Best scooter for long-range commuting

1/18/2023

Best scooter for long-range commuting

If you travel to a place of work every day but don't have access to an automobile (or don't want to pay for one), an electric scooter is the perfect solution for your daily commute.

Whether you're already comfortable on two wheels or you are looking for a new way to get from A to B, electric scooters are great for those who prefer a more sustainable and fun mode of transportation for their daily commute, or to simply get around town without spending all day stuck in traffic or waiting for buses.

However, not all e-scooters are created equal; some models are cheap (and not cheerful), some are expensive (and not suited for long range commuting), and others fit harmoniously in the affordable (and suitable for long range commuting) category.

A quick Google will provide you an overwhelming number of different electric scooter models to choose from, each with wildly varying specs, battery life, performance levels and price tags, so finding the best electric scooter for long-range commuting can be a daunting task.

Which is why we're going to help you sort the wheat from the chaff, and identify the best long-range electric scooter for you.

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The Unagi Model One

There's been a lot of interest in long-range commuting recently, and it would be remiss of us not to mention that the Unagi Model One is ideally suited for long range commuting. However, for those who like to compare scooters before investing, we'll researched other electric scooters to see what the Model One is up against.

Instead of just telling you why we think our model is better than all others (which it is), we going to give an overview of long-range electric scooters in general — what they're made from, how they work, what makes them unique and so on. So when the time comes for you to make a decision about which one's right for you, you'll have all the important information to hand.

Because the truth is, there is no one perfect scooter, different electric scooters excel in different areas. Take the Unagi Model One. It's the best scooter for long range commuting, it's aesthetically pleasing to look at, and with our subscription model where you lease your scooter for just $55 per month, it's affordable too. What our scooter isn't though, is the perfect off road machine, nor is the fastest hill climber. Because that's not what it's designed to do.

It's designed to get you from A to B, sustainably, cheaply and most importantly, with a big grin on your face.

Finding the right scooter for your 'purpose'

The term "long-range" is actually pretty vague, and it might mean something different to each and every reader. To one rider, long-range could be the 4 miles from the train station to their house which would otherwise take an hour or so to walk, whereas to the next person, long-range could mean a 50-mile weekend ride.

That makes defining a long-range scooter quite a challenging task, but according to a study by Electric Scooter Guide, the average electric scooter rider uses their vehicle for 7 miles per day, 4 days per week.

So, while some of the longest-range electric scooters out there can go as far as 80 miles, those models are generally heavier, larger, and not cut out for regular commuting.

And as we are discussing the best commuting electric scooters specifically, we can safely assume that the longest-range we require from an electric scooter here will be a max range of around 10-15 miles; as commuting further than this is a fairly unusual commute.

There are a number of factors that come into play for most electric scooters when working out the maximum range, not just the battery life (like some manufacturers like to pretend). In the next section, we'll explore what these factors are, which also helpfully doubles as a checklist to make a note of when comparing long-range electric scooters.

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Important factors when choosing a long-range electric scooter

So you’re looking for a long-range electric scooter because you want to commute from point A to point B without having to worry about finding a charging station or whether you'll have enough juice to get home again?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Scooter and rider weight

Rider weight is one of the most important factors in determining the range, speed and even the acceleration of your electric scooter.

The heavier you are, the more power will be required to move you. Likewise, if you have a heavier scooter, it also requires more power to move it as opposed to a lighter one. This is because a scooter only has so much power to distribute between its two wheels. A heavier person will require more power to maintain the same speed as a lighter person.

Scooters are built with a maximum payload in mind. This means that they can only transport so much weight before they start struggling or even breaking down completely. This might not be an issue for you, but to be on the safe side, make sure that the combined weight of you, your clothes and luggage that you require for work does not exceed the weight limit of your electric scooter. Or you could find the range is shorter than expected.

Tire type

Most electric scooters (long-range or otherwise) are equipped with pneumatic tires, which are similar to bicycle tires in that they require filling up with air in order to work.

These pressurized tires are efficient and have good grip, making them great for long-range journeys, but they are also prone to punctures and become less efficient in just a few days after pumping.

City roads and bike lanes see lots of traffic and are usually strewn with debris such as nails, glass and other sharp objects that can cause punctures in your tires, so it's best practice to carry a spare inner tube and a puncture repair kit in case of this occurrence.

