The 7 Best Electric Scooters: From Prototypes to Production Models

Vectrix Electric Scooters photo

Electric Scooters

We've been writing about all kinds of scooters for years, but because of high oil prices, they're now seeing a renaissance of sorts. With 30% of Americans saying they would consider riding a scooter--even some people we wouldn't expect to--and sales of scooters up by 200% (and that was as of two years ago), now seems like a perfect time to revisit some of our past scooter coverage and bring it all together. Following are our favorite electric scooters, including production models and concepts:

Vectrix Electric Scooter internals image

Vectrix Electric Scooter

First, an electric scooter that leaves a lot of other forms of transportation in the dust: the Vectrix Electric Scooter. Powered by a 125-volt Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) battery pack that you can recharge in a couple of hours, it can accelerate from zero to 50 mph (80 kph) in 6.8 seconds, with a max speed of 60 mph (100 kph) and a range of about 68 miles (110 km) at an average of 25 mph (40 kph). The 2008 North American MSRP for a Vectrix Electric Scooter is $9,395.

You can see the Vectrix in action - filmed from low angles with rhythmic music - in this promo video:

More on the Vectrix Electric Scooter
Vectrix Electric Scooter Launching in November 2006
The Vectrix Super Fast Electric Scooter
Vectrix Electic Scooter Test Drive: It Really Works!
The First Vectrix Electric Scooter Delivery
UK Police Test Vectrix Electric Scooter

Honda Electric Scooter Moped photo

Honda's Electric Moped Prototype

In 2005, we covered Honda's cute electric scooter, but sadly it doesn't seem like it is in production yet. (Honda, you reading this? Come on!) What made it interesting was its small size and weight, allowing for maximum urban mobility. It has a lever-based throttle system which is easier for novice riders, and Honda claims it has similar acceleration to an equivalent gas-powered scooter.

More on Honda's Electric Scooter Prototype
Press Release from 2004: Honda Announces Electric Moped Prototype

Electric Commuter Trike/Scooter photo

The Rider: An Electric Commuter Trike

The Rider is another concept/prototype, this time even more experimental than Honda's electric moped. It was designed by Elisha Wetherhorn as a complement to trains and buses. It's a three-wheeled electric commuter scooter that you can fold and carry with you. It tilts a bit when turning corners (making it more fun), and it can run for 4 hours at 15 kph (9.5 mph) on its 24 volt battery.

E-Max Electric Scooter from Germany photo

E-Max Electric Scooter from Germany

The E-Max is an electric scooter from Germany, and it is sold in Western Europe (and apparently coming to the US). There are many different models (see the E-Max product page), from the bargain model with a range of 45-60 km (30-37 miles) to the most expensive model with a range of 130-150 km (80-93 miles). The electric motor is located in the rear wheel, and the battery will recharge to 80% in 1.5 hours.

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