6/17/2020

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

As cities become more crowded and traffic worsens by the year, the old way of commuting becomes increasingly unsustainable. Commuters have recognized this fact and embraced new ride-share models that reduce their carbon footprint, cut transportation costs, and cut down significantly on the time spent on the road. At the forefront of this commuting revolution, electric scooters solve a number of problems in addition to being just plain fun to ride.

E-scooters are easily portable and require little effort to operate, and there are many other benefits besides, but questions remain for many who haven’t made up their mind: Are electric scooters worth the cost of ownership? Can a scooter replace my car? Is it better to buy a bike? Are electric scooters reliable, and can I actually save money by buying one? Below, we’ll take a look at some of these questions to help you decide if an e-scooter is right for you.

Costs of Ownership

The average American spends about $2600 per year on their commute. Those numbers can go up or down depending on the distance and the mode of transportation, but overall, the costs of commuting are high, and the environmental impact of cars and buses even higher in the long term. While ridesharing can cut costs, it also introduces other problems—such as the ecological impact of thousands of broken bikes and scooters per year, and problems of reliability and access when thousands of commuters compete to use the same limited inventory of sharable rides.

The cost of shares has also gone up recently, as fees and exorbitant overhead costs take their toll on share companies. Some estimates place the yearly cost of riding shared bikes and scooters somewhere around $1600/year. While this is significantly less than the cost of driving, that same amount or less could be invested in an electric scooter that can last for years, especially if it’s a well-designed model like Unagi. Coming in at under $1000, both the single and dual-motor versions of Unagi cost much less than most commuters will spend in 12 months of ridesharing.

The Benefits of Owning an E-Scooter

Will a Scooter Replace My Car?

Owning an electric scooter is clearly a cost-effective means of transportation. But the benefits of ownership go beyond the economics. Electric scooters may not replace cars for longer trips: Unagi, for example, has a range of up to 15.5 miles on a single charge. However, this is more than enough capacity for most daily urban commutes and short trips around town.

So, while you might want to keep your car, you’ll find yourself using it significantly less, and contributing far less to traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. Not only that, but you’ll also eliminate the time and expense of parking if you rely primarily on an e-scooter for your commute. Whether expensive monthly garage fees or daily meters, the cost of parking generally isn’t factored into yearly commuting estimates, meaning that you’ll be saving much more than just the cost of gas.

E-Scooter or Bike?

As for whether to buy a bike or a scooter, you’ll want to consider the fact that bikes—especially electric bikes—are heavy, cumbersome, and hard to store in compact spaces. They are also far more likely to be stolen than portable, folding scooters, which you can take to class or to the office and store under your desk—and in a closet or under the bed at home. Biking is great exercise, but you don’t always want a workout on the way to work. A non-motorized bike can mean a sweaty summer commute and extra time for a shower and change of clothes once you get to where you’re going.

E-scooters, on the other hand, are compact and lightweight, which not only means an easy, hassle-free ride for short journeys, but also means it’s easy to carry an electric scooter on subway cars and buses. More than any other transportation option, e-scooters can solve “last mile” problems commuters encounter when they live a little too far from public transportation to walk comfortably. Electric scooters offer the kind of flexibility in commuting that no other vehicle can, allowing riders to combine many different options for the most efficient routing through their city.

This flexibility makes e-scooters uniquely suited to the demands of rapidly changing urban lifestyles. They offer maximum mobility with minimal cost and effort. Run into bad weather? Unlike a bike, an electric scooter can easily be folded up and tossed into an Uber or Lyft. Owning your own scooter means you’ll never be stuck without transportation when all the shares are rented or conditions are less than optimal.

Are Electric Scooters Reliable?

As for reliability, you’ll find that an expertly crafted e-scooter will last several years with proper care and will require little to no maintenance. Another cost often left out of yearly commuting estimates is the significant expense of regular car maintenance and frequent repairs, which can be a huge drain on a budget. A single expensive car repair can equal the cost of a quality electric scooter like Unagi. Owning your own e-scooter also means having a far more reliable vehicle than shared bikes and scooters, since shares are subject to heavy use and abuse on a daily basis.

By virtually every measure, owning an electric scooter for daily commutes and short trips makes sound economic and environmental sense. E-scooters take up little storage space, are fun and easy to ride, and can be carried easily on public transportation. Unlike cars and bikes, which require routine maintenance, the only additional cost you’ll incur after the initial investment in a high-quality electric scooter like Unagi is the cost of a helmet or other safety gear.
With its sleek, lightweight design, easy folding mechanism, and rugged yet high-tech engineering, Unagi represents the best value on the market for an electric scooter than can replace most other options for short commutes—or can be combined with other options to make public transportation more accessible. Is it worth buying an electric scooter? We think so, and Unagi offers 30-day, no-questions-asked returns so you can find out for yourself risk-free. Try Unagi for yourself and see how much you can save.


