The Best E-Scooters for a Zero-Emissions Commute

The Segway Ninebot ES2 is our top choice e-scooter.

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Standing on e-scooter

Nico De Pasquale Photography / Getty

Like e-bikes, the market for e-scooters has been surging and is projected to grow 7.6% from 2021 to 2028. Unlike a car, this zero-emission, portable transit option doesn't require gasoline or a parking place. Unlike an electric bike, many electric scooters can be folded and carried inside, so theft is less likely. Unlike a skateboard, the e-scooter is comfortable and can get up hills easily.

There has been a backlash against e-scooters sharing programs in some cities because of the lack of regulations for riding or storing them. Many cities have enacted laws in response to pedestrian safety concerns about electric scooters; while some have even banned their use.

But if you've decided this form of eco-friendly transportation is right for you, we researched the market to compile this list of the best electric scooters.

Best Overall

Segway Ninebot ES2

4.8
Segway Ninebot ES2

Amazon

Motor: 300 Watts | Weight: 27.6 pounds | Speed: 15.5 mph | Range: Up to 15.5 miles

Segway is considered a market leader when it comes to e-scooters, and you'll find two of the brand's models on this list. The ES2 electric scooter comes full of features at a mid-market price, making it our top pick. Standard features include integrated lights, anti-lock brakes, and front and rear shock absorbers. The batteries have overheating protection, and the grippy foot treads add extra safety to your ride. You can add a second battery to boost speed and range. The deck accommodates a maximum load of 220 pounds.

It's a reliable daily commuter, although it doesn't have the top speeds or fasted acceleration compared to other scooters on the market. It’s foldable, making it easy to store or carry.

Price at time of publish: $589

Best Budget

GOTRAX GXL V2 Commuting Electric Scooter

3.5
GOTRAX GXL V2 Commuting Electric Scooter

Amazon

Motor: 250 Watts | Weight: 27 pounds | Speed: 15.5 mph | Range: Up to 12 miles

Gotrax recently improved the battery life and motor on their top-selling and affordable GXL e-scooter. That means you can ride farther and longer on one charge. Ride in style and comfort on the reinforced frame that holds riders up to 220 pounds. The 8.5-inch air-filled tires can handle most terrain urban terrain, although it's not designed for off-roading. It's a great fit for commuting.

However, our testers did find that this scooter is difficult to fold, so if that's an important feature for you, you'll want to consider a different model. We also recommend watching YouTube videos to get it set up the first time.

Price at time of publish: $390

Best for Daily Commutes

Unagi The Model One

Unagi The Model One

Unagi

Motor: Dual 250 Watts | Weight: 26.5 pounds | Speed: 20 mph | Range: Up to 15 miles

Portability, durability, and power earn the Unagi E-500 electric scooter top marks for everyday uses like commuting or shopping. It’s loaded with features, including front and back LED lights, anti-lock brakes, and speed controls for beginning, intermediate, and advanced riders. It has an elegant, high-contrast display to show you speed and remaining battery change.

When you’ve reached your destination, simply press the button, fold, and carry the E-500 with you on the subway or bus.

Price at time of publish: $990

Best for Hills

Segway Ninebot KickScooter MAX

Segway Ninebot KickScooter MAX

Segway

Motor: Dual 551 Watts | Weight: 42.1 pounds | Speed: 18.6 mph | Range: Up to 40.4

Thanks to its large battery and powerful motor, the Segway Ninebot MAX Electric Scooter is made to tackle hills. It’s also loaded with cutting-edge features like 10-inch self-healing pneumatic tires that provide better safety and strength against punctures. The wide, slip-free platform can hold riders up to 220 pounds. However, at just over 42 pounds, this is a heavy scooter, and may not be ideal for anyone who needs to be able to carry it up and down stairs.

Price at time of publish: $1,000

Best Long Range

Hiboy S2 Max Electric Scooter

Hiboy S2 Max Electric Scooter

Hiboy

A compact powerhouse, the S2 Max is built to go the distance. It’s foldable and fully loaded with features including a dual lights system and air-filled tires. However, some find the Hiboy S2 ride to be bumper than other scooters, so it's best for users who will be riding on smooth pavement. You can use the Hiboy app to lock the scooter, turn on cruise control, and monitor the E-scooter's battery life.

Price at time of publish: $900

Best Mid Range

Mercane WideWheel Pro

Mercane WideWheel Pro

Mercane

Motor: Dual 250 Watts | Weight: 54 pounds | Speed: 20-25 mph | Range: Up to 20-25 miles

The Wide Wheel is a heavyweight built for mid-range riding, but its quick folding system and portability are what make it a top fold-up electric scooter. A stylish, functional, and is a sturdy ride for tackling any terrain including hills. Its quick folding system and portability are what make it the top fold-up electric scooter.