The other choice of tire that is becoming increasingly popular is the solid tire e.g. a solid rubber tire without an air tube inside of it. These tires are often known as honeycomb tires on account of the appearance of the tire with air filled pockets built-in and visible from the exterior.

We believe long-range electric scooters are better off having solid tires rather than air-filled tires because they cannot be punctured and do not need constant maintenance to maintain their air pressure (and subsequent efficiency) on the roads.

They also have little effect on the grip of the vehicle on the roads and do not affect the electric scooter range in any way either, making them a great choice for those commuting some distance every day. This is why we use solid tires on all of our Unagi electric scooters because for a long-range electric scooter, they really have the edge over standard pneumatic tires.

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Battery

The battery is another extremely important factor for a long-range commuter electric scooter, and the battery pack size and battery power are the two most important factors to consider here.

Battery pack size

The battery pack size determines how much energy can be stored in the scooter. The larger the capacity of the battery pack, the more distance you will be able to travel before needing to recharge your scooter. Think of it like a portable power bank that you use to charge your phone - for the most part, the larger the pack, the more charge it holds.

Some scooters offer a removable battery pack option which means that you can always hold one charged battery pack with you, and swap it over when your main one runs out of charge. While this is a good idea in theory to have a backup, ideally, you just want a battery pack that can keep you going on its own capacity.

Battery power

The amount of power that can be drawn from a battery is also important when considering how far you can ride on a single charge. In general, higher-power batteries will allow you to travel further but they also tend to be more expensive and heavier than lower-power batteries.

The power bank analogy also works here, in that newer more powerful battery packs will most likely have higher power and charge your device quicker, because the power is more readily accessible. In the same way, a scooter's battery power determines how fast and how much power it can direct to the wheels at any given moment.

Battery life and range

If you're in the market for a long-range electric scooter, chances are you won't be happy with a range of 5 miles or under, which is erring on walkable. The battery life will play a role in this because it's no good having the fastest, meanest ride out there if you need to stop and charge it every five miles.

The electric scooter range can also change massively depending on your actual commute. Manufacturers will put up the max range achieved in ideal settings, but chances are your commute will include stopping and starting, hills or other rough terrains, and changing levels of acceleration.

This is why you'll read in independent reviews that they mention the real-world range when discussing electric scooter range. So if you've seen the real-world range of your potential long-range e-scooter, and you think it might not be enough, it's likely because the battery life isn't sufficient for your needs.

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Top speed and acceleration

Two more factors that are important for you to consider when choosing an electric scooter are the top speed and the acceleration, which are both somewhat related but definitely separate metrics which both need to be considered.

Top speed

To start off, the top speed is essentially the maximum speed that an electric scooter can travel. Seeing as most reputable e-scooters these days can now go faster than the road restrictions for bike lanes or inner-city travel, you might wonder why it's important how much over this limit your vehicle can go. After all, speed limits are there for everybody's safety.

The top speed of the scooter is the fastest that it can move when pushed to its limits, so running at top speed will run down the battery much faster and require a recharge sooner.

However, if the max speed of your electric scooter is 25 MPH, you can assume that it will be able to travel at a constant speed of 20MPH comfortably without straining the battery too much.

So to work out what minimum top speed is acceptable for your long-range scooter, you'll need to first work out the speed limits on the roads or bike lanes that you will use on your commute, and then aim for a scooter with maybe 5MPH capability over that.

Acceleration

The acceleration is the time in which it takes your electric scooter to get up to speed from a stationary start. The flagship Unagi Model One is a dual-motor scooter, the introduction of multiple electric motors was a game changer for acceleration when it first came out.

If your commute consists of lots of stopping and starting over long distances, for example, if you are often stuck at traffic lights or intersections, then acceleration will be a factor of extra importance to you.

The Unagi Model One boasts a very competitive acceleration rate owing to its power, battery capacity and the fact that it is such a lightweight scooter. Some other electric scooters offer a "speed mode" which supposedly increases acceleration at the expense of battery life, but more often than not this is a gimmicky feature rather than a useful addition to your ride.

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Ride quality and suspension

Ok, so the freedom of riding an electric scooter into work might automatically be more comfortable than having some random guy's pits in your face on public transport, but there are ways to make that ride even more comfortable still.

