Electric scooters have seen a huge resurgence in popularity over the last year or so, both with kids and adults, who've discovered they can be a surprisingly convenient way to shave some time off the morning commute.
They're a big purchase though, and you probably don't know exactly what to look for from a scooter, so we've picked out some of the best on the market, breaking down the features and specs that you need to think about before you buy.
Are electric scooters legal in the UK?
Before you rush out and buy an electric scooter you should know that electric scooters - kick-scooters that also build in a low-power motor - are classified as PLEVs, or Personal Light Electric Vehicles. They are not subject to taxes or registration, but neither are they legal for use anywhere other than private land in the UK.
That said, if you are riding an electric scooter responsibly and showing due care to pedestrians and road users, we find it unlikely that you will be pulled over by the police.
ELE-GO Electric Scooter
If you’re looking for a premium electric scooter without breaking the bank, we recommend the ELE-GO Carbon Fibre. It’s the lightest scooter in our roundup at only 6.9kg thanks to the carbon fibre frame, and when coupled with a one-click folding mechanism, it makes the ELE-GO perfect for city-dwellers looking to switch up their daily commute.
Don’t assume that the lightweight nature means that it’s underpowered either; it’s actually one of the fastest in our roundup, hitting speeds of 20kmh thanks to a brushless 250W Hub Motor, providing up to 480W of power. It also features two gears, providing a reduced max speed when you’re weaving in and out of people.
Don’t worry about slowing down either, as the scooter sports a micro-electronic control brake that will gently bring you to a stop, along with a traditional rear fender brake for more abrupt stops.
In terms of range, it’ll take you around 20km (12 miles) on a single charge, though admittedly this does depend on factors like weight and speed. We found that it’d last around 5-6 miles at top speed before needing a charge, a process that takes around two hours to go from 0-100 percent.
But aside from being lightweight, fast and durable, the ELE-GO is undoubtedly one of the best-looking scooters we’ve used. There are no visible wires or components that loosely hang from the scooter as everything is built-in – even the display is built into the body of the scooter. The red metallic accents combined with the grey body provide an understated, premium look that even big kids can get on board with.
Trust us when we say that you’ll struggle to find anything better in this price range!
Xiaomi MiJia (M365) Electric Scooter
Let's start with an electric scooter that's aimed at adults rather than kids, the Xiaomi MiJia (or M365) Electric Scooter. This one is so much fun - fast, practically silent, battery power that just keeps on going and speed-trackable via a mobile app.
It has a folding design that should make this electric scooter easy to carry, although thanks to the huge battery even with its aluminium chassis it still weighs 12.5kg.
There are some other cool features too, including cruise control, adjustable acceleration, a headlight and brake light, a kinetic energy recovery system and an ABS braking system at the front and mechanical disk brake at the rear.
It will take up to 100kg of weight, which is about 15.5 stone (one big adult or a medium adult and a child), and keep going up to 30km. You won't manage quite this distance if you push it to its top speed of 25km/hour, but you'll still get hours of playtime. Large 8.5in tyres will allow it to manoeuvre small kerbs and some light offroading.
The Xiaomi Electric Scooter isn't officially available in the UK, though you can import it from China via sites such as GearBest.com for around £430.
Iconbit Smart Kick Scooter
Another scooter for kids and adults alike is the Iconbit Smart Kick Scooter. Thanks to a carbon fibre frame, the Iconbit scooter is much lighter than others in our roundup at around 7kg. This makes it easier to carry, and when combined with a fast-folding system that lets you fold or unfold the scooter in a second, it’s the ideal companion for the commute to school or work.
Inside, you’ll find a 350W motor that’ll provide speeds of up to 26km/h, though this will depend on your weight amongst other factors (max 100kg). If you’re close to the limit, don’t expect to go much faster than 10/11km/h. The scooter also boasts a range of up to 23km, but again, this will depend on your weight, speed and other factors. If it does run out of charge while you’re using it, the good news is that it can be used as a traditional kick scooter too.
Don’t let the potential high speeds concern you, as the scooter also features an electronic braking system that’ll comfortably slow you down to a stop. Don’t worry, you’ve still got the foot-operated back brake for those last-minute emergencies. The tyres are a little small at only 5.5in, which makes going over bumps and curbs a bit of a challenge, but the general ride is fairly smooth and drama-free.
There aren’t flashing LEDs like with other scooters in our roundup, but the Iconbit scooter does feature a bright LED strip on the front to act as a headlight in dark environments. You’ll also find an LCD display on the handlebar to provide info including battery life, total distance travelled and current speed.
Inokim builds top-quality electric scooters for adults, and the Light is a serious model that you can use every day.
