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Electric kick scooters are increasingly popular in many U.S. cities. These self-propelled, razor-size EVs offer clean transportation, cut through traffic jams, and are affordable to rent. But if you love speed as much as I do, you may wonder what’s the top speed of a Bird or Lime scooter? The truth is that you’ll be hard-pressed to find a scooter that can go more than 20 mph. Some cities set even lower limits on their rental scooter fleet. Here’s the scoop on the fastest electric scooters.

What is the top speed of a Bird scooter?

Because Best Buy used to sell the same Bird scooter you can rent, we know the Bird One is advertised with a top speed of 18 mph. Though the latest Bird Three has a larger battery, the speed appears to be the same.

Pedestrians and yellow taxis passing through a busy city intersection.
City traffic | Ernst Haas via Getty Images

If you want to buy an electric scooter, know that the Bird Three is only available as an app-based rental scooter. It can be configured with up to 1kWh of batteries, and Bird claims it has the longest range of any rental scooter.

A beginner mode reduces the Bird Three’s acceleration if desired. But over-the-air updates mean that conceivably, cities with changing regulations could slow local Bird scooter fleets down.

What is the top speed of a Lime scooter?

According to, Lime builds scooters with top speeds limited to either 14.8 mph or 20 mph. Which model does your city have? It all depends on your city’s kick-scooter speed limit.

A closeup of two Lime-S kick scooters and the feet of their riders, a cobblestone street visible in the background.
Lime-S electric scooters | Robert Alexander via Getty Images

Every new Lime electric kick scooter has a 250-watt motor and 20+ mile range. But the EV comes in 20 mph and 14.8 mph versions. Why? Because 20 mph is the scooter’s top speed but 15 mph is the most common electric scooter speed limit.

A heavily used electric scooter will have a lower battery capacity and may even suffer from a slower top speed than it had stock.

Scooter speed limits

A couple rides their Lime electric kick scooters along a shoreline, the new york city skyline visible in the background.
Lime scooter riders | Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

There are several cities with even lower limits. For example, a fatal scooter crash in Brisbane Australia left authorities considering lower speed limits. Los Angeles has already lowered its electric scooter speed limit to 12 mph, but the Lime Scooters there can still physically go 15 mph, they are not limited by their software. Likewise, Washington D.C. posted a 10 mph limit for all its electric scooters.

Europe has some even lower speed limits than the U.S. Paris city officials have stated that they want to reduce the number of scooters in the city. To this end, they have proposed dropping their rental scooters top speed to just 5 mph (8 km).

If you are wondering the top speed of a Bird or Lime rental, it’s a good idea to look up your local guidelines. You may find out that kick scooters have a strict posted speed limit, or that the available scooters are electronically limited.

Next, read about the dangers of renting an electric scooter while traveling or see Lime Scooter top speed test in the video below: