10 Electric Scooter Models Redefining Urban Mobility!
A Street Legal Electric Scooter Is The Perfect Form Of Urban Transport – So Why Not Get Involved?
Updated August 25, 2018
Electric scooters are taking over the world. They’re not the under-powered little toys that they used to be, instead they’re fast, nimble bikes with more on board technology than you’d expect for such inexpensive machines. With living costs on the rise and carbon-emission guilt playing on everyone’s minds, there has never been a better time to go green and get on an electric scooter but what products are out there? How much bang can you get for your buck? And will they even suit your lifestyle?
There are all kinds of electric scooters on the market from old school stand-up styles to the more practical moped style copies that range between a couple of hundred dollars and a few thousand in price. Obviously, the more money you spend the better vehicle you’re going to be buying with superior range and higher speeds- but would you really benefit from owning an electric scooter? Well, that all depends on where you live.
Would You Benefit From A Street Legal Electric Scooter?
If you live in a city environment or in a town where every conceivable destination that you might have is within a manageable radius, then sure: you can definitely benefit from one. However, if you’re more rurally located or face longer commuting distances, then you’re probably best off sticking with your tried and tested modes of transport for the time being. Most importantly though, you’ll want to think about the legality of electric scooters in your area. Some European countries are very pro electric assisted travel, while others are not. In the USA, different States have very different laws. A federal law from 2002 defines a street legal electric scooter as a: “two or three wheeled vehicle with fully operable pedals, a top speed when powered solely by the motor under 20 mph and an electric motor that produces less than 750 W (1.01 hp)” but different States have different rules. And in any case, you might want to travel a little faster than 20 mph…and that’s also allowed, if you’ve got the license and the paperwork.
Thanks to the continuing effort to create a workable infrastructure to service electric vehicles, we can expect to see more of them on the roads and cycle paths in the near future. As technology improves and as more people warm up to the idea, we’re going to see some impressive leaps in the specifications and overall performance of these little electric scooters, but until then we’ve compiled a list of some of the more interesting models from across the price spectrum. We’ve got decent cheap and cheerful models, and a few premium offerings too. No matter which model catches your eye it’s a safe bet that you’ll get a good return on your investment. Cheap to run, fun to ride. Electric scooters are definitely worth considering.
10 Electric Scooter Models Designed To Tame The Urban Jungle!
#10. The TaoTao ATE-501 Electric Scooter
At the lowest end of the spectrum, we’ve got the TaoTao ATE-501. There are cheaper electric scooters out there, but you don’t want to buy the cheapest out there, you want to buy one that will do the job. The TaoTao is a Chinese made product, so buyer beware! Essentially, it comes down to the guy who was working the assembly line that day – and most of the time you’re going to get a good one. Offering 500 watts of electric power that’s good for a top speed of 20 mph, with a range of around 25 miles per charge and comes with disc brakes. Annoyingly it takes about 6 to 8 hours to charge and will struggle to reach those speeds if you weigh over 200 lbs – but consider the TaoTao a benchmark product and the kind of standard you can expect for a $750 asking price. Those who have purchased well put together models swear by them…but we think you should pay a little more for quality transport. This is completely road legal though, and requires no license to ride.
#09. The X-Treme Cabo Cruiser
For a couple of hundred dollars more you could get invest in the X-Treme Cabo Cruiser, a model that used to be known as the XB-615. It’s a lot more advanced that the TaoTao and of a higher quality, powered by a brushless 600 watt hub motor and driven by 4 20 amp batteries, the Cabo Cruiser can reach speeds of 20 miles an hour with a claimed range of 35 miles per single charge. The batteries state that they’ve got a minimum life of three years and are good for more than 500 full recharges. The Cabo Cruiser is like many other small street legal electric scooters in that it comes with pedals too, classifying it as a power assisted bicycle. That’s important for US laws because it means it pretty much makes it street legal for anyone – although for all of these entries, you’ll want to check that with your local DMV. We’ve looked around and found that you can pay a lot more for essentially the same thing, so we recommend the X-Treme Cabo Cruiser, and urge you to take advantage of its $1,199 price tag.
#08. The Gogoro Smartscooter (Version 2)
Surely you’ve already heard of Gogoro? The Taiwanese company is making waves all over the world and it all started with a simple idea: a scooter with a simple, straightforward, and easy to operate battery swapping system. It’s a wild idea, but the idea is spreading with many European cities considering getting involved. But if you join the Gogoro cult, what sort of specs do their neat street legal electric Smartscooter models provide? In short, you get an electric scooter that produces 8.3 hp, 25 Nm of torque, a top speed of 59 mph, and a range of over 60 miles if you keep your speeds low. With range being a massive stumbling block for electric scooters, Gogoro have cleverly invented an easy access, swappable battery that can easily be changed, charged, and replaced and designated “fueling stations”. All that in a package that retails for $1,295 – only in Taiwan though…but the Gogoro fever is spreading, and it won’t be long until you see them zooming around your local streets.
#07. The Scutum S02 AMU Electric Scooter
This rather unfortunately named scooter comes all the way from Catalonia in Spain, and it’s a cool, electric, urban vehicle that the company invented specifically for the Police and other public service departments. Scutum, which sounds a lot like “scrotum” and “septum,” came up with such a good model platform that the wider public decided that they wanted in on the action. Unlike many electric scooters on the market, the S02 AMU isn’t designed to be a lightweight little butterfly. As a law enforcement vehicle it needed to be strong and heavy duty, and it’s exactly that. Because of its robust design, it can carry much heavier passengers effectively, with a maximum practical load of around 390 lbs. With a maximum speed of 40 mph and a range of between 45 and 75 miles, the S02 AMU is quite an attractive prospect – however, the price may put potential buyers off. While it offers plenty of cool features, $7,000 a pop might be a little on the expensive side for the average commuter.