It isn't as light as the Mini and, at 13kg, you may not consider it light at all. But it is built like a tank and has a 250W motor in the rear hub which propels you along at a pacey 25km/h.
The brake is just as strong, and front and rear LEDs flash to warn others of your presence.
The scooter folds in half for transport or storage and the handlebars can be folded too. On the right side is an LCD display which shows your speed and total distance covered. Using the buttons you can choose between three power levels, but you can treat it like a normal kick scooter as well: you won't have to carry it when the battery runs flat.
Talking of batteries, the Light has a range of 25-30km, so you could easily use it to commute to work. And at £999/US$1199, you'd need to have a serious use for it to warrant this kind of outlay.
As well as the black model we tested, you can also opt for white, blue, orange or green.
The Emicro One is, according to the company, the "world's most lightweight and compact electric scooter" with a weight of just 7.5kg, making it an ideal mode of transport for the morning commute (to the train station, anyway!).
It also features a motion control sensor unique to the Emicro One, which allows rider to start and control their speed by body movement. The company claims that the motion control technology also reduces the battery consumption, and allows the scooter to be used 'cable free'.
In terms of battery life, it features a fast charging battery that charges from flat to full in only an hour, with each charge providing you with 12km of scooting enjoyment.
It features three ride modes (eco, standard and sport) for better speed control and with a shock absorbent front wheel, this should provide its rider with a fairly comfortable ride. Unlike other scooters, it also features an LED display which shows both the current speed setting and the remaining battery charge, so you're never left without power.
Razor’s E300 electric scooter is a decent mid-range scooter, and is suitable for both kids and teenagers (possibly even big kids too, but we’ll let you decide that!). The E300 boasts a speed improvement over the E100, reaching speeds of up to 15mph while matching the 40 minutes of constant use that the E100 offers.
The E300 also features a ‘super size’ deck and frame, meaning the rider can stand firmly with both feet. It also features a twist throttle for finer control over speed, and a retractable kickstand so you don’t have to leave your scooter on its side when not in use.
The wider 25.4cm tyres should provide a comfortable and smooth ride, and the maximum weight limit for the E300 is 100kg.
Most scooters place their batteries under the footrest for a low centre of gravity, but Ancheer instead opts for an oversized top tube into which it fits an 8.8AH Samsung battery.
Its wheels are relatively small with a 6.5in diameter, so it's best used on smooth surfaces, and there's a 250W 36V motor in the rear hub which Ancheer says is powerful enough to propel the rider along at 12mph (20km/h) and on inclines up to 20°. In reality, you'll need to provide some assistance up steeper hills as it doesn't quite have the grunt, especially for heavier riders.
There's a handy LCD display on the handlebar which shows speed, mileage and a battery gauge. Range is around 11-12 miles (18-20km) in ideal conditions, and recharging takes about two hours.
As you'd expect there's a quick-release mechanism for folding the scooter in half, and the handlebar grips are detachable, too. Plus, there's a small stand that keeps the S500 upright when parked.
Tech Advisor readers can use the coupon code FOKKA7H9 to get £16 off the usual £329.99 price on Amazon.co.uk.
Zinc Volt 120
The Zinc Volt 120 is another great electric scooter. It boasts top speeds of 12mph, and although we’re not quite sure how long/far you’ll get from a single charge, the scooter features a ‘fast’ recharge time. That being said, the scooter requires a 12-hour initial charge when first purchased.
Like others in our roundup, the Zinc Volt 120 offers durable tyres ideal for use on uneven, bumpy surfaces. Unlike other electric scooters, the Zinc Volt 120 offers push and go start-up. This means that you should be able to push off to gather a bit of speed, then let the electric motor do the rest of the work.
It has a slightly lower maximum weight than the Razor E300, at 70kg, meaning this is marketed towards children and young teenagers.
EVO Powerboard 48V
For those that want even more power and want to ride their scooters in the road, we’ve found the EVO Powerboard 48V road-legal electric scooter.
The scooter features street tyres, LED lights (both front and rear) as well as rear view mirrors. Riders can achieve a maximum speed of 24mph, and should achieve a range of 15.5 miles before requiring a charge.
Unlike other scooters in this roundup, the Evo Powerboard features a seat – those that don’t want a seat have the option to remove it. It also features front and rear disk breaks, and adjustable front suspension for a more comfortable ride.
It’s worth noting that to make this scooter road legal, you’ll have to fill out a V55/5 form and send it to the DVLA, costing £55 at the time of writing. The form, along with more information can be found here. A driver's license is also required to drive this electric scooter, with more information available here.