We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›
Picking an electric scooter is becoming an increasingly challenging task. While there were just a handful of manufacturers to select from a few years ago, there are now myriad. The benefit of this much broader field is that there are now specialist vehicles for whatever you have in mind, whether that’s zooming past the pedestrians on your commute or doing leisurely laps of the park on a sunny Sunday. The downside, however, is that you’ll still have to sift through the dozens of available models. We sorted through the options to identify the best electric scooters for you.
To compile this list, we extensively researched the offerings of notable manufacturers and insurgent brands, accounting for unique product features and comparable performance levels in key attributes such as top speed and range per charge.
Though traffic laws concerning electric scooters vary from state to state (in Colorado, you can ride some electric scooters on sidewalks, while California requires you to use a bike path, trail, or bikeway), we placed strong focus on safety features, such as headlights, indicators, and tires that gain considerable traction. Other significant factors in our decision-making were battery life and charge time, power, and the overall comfort of the ride.
We’ve come a long way since the Go-Ped craze of the late 1980s, and the scooters listed showed an array of strengths and weaknesses that make them suitable (or not so suitable) for your needs. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution in our selection, the variety of available models does mean you can find an electric scooter that appears to be designed with you in mind.
Why it made the cut: An ambitious model from one of the pioneers in the electric scooter space, the Segway Ninebot excels in every way. Massive range per charge, self-healing tires, and dual shock absorbers for a smoother ride are just some of the impressive features.
The Segway Ninebot MAX Original seeks to outdo its competitors in virtually every field. It almost succeeds, so we’ve made it our best pick overall, especially for those willing to extend their budget.
With a top speed of 18.6 miles per hour and maximum travel distance of 40.6 miles per charge, the Segway Ninebot MAX Original is both nimble and offers long range, even if few commuters test the limits of its range in a single day. A 20% hill grade, meanwhile, is reassuring for anyone who’s ever had to get off and push on pesky steep inclines.
The scooter boasts best-in-class safety features, including self-healing pneumatic tires and both front and back shock absorbers to reduce ride disruption across uneven sidewalks or bicycle lanes. The Segway Ninebot MAX Original delivers on its sturdy construction. Ample standing room and a grippy platform covered in raised rubber add to the sense that Segway’s flagship model diligently covers all bases.
Why it made the cut: A streamlined aesthetic and satisfactory performance make it a standout for anyone looking to pair style with speed.
Job interview? First date? Sometimes it pays to look the part. And anyone seeking to arrive at significant formal occasions by electric scooter should consider the Unagi Model One E500. Referred to as the “iPhone” of electric scooters, this design-forward ride is the sleekest on the market, and it refuses to compromise for the sake of its looks in most other areas.
The dual 250-watt motors provide competitive power in the category, and a 15-mile per charge range places it squarely among its peers. Three speed modes ensure a comfortable ride speed for users of all skill levels, while an air pocket suspension system for absorbing bumps in the road creates a smoother—and potentially safer—ride.
Front and rear anti-lock brakes, meanwhile, are a key safety feature, while retro-futurists will appreciate the back friction brake that offers a foot braking option. Bright LED lights for visibility in low-light round out the Unagi Model One E500’s comprehensive safety package. For a smart option, read a review of the NIU KQi3 Pro Scooter.
Why it made the cut: A suite of safety features and child-friendly design modifications make the Flare by Hover-1 the go-to electric scooter for younger riders.
The safety-first approach taken by Hover-1 equips the Flare with a thumb and brake throttle, disc brakes, an easy-to-read speed and battery display and an LED lighting system for high visibility in low light.
While its modest maximum speed of 8 miles per hour, courtesy of a 100W electric motor, is slower than adult models, it’s fast enough for adventurous kids. It can only be used for about 3 miles before it’ll need another charge—slightly less than its competitors—but it’s a tolerable inconvenience given this model’s strength in other areas.
An easy-to-fold design and lightweight frame also contribute to its family-friendliness, especially for those with limited garage space or multiple scooters to store. Adjustable handlebars give the Flare by Hover-1 longevity for growing riders as well. Multiple available colors and the neat, color-changing LED lighting system that illuminates both the stem and the platform also add playful, exciting touches for kids looking to impress their friends on the block.
Got a kid that’s 8+, and you trust them to travel a lil farther and faster? The Razor E100 has a run time of 40 minutes/range of 6.5 miles, and its 100-watt, high-torque, single-speed, chain-driven motor can reach 10 mph.
