What are the Pros and Cons of Electric Scooters?
You might be wondering what the pros and cons of electric scooters are? Before purchasing an electric scooter, there are some things that are important to learn. In this blog we summarise the factors that are essential when selecting a new e-scooter. If you’re selecting a scooter for commuting, leisure or just for fun, we will help you to get it right before you buy.
These are cold hard facts written by someone who knows e-scooters inside and out, read on to find out more about the pros and cons of electric scooters.
What are the Pros of Electric Scooters?
- Convenience. They’re amazingly easy to use whatever your ability, location, age, you don’t need fancy clothes to ride them, electric scooters can be easily enjoyed by a broad range of people. They make mobility accessible to all and we love that!
- Cheap to run. One of the pros of electric scooters is that they are amazingly cheap travel… Did I mention how cheap they are to run? For example, even the top of the range Swifty ONE-e with 25 mile range per charge, costs a mere 10p for a single charge. That’s £0.004 per mile.
- The future of sustainable transport is a light personal vehicle. Not all of us can afford an electric car, and cutting emissions on an average budget means that you’ve got to go light. You can’t deny the facts, it costs more to move a heavy object. Therefore a big electric vehicle is NOT the future of sustainable transport. Too much consumption is not good green economics; go light, go two wheels, reduce and save resources.
- Stand up! The standing stance is an advantage of electric scooters. You don’t have to concern yourself over saddle design or what clothes you’re wearing. And in my experience, this is a major plus. If you have a desk job, then you may already have experienced the desk, car and sofa-induced back ache. Standing up is good for your back :)
- Storage - often the slim line design of an electric scooter allows for much easier storage. If you are pushed for space at home, there are plenty of foldable designs like the SwiftyONE-e that can easily slot behind the sofa or under the stairs.
What are the cons of electric scooters?
- You do have to charge them every so often which may be considered a disadvantage of electric scooters. Being battery operated, you will have to plan ahead slightly and make sure you have enough charge for your journey. But just like carrying a mobile phone, you can carry your charger with you to charge at your destination.
- The weight. The cons of an electric scooter compared to a kick scooter is the weight. Always check the gross weight of the scooter as the scooters which boast a high range will have a bigger battery, and likely bigger motor, so if you need to navigate steps regularly go for something that you’ll be able to manage. For example the SwiftyAIR-e weighs 14kg and has a 250W motor and 25 mile range. So I’d say that weight is pretty manageable, but considerably heavier than the 8.9kg kick-scooter equivalent, SwiftyAIR MK2.
- Repairs. The market is dominated by the cheaper e-scooters that retail at around £500, and many of these manufacturers do not offer spare parts or a repair service. At Swifty Scooters, we offer spare parts so you can rest assured you will not be inconvenienced by this con of electric scooters. Always check at the point of purchase if you can repair a flat tyre or worn brakes easily - as you want to prolong the life of the product once you’ve bought one. You may have to invest a bit more to buy from a more reputable manufacturer, but it’s always worth it in the long run.
- Wheel size can be considered a con for some electric scooter models. A small wheel really has an impact on the stability and safety of the e-scooter, and riders tend to report the ‘front-tripping’ accident, when hitting a small obstruction. This type of accident is due to the combination of small wheels, fast speeds and probably novice riders. Some product descriptions describe “big wheels” when in reality they’re 10 inches or less in diameter. In my book, any wheel that measures 12 inches or less is very small, so always look at the dimensions when shopping. Bigger 16 inch wheels, wider pneumatic tyres and suspension will help with the stability, and for an altogether more enjoyable ride.
- Infrastructure. It's a big one for e scooter cons, but some regions do not allow electric scooters on the highway, cycle lanes or pavements. Always check your local legislation. You may also realise that you don't have a decent protected cycle lane along your route, or you may have to contend with cobbles and potholes along the way. I would always advise against scooting in traffic, so stick to protected cycle lanes or quiet roads where possible.
Conclusion: Who wins, the pros or cons of electric scooters?
With such a huge variety of e-scooters to choose from, there are many that are ‘good’, and many that are ‘bad’, which ultimately expands the pros and cons of electric scooters we find today. There is also a huge variety in price and specification, and this is largely due to the market being new and unregulated in many regions. Electric scooters have gained a less-than-favourable reputation due to the market being dominated by cheaper models with ‘toy-grade’ e-scooters that tend to break easily or simply stop working. But with a little research, the good electric scooters can be found! There are some fantastic electric scooters on the market. For example the Swifty Electric Scooters range all garner five star reviews.
Have I missed anything? Ask in the comments below!
Read More in The Journal: KICK SCOOTER VS ELECTRIC SCOOTER