Ride quality is a vague term used to describe how enjoyable your electric scooter ride is, and it's something that we take very seriously at Unagi, and you should too if you're looking at long-range electric scooters.

Most scooters in the modern scooter world are now being made without shock absorbers and suspension in order to save weight and increase the portability of their product. Initially, features like dual suspension were introduced promising a much smoother ride, but these features are heavy and require maintenance to perform.

Research at Unagi showed that our solid air pocket tires actually double as shock absorbers, meaning that you can continue to have a comfortable and stable ride to work, and still be able to easily fold and carry your lightweight electric scooter into the office with you afterwards.

Motor power

The motor power is one of the most important things to consider when looking at an electric scooter, and with this in mind, it is worth noting that the higher the wattage, the faster it will be able to go.

The motor power rating is measured in watts, and it varies hugely by manufacturer. Some brands offer several models with different motor powers to suit different needs.

For example, if you want a more powerful motor or you are a heavier rider, you may want to pay for a dual-motor option in order to be able to easily climb hills and accelerate. If you want a cheaper model, then you should be prepared to sacrifice some range or speed.

The Unagi Model One has both options, and the model boasting 250-watt dual motors is an increasingly popular choice. It means that even a rider on the heavier side can accelerate quickly (according to Electric Scooter Guide the Model One is faster than nearly all lightweight scooter competitors), making it a great choice amongst the popular long-range electric scooters.

All of these things combined make a good commuter scooter

While there is no perfect combination of the above factors that ultimately make the perfect commuting electric scooters, the best electric scooters for commuting will prioritise each to the best of their ability.

So, how do you determine which electric scooter in the entire electric scooter world is the best long range electric scooter for commuting?

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Weigh up the pros and cons

Electric scooters with larger batteries and powerful motors can provide riding ranges in some instances of up to a staggering 100 miles per charge, but even more modest models can easily handle the average commute to work and back home.

As we've seen, the range of a scooter depends on several factors: rider weight, battery capacity, terrain and weather conditions, number of times the scooter is stopped en route, how fast you ride it (if it goes faster than 20 MPH), and how much throttle is applied. These factors will still apply regardless of the quality of the scooter.

If you already have an electric scooter and you're looking for the best way to determine the range of your e-scooter, charge it fully and then ride it around for a day. You will quickly learn how far you can go before needing to recharge, but be aware that this is not an exact science, because the conditions in which you ride can also affect how long each charge lasts.

Once you've worked out what range you have and the difference from the range you require, you can get a good idea of exactly how long-range your long-range electric scooter needs to be.

You can then use this figure along with your budget to whittle down a list of potential electric scooters to choose from and work out which features, pros and cons are deal breakers.

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Alternative best long range scooters available

While the Unagi Model One is clearly the best commuting scooter for long range commuting, what other commuting scooters are available, and how do they stack up in comparison?

The Turboant X7 Pro

The Turboant X7 Pro is a strong contender in what we consider long-range commuter scooters, with a range of 15.3 miles and a maximum speed of 15.8 MPH. Its price point puts it firmly in the budget scooter category, and its light weight makes is very portable.

As an entry-level scooter, the Turboant X7 Pro is a great option to get started in long-range commuting, and it has a triple braking system including a rear disc brake. However, one of the obvious downsides is that the braking systems are not especially effective, meaning that you might want to spend some time getting the hang of it before taking it on the roads.

One other con of this electric scooter is that it is a little difficult to get the hang of for beginners, with a narrow deck and a front-heavy design. However, if you are comfortable on two wheels already and have a tight budget, it might be a good option for you.

The Kaabo Wolf

The Kaabo Wolf is an example of a long-range electric scooter better suited for off roading than commuting. With a range of 30 miles and a top speed of a whopping 45 MPH, it also features strong off-road suspension and can hold riders up to 330 lbs, which is more than most on the market.

In terms of attractive features, it has outstanding shock-absorbing suspension suitable for off-road treks, and hydraulic brakes, which are actually dual disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels, but these features firmly put this scooter in the high end electric scooter category.

The downsides of the Kaabo Wolf are the price tag, coming in at nearly $3k, and the weight of the scooter itself, which at 108 lbs is more than most people are willing or able to carry.

For that reason, while this is a great example of a long-range electric scooter on paper, it's not suited for commuting. You can't tuck it under your arm to carry on the train, nor conveniently slot it under your desk at the office. This beast needs to be uncaged out in the wild, it's not made for city life.

