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Ultimate Beginner's Guide
to Electric Scooters

How to Choose the Best Electric Scooter for You

Here’s the ultimate beginner’s guide to electric scooters including what you should know before buying, resources for how to select a scooter, what the scooter buying process is like, and e-scooter basics so you know what to maintain, how frequently, and where to get replacement parts.

5 Things to Know Before Buying

1. Research Local Scooter Laws

Electric scooters are legal in many countries, but not everywhere. Most regions apply bicycle and e-bike regulations and restrictions to electric scooters, like carrying a driver's license and wearing a helmet. Some regions apply speed and location-based conditions. In the UK, privately owned scooters cannot be ridden on public roads (rental scooters are generally allowed).

2. Set a Realistic Budget (Scooter + Gear)

Like buying a car, buying a commuter-worthy electric scooter is an investment, and your budget should include buying safety gear along with a quality scooter because protection is 100% necessary. The saying in the personal electric vehicle (PEV) community is “dress for the slide not the ride."

3. Where You Buy Matters

Budget scooters have short warranties from companies that won't respond when you need help. You also won’t be able to get replacement parts for proper upkeep, extending the lifespan of your scooter. Electric scooters can last for years with proper maintenance, and responsive, comprehensive customer support allows you to do so.

4. Expect DIY Maintenance

As more PEVs hit the streets, more electric scooter service centers are opening up -- but you can avoid downtime by learning basic maintenance skills. Some examples include tuning disc brakes, changing tires or inner tubes, refilling hydraulic fluid, and replacing brake pads. Keep in mind that luxury scooters like luxury cars tend to require less wrenching because they’re so well constructed.

💡 Scooter Fact

Yogi Steve (Electric Scooter Academy) has ridden thousands of miles on electric scooters around Los Angeles, mostly on premium, high performance Dualtron electric scooters. At his 2,000 mile mark, he had to do normal maintenance including changing brakes (discs/pads) and tires, but had zero issues.

5. Shop the Best Scooters for You

Seek the best balance of performance and portability that you need AND are capable of handling. If your e-scooter is replacing your car for daily transportation, your driving experience and how you plan to use it will help you select the best electric scooter. We categorize scooters as beginner, commuter, luxury commuter, and expert based on both the scooter’s performance and expected ability of the rider.

💡 Scooter Fact

Just because it’s the newest, fastest scooter doesn't mean it's the best for you. If you haven’t been riding on two wheels (bikes, BMX, motorcycles, other PEV), there’s a rather steep learning curve.

Electric Scooters: Beginner to Expert

Although it doesn’t take long to gain experience riding an electric scooter, some high performance models are more than most can handle (in speed and physical weight).

An electric scooter’s specs will greatly impact its cost and performance – just like cars – and advanced vehicles need experienced drivers. Do you know how to drive a Formula 1 car? Not without prior experience, and you should expect the same riding scooters.

If your experience is limited to riding rental scooters, even our beginner model, the EMOVE Touring, will be a huge level up in performance – about 10-15 mph (15-24 km/h) higher top speed and triple the range of shared scooters.

With a year or more experience riding PEV, you’ve probably figured out how fast and far you’re comfortable riding, and looking for more advanced features.

Here’s categories for beginner, commuter, luxury commuter, and expert electric scooters, matching rider experience with estimated top speed, estimated range, and feature package.