Unagi Life
Day Out in New York City

9/22/2022

Day Out in New York City

Ah, New York City, there’s nowhere else like it. Both locals and visitors agree that you can find some of the best art, restaurants, music, and theater in NYC. Take your scooter to the streets to avoid crowded subways and parking as you make your way around the city. Here is a list of places you won’t want to miss.

Scooter So Fresh, So Clean

6/23/2022

Scooter So Fresh, So Clean

We asked, and the Unagi community answered. Read our Unagi riders’ insightful tips on keeping your scooter so fresh and so clean.

Unagi Made a Scooter Fly

6/16/2022

Unagi Made a Scooter Fly

We ordered over ONE THOUSAND helium balloons and tied them to an Unagi scooter to make it fly. With magnesium alloy handlebars, carbon fiber body, and weighing in at 26.5 lbs, this scooter was built to soar.

See The Coolest of LA's Eastside on a Single Unagi Charge

6/6/2022

See The Coolest of LA's Eastside on a Single Unagi Charge

A perfect day on your own perfect scooter. We’ve curated a list of our favorite spots in Echo Park that are easily accessible by scooter. Stop scrolling, and get out there.

Happy Earth Day

4/22/2022

Happy Earth Day

Cities freed from cars, costs, and pollution. A world where there’s more time to enjoy the people and places you love. We’re part of a micro-mobility revolution. We’re heading in the direction of cities becoming more human-centered and livable. Happy Earth Day from Unagi.

Unagi Scooters: The Musical

1/10/2022

Unagi Scooters: The Musical

Here at Unagi, we believe that freedom of movement means living more life. The opportunity to ditch a ride service, or avoid public transportation and navigate on your own terms is truly liberating. So how do we communicate that open air, free feeling you get riding an Unagi? By creating a music video, of course!

Who Invented the Scooter?

12/8/2020

Who Invented the Scooter?

Where did electric scooters come from? “About a decade ago, scooters, rideshares, and e-bikes did not even exist in our vocabulary,” writes Sergio Avedian in an article that asks “is the scooter era ending?” They may seem new, but it’s…

Scooter Rental vs Scooter Subscription: Which is Better?

10/2/2020

Scooter Rental vs Scooter Subscription: Which is Better?

For a few years, it seemed as if city streets would soon belong to shared electric scooters and bikes. The prospect seemed to enrage as many people as it excited, and there was much wrangling over the new micromobility transportation…

Rideshare, Subway, or Scooter: The Fastest Way to Commute

8/28/2020

Rideshare, Subway, or Scooter: The Fastest Way to Commute

Commuting is terrible, and not only in the ordinary sense of frustrating and annoying. The problem has reached the level of a public health crisis. It wastes an “astonishing” amount of “human potential,” claims The Washington Post, drains our energy…

Electric Scooters: Range vs Weight

8/19/2020

Electric Scooters: Range vs Weight

Advances in battery technology have led to a market filled with high-quality electric scooters for everything from tooling around the neighborhood to competitive off-road racing. It’s an exciting time to buy a scooter, but also a confusing time, given the…

Electric Bikes vs Electric Scooters: Which One Should You Choose?

8/14/2020

Electric Bikes vs Electric Scooters: Which One Should You Choose?

Micromobility has arrived. Personal electric vehicles are solving last mile problems and replacing car trips as major cities move away from car-centric infrastructure. Increasingly, commuters are realizing how much faster and easier it is to get to work on an…

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

6/17/2020

Is It Worth Buying an Electric Scooter?

As cities become more crowded and traffic worsens by the year, the old way of commuting becomes increasingly unsustainable. Commuters have recognized this fact and embraced new ride-share models that reduce their carbon footprint, cut transportation costs, and cut down…

Getting Scooters to Covid-19 First Responders

6/3/2020

Getting Scooters to Covid-19 First Responders

The Covid-19 crisis has ushered in a period of sickness, fear, confusion, and fatigue across the planet. Naturally, we're all looking for a little hope. At Unagi, we're trying to carve out a humble corner of optimism by helping the…

Chicago’s North Side: 5 Wellness-Inspired Stops in the Windy City

11/16/2019

Chicago’s North Side: 5 Wellness-Inspired Stops in the Windy City

Home to Wrigley field, beautiful skyscrapers, large parks, and public beaches along Lake Michigan, the North Side of Chicago is one of the most recognizable areas of the Windy City. The district is bordered by the Chicago River, the West…

Unagi, Deconstructed: How An E-Scooter Works

11/9/2019

Unagi, Deconstructed: How An E-Scooter Works

It’s not magic. It might look like a bespelled work of Byzantine machinery unearthed, reformed, and refitted for a new age, but the electrical chariots of modernity are powered by ions, not alchemy. To satisfy the voracious cravings of our…

