E-scooters offer all the advantages of a bike without the downside of having to work up a sweat to get to your destination.
So, after checking if you can use one legally on your proposed route (remember, private land is fine, but roads, pavements, pedestrian areas and cycle lanes are not at the time of writing, unless you are hiring through an approved government trial scheme, when roads and bike lanes are potentially legal), what should you look out for?
With prices ranging from £100 to £1000s, and capability from surviving billiard smooth asphalt to full off-roaders, here’s Move Electric’s handy guide to making sure you get the e-scooter you need.
How much should I pay for my e-scooter?
It largely depends on what you want from your e-scooter, with added price usually bringing added range, speed, comfort, braking or a combination of the four.
As a rough guide, the quality end of the market starts at around £250 and extends beyond £1500.
How far will my e-scooter go on a charge?
Like all salesmen, e-scooter manufacturers tend to quote a best-case range capability, so be aware that what you get out of a charge isn’t the same as what’s possible from a charge.
As a rule of thumb, a manufacturer will test with a 70kg adult riding on a super-smooth road with no gradient and a freshly brimmed battery on board. The tyres will also be pumped up to the optimum pressures.
If you’re lighter, you will go further, but if you are heavier, then the range will decrease. Likewise if the road is bumpy or features inclines. Especially on cheaper e-scooters, you can also expect the charge the battery can hold to decrease with every charge and over time.
As a rule of thumb, the average bike commuter travels around 15 miles, so you’ll likely want your e-scooter to have that sort of capability. The majority of e-scooters promise at least 15-20 miles of range, making ones that offer 20-30 when new a stronger long-term bet.
The longest-distance e-scooters offer around 50 miles of range - but you’ll pay a premium as a result of the larger battery.
How fast will my e-scooter go?
Most official e-scooter trials are limited to 15.5mph, or 12.5mph in London. While that can make you feel like a mobile chicane when you are out on the open road, the limits are set to keep you as safe as possible, and - as many cyclists will testify - can be plenty fast enough, especially if you’re unfortunate enough to take a tumble.