Beginner

Experience: Novice to Beginner
Features: Performance

Top Speed

25-30 mph

40-48 km/h

Range

25-30 mph

40-48 km/h

Commuter

Experience: Beginner to Intermediate
Features: Long-Range Performance

Top Speed

30-40 mph

48-64 km/h

Range

35-75 mph

56-121 km/h

Luxury Commuter

Experience: Intermediate
Features: Luxury Performance

Top Speed

40-55 mph

64-89 km/h

Range

55-80 mph

88-129 km/h

Expert

Experience: Intermediate to Expert
Features: Extreme Performance

Top Speed

55+ mph

86+ km/h

Range

65+ mph

105 km/h

Beginner

Experience: Novice to Beginner
Features: Performance

Top Speed

25-30 mph

40-48
km/h

Range

30-50 mph

48-80 km/h

Commuter

Experience: Beginner to Intermediate
Features: Long-Range Performance

Top Speed

30-40 mph

48-64 
km/h

Range

35-75 mph

56-121 
km/h

Luxury Commuter

Experience: Intermediate
Features: Luxury Performance

Top Speed

40-55 mph

64-89 
km/h

Range

55-80 mph

88-129
km/h

Expert

Experience: Intermediate to Expert
Features: Extreme Performance

Top Speed

55+ mph

86+ km/h

Range

65+ mph

105+ km/h

Electric Scooter Shopping Resource Center

Ready to Shop

Now that you have a better idea of what you should know before buying and the types that are available, here are some resources to help you pick an electric scooter.

Here are four questions to ask yourself when shopping for an e-scooter.

☑️ Performance | How much can I handle and how do I plan to use it?

If you’re going to ride long distances you may want a seat, but only if you don’t need a compact scooter. Whether you’re riding recreationally or commuting daily, your riding environment, riding experience and size (height and weight) create the framework for how you should shop.

☑️ Portability | Do I need to bring it up stairs, put it in a trunk or carry it in general?

Often, the “higher” the scooter’s performance, the higher its weight is to match. If you want uber powerful, you won’t also get uber portable, so balance your wants with what’s practical given your live/work environment.

💡 Scooter Fact

Would you use your car this way? Set your expectations accordingly. Although we provide max range and top speed estimates, you shouldn’t deplete the battery to 0% going long range or hit max top speed for sustained periods on a regular basis. These habits tax the scooter’s components, and shorten its lifespan.

☑️ Repairability | Can I perform scooter repairs or find a service center, or would I rather pay more up front to do less long-term?

As you learn more about scooter maintenance, you’ll find that more expensive models often require less upkeep. That doesn’t mean you won’t have to do some repairs — with tire/tube and brake adjustments being the most common — but will likely deal with fewer issues.

☑️ Safety/Security | Do I have easily accessible indoor storage and will I have to leave it unattended?

E-scooters shouldn’t be exposed to the elements for long periods of time, so ensuring you have a proper place to secure and store your ride (and space enough to do so) is essential. Most scooters have pre-installed security features but you should secure them with a U-lock or chain lock when in public.

Electric Scooter Discounts

Who doesn’t want a discount on an electric scooter? We’ve got you covered.

First Responder & Students

Because the EMOVE Touring is an excellent entry-level scooter, we’ve given beginners a couple ways to save. If you’re a first responder or student, you can save 7%! Reach out to customer support for your discount code.

Refurbished

If you don’t mind secondhand, we offer $200+ discounts on select scooter models through our certified refurbished program, including the EMOVE Cruiser, Kaabo Wolf King, Dualtron Thunder, and more.

Dualtron Exclusive

For all Dualtron electric scooter owners, we offer a 10% lifetime discount for all compatible parts and accessories in an exclusive shopping experience (more about Dualtron Insider). Yes, that’s 10% off replacement parts and accessories for-EV-er.

Find out more about our promotions  here. You can also join the  VORO Rewards program to earn rebates in our store.

Ready to Checkout

Once you’ve selected the best scooter, here’s how to checkout.

How to Prepare for Electric Scooter Ownership

As you’re waiting for your scooter to come, watch demos so you’ll be ready to ride as soon as it arrives. If you’ve never ridden an electric scooter before, start with our beginner’s riding guide.Got questions? Schedule a VORO Onboarding video call, so our customer support team can walk you through what you want to know about your new scooter at your pace.  Find scooter-specific unboxing and setup demos, maintenance how-to’s and other helpful information in our extensive self-help center (FAQs).

Electric Scooter Basics

If you don’t speak scooter yet, don’t fret. Most electric scooters have the same main components. The stem connects the  deck  to the cockpit  by a folding mechanism. Most scooters have a single stem but some models have a dual stem. How robust a folding mechanism is greatly affects the ride feel, with unstable mechanisms resulting in stem wobble. Along with the essential components of a stand-up scooter, most include front and rear fenders so you get less dirty while riding, a kickstand to prop the scooter up when parked, and a lighting package that can include headlight(s), deck lights, turn signals, and taillight(s). Here’s a diagram so you know what’s what, and the basics of scooter batteries, brakes, throttles, and more.

