How Far Will An Electric Scooter Go?

You may be thinking of purchasing your electric scooter, but you are worried about just how mile mileage you can get out of your electric scooter before the charge runs out.  You also may be wondering just how far your current electric scooter can go when you ride it at a certain speed.  There is a way to calculate maximum distance even with a variable like how fast you can (or are) driving the scooter).

Of course, the distance that any electric scooter is a combination of many things. It depends on the underlying wattage of the motor, the battery that the scooter is using, the weight of the rider, and the road that you are driving it on.

Scooter Motors

While the draw of any electric scooter is going to be the battery, it’s the motor that really functions as the heart of the scooter. A child’s electric scooter will have a typical motor wattage of no more than 250 watts. Some have a fraction of that. They simply won’t need as much power to move the scooter as an adult scooter would.

If you’re going to be using an electric scooter labeled for adults, that scooter could still only have a 250 watt motor. With a smaller motor like that, the scooter won’t be labeled for any off-road or incline riding. It will also tend to have a smaller riding distance, such as 10-15 miles.

Electric scooter motors with 500 watt motors are the most common motor type that you will find for mid-range adult electric scooters. They have enough power to pull a ride up an incline as long as the rider doesn’t exceed the recommended weight maximum.  They can also reach distances of up to 30 miles in good riding conditions.

Motors with even higher wattage absolutely exist for electric scooters. One of the strongest motors belongs to the NanoRobot D4+ at 1000 watts!  This bad boy can get up to 45 miles on just one charge.  However, you definitely pay for that privilege. (Check current price on Amazon)

Better Batteries = More Distance

It seems like every month there are more powerful electric scooters making their way onto the market. In the old days, the classic sealed lead acid battery was the mainstay. There are still many electric scooters on the market with this type of battery, but newer scooter models have switched to batteries with a much higher capacity.

In the above example of the NanoRobot, its battery is a 23Ah52V lithium battery (which gets the top range of 45 miles).  Lithium-ion batteries like this one have the ability to not only operate for a longer period of time, but they also require less charging time and wear out a lot slower than those older battery types.

As the capacity of the lithium batteries improve, maximum distances will grow and grow. In a few years, it seems reasonable that there will be an electric scooter battery with the potential to travel distances of 100 miles or more.

Weight Of The Rider

Every electric scooter will tell you its recommended maximum rider weight.  Of course, you can always use a scooter if you exceed this recommendation. However, that scooter will not take you as fast or as far as it will a lighter rider.

Even when you’re under the maximum weight recommended, the rider’s weight does still matter. Carrying a 200-lb rider takes more power than carrying a 150-lb rider. That’s just common sense.

While most adult electric scooters are rated for 220 (or 100 kg), don’t buy a scooter where you’re pushing the top limit of the recommended weight limit. It just won’t produce as good or as long of a ride as you think you’ll be getting. If you’re gonna spend $300 or more on an electric scooter, get one that actually fits your body.

Riding Conditions

This is probably the most variable part  of any electric scooter commute. Are there any hills, however small, on your expected trips? How about the smoothness of the road/sidewalk? Are there bumps and potential road hazards? What about frequent stops due to stoplights?

Just like a car, an electric scooter’s riding range depends greatly on where it is ridden. Hills are one of the major energy pulls on a scooter’s motor. If you have a few hills on the way home or to work, the scooter is going to definitely run out of power faster than if the road was even.

Riding on bumpy, uneven surfaces are also a great drain on the motor of an electric scooter. Anything that changes the traction of the tires to the road surface will cause an uneven power requirement that will drain the battery faster.

Calculating The Range Of An Electric Scooter Manually

You can actually double-check the scooter manufacturer’s claims on the range of their scooter by doing some (somewhat) simple math.  You can also use the below calculations to figure out the maximum distance you can ride on your scooter at any particular speed.  Remember, though, that any stated scooter technical specifications are based on riding that scooter on a flat, level surface.

Distance (miles) = Speed (miles per hour) x Time (hour)

Now for speed you can use the top max speed that your scooter can achieve, or you can utilize the speed limit of your local bike paths/roads. You could also just plug in, if you already have a scooter with a speedometer, your average commute speed.  For example sake, let’s just say that’s 15 mph.

To get the time, you will need to know the battery capacity and the wattage of the motor.

Battery capacity is found by first calculating the watt-hour of a battery. A watt-hour is a unit of energy, not a measurement of power (that would be watts). The watt-hour of a battery is calculated by multiplying the ah(amp  x v (voltage).

Let’s take the example of the Nanorobot mentioned earlier to calculate all this.

The battery ah was 23 and the v was 52. We multiply 23 (ah) x 52 (v) to get 1,196 watt-hours which is the capacity of our battery.  The labeled wattage of the motor was 1,000 watts.

So, 1,196 (watt-hours)/1,000 (watts) = 1.196 hours = Time.

Now we have speed = 15 mph and time = 1.196 hours.

Distance = speed x time = 15 x 1.196 = 17.94 miles.  That’s just under 18 miles for the NanoRobot electric scooter if you ride it at no more than 15 mph.

However, the max speed of the NanoRobot is actually 40 mph. Let’s redo the equation with this top speed in mind.

Distance = 40 x 1.196 = 47.84 miles. The listed maximum travel distance offered by the manufacture is 45 mph. Pretty good!

So now, by using the above calculations, you can actually figure out if any particular electric scooter will be able to transport you the distance you need at the speed you’re likely to ride.  Remember, these calculations hold true for a ride that is flat and a rider that doesn’t exceed the maximum weight recommendation. If you have hills, that’s a whole new level of math that we aren’t going to get into now.

Conclusions

The distance you can ride on any scooter is a function of factors like the average or max speed you’re riding it, the power of the motor, and the capacity of the battery in the scooter.

But, given just a few of the basic numbers, you can always calculate how far your particular scooter can go!