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An electric scooter for adults seems like the natural progression for those who grew up riding on Razer scooters in the early 2000s or anyone who needs an easier way to get around in cities or suburbia. The number of people renting motorized scooters has been steadily increasing in popularity since at least the late 2010s, but they’ve finally become cost-effective for many more people. The best electric scooters for adults will allow you to get around more easily, and offer a legitimate eco-friendly alternative to electric bikes and other means of public transportation.
Our electric scooters for adults recommendations are based on a mix of hands-on testing and research, with specific emphasis on their speed, range, and weight. This is a mode of transportation, not just a fun electric toy, and we wanted to select models that could be reasonably used for running quick errands in a five- to 10-mile radius.
The right electric scooter for you should be easy to move, last long enough to get to and from multiple places, and keep up with other members of a bicycle lane. We highly recommend researching the specific electric scooter laws in your city or state—these are the regulations in New York City as a reference—so you don’t get caught and fined for doing something you didn’t know was wrong.
Ready to feel rad, or at the very least feel able to keep your car in the garage or driveway a couple of extra times per week? If you’re ready to move beyond the rental scooters found in dense urban areas and incorporate one of these fast scooters into your regular life, check out our picks. These electric scooters may well become your main mode of transportation for short trips to the laundromat or sandwich shop.
Brandt Ranj / Popular Science
If you’ve never ridden an electric scooter before, we can’t recommend NIU’s KQi3 Pro highly enough. This beginner-friendly scooter took roughly 10 minutes to set up, a process that included unboxing, attaching the steering column to the main body and handlebar to the steering column, downloading NIU’s app, pairing our smartphone to the KQi3 Pro, and plugging it in to charge. You’ll only need one tool for assembly, which is included in the box. NIU says it takes six hours to charge this electric scooter’s battery fully, and we waited until it was fully topped up to begin our tests.
We opted to pair our scooter with NIU’s app before our first ride because it offers some genuinely helpful information, such as its current battery status, duration of your last ride, and total mileage. You can also lock the scooter to prevent theft, which is the most important feature. Finally, the KQi3 Pro does get occasional firmware updates, and the app can keep your ride up to date. This is a gadget after all, and any improvements to its efficiency and safety are highly recommended.
We’d never ridden an electric scooter for adults before the KQi3 Pro, and we have to admit the experience was seamless immediately. This scooter’s controls are intuitive: Depress an accelerator switch on the left side to increase your speed, and brake by squeezing either of the levers located above the handlebar. These controls will feel familiar if you’re familiar with riding a bicycle—especially an ebike. It took about a half hour to learn how to properly negotiate our turns, which comes down to our inexperience with this form of transportation, but we felt totally in control of the scooter after that.
The main purpose of scooters for adults is purposeful mobility, and the KQi3 Pro is plenty powerful for trips around town. We rode on smooth and rough asphalt, ran over water hoses and similarly-sized obstacles, and even shallow potholes. At peak speed, we zoomed past pedestrians and bikers, mindful of our surroundings, of course (so if you’re wearing headphones, make them bone conduction). We found it struggled a little going uphill, but that comes down to the weight of the rider and incline of the hill.
NIU says this scooter can run up to 31 miles per charge, but that depends on how much you push the scooter. We found that range estimate accurate on flat terrain, but the battery ran down more quickly if we took routes with several hills. Be mindful of this as you pre-plan a longer route. Altogether, we found NIU’s KQi3 Pro to be an exceptional scooter for adults, especially those new to this form of transportation. Everything from its user-friendly setup and app to the smoothness of our rides stood out.
In terms of raw power, Segway’s Ninebot SuperScooter GT2P is untouchable. It can run at speeds up to 37.3 miles per hour, run for over 50 miles per charge, and is equipped with car-like features, including cruise control and a detailed display. The scooter’s built-in screen can show its battery status, speed, operating mode, and even rate of acceleration. Having all these metrics at a glance can be extremely helpful in moderating your speed and adjusting your route in real-time based on how much juice is left in the tank. You can optimize the GTP2’s power by switching its sport and race modes into eco mode, reducing its energy consumption.
Every component in the GT2P is luxe, from its double-wishbone suspension to keep you from bouncing when going over large bumps to its hydraulic disc brake that ensures you won’t get jerked around if you have to stop more suddenly. Ambient lights on the back will illuminate to let drivers and bikers know you’re there, which is an important safety feature when operating this scooter at night. These features push Segway’s scooter in front of the competition on both a technical and design front, contributing to its $2,499.99 price tag. Given its cost, we can only recommend this scooter for adults to someone interested in making it their primary form of transportation.
