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 in the UK they are treated in the same manner as mopeds, and therefore are not technically legal for use on UK pavements. And if you want to ride them on the road they should be road legal, taxed and insured, and you’ll need to be over 16 and wearing a helmet.
But we can’t say we’ve heard any cases of kids – or adults – being pulled over by the police and fined for using an electric scooter in the UK. Our best advice is to stick to private land as much as you can (where you’ll also be safer), and to enlist common sense at all times.
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. It costs £429.65, but the first 200 Tech Advisor readers can grab one for just £318.26 using the code M365UK (valid until end of July).
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.
The Razor E100 is your basic entry level electric scooter for kids. Boasting a steel frame, the E100 can reach speeds of up to 10mph thanks to the electric motor, though it’s worth noting that riders will have to be travelling at 3mph before trying to use the electric motor, as it’s not powerful enough to move the scooter when stationary.
Riders will get around 40 minutes of continuous use before it requires a charge, although it’s not clear just how long the charging process will take.
It boasts twist-grip acceleration control for finer control over speed (opposed to a button, which others feature) and features an 8in front tyre for extra comfort when riding. It’s worth noting that the maximum weight is only 54kg though, so this scooter is only intended for children.
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.
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.