The majority of electric scooters have the same basic design. Determining which the best electric scooter is for your child, will depend on the age and skill level. Various features such as size, weight, battery life and speed are key differences that need to be considered.
Electric scooters are easy to maintain and have batteries that need to be charged after use. They are inexpensive to operate and the average battery will last 2 to 3 years depending on usage. Replacement batteries are readily available and generally cost between $30 and $50.
Important features that vary from scooter to scooter include the following:
Speed of the Scooter
The top speed for the electric scooter is determined by the size and power of the motor and battery. Smaller children need a scooter that has a lower maximum speed to ensure they can maintain control of the scooter at all times. While electric scooters are not as fast as gas scooters, they can generally travel between 8 and 15 miles per hour. This is typically all that children need for playing. Higher end electric scooters are also used as a form of transportation.
The top speeds are rated in ideal conditions and on a flat surface. This means when riding on hills or uneven terrain the scooter may not be able to travel at the maximum rated speed. Select a lower speed for children who are just starting out and for younger aged children. Higher speeds can be enjoyed as their skill level improves.
Maximum Ride Time
How long the battery will last is one of the top questions for new electric scooter owners. The more powerful scooters require a larger battery, however ride times for all models range from around 40 to 50 minutes depending on speed and condition.
Maximum ride times are tests on a flat surface. Hills and uneven terrain will affect the actual ride time that is achieved before the battery needs to be recharged.
Brakes are available either with a foot operated brake at the rear (like a push scooter) or hand operated on the handlebars like a bicycle. The entry level scooters often come withe the rear foot brake which makes transitioning from a push scooter much easier for younger children. Handlebar brakes operate much like a bicycle brake and brake either the rear wheel, or the front to create a reduction in speed.
Electric scooters will cut the power when the brake is applied. This safety feature ensures the scooter comes to a stop quickly and helps the rider maintain control.
The top speed of the electric scooter is determined by the power of the motor. The power also determines the weight the scooter can carry and the ability to handle hills. Older children who weigh more, will have a better experience with a larger motor built to carry their size. Larger motors offer more power, but also require larger batteries resulting in a heavier scooter.
Younger children should begin with lower powered, lighter scooters while older and more experienced children can enjoy heavier scooters with higher speeds.
How much the actual scooter weighs is affected by its construction and the size of the battery and motor. The faster and more powerful scooters require large, heavy batteries and can weigh a considerable amount (52 lbs for the Razor E300). These larger and faster scooters should be reserved for older children who have the skills and strength to handle them.
The max rider weight generally falls into 3 levels – around 120 lbs for younger kids, 150 lbs for larger kids and up to 220 lbs for teenagers and adults. Take note of this max weight limit to choose an appropriate scooter.
Variable throttles are found on high end models which are above the budget for this article and are designed for teenagers or adults. Lower end models, like those reviewed here, have one speed and are either on or off. Note that the Razor E325 claims to have a variable throttle, but owners complain that it is just a restickered E300 with single speed throttle with a higher price tag.
Electric scooters will have either a chain or a belt drive. Most scooters come with a chain drive which will operate like a bicycle chain. The belt drives are more expensive than chain drives and offers a quieter ride.
There are two primary types of tires on electric scooters, they are solid Urethane or Pneumatic (like bicycle tires). Urethane tires are low maintenance but can be slippery in damp or wet conditions. The Pneumatic tires are pumped up, and more comfortable over bumpy road conditions, like sidewalks. However, they add cost to the scooter.
Most electric scooters are not foldable but can be disassembled easily when needing to transport in a small space. The Razor E300 is the exception here and does have a folding handlebar.
Now you know what to look for, head back to our review of the 3 best electric scooters for kids, or check out some of the resource pages below.
|Electric Scooter Resource Pages|