Price at time of publish: $1,369

Final Verdict

Looking for a solid and affordable entry into e-scooter riding? The Segway NineBot ES2 ticks both boxes making it a great overall choice. If you’re looking for something even lower cost, check out the Gotrax GLX V2.

What to Look for in an E-scooter

Cost

There is a range of e-scooter pricing, but the quality tends to increase as the amount gets higher.

Weight

E-scooter weight ranges from as light as 15 pounds to 155 pounds. Total weight will depend on size, battery, motor, foldability, and other features. If you'll need to carry your scooter frequently, a lighter model may be a better option for you.

Battery and Battery Range

Most electric scooters will have lithium-ion as they charge faster and tend to travel more miles per charge. Less expensive versions of those for kids might feature lead-acid batteries. The larger the battery the more capacity, or watt-hours, an electric scooter will have.

When it comes to range or miles per charge, electric scooters are available that can go as far as 75 miles on a charge based on perfect conditions including rider weight, terrain, and weather conditions. So keep in mind that the range listed by the manufacturer is often higher than real-world conditions.

Speed

There are electric scooters made for adults that manufacturers boast can reach speeds of over 60 miles per hour. Most electric scooters designed for children have a maximum speed of 10 miles per hour. Yet actual speed is impacted by features such as tires, frame weight, terrain, battery charge, and tires as well as the weight of the rider. When thinking about top speeds, you'll also want to know if there are any local speed limits for e-scooters in your area.

Power

E-scooter motors can range from 80 to 12,000-watts. Typical commuter options have between 200- and 500-watt motors. Experts advise choosing one with at least 250 watts of power so that you can get across flat ground as well as small hills. E-scooters with a single powerful motor or dual motors are more likely to handle lots of hills.

Brakes

E-scooters come with one of four brake types.

  • Electric or regenerative: Unique to electric vehicles, these brakes allow kinetic energy during braking to be converted back into energy and be stored in batteries.
  • Foot brakes: Typically involve the rider stepping down on the rear fender to create friction and slow the e-scooter.
  • Drum brakes: Cheaper to manufacture than disk brakes and tend to last longer as they have increased friction contact area than disc brakes.
  • Disc brakes: Effective and reliable options that have high stopping power, especially on hills.

Tires

E-scooters roll out on pneumatic or airless tires. The pneumatic option tends to absorb more shock absorption and offer more stability and traction. Yet they also require more maintenance than airless tires. They may also get a flat.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are e-scooters safe for kids?

    The American Academy of Pediatrics urges parents and policymakers to prevent children under the age of 16 from operating or riding motorized or electric scooters designed for adults. Further, e-scooter ride-sharing companies tend to require riders to be 18 and older with a valid driver’s license to use their service. Yet most e-scooter apps do not require parental consent to unlock the e-scooters. If you know a child interested in riding an e-scooter, look for a model designed for kids and teens. These models tend to top out at 15 miles per hour.

  • Is it legal to drive an e-scooter on the road?

    More and more people across the world have been zooming around on e-scooters since 2017 when dockless, rental versions were released by Lime and Bird. More recently, municipalities have added regulations to respond to injury and safety concerns from e-scooters or delayed scooter-sharing programs from expanding. In some places, e-scooters are street legal; while some have banned them. If you’re interested in purchasing one of these zero-emissions transportation options, it’s good to check local laws before you buy, because regulations can vary greatly from city to city.

  • Should you wear a helmet while riding an e-scooter?

    Riding an electric scooter can be safe as long as you follow local safety guidelines, keep speeds low, don’t take unnecessary chances, and be mindful of pedestrians and other vehicles. Yet along with improving infrastructure to make e-scootering safer, most health experts advise wearing a helmet while riding electric scooters. Why? A 2019 study in the American Journal of Otolaryngology found that craniofacial injuries tripled between 2008-2017. The largest population impacted were children aged 6 to 12 years old. Another survey of 249 patients, published in JAMA Network Open, found that the most common injuries were to the head and that only 4.4% of patients were wearing helmets at the time of their e-scooter accident.

Why Trust Treehugger?

We want to help our readers find the right low-carbon and emissions-free transportation options. For this round up, we reviewed customer and third-party rankings of the best-selling, most popular, and in-stock electric scooters. We evaluated key specs such as weight, miles per charge or battery range, speed, power, brakes, and tires. Our team has also tested a range of e-scooters and e-bikes.

This article was written by Heidi Wachter, who has spent a decade researching and writing about ways to reduce her environmental impact.

View Article Sources
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