Electric Scooter Batteries

Most electric scooters contain lithium ion (li-ion) batteries stored in the deck. The voltageis the number of cells in a pack. The capacity  that can be stored is measured in amp-hours (Ah). In general, the higher the amps, the longer the runtime.
Here’s two extremes: the EMOVE Touring has a 48V 13 Ah battery for 624 Wh of capacity or about 30 miles (48 km) of range; the Dualtron X2 has a 72V 42Ah battery for 3024 Wh (almost 5X the capacity) for about 91 miles (146 km) of range. Well-constructed batteries are monitored and regulated by a BMS  (battery management system).

Pros and Cons of li-ion batteries

➕ Charges quickly and lasts long
➕ Excellent energy density
➕ Regulated by a BMS
➖ High demand increases cost and scarcity
➖ Susceptible to damage in extreme temperatures
➖ Improper care can make the battery/scooter inoperable

💡 Scooter Fact

Calculate estimated runtime in watt-hours (Wh) by finding the product of battery volts (V) and current (Ah). For example, the EMOVE Touring has a 48V 13 Ah battery for 624 Wh of usage or between 20 to 30 miles of range, depending on how you ride.

Here are some charging don’ts (with do’s)

  • Don’t leave the charger plugged in.  Plug the charger into the wall outlet, then the charging cable into the scooter. Although keeping it plugged in is unlikely to cause an explosion, it can corrode the cathode and shorten capacity.
  • Don’t rapidly charge or discharge the battery within 1 hour.  Habitually using a fast charger or riding at max speed until the battery is completely dead will degrade your battery. For best battery health, use the standard charger and try not to burn through your battery in under 1 hour.
  • Don’t fully charge the battery before and after riding. Optimally, ride your scooter when the battery is between 30% and 80%. Operating within this range can elongate battery life dramatically. There’s no need to top your battery to 100% if you have enough charge to get where you need to go.
  • Don’t charge your battery in freezing temperatures.  Charging your scooter when temps are below 32℉ is not recommended as it can greatly reduce your capacity. It’s ideal to charge when the temperature is between 33℉ and 113℉.
  • Don’t store your scooter when the battery power is 0% or 100%.  Store it at around 40% capacity for best long-term storage results. Make sure to check your scooter periodically if you have electronics that slowly drain the battery (like security features).

Electric Scooter Tires

Pneumatic Tires VS Solid Tires

All electric scooter tires are made of rubber, but some are solid and others are air-filled. The air inside  pneumatic (air-filled) tires  means they conform to the road and provide great traction, but the interior cavity makes them susceptible to flats when punctured.  Solid tires conform much less to the road resulting in poorer traction, but their robust, heavy build means they’re flat-proof. If a scooter has  mixed tires, it has an air-filled front tire and solid rear tire.

Because they provide better performance and long-term repairability, you’ll find air-filled tires on commuter scooters, luxury commuter scooters, and expert scooters ranging in diameter from 10” to 15” with a width between 2” to 4”. In general, as tire size increases, so does stability.

The tread and  contact patch(surface area that hits the ground) affect how much traction you can get.  Off-road tireshave taller tread with a wider contact patch for more stable riding on unstable terrain.  Street tires generally have a lower tread and rounded profile for nimble, sharper turns on smoother roads.

Inner Tube VS Tubeless Tires

Pneumatic (air-filled) tires come in two main styles: inner tube and tubeless. In  tubed tires (inner tube), the air is sealed inside tubing with an exterior tire,while tubeless tireshave only an exterior tire and seal directly to the rim.Tubeless tires can include  tire sealant to prevent punctures from causing air to leak. These are also known asself-sealing tires, run-flat tires or no-flat tires.