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Why Unagi is the best long-range electric scooter

The Unagi Model One is an extremely lightweight scooter and is in fact one of the most portable scooters out there on the market today. Weighing only 29 lbs, it is only 27% of the weight of the Kaabo Wolf, and can be easily transported with a one-click folding mechanism and carried around with ease at either end of your commute.

As far as commuter scooters go, it offers a smooth ride due to the air pocket tires (rather than air-filled) and those dual-motors on the back really pack a punch for fast acceleration and hill climbing for riders anywhere up to 280 lbs.

Electric Scooter Guide even noted the "gorgeous design" and "excellent hill-climbing" as standout attributes in their independent review.

It also has a top speed of 20.1 MPH making it a great choice for most roads and bicycle lanes that you'll encounter in American cities. This speed also sets it apart as much more powerful option than other lightweight scooters such as the Turboant X7 Pro, which has a max speed of only 15.8 MPH.

It's all good speeding up, but what about slowing down? Well, the Unagi Model One has a dual braking system in the form of state-of-the-art electronic brakes adorning the front wheel and a rear foot brake for peace of mind on the rear wheel.

The range is 10-15 miles on the e350 (one electric motor) and 7-12 miles on the e500 (two electric motors). After conducting extensive market research with our customers, we found that this is more than adequate for the vast majority of commuters.

One thing to add here is that the smart battery management system will help prolong the battery life, and the charging time is relatively quick if you need to top it up at work too.

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Try the Unagi Model One with the Unagi All-Access subscription

The Unagi Model One is the best choice of long-range commuting electric scooter, and to make it even easier for you to get your hand on one, we launched the Unagi All-Access plan, a monthly subscription service that takes the hassle and investment out of buying an e-scooter outright.

For just $55 a month, we will ship you out a top-of-the-range dual-motor Unagi Model One, fully serviced and insured, to anywhere in the continental US, within 3 working days.

This will give you the opportunity to try it out in real life in the comfort of your own neighborhood and on your actual commute, so you can determine if the range is enough when your journey and terrain are taken into account. You'll have a month to try out all of the features that reviewers are raving about, and if you don't like it we'll take it right back, no questions asked.

At Unagi, we're very proud of our product, and we have exceptionally high customer satisfaction rates to back it up, just check our reviews! We're confident that you'll love your new Model One, commuting scooter, but the All-Access plan is our way of putting the ball in your court and taking the pressure off of the investment, so give it a go.

If you have any questions or queries about any of the Unagi models, check out our FAQ page, and if you're still struggling reach out to our professional team who will be able to help you get the answers you're looking for.


Daniel Foley

Daniel Foley

Unagi Life
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5 Best Locks for Electric Scooters Owning a folding electric scooter should eliminate the need for a heavy-duty padlock or shackle to secure your ride.  That's especially true for foldable e-scooters like the Model One from Unagi, which folds down…

CES Dispatch: The E500 Is A Big Upgrade

1/8/2020

CES Dispatch: The E500 Is A Big Upgrade

Every year, the Consumer Electronics Show brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to Las Vegas in order to show off, contrast, compare, or merely gawk at the latest consumer electronic gadgets and trends We’re also in town for the show,…

5 E-Scooter Life Hacks

6/12/2019

5 E-Scooter Life Hacks

We all know electric scooters are fun. The sun on your skin, the wind in your hair – trying one out is not a hard sell. On top of that, there are also the practical benefits of riding electric scooters.

5 Tips for E-Scooter Etiquette

6/7/2019

5 Tips for E-Scooter Etiquette

Anyone can ride an e scooter, but not everyone who rides one rides it with the proper electric scooter etiquette.

Your Personal Liberation Device

3/6/2019

Your Personal Liberation Device

Beginning today, Unagi Scooters is now shipping its world-class electric scooters to pre-order customers in the United States, and new orders are immediately being fulfilled “The Unagi Scooter heralds a new era for the commuting consumer who simply wants an…

Need to Knows
The 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

9/30/2022

The 2022 Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

“Is my scooter legal?” is a question many are increasingly asking. The micromobility industry is one of the fastest-growing and most exciting in the world—with promises for...in addition to abundances of the basics of time and money savings. And with this pace of innovation comes a struggle for regulation to keep up.