#06. The Ather Energy Smart Scooter
Ather Energy is a cool Indian start-up that was founded back in 2013 with a focus on producing premium street legal electric scooter machinery specifically for the Indian market. Between then and now, the company has managed to raise millions of dollars and develop some rather interesting technology. While their vehicles are aimed at the Indian market, we can see the firm’s S340 production model being exported all over the world. Why? Because it’s smart, tech-heavy, economical, and practical. Coming complete with a touch screen dashboard interface that utilizes integrated firmware and connects to the internet, LED headlights, and a decent top speed of 43 mph, the Ather S340 is a force to be reckoned with. Powered by lithium ion batteries that can charge to 90% in under an hour, the Ather Energy electric scooter is more advanced than most…but still doesn’t have an official price tag. Some are low-balling it at around the $1500 marker but we imagine it will be higher than that. For now, you can place your orders online only.
#05. The Unu Premium
We could stand to learn a few things from the Germans here with this ultra-efficient and practical electric scooter from Unu Motors. This German company was founded back in 2013 and their approach to electric scooters is a quite a remarkable one. Their smart electric scooter retails with a base price of $1,822, with fully customizable options to boot – but what do you get with it? It arrives at your door fully credited and insured, allowing you to literally twist and go from the moment it’s delivered. No DMV queues. No insurance quotes. While it’s not the fastest or most powerful electric scooter on the market, it’s arguably one of the most convenient – and convenience is key here. The max speed is 26 mph and the max range is 31 miles – which is just enough to get you around a European city with ease. And other European countries are getting involved, with Amsterdam, Vienna and the Netherlands allowing them on their streets. These fully customizable street legal electric scooter models are the next big thing…and the firm is partnered with Bosch, so quality is most certainly assured.
#04. The Niu M-Series
Next up, we’ve got the M-Series from the Hong-Kong based company Niu. The company managed to raise some serious money in a short time to develop two new different kinds of electric scooters. At the same time, the company also launched an ambitious crowd funding project for extra funding, and shortly after that, the company put their products on the market, leading to the largest pre-sale to ever happen in Chinese history, with their first models selling over $11 million of product in the first 15 days. The M-Series is currently the company’s flagship product, with four models on offer. The four models have differing battery sizes and specs. The higher spec models weigh in at a svelte 209 lbs, can travel at speeds of up to and around 27 mph, and boast a range of just under 50 miles. The M-series models are already available all around the world but at the moment we only have European prices to go on: around $2,960 for the premium model. Not bad at all.
#03. GenZe 2.0 Electric Scooter
And know for something a little closer to home: GenZe. Originally founded in Fremont, California back in 2012, the firm is now actually a division of the Mahindra Group – which is great news considering Mahindra’s awesome lineage. The company originally came up with two very different and distinct modes of electric transport: an electric bicycle, and a cool electric scooter. We’re focusing on the GenZe 2.0 scooter but their bicycle is also worth a quick Google if you’re interested in electric bikes. The GenZe 2.0 pictured here starts at a price of $3,000 and comes with a whole host of cool technology as standard, but the package is completely customizable if you feel like paying extra. For the base model, riders can benefit from a 30 mph top speed, a maximum range of 30 miles, three selectable ride modes, and a 100% charge time of 3 and a half hours. The on board tech includes a lightweight and removable 1.6 kWh battery, an access code ignition, full smart phone integration, and a useful sized storage trunk. And regenerative braking for good measure.
#02. The Vespa Elettrica
The undisputed king of the scooters Piaggio would be foolish not jump on the electric scooter bandwagon, and they’re no fools. Due to hit the roads and dealerships this year (2018) the Vespa Elettrica is set to shake up the electric scooter market. Taking styling cues from the already iconic Vespa models but updated for the 21st century, the Piaggio Vespa Elettrica comes equipped with cutting edge technology that promises to deliver a range of 62 miles, a max power figure of 5.8 horses and 147.5 lb-ft of torque and promises superior performance to that of a traditional gas powered 50cc scooter. Naturally, those stats all depend on how you ride it, but we’re excited nonetheless. In terms of ride technology, the Vespa Elettrica will come with a TFT color dashboard, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone integration, and of course…an app that does everything from act as a GPS, answer your phone calls, and probably cook you a hot meal at the same time. Unfortunately, Piaggio hasn’t yet told us the price of their amazing electric scooter yet.
#01. The BMW C-Evolution
If you want a real luxury electric scooter though, you’re going to want to invest in the C-Evolution beast from BMW Motorrad – and it’s now available in the USA too. First introduced in 2014, the C-Evolution has made a big impression in Europe, but now it can work its magic in America too, because there are now dealerships in California that stock it. Unlike the other scooters in this list, this is not a casual little commuter. Boasting 48 horsepower, 53 lb-ft of torque, a top speed of 85 mph and a 0-30 mph time of 2.8 seconds, the BMW C-Evolution is quite a serious electric scooter. With USD forks up front, an adjustable rear shock at the rear, it’s clear the BMW are taking their electric scooter game seriously. Disc brakes and ABS are an essential…especially with an overall weight of 606 lbs. Despite being a heavy lump, BMW claim a maximum range of 99.4 miles which doesn’t sound like an unreasonable claim, especially since the battery is a big unit that takes 9 hours to charge from a 110 volt socket, or 4anda half hours from a 220. Naturally, this kind of top end BMW technology comes with a BMW price tag…to the tune of $13,750. So start saving your pennies.