For affordable, simple urban transportation, scooters can be just as effective as motorcycles. And just like motorcycles, scooter companies are increasingly going electric. But just because scooters are designed around city riding doesn’t mean they can’t zip around at highway-like speeds. And that’s exactly what some of the fastest electric scooters on the US market today offer.
Scooters vs. motorized scooters
Before describing the fastest electric scooters available, there’s some terminology that needs explaining.
The term ‘electric scooter’ technically doesn’t apply to the kinds of scooters available through brands like Bird and Razor. These are ‘motorized scooters,’ i.e., scooters powered by some kind of motor, battery-powered or otherwise. As such, they’re really ‘electric motorized scooters,’ which is the term used to describe them below.
A ‘real’ electric scooter, therefore, is something like a Vespa or a Honda Ruckus, albeit with an EV powertrain. They’re not electric mopeds or e-bikes, because they don’t have supplemental pedal power. But seeing as they have “two wheels, a motor, and a seat,” they’re technically related to electric motorcycles, Cycle World says. And unlike motorized scooters, they don’t have a flat deck designed for standing.
That being said, there are models that blur the line between the two categories. The Dualtron X2 electric scooter, for example, is available with a seat. But since the seat is optional, it’s still a motorized scooter. Also, unlike, say, a Vespa, the X2 is foldable. And depending on where you live, an electric motorized scooter doesn’t require a specific license, Genuine Scooters notes.
But regardless of the specific term, electric scooters aren’t necessarily slow. And below are the top three fastest models in each scooter category.
In 2021, the BMW CE 04 is the fastest electric scooter in the US
The BMW CE 04 is technically a 2022 model. But since it’s available to order in 2021, it’s allowed onto this list. And technicality aside, the $11,795 CE 04 is the fastest electric scooter you can buy in the US. Its rear-mounted electric motor makes 42 hp and 44 lb-ft of torque and is linked to an 8.9-kWh battery pack. That’s enough to give the CE 04 an electronically limited 75-mph top speed.
Right below the BMW CE 04 is Retrospective Scooters’ converted electric classic Vespa. Although the company is based in the UK, its kits are US-legal and start at roughly $4800. And while Retrospective’s electric motor only puts out 4 hp, that’s enough to get the Vespa EV to 55 mph. Plus, if you convert a large-frame Vespa scooter to electric drive, you can install up to two 2.3-kWh packs for a claimed 115-mile range. But you’ll have to supply the vintage scooter yourself.
Speaking of electric Vespa scooters, there are two modern models available from Piaggio. The faster one is the $7599 Vespa Elettrica 45MPH, and as the name implies, it tops out at 45 mph. That’s thanks to the 5-hp electric motor linked to a 4.2-kWh battery pack, enough for a 62-mile claimed range.
What are the fastest electric motorized scooters?
As quick as the electric scooters are, the fastest electric motorized scooter flies past them all. It’s the Rion Thrust, the successor to the limited-edition RE90. At $8500 it’s rather expensive for a motorized scooter. But then, it’s mostly made of carbon fiber and has aluminum suspension components. As a result, it only weighs 69 pounds.
The Rion Thrust is available in two trims: 21s7p prioritizes range while 20s8p goes for max power. Both models, though, come with dual electric motors. And together with the low curb weight and slick tires, the Thrust maxes out at 80 mph. Though even in 21s7p form, the electric motorized scooter only has about 50 miles of range. Also, it’s technically not street-legal.
Slotting in below the Rion Thrust is Voro Motors’ Kaboo Wolf King. At 105 pounds, it’s heavier than the Thrust. However, at $2799, it’s noticeably cheaper, has the same 50-mile range, and is street-legal. And it comes with hydraulic suspension and ABS as well as optional off-road tires. But if you want to it the Wolf King’s max speed, it’s best to stick with the street tires. With those, the scooter’s dual 2-hp electric motors let it go up to 62 mph.
Finally, we have a tie. In third place for ‘fastest electric motorized scooter’ are the Turbowheel Phaeton and the NAMI BURN-E, both of which top out at 60 mph. The former is a 132-lb $3999 scooter with dual 2-hp electric motors and like the Wolf King, hydraulic brakes, and LED lighting. But uniquely on this list, it comes with an adjustable steering damper. As for the $4499 BURN-E, it also has hydraulic brakes and dual 2-hp motors. However, its LED lighting system also includes turn signals, unlike the Wolf King, and it has hydraulic coil-over suspension.
So, whether you want an electric scooter or a motorized one, lack of speed doesn’t have to be an issue.
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