toy, and even introduce them into being environmentally aware at a young age.

You’re showing them that there are other ways that you can get around and they may not have to reply on a car (when they are able to drive, of course).

If you think that you want to get an electric scooter, be it for you, your children, or someone you care about, check out our buying guide. We’ll give you a few examples of quality scooters that we feel are worth consideration. Also, leave us a comment below and let us know why you’re interested in electric scooters!

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