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5 things you need to know before buying an Electric Scooter

5 things you need to know before buying an Electric Scooter

Posted by James Allan on 22nd Jul 2020

Buying an electric scooter is an exciting time but there are a lot of factors that might depend on your personal use case.  

With that in mind, here are 5 things that you should know about before buying your electric scooter.

1. Check the range

At Scooter Hut, we stock a large range of electric scooters with maximum ranges from 25km up to a staggering 150km!

Deciding which scooter is best for you often starts with understanding how far to plan to travel on a single charge. If your commute is 15kms each way then a 25km range will be no good unless you plan to charge up at your destination to have enough juice to make it back home again.

Additionally, manufacturer stated maximums must be taken with a pinch of salt as these range calculations are based ideal riding conditions. We recommend allowing for 70% of stated maximum range figures when decided which electric scooter is right for you.

2. Battery Technology

Modern high output lithium batteries have incredible storage capacities. At Scooter Hut, we stock scooters with up to 150Kms range (a figure which would have been unimaginable just a few years ago).

Most electric scooters will use some form of lithium ion battery technology with unrivalled capacity and longevity. These packs are actually often an array of 18650 Li-ion cells (just like in Tesla vehicles).

Everything that happens to your battery from charging to riding is managed through a small chip called a Battery Management System (BMS).

Not all battery packs are created equal and this is something you'll want to consider when decided which electric scooter is right for you. Battery packs from LG, Samsung, Panasonic, and Sanyo are very well regarded in the industry and you can expect excellent battery lifetime from them. There are cheaper, unbranded alternatives which do the job but the jury is still out on whether you can expect these batteries to last as long as a branded battery from a well know manufacturer.

Riding in lower temperatures (below 0c) or on hotter days (above 45c) can damage your battery and reduce the lifespan of the unit. Additionally, if you aren't using your electric scooter for several weeks it is best to keep it charged up at around 75% capacity to maintain a healthy charge and keep those cells happy and healthy.

If you're unsure of anything related to your battery technology or maintenance, pop in and see our team at your local Scooter Hut store for reliable advice.

3. Electric Motors

Brushless motors are anything new. They've been around since the early 60's but they weren't powerful enough to rival their brushed brethren.

In the 1980's, new permanent magnet materials paved the way for brushless motors to exceed the power of brushed motors many times over. Brushless Motors offer many more advantages which helped make possible the electric mobility devices we have today including:

  • Higher torque to weight ratio
  • Increased torque per watt of power input (increased efficiency)
  • Increased reliability and lower maintenance requirements
  • Longer lifespan (no brush and commutator erosion)

The main thing you need to consider when deciding which electric scooter is right for you is the Motor Wattage and whether it has one or two motors. As you might expect, the higher the wattage, the higher the power output of each motor and two motors will always offer more power than just one.

If you have any questions about electric scooter motors speak to our team at your local Scooter Hut store.

4. Braking Systems

Several different types of braking system can currently be found in Electric Scooters. Here is a list of the most common systems, how they work and the pros and cons for each.

Electronic Braking System

This type of brake uses the motor/s to actively decelerate. It is common on most commuter scooters and is often paired with a step brake. This type of braking usually includes a feature called regenerative braking which actually uses your momentum to charge your battery when you brake.

The e-Glide G60, Segway Max, and Unagi Model ONE all use this type of braking system.

1. Step Brake

A feature found on most freestyle scooters, the step brake can also be found on some electric scooters. This is a simple but effective braking solution that uses a foot plate mounted over the back wheel. Pushing down on this foot plate applies pressure to the back wheel and slows you down.

2. Drum Brake

Drum brakes are an effective braking solution that require little to no maintenance. A pair of brake pads inside the rear wheel are pushed out to apply pressure to the wheel. Cheap, effective, and maintenance free, this system is a popular one in commuter scooters.

3. Disc Brakes

There are 3 different types of disc brake system. The first uses a steel cable that runs from your brake handle to a piston at the wheel which applies pressure to a metal disc.

The second is much the same but the steel cable activates a hydraulic system at the wheel which provides firmer and more responsive braking characteristics.

The third type of disc brake is the gold standard in braking for the most part is limited to only the most advanced and extreme electric scooters. Fully hydraulic brake systems dispense with the steel cable entire in favour of a hydraulic system that runs from the brake lever all the way to the brake pistons at the wheel. Zero play in the brakes and the ability to apply 100% of your braking pressure to the wheel make this system the most responsive of all.

The elite Kaabo range of Electric Scooters all use various types of disc braking systems.

5. Portability

Electric scooters come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and weights. Depending on your use case the size and weight of the scooter might play a key part in deciding which one is right for you.

As always, the best advice we can give is to head down to your local Scooter Hut store and ask to check out our range of electric scooters for yourself.

Shop now or head into your local Scooter Hut Store to check out our range of excellent electric scooters.