💡 Scooter Fact

You can add tire sealant to inner tube tires, but there are different formulas of tire sealant for tubed and tubeless. Our  Doctor Orange Tire Sealant is designed for scooters with tubeless tires, like the  EMOVE Cruiser,  Dualtron Thunder 2, and  Kaabo Wolf King GT.


Electric Scooter Brakes

Disc Brakes VS Drum Brakes

Electric scooter brakes help you slow the scooter down, and are most commonly operated by hand levers. Most electric scooters have disc brakes, which provide the greatest stopping power but are exposed and require some maintenance. You’ll find drum brakes on scooters for beginners and shared scooters because they are enclosed, require no maintenance, and last for a long time.

💡 Scooter Fact

The key when it comes to how well the brakes can perform is heat. When you apply the brakes at speed, the brakes heat up from friction. The components of disc brakes are completely exposed, allowing air to travel around and cool the calipers and pads. Drum brakes are housed inside the wheel, so heat has nowhere to go, affecting braking efficiency – which is why you don’t often see drum brakes on high-performance scooters.

Mechanical Disc Brakes vs. Hydraulic Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are mechanical, semi-hydraulic (hybrid hydraulic), or fully hydraulic. With mechanical disc brakes, the physical pressure you apply to the brake levers directly impacts how strong the brakes apply. With semi-hydraulic and hydraulic brakes, fluid inside the brake cables increases interior pressure, making it easier to apply the brakes with less physical effort.

💡 Scooter Fact

Keep in mind that if you select a scooter with hydraulic brakes, you’ll have a bit more maintenance to learn than if they’re mechanical. You should get familiar with how to bleed the brakes,  how to refill hydraulic fluid, and  how to tune the disc, or  find a shop that can help.


Electric Scooter Suspension

Suspension, along with the tires, helps you maintain grip with the road. Soft suspension will help absorb bumps and dampen rebound more than stiff suspension, but your movements easily impact the scooter’s balance and handling because it’s more flexible. With stiff suspension, the scooter keeps a better contact patch resulting in better handling, and you’ll feel the road’s imperfections more when you hit them if you’re not also responding with your body.

💡 Scooter Fact

Experienced riders don’t rely completely on suspension for a comfortable ride. They use their posture and stance to respond to bumps, absorbing some of the scooter’s impact with their body. Instead of riding stiff and tall, keep a bend in your limbs and torso to soak up some of the bumps.

In electric scooters, spring suspension is the most common providing soft response and reasonable handling, usually including springs on both frontend and rearend. Hydraulic suspension, like on the front fork of Kaabo Wolf scooters, provides good cushion, better handling and a medium response. Dualtron electric scooters use rubber suspension, which is the most customizable but provides the stiffest response out of the box, so excellent handling but sharper rebound.

💡 Scooter Fact

The suspension system on Dualtron scooters is adjustable. You can swap rubber cartridges for five hardnesses and adjust the frame, so you can ride slightly higher or lower. This level of customization is most important for experienced riders looking to tune the suspension for different riding scenarios.


Electric Scooter Motors

Electric scooter motors are housed in the wheels. Most single motor scooters have the motor in the rear wheel. Dual motor scooters have motors in both wheels, usually with the same power per motor. Measured in watts (W), e-scooter motors range in power from 500W to 5750W, with bigger motors equating to faster speeds.

💡 Scooter Fact

Most single motor electric scooters for adults are not built to handle heavier, taller riders (they’re just not). For adults over 180 lbs, we recommend dual motor electric scooters for the best long-term performance.


Electric Scooter Controllers

If the battery is the heart of the scooter, the controller  is the brain: it regulates and coordinates the scooter’s motors, battery and electrical components. They're usually housed in the deck but can also be installed in other components. Most electric scooters have square wave controllers, while newer, high-tech electric scooters have sine wave controllers. The controllers deliver power very differently; think of them like types of light switches, with square waves responding like a lightswitch (all/nothing) and sine waves behaving like a dimmer dial (roll on/roll off). Sine wave controllers deliver power in a gradual pattern, making it easier to modulate acceleration at any speed, but are more expensive so less common.


