3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying an Electric Scooter

Electric scooters have seen a little bit of an uptick in sales during the last year’s global health crisis. People have been leery of riding in crowded busses, trains, or carpooling. So, the electric scooter has been getting some attention from consumers. So, what should somebody look for when purchasing their first one?

Not all are waterproof

A black and orange electric scooter is shown with somebody riding it in an urban setting.
The Cycleboard Rover G2 electric scooter | Cycleboard

Not all scooters are the same. Some are made for cargo delivery, others for off-road terrain, and still others are for urban last-mile transportation. However, regardless of its purpose, at some point in a rider’s journey, their scooter is going to get wet or muddy. That is why it is important to keep an IP rating in mind when shopping for a new ride.

Each scooter has an IP rating. That is the International Protection or Ingress Protection rating. The rating scale can be viewed here. Overall, the higher the rating, the more resistant the electric scooter is to the elements. For example, an IPx4 rating is good for wet ground or infrequent rain. By contrast, the IP55 rating means that the scooter is good for occasional off-roading and constant rain. However, keep in mind that the price point likely goes higher when the IP rating is higher.

A lightweight folding scooter is king

A white folding electric scooter is on display.
A One Mile Halo City folding electric scooter is seen on display at the Sands convention hall during CES 2018 in Las Vegas on January 9, 2018. | MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Scooters can sometimes get in the way. Much like a bicycle, a scooter that can easily fold compactly is a valuable tool for those who want to hide their ride in a car’s trunk or a hallway closet. But, a folding scooter is no good if it is heavy. Nobody wants to pick up a heavy scooter. If one can find a folding scooter that is also lightweight, they have found a good thing. 

Scooters can often be rented as last-mile transportation

Last-mile scooters stand ready to be rented in Nashville.
Battery-powered electric scooters available for rent in Nashville, Tennessee | Robert Alexander/Getty Images

RELATED: Electric Off-Road Scooter Can Take You Anywhere

For some consumers, they find scooters cumbersome. An electric scooter for the last mile between the train or bus station and the office makes sense. But, carrying one on the bus or train with them does not. They also don’t want to deal with finding a spot for their ride in a closet or hallway floor. So, they do not see a point in purchasing a scooter. They will, however, rent one. 

Last-mile transportation is a growing industry across the globe. Many cities are commissioning electric bicycle and scooter stations. These rental kiosks or racks are a perfect place to rent a scooter. They are often placed along common busy walking routes within cities. So, conceivably, one could walk out of the bus depot into the kiosk and rent a scooter. Then ride it to work 8 blocks down the road. After work is done for the day, they simply ride it back to the kiosk or rack and leave it there before boarding their bus again. 

Overall, electric scooters can be useful tools. For some, owning one is the answer they need to solve a problem. So, looking for IP ratings and reviewing how lightweight they can be is important, along with if they can fold. However, for others, a rented scooter is the perfect solution to their last-mile needs, saving them storage or maintenance concerns. Either way, being mobile has become necessary in our society. So, sooner or later, a scooter may be in the future of each household.