recommended by experts

The Best Electric Scooters, According to Experts

Photo-Illustration: retailers

New York State officially legalized electric bikes and scooters after a state budget agreement was reached in early April 2020, making getting around on motorized wheels easier than ever—and just in time, as many city residents were looking for alternatives to public transit at the start of the pandemic. It also doesn’t hurt that current electric scooters are better than ever, too. “Battery technology has vastly improved over the years, giving riders a quicker charge time and longer range,” says Ben Gibson, managing director of MicroScootersUK. “These technological improvements make electric scooters an even more viable method of commuting for more people.”

When you’re scooter shopping, the main factors to consider are weight, distance, and battery life. Typically, scooters weigh between 20 and 90 pounds, can hit speeds of 15 to 50 mph, and cover as much as 75 miles in on a single charge. The experts we spoke to recommended that first time buyers look for a scooter that is, above all, lightweight because “getting the scooter in and out of the apartment or office can be tedious,” says Manuel Saez, the CEO and co-founder of Brooklyness, a scooter subscription service.

Many of the experts we spoke to also highlighted the importance of a good suspension, which allows your scooter to glide along the road smoothly, even when conditions are less than ideal. As KC Cohen, the owner of Joulvert Electric Bikes and Scooters in NYC, says, without sufficient suspension, “it will feel like riding a jackhammer.” Gibson also warns that the e-scooter market has been flooded with cheaper models, which “are often made with less robust parts and can be prone to product recalls.” And Damon Victor of Greenpath Electric Bicycles says, whatever you do, ”don’t buy a cheap scooter with a cheap suspension. If the suspension breaks while at speed — well, it is not pretty.”

Another thing to keep in mind, says Eric Levenseller, the CEO of Levy Electric, is “the level of post-sales support you’ll be getting.” He adds that first time purchasers often “think an electric scooter will last them as long as a traditional bike, with little maintenance required. But electric scooters, while simple in their design, have complex electronics and battery systems that will likely require replacements over time.” Almost every expert we spoke to echoed this sentiment, so before buying, make sure your e-scooter can get proper maintenance and has a good warranty with replaceable parts. We asked six electric scooter experts (plus two other pros) about the best scooters available right now. Here’s what they recommend.

Best budget electric scooters

$599

Victor says this one is “inexpensive and insanely reliable.” He says that while the Dolly is lightweight enough that you can haul it around the city with relative ease, “it also has a built in ‘dolly’ feature, where you can pull out a handle and roll it on two small dedicated wheels, like carry-on luggage.” It’s the only e-scooter on the list that has this feature, which is especially useful when your battery runs low. Instead of carrying your 30-pound deadweight scooter back to a charging station, at least you can roll it.

Weight: 28 pounds
Range: 15 miles
Weight limit: 255 pounds
Recharge time: Four to six hours

This is the “ultimate budget scooter,” says Chuck Temple, founder of Electric Scooter Guide, who has tested more than 75 electric scooters for his site. “The M365 is quite sleek and well thought out. It’s also easy to use and uncomplicated, making it a great beginner scooter,” he says. The M365 has a 14.6-mile range, “a decent top speed of just under 16 mph, and a braking mechanism on each wheel, with the rear one being a disc, which we consider to be reliable,” he explains. Plus, there are pneumatic tires: “Large tires are safer because they take less force to roll over bumps, and being air-filled helps to cushion the ride.” They grip the road better, too.

Weight: 26.9 pounds
Range: 18.6 miles
Weight limit: 220 pounds
Recharge time: Five hours

Best lightweight electric scooter

$800

The Micro Merlin is one of Micro Scooter U.K.’s best-selling electric scooters, says Gibson. “It is lightweight and has four speed settings, making it suitable for every type of journey.” He also notes that the Merlin has “cruise control for effortless riding and an integrated dual suspension for comfort, a three-hour full recharge with regenerative braking, LCD display, and a 15-mile range.” It weighs only 24 pounds — one of the lightest on our list — and can hold a weight of 220 pounds.

Weight: 24 pounds
Range: 15 miles
Weight limit: 220 pounds
Recharge time: Three hours

Best long-distance electric scooters

“I would recommend this particular model for leisure rides. It has a wide base and tall standing height, both features that make longer distance riding more comfortable,” says Levenseller. This is a heavier scooter, weighing in over 40 pounds, so it’s less ideal for commuting. But if you need to leisurely get somewhere on the weekends, this could be perfect for you. The Ninebot KickScooter Max also stands out with a 40-mile range, though it does have a longer charge time, at six hours. It can reach a top speed of 18.6 mph and handle a 220-pound weight load. Plus, it has an LED dashboard, making it easier to check maintenance issues, power levels, and Bluetooth connectivity.

Weight: 40 pounds
Range: 40 miles
Weight limit: 220 pounds
Recharge time: Six hours

“The Cruiser is basically the Toyota Corolla or Honda Accord of electric scooters,” says Temple. “It’s super-practical and has features that make it comfortable for long-range commuting: huge tires, a large standing area (called a deck), turn signals, a good top speed, good hill-climbing ability, and legendary range.” Temple says the EMOVE has a range of about 50 miles, and it will charge in under 12 hours. At 50 pounds, it’s not exactly lightweight, but many riders will be willing to overlook that for the scooter’s long range and reliability.