Why it made the cut: With strong credentials in all areas, the Hiboy S2 Pro is our choice for a seated electric scooter thanks to its ultra-comfortable ride.
Whether intended for longer journeys or more relaxed rides, electric scooters with seats are becoming increasingly available from the biggest names in the industry.
The Hiboy S2 Pro is our favorite because it pairs a high-quality saddle and dual rear suspensions that provide best-in-class performance on challenging road surfaces. Built-in headlights, cruise control, and solid performance in both speed and range tests add to the all-round appeal of this commuter model.
Bonus features include the Hiboy app, which allows users to customize speed and cruise control and also provides a secure remote locking function. Meanwhile, the regenerative battery harnesses excess kinetic energy from both downhill rides and braking, adding to the longevity of each charge. The scooter also features LED headlights, taillights, and sidelights, plus a water-resistance rating of IP54.
Why it made the cut: The GoTrax GXL V2 is affordable, water-resistant, folds easily, and competes with higher-priced models on numerous fronts.
While the GXL V2’s price sits just above the most economical of entry-level models, it stands out for its sheer functionality. It’s light, has an impressive range at 12.5 miles per charge, and its essential features, including a simple, vibrant visual display and an anti-lock dual braking system, are effective and efficient. In some departments, it punches well above its price range, as GoTrax has found a way to build pneumatic tires and disc brakes into a scooter under $300.
It also carries an IPX4 water-resistance rating, which means it is protected from water splashes from any direction. It can handle a little rain, but you won’t want to leave it in inclement weather for too long. It also has air-filled tires instead of solid rubber so that it can generate more traction on slick asphalt.
Naturally, at this price point, certain features are missing, the most prominent being the lack of suspension, meaning those traveling routes in need of maintenance may need to upgrade their choice for a smoother ride. Users favoring portability, though, may see the upside of this omission as a weight-saving opportunity.
Getting around on an electric scooter can save you time and money and be a lot more fun than public transportation. It could also have “positive effects in terms of environmental sustainability.” But to find the model that’s best for you, you should weigh the following factors:
The first thing to consider when buying an electric scooter is your personal needs and preferences. Fairweather weekend riders may prioritize budget over build quality, while commuters will require a reliable, safe, and possibly water-resistant model. Aesthetic concerns are also worth considering, especially given the spectrum of available designs, from the hefty and unwieldy to the slim and elegant. Commuters may also prefer models that fold up neatly and can be stowed in the corner of an office or taken on public transportation.
We recommend that all riders consider the safety features of their ultimate purchase. It’s also important to know your local laws regarding the use of electric scooters. Riders who intend to travel at night should ensure their vehicle is equipped with adequate lighting. Some models include app-based remote locking functions, while high-quality displays and tires that can achieve considerable traction may also contribute to owner safety.
The increase in popularity of electric scooters has seen a dramatic rise in available models and, thus, a broad price spectrum. While it is always tempting to opt for the most revered and equipped models on the market, it may make sense for some riders to look into budget options that offer exceptional value for money while still comfortably meeting their rider’s requirements.
Electric scooters vary tremendously in price. Budget models can be found for less than $200, while a top-of-the-range vehicle can easily exceed $1,000 and beyond.
The longevity of an electric scooter is dependent on many factors: intended use, build quality, weather, and rider maintenance. On average, electric scooters can be expected to last between three and five years, or 3,000 to 10,000 miles traveled.
Segway has history on its side and continues to excel in an increasingly crowded field. Newcomers are carving niches in the market, though, with brands like GoTrax specializing in budget-friendly options and UNAGI setting the standard for streamlined aesthetics.
The biggest potential drawback of any electric scooter is unreliable or non-existent safety features, with inadequate lights or brakes being particular areas of concern in models we felt unable to recommend here. Specialized vehicles may forgo certain features in favor of budget, weight, or aesthetics, in which case perceived advantages and disadvantages depend on the individual rider and their demands. For example, leisure riders may deem the Segway Ninebot MAX Original’s range per charge and solid build as surplus to their needs, rendering its price too high.
Electric scooters are undeniably part of the mainstream, appealing to commuters and leisure riders alike for their speedy performance, efficiency, and capacity to be unfolded and ridden at any moment. Our selected models excelled either in specific areas or—as in the case of the Segway Ninebot MAX Original and GoTrax GXL V2—surpassed their peers across the board at their respective price points. First things first, though, decide when, where, and how you plan to ride.
Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.
Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.