Scooters have always been a popular alternative to cars; in Asia, they are sometimes even more important than cars. The following article shows what it is and what you should pay attention to when buying an electric scooter.

HERE ARE THE TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN CHOOSING AN ELECTRIC SCOOTER

An e-scooter has many advantages. So much so that it is only a matter of time before all conventional scooters are replaced by electric scooters. The most important advantages at a glance:

Much lower fuel costs
No noise
No exhaust fumes
Fewer wearing parts, less maintenance
More dynamic handling

However, there are also (still) some disadvantages:

A reduced range (generally 50 to 100 kilometres for electric scooters, compared to 100 to 200 kilometres or more for gas-powered scooters) and a longer tank life.

Only a few models can be recharged quickly (quick charge function).

Mobility partially restricted in case of rain and humidity.

Higher purchase price.

The higher purchase price is usually amortized after about one to two years through savings on “fueling” and less costly repairs. When calculating costs, it is often forgotten that it is not only the “fuel savings”, but above all the much lower maintenance costs that allow an e-scooter to quickly become profitable in the true sense of the word. Electric scooters have no traditional engine block, no oil change, no clutch, no gearbox and no exhaust!

At least the more expensive models already cover up to 150 kilometers and even more (which considerably limits the range, we explain below). As scooters are generally only used for short distances, this is not a problem for most buyers. Charging time remains a real weakness with many models; it often takes all night or at least several hours. Electric scooters that support a fast charging function are explicitly highlighted by us in the test.

As well as the number of conventional petrol scooters, electric scooters with different engine powers are also available. One kilowatt (kw) corresponds to nearly 1.36 hp, or one watt, so 0.00136 hp.

Engine power is a direct result of engine performance, which is represented by battery power. Typical values are:

1,000 watts (approx. 1.4 hp)
1,500 watts (about 2 hp)
2,000 watts (approx. 2.8 hp)
3,000 watts (approx. 4 hp)
They are essentially the same as conventional scooters, which is not surprising: after all, the weight and air resistance of the two models are relatively similar.

In the world of the “classic” scooter, this number corresponds to the number of horsepower; since engine power is rarely given, the battery power can be used instead – because it is of course so large that it can drive the engine optimally.

However, power has practically no influence on the maximum range! This fact also behaves in a similar way to gasoline scooters and cars: after all, the number of horsepower in a car doesn’t say much about its range – it represents acceleration, tractive force and top speed.

For traditional cars, the size of the tank is the main factor determining range. The “tank size” on an electric scooter is equivalent to the number of ampere hours of the battery (or, if absolutely necessary to be compared in watts, at least the number of watt hours). More information on electric scooters.

When you choose the battery power (depending on the horsepower power), you may want to provide a little more reserve power. With larger slopes, the slightly higher weight and lower performance (at higher speeds and often also simply in the base engine) are noticeable, so that electric scooters lose more speed here than conventional scooters.

In mountainous or alpine terrain, this can be boring in the long term, so it is better to use the most powerful motor variant in such cases. For normal gradients up to about 15 degrees, the usual motorizations up to about 2000 watts are absolutely sufficient.

When starting, electric scooters are much more dynamic than comparable gasoline-powered models. The reason for this is that the complete torque of an electric motor is available immediately and not only from a certain speed range. Torque only decreases when the maximum power is reached, which is the case with electric scooters at a speed of about 25 to 30 km/h.

Almost all electric scooters are available in two versions: one with a maximum speed of 45 km/h, but also with a lower speed of 25 km/h. Even if the data sheets are read as if you could switch dynamically from one mode to another at any time, this decision is made before the purchase. You must decide at the time of ordering which version you want and therefore also indirectly for the required driver’s license.

The range of an electric scooter depends on how much energy the battery can store. For almost all electronic scooters, manufacturers size the battery exactly so that the capacity lasts about 50 kilometres.

The heavier and stronger the vehicle (the more “PS”), the higher the battery capacity. However, the ratio is not linear! A 2000 watt motor does not necessarily require twice the battery capacity of a 1000 watt model. On the contrary: on a level track, the same amount of energy is required at the same speed and under the same conditions – regardless of the power that the battery can call up to the maximum. In fact, many manufacturers equip all engine variants of their electric scooters with the same batteries.

It is only at acceleration and on slopes that a more powerful electric motor requires more energy. But of course, it also delivers more power and is faster and more attractive.

To increase the range of an electric scooter, you must order a battery with a higher ampere-hour rating. In practice, this problem is solved in such a way that a second battery is simply installed next to the main battery – provided that the scooter has room for it. This saves costs and allows one battery to be charged while the other is still in use.

The range is also limited by a number of other factors. Weather conditions are among the most important. In addition to rain (wet surface) and wind (headwind), it is mainly the intense cold that depletes the battery’s energy reserves. Depending on the model, you lose between 10 and 20% of your range in winter. Please take this into account.

If you do not want to be alone with your electric scooter, you must make sure that the vehicle is registered for two people. This is not the case for all models.

In the test, some chargers also attracted attention with an unpleasantly high volume. You can only use a universal charger (check the specifications!) or connect the charger to the basement. Experienced enthusiasts can also replace the fan or lower it slightly.

Many questionable Chinese imports should also cause problems with approval (the exact regulations can be found here). Therefore, insist on the validity of the registration documents when purchasing. Whoever orders online, can use the 14-day right of withdrawal in all cases.

Moisture is the natural enemy of electricity; short circuits can occur and not only destroy the scooter, but can also be dangerous for humans and animals, or even death! Especially with cheap electric scooters, manufacturers are happy to write a passage in their instructions for use prohibiting the use of the scooter in rain and snow. It’s well-intentioned, but in practice, it doesn’t help – who can escape a storm approaching on the road?

The best electric scooters are protected accordingly; here, you can also cross the city and countryside in wet conditions. But one thing should never be done: If you abuse the e-scooter with a steam jet, don’t be surprised if problems occur later. Moisture seeps into even the smallest cracks and can allow leakage currents, which can lead to short circuits.

Finally, if you want to transport your electric scooter on holiday or simply in the trunk, you must ensure that the dimensions are compact and that spare parts can be removed. Truly foldable scooters are the exception and are more likely to be found in scooters (see also Mach 1 scooters).

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