There are so many electric scooters and bikes on the market now, how can you ever decide which is the best? Most importantly, which one should you buy? I’m asked this question frequently, and my answer really boils down to 3 simple steps to make the best decision.
What would you use an electric scooter or an electric bike for?
1. Decide what the mission for your new electric vehicle will be.
Are you looking for a better way to get to work? Zoom past the traffic? Or are you looking for a fun weekend vehicle to explore with friends? Here’s some of the most commonly considered missions or purposes that people are looking to fill with an electric vehicle:
- short neighborhood commutes or safe sidewalk/narrow pathway use?
- portable enough to fit in a car, take on the train, go up an elevator?
- can you bring it inside to charge, or is there a place in your parking garage? If so, do you have power in the garage for charging?
- playing on the weekend
- long rides or use on big roads – how fast do you need to go?
- Terrain: Will you stick to paved streets or need to go off road?
- Hills – do you need to ascend or descend and major hills (more than 5 degrees or so)? If so, consider that you’ll need extra power.
2. Decide which category of vehicle you need from the major groups: folding scooter, sporting scooter, portable folding bicycle, full size electric bicycle, electric motorcycle
It’s best to focus on vehicles that are designed for your purpose. For example, it would be impossible to take an electric motorcycle on a train, but folding electric scooters and portable folding bicycles can easily do the job. These are the major categories of Personal Electric Vehicles from which to select for your mission (identified above):
- small/medium ebike
- full size e-bike
- folding/casual standing scooter
- sitting scooter (or one with seat capability)
- sports or specialty scooter (these often have off-road tires and larger batteries for speed)
- motor-scooter replacement
- full motorcycle replacement
3. Decide which brands of electric vehicle focus on the category you’ve selected.
Now you’ll discover that there are quite a bit fewer options from which to choose, which is great for deciding which is the best for you. As you review the various brands that offer a type of scooter in your chosen use category, be sure to consider all of the following variables:
- Features you need
- swappable battery?
- solid or air tires
- suspension system
- top speed
- max carrying weight
- maximum hill climb
- app support
- digital readout of battery life
- Physical size
- will it go where you need it to go?
- do you have a place to store and/or charge it?
- is it appealing?
- does look the way you want to be perceived?
- there are vehicles available in nearly every budget now. However consider that the market is flooded with many very cheap vehicles that will probably not last long. This might be an ok place to start as you get into things, but expect that inexpensive vehicles may not be reliable enough to use for every day commuting.
- is the brand well serviced in your country?
- what is your feeling after taking one for a test drive?
- Availability of service and supplies
- some parts will eventually need maintenance or replacement, usually starting with the tires or brakes.
- however, consider what your options are if you need parts such as accelerators, brake parts, batteries, CPU/controllers, or other wiring that may get damaged or fail eventually
Hopefully we’ve helped you with your decision making process and if you can think of any steps we’ve missed, be sure to leave a comment below!