Are electric scooters easy to ride?

9/21/2022

Are electric scooters easy to ride?

It might be a little bit of a generalization, but for most people, electric scooters are very easy to ride. They’re lightweight, have a low center of gravity, and usually feature some form of suspension, making them comfortable and fun to ride.

How To Maximize Your Electric Scooters Battery Life

6/10/2022

How To Maximize Your Electric Scooters Battery Life

Whether your battery is brand new or has already exceeded 500 cycles, taking proper care of it will help you get the most out of your e-scooter. So let's dive in.

The Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

3/30/2021

The Comprehensive Guide to Electric Scooter Laws

*Disclaimer: Unagi, INC. has used best efforts, but does not in any manner guarantee the accuracy of the below findings regarding electric scooter laws in the United States or internationally. Electric scooter riders or those considering to purchase or begin…

The True Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters

2/15/2021

The True Environmental Impact of Electric Scooters

It’s beyond question that we must drastically reduce carbon emissions in the coming years to head off the worst effects of climate change. How we do that has been a matter of considerably drawn-out debate. As individuals, it can be…

Do You Need Insurance for an Electric Scooter?

2/13/2021

Do You Need Insurance for an Electric Scooter?

The electric scooter boom has come with some highly publicized fears about scooter safety. Some of these concerns are justified. Nearly all studies have shown that scooters face the same dangers that bikes do, in addition to them being less…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

1/28/2021

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Road?

New modes of transportation have been popping up all over the place thanks to incredible developments in lithium-ion battery and electric motor technology. These include electric bikes, innovative modern electric scooters like Unagi, as well as the shared scooters clustered…

Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter?

1/13/2021

Do You Need a License to Ride an Electric Scooter?

You’ve seen them all over your city’s streets, and everyone who rides one looks absolutely thrilled. So, why haven’t you picked up your own folding electric scooter yet? Maybe you’re worried about whether e-scooters require a driver’s license, or a…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk?

12/21/2020

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter on the Sidewalk?

It’s a reasonable question to ask. After all, it seems like the safer option. Can you, and should you, ride an electric scooter on the sidewalk? In many cases, the answer is no: you cannot. Story after story in electric…

Are Electric Scooters Legal in the UK?

9/28/2020

Are Electric Scooters Legal in the UK?

The electric scooter market, like virtually every other industry, has experienced some dramatic ups and downs in 2020. In March, for example, as the coronavirus spread uncontained, The Verge reported that in dozens of cities around the world, share companies…

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

9/19/2020

Why Electric Scooters Are a Must Have for Commuters

Micromobility is the “future of urban transportation,” analysts write in an extensive report from Deloitte, and electric scooters lead the way: “Adoption rates during their short time on the market have been impressive, surpassing that seen by popular ride-hailing applications…

Are Electric Scooters Legal in NYC?

9/9/2020

Are Electric Scooters Legal in NYC?

It finally happened, and not a moment too soon. New York has legalized e-bikes and e-scooters statewide in an agreement reached in April during the last legislative session. This is great news for commuters, students, delivery workers, and all New…

Public Transportation in a Post-COVID World

9/2/2020

Public Transportation in a Post-COVID World

In only a few short months, the current pandemic has changed the way we do nearly everything, from getting to work to gathering (or not) in public. Fears of the virus multiply when it comes to public transportation. Public transit…

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…

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?

7/21/2020

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?

“No” is the standard answer to the question of whether you should ride an electric scooter in the rain. But can you ride an electric scooter in the rain? There are times when it may be safe to do so…

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

7/21/2020

Can You Bring an Electric Scooter on a Plane?

Wondering whether you can take your electric scooter on an airplane? As with all things air travel-related the answer should be simple, right? As you might expect, it’s not—or not entirely—but the short answer is no, you cannot take most…

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 ways of commuting have become increasingly unsustainable. So, is it worth buying yourself an electric scooter?

How Fast Can Electric Scooters Go?

2/24/2020

How Fast Can Electric Scooters Go?

How Fast Do Electric Scooters Go Step aside, skateboards, electric bikes, and mopeds.  These days electric scooters are so ubiquitous, you can hardly pass by your neighborhood coffee shop, ATM, or happy hour hotspot without encountering one (or a few).…

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…

Rider Profiles