Electric Scooter Throttle

The throttle is the accelerator or how you control the scooter’s speed. All e-scooter throttles are on the right handlebar. Most electric scooters have a trigger throttle, which is part of the LCD display, and you operate it with your index finger. There are a few styles of thumb throttle, and you apply pressure vertically or laterally with your thumb to operate. The twist throttle can take up the entire right handgrip or part of it, and you have to grip it with your hand (not just one digit) to operate. For scooters with thumb and twist throttles, the LCD display is connected but a separate device.

A scooter’s  cockpitincludes the handlebars and everything on it, like the throttle, LCD display button consoles (Eco/Turbo, Single/Dual, lights), horn/bell, voltmeter, keystart ignition, fingerprint reader, and brake levers. Some electric scooters have more sophisticated cockpits than others, and which features work best depends on the individual.

Trigger VS Thumb VS Twist Throttle

Trigger throttles have a hair trigger response offering immediate acceleration but it can be difficult to modulate between or hold speeds, and keeps your hand in an awkward position. However, only your index finger is used, so your thumb and other fingers can stay secured to the handgrip or on the brakes.

💡 Scooter Fact

“Covering the brakes” or keeping some of your fingers at the ready on the brake levers while riding allows you to react faster. You want to keep both hands firmly on the handlebars to maintain control but be able to easily reach the brakes and throttle whenever needed. A common riding position for the trigger style is to keep your index on the throttle, cover the brakes with your middle and ring finger, and anchor your thumb around the handgrip. Pinky can do what it wants.

Thumb throttles are found on most entry-level scooters because they’re easy to operate and the hand position feels natural, but they don’t allow you to keep as good a grip on the handlebar and brake lever. You’ll also find them on some newer dual motor scooters. One downside to thumb throttles is they can have a deadzone (or area where there’s no response from the throttle) that you have to push past to hit acceleration.

Twist throttles are less common on stand-up electric scooters, but are easy to operate. Your hand’s posture is generally comfortable, but to maintain speed you have to rotate and hold it there, which can put your wrist in a weird position and makes it impossible to cover the brakes while throttling. It also tends to have a deadzone, but isn’t as common on faster scooters so doesn’t present as much of an issue.

Trigger Throttles

Easy to accelerate quickly

Comfortable to cover brakes while throttling

Difficult to apply power gradually

Requires awkward hand position in general

Thumb Throttles

Keeps all fingers on the handgrip

Allows ergonomic hand position

Harder to cover brakes while throttling

Deadzone when initially pressing throttle

Twist Throttles

Very easy to operate

Predictable, slower acceleration

Very difficult to cover brakes while throttling

Requires awkward hand position to maintain speed


Electric Scooter Display

Most electric scooters come with a pre-installed LCD display, often coupled with the throttle. Most are backlit, allowing you to see easily in dimly lit or dark environments. They usually have a few buttons to power on and control performance settings (P-settings), and other button consoles for lights, horn, and power modes. On the rear of EY3 and some other LCD displays there’s a USB port for updating firmware. Some expert electric scooters, like the Dualtron Thunder Tronic, trade built-in displays for high-tech capabilities that you control and view on your smartphone.

💡 Scooter Fact

On LCD displays, the USB is not designed to charge other devices but primarily to perform firmware updates. Although it often has enough current, depending on the amount of power that you draw you can damage or destroy the display. Only the  Dualtron X2 has a USB charging terminal designed for charging external devices (it has an extra 11V battery just for lights and the terminal!).


Waterproof Electric Scooter

Pneumatic Tires VS Solid Tires

No matter what best electric scooter lists you’ve read, don’t be fooled. No electric scooter on the market is waterproof.  However, many carry water or ingress protection ratings known as IP ratings, which provide standards for how well sealed a product is from water damage. An IP rating is not a claim that something is weatherproof, but that it can withstand a certain amount of exposure to water.

💡 Scooter Fact

Even with IP ratings, you should generally avoid riding your electric scooter through or under water (drizzle or downpour). Water and moisture can sneak their way into electronics, rendering them inoperable, even on rated vehicles. If you get caught in the rain, make sure to check it thoroughly and dry it out as much as possible to avoid damage, especially any exposed electrical areas (like the charging port).