Lower East Side: 4 Insider Hangouts in NYC’s Grit-Trendy Neighborhood

11/1/2019

Lower East Side: 4 Insider Hangouts in NYC’s Grit-Trendy Neighborhood

Complaints of rapid gentrification are nothing new to New York City. Beginning with a sharp decrease in crime stemming from Mayor Giuliani’s aggressive broken window policing of New York in the 1990s, wealth has poured, settled, rearranged, and redeployed across…

North Venice: 6 Stops in Scooter Mecca

10/23/2019

North Venice: 6 Stops in Scooter Mecca

Venice holds a special place in California lore. From its purple sunsets and quiet canals to the bombast and theatrically of its ocean front walk, the beachside town retains prime position in the tapestry of the internationally exported West Coast…

Honolulu: 4 Stops to Feel The Mana

10/20/2019

Honolulu: 4 Stops to Feel The Mana

In the Spring of 1795, at the end of his campaign to unify the Hawaiin islands, the great King Kamehameha I divided his army to engage the forces of his rival Kalanikupule on the southeastern portion of O’ahu. While one…

Frogtown: 7 Spots in LA’s Hidden Paradise

8/21/2019

Frogtown: 7 Spots in LA’s Hidden Paradise

There was a young man, sitting on the cement bank of a river, fishing for carp, and the wind rose around him. A voyeur might find himself compelled to question his state of awareness, but no amount of blinking or…

Why owning an Unagi beats using Rideshare Scooters

7/15/2019

Why owning an Unagi beats using Rideshare Scooters

It’s been eight years since Uber’s historic beta launch in San Francisco, and, despite a deluge of complaints levied by traditional transportation competitors, governments, and customers, the Uber model – and ridesharing at large – has become ubiquitous. Ease of…

A Case For Electric Scooter Ownership: The Unagi Manifesto

6/21/2019

A Case For Electric Scooter Ownership: The Unagi Manifesto

The Rapid Growth of the E-Scooter Ownership Market A study created jointly by Unagi Scooters and UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business has found that elect estimate that 35% of scooter riders will prefer to own rather than rent,...

Your Morning Commute - Reviewing Cost vs Convenience

6/21/2019

Your Morning Commute - Reviewing Cost vs Convenience

Unagi is proud to announce the launch of its Commute Calculator! As urban commute routes grow in volume and density, prospective commuters need access to current, up-to-date travel information in order to make informed decisions on how to get around.…

Micro-Mobility Reconnects Us by Supporting Local Culture and Sustainable Development

6/21/2019

Micro-Mobility Reconnects Us by Supporting Local Culture and Sustainable Development

“Nice neighborhood you’ve got there. Sure would be a shame if someone put a highway through it.” So says the text over the face of Robert Moses in a meme that launched the Facebook group “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented…

Unagi Neighborhoods: Little Tokyo

6/21/2019

Unagi Neighborhoods: Little Tokyo

Little Tokyo Los Angeles is not the best representation of European cross-continental culture. The French, Italians, Russians, and most of the great Western and Eastern European migrant groups of the 19th and 20th centuries set up footholds in New York,…

4 Unagi Approved Dates:  NYC, LA, SF, MIA

6/21/2019

4 Unagi Approved Dates: NYC, LA, SF, MIA

We get it. Dating can be tough. The googling, the yelping, the planning, the reservations, the transportation. . .  the process can be overwhelming. Making a good first impression can also be a source of anxiety for millions of single…

4 Unagi Approved Dates

5/19/2019

4 Unagi Approved Dates

We get it. Dating can be tough. The googling, the yelping, the planning, the reservations, the transportation. . . the process can be overwhelming. Making a good first impression can also be a source of anxiety for millions of single…

The Scooter, A History

5/10/2019

The Scooter, A History

Two wheels and a plank. It would be a modest beginning for a mode of transportation characterized by peaks and troughs in use and popularity unrivaled by any other contemporary human propellant. Although difficult to pinpoint, it is generally accepted…

Little Tokyo

5/1/2019

Little Tokyo

Los Angeles is not the best representation of European cross-continental culture. The French, Italians, Russians, and most of the great Western and Eastern European migrant groups of the 19th and 20th centuries set up footholds in New York, where their…

Micro Mobility & Local Culture

4/15/2019

Micro Mobility & Local Culture

“Nice neighborhood you’ve got there. Sure would be a shame if someone put a highway through it.” So says the text over the face of Robert Moses in a meme that launched the Facebook group “New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented…

Commute Calculator

3/5/2019

Commute Calculator

Unagi is proud to announce the launch of its Commute Calculator As urban commute routes grow in volume and density, prospective commuters need access to current, up-to-date travel information in order to make informed decisions on how to get around.…