While it’s still steeper in price than most of our recommendations, Segway’s Ninebot KickScooter MAX G2 can run for up to 43 miles in eco mode. This means you’ll have to charge it less often, which is helpful if you’re trying to moderate your monthly utility bill and carbon footprint. While range is this electric scooter’s biggest asset, it’s complemented by useful design features like integrated turn signals located on both sides of its handlebar, a wider footboard to make riding more comfortable, and a high-decibel horn that’s louder than a dinging bell. That horn can also sound in the event of a theft.
In the event that this scooter does get stolen, you can track and potentially retrieve it more easily by enabling Apple’s Find My feature from within Segway’s iOS app. This feature is contingent on you having an iPhone, but it’s helpful nonetheless. The Ninebot KickScooter MAX G2 doesn’t have all the advanced design features as Segway’s higher-end electric scooters, but it does have a bunch of automatic battery settings that impressed us. The scooter can monitor its battery’s status in real-time to prevent damage from overcurrents, overheating, and overcharging, amongst other potential issues. These features can extend the life of an electric scooter as they’ll save you from having to replace or repair components. That in itself makes this electric scooter for adults the best eco-friendly option.
If you plan on riding your electric scooter over rough terrain, NAVEE’s V50 should be the one you choose. It’s the only electric scooter for adults we’re recommending with an IP55 rating, which means it’s water-resistant and dust-protected. The scooter will get damaged if fully submerged underwater but can be splashed or rained on without consequence. Similarly, riding the scooter through a patch of dirt or sandy asphalt shouldn’t trouble you. NAVEE outfitted its electric scooter with large, 10-inch wheels designed to avoid damage from smaller potholes.
On the technical side, the NAVEE V50 is on par with our top recommendation, offering the same range and top speed and being outfitted with a display that shows similar data points. One optional tech feature is the ability to open up a small compartment in the scooter’s handlebar, which was designed to fit an Apple AirTag. If you plant the tracker in your scooter, you’ll be able to monitor its location in real time using the Find My app available on the iPhone. We don’t have any substantive complaints about this scooter other than the fact that this scooter’s look is a little basic.
If you only need an electric scooter for very casual rides and short runs to close places, Caroma’s E5B is the best value. It costs under $250, which makes it accessible to far more people than all of our other recommendations. Yes, this means the scooter has a lower top speed and shorter range, but you’ll still be able to make shorter trips in far less time than walking. The E5B has a smaller screen that’ll still show your current speed and battery life, and will allow you to switch between a few operating modes that impact its power draw.
This electric scooter has smaller wheels than some of our other recommendations, so you’ll feel smaller bumps in the road more acutely. None of these limitations are deal breakers, but you should be mindful of them. If you’re curious about getting your first electric scooter for adults, the Caroma E5B’s inviting entry-level price will allow you to kick the tires (literally) before deciding whether you’ll need to upgrade to a more advanced model down the line.
There are many decisions to make when deciding which electric scooter for adults is right for your needs. Below you’ll find the factors we deemed most important during our research and testing:
Most electric scooters can run for around 30 miles, with less powerful models clocking in closer to 20 miles and premium options running between 40 and 50 miles. We recommend using your maps app of choice to check the distance between your home and the places you’d like to go. This will give you a reasonable baseline for your electric scooter range needs. If possible, get a scooter with a slightly higher maximum range than you’d need just to be safe.
A majority of the scooters we’re recommending can run at up to 20 miles per hour, with the most premium model running nearly double that speed. Keep in mind your maximum riding speed may be limited by local laws.
An electric scooter’s weight doesn’t seem important until you carry it up or down stairs or across a street or room. You should be able to lift your electric scooter without overexerting yourself.
Yes. With proper maintenance, there’s no reason why your electric scooter should last less than 10 years.
Cleaning your electric scooter off after every ride, avoiding potholes and rough terrain, and keeping your battery charged regularly can help ensure your electric scooter remains usable for several years.
This will vary from model to model, but a typical electric scooter will run for around 30 miles before recharging.
No. You do not need a driver’s license to operate an electric scooter, but check the local laws in your area to see whether that changes.
This depends on their technical specifications, but our recommendations cost between $239.99 and $2,499.99.
Using an electric scooter for adults can be liberating if you feel bad starting your gas car for short trips—those just long enough wherein it’d be uncomfortable to walk. Sure, you could convert a bike to an ebike, but the right cheap scooter lets you fold it up (unlike most bikes) once you reach your destination, be it a store, school, or even an office, and store them easily until you leave. This mode of transportation can help cut down on your carbon footprint and may even begin paying for itself (albeit very, very slowly) by reducing the amount of gas you have to put in your car. If you have no current means of transportation, an electric scooter can be a lifeline that makes certain errands, like transporting multiple bags of groceries, possible.
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