For example, IPX4 means it can handle occasional light splashes while IPX6 means it can withstand sustained streams of water. Electronics rated as IPX8 can be submerged in a good depth of water for up to 30 minutes – but no e-scooter is rated that high.

Ratings are assigned by independent certification organizations who run the product through rigorous testing. Manufacturers are not required to obtain IP ratings to sell the product, and some skip it to get to market faster. That does not mean their products are poorly made, just that the manufacturer has not taken the additional time and expense to have it rated.

💡 Scooter Fact

Minimotors Dualtron scooters historically do not carry IP ratings. However, they’re one of the best known scooter manufacturers for good reason. Although we don’t recommend riding Dualtron scooters (or any really) in rain on purpose, we expect them to perform well if properly dried out and cared for after exposure.

Electric Scooter Journey

Now that you know all about scooters, join the growing riding community, so you never have to go on this e-scooter adventure alone! 

Join the Scooter Community

Stay connected with members of the community by joining VORO Forum.

Find a huge community in the electric scooter groups on Facebook. Here are some popular groups:

Not only can you get advice on common repairs, you can connect with other riders from around the world and share highlights of your scooter journey.

We also frequently post new content, including electric scooter tutorials and comparison videos, on our social media and blog. Here are our channels:

Post Purchase Support

Our electric scooters are built to last, and our servicing center and expansive parts warehouse are here to support you long-term. From researching to ordering to shipping to receiving and riding your scooter, we’re here to walk you through all the steps.

When you place your order you can safeguard your scooter in transit with Route product protection (additional fee). Find more about our general shipping policies here.

Most of our electric scooters come with a standard 1-year limited warranty, while all Dualtron electric scooters have an extended warranty of 1-year warranty plus 1-year product protection from Extend. We partner with Extend to provide an additional 1-3 years of warranty protection for your scooter.

If, for some reason, you’re unsatisfied with your purchase, we have a reasonable returns and exchanges policy (with some restrictions).

Rewards and Partners

If you’ve discovered an unrequited love for electric scooters, we don’t blame you! They’re awesome, so awesome they can even help earn you free stuff or deposit money in your bank. All customers that purchase with us earn VORO coins that can be redeemed in our shop.

Want to earn commission instead of coins? Become a VORO Partner and you’ll earn 5% for every electric scooter referral made with your affiliate links.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for sticking with us to the bottom! We hope you gained some valuable scooter knowledge.

Don’t forget to bookmark this page as your ultimate beginner’s guide to electric scooters.

If you haven’t figured out which model you want yet, shop scooters by categories or compare scooters.

Beginner

Experience: Novice to Beginner
Features: Performance

Top Speed

25-30 mph

40-48
km/h

Range

30-50 mph

48-80 km/h

Commuter

Experience: Beginner to Intermediate
Features: Long-Range Performance

Top Speed

30-40 mph

48-64 
km/h

Range

35-75 mph

56-121 
km/h

Luxury Commuter

Experience: Intermediate
Features: Luxury Performance

Top Speed

40-55 mph

64-89 
km/h

Range

55-80 mph

88-129
km/h

Expert

Experience: Intermediate to Expert
Features: Extreme Performance

Top Speed

55+ mph

86+ km/h

Range

65+ mph

105+ km/h

Beginner

Experience: Novice to Beginner
Features: Performance

Top Speed

25-30 mph

40-48 km/h

Range

25-30 mph

40-48 km/h

Commuter

Experience: Beginner to Intermediate
Features: Long-Range Performance

Top Speed

30-40 mph

48-64 km/h

Range

35-75 mph

56-121 km/h

Luxury Commuter

Experience: Intermediate
Features: Luxury Performance

Top Speed

40-55 mph

64-89 km/h

Range

55-80 mph

88-129 km/h

Expert

Experience: Intermediate to Expert
Features: Extreme Performance

Top Speed

55+ mph

86+ km/h

Range

65+ mph

105 km/h

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