If you're trying to decide if an electric scooter is right for you and your travel needs, it's important to know how far they can travel before they need a recharge. How far you can travel on your electric scooter will depend on loads of factors, most of all which scooter you are riding on.
There are other factors too that will affect the range because each ride is different in terms of terrain, gradient, and distance. The rider's weight will have an impact too, as will the weight of the scooter and even whether or not they're wearing a heavy backpack.
In this article, we'll look at how much distance you can expect from different types of electric scooters based on what they're regularly used for, whether that be more for commuting or recreational purposes.
We'll also look at the different types of scooters available out there as well as how the battery life impacts the max speed and indeed the max range that you might be able to achieve on your electric scooter.
The battery life of your electric scooter
First of all, for clarity, it is worth pointing out that in this section when we refer to battery life, we are referring to how long the electric scooter battery will last on one charge.
This is different from the shelf life of the entire battery, meaning how long it will last before needing to be replaced.
Battery life will be affected by the terrain (such as the frequency, length, and incline of hills), the weight of the rider (as well as any luggage that they take with them), and how much throttle they use.
For example, a hilly ride will require more battery power to climb hills than a level ride would. Also if the hills are steeper, naturally your battery will need more power to get up them, just like a vehicle uses more gas on steeper inclines.
If you weigh more than average, that will also affect how far you can go before you need to recharge your electric scooter battery again. More weight, whether that's rider weight, scooter weight, or otherwise, will affect the range of your electric scooter.
You'll want to keep track of how much battery life remains as part of your daily charging routine so that it doesn't run out when you're not expecting it and leave yourself stranded somewhere far from home!
This could have a relatively large impact on your day-to-day routine because whether you fast-charge or slow-charge, refilling your electric scooter with charge can take time.
Do commuter electric scooters have a shorter range
If you're looking for an electric scooter with an exceptionally long range, commuter scooters might not be the way to go. Historically, they've been designed with short commutes in mind and have smaller batteries than recreational or sport models, meaning they won't last as long.
The other thing to keep in mind when choosing a commuter vs. recreational/sport model is that commuter models tend to be less expensive overall because they have less powerful motors and smaller batteries.
It makes sense that recreational models might have a larger battery with more range because they are expected to travel over hilly terrain for long periods of time.
However, there is a pretty large aside to bear in mind when reading this. Commuter models of electric scooters have long been improving in both power capacity and top speed, so this argument is becoming quite redundant.
Most electric scooters these days are more than capable of traveling significant distances. Deciding whether or not your scooter model is capable of making it long range is really quite subjective.
Check with the manufacturer of the electric scooter model that you're thinking of buying beforehand because they'll be able to tell you a realistic electric scooter range to expect.
How long does it take to go a mile on an electric scooter
When you're trying to work out the range of your electric scooter, you might first want to know how long it takes to ride a mile.
It's something you can quite easily calculate, but of course, depends massively on how fast you choose to go and if there is any traffic that might impede you.
The average speed of an electric scooter can be anywhere between 10 and 20 miles per hour, which means it would mean, unimpeded, it would take you between 3 and 6 minutes.
Most popular electric scooters and electric bikes will travel a mile in under ten minutes even with light traffic, whereas a kick scooter would probably take this amount of time as a minimum.
Different types of electric scooter batteries and how they perform for range
With the huge rise in popularity of electric scooters globally in the past ten years, there's also been a sharp improvement in the technology that they run on.
There are two main types of e-scooter batteries: lithium-ion and lead acid. Each performs differently for range, but much of this will depend on the battery size (sometimes called the battery capacity), rather than specifically the battery type.
Most batteries that you find in electric scooters are one of these two types, but if your electric scooter uses a different type then please refer to the user manual for a better idea of its range performance.
Lithium ion batteries
Lithium batteries are the most common type of battery for electric scooters, and there are a lot of reasons why. These batteries are often found in smartphones, laptops, and other devices, and like these devices, can be damaged by over or undercharging.
Here are some of the reasons why lithium batteries are so popular:
First, they're lighter than other types of batteries, which means they make the e-scooter more nimble and agile.
Second, they have a longer range than other types of batteries—this means that you can go farther before having to charge them again.
Thirdly, lithium ion batteries don't develop memory like other kinds of batteries do (meaning with proper charging etiquette, your battery will retain its full capacity until it dies).
Lead acid batteries
Lead acid batteries are also commonly used in e-scooters but they typically don't last as long as lithium-ion ones. Lead acid batteries are generally being phased out across the globe as lithium options have become cheaper and are better for the environment.
If you're using your scooter frequently and get a longer range out of it —for example, if you need to travel long distances every day—you should opt for a more durable type of battery like lithium.
How does the size of the electric scooter battery affect range
The size of the lithium ion battery pack is one of the most important factors in determining how far you can travel on an electric scooter. The larger the battery pack that your model has, the farther you can expect to go with just one charge.
However, larger batteries also take longer to charge and weigh more than smaller ones. If you're looking for a scooter that can cover large distances without needing to be recharged, then you'll still want to opt for one with a large battery pack.
This will also mean that you'll be able to travel further without having to plug your charger in to recharge the battery. Some electric scooters actually have an eco mode, which is an option that uses less battery power in exchange for providing weaker performance.
It doesn't sound as fun, but if you have a smaller battery and are running out on the way home, it might be a really helpful option to have.
The main takeaway here is for those who value efficiency and need to travel long distance, a larger battery with more power is a necessity, so double check your model before you buy.
Does the price of your scooter model affect the range it offers
Of course there are many, many factors that affect the range that you can travel on your e scooter on a full charge, but does paying more for your model ensure that you'll get more bang for your buck?
It's not an simple thing to quantify, because the price point of a product doesn't always translate to its performance. However, we can attempt to make some rough guides on electric scooter range based on how much it costs.
Another thing to take into account is that like most commoddites, electric scooters are varying in price from year to year, and there will always be exceptions to any rule. We've broken it down into three categories to make it a little easier to digest.
How far can a cheap electric scooter go?
For this section, we'll refer to a cheap electric scooter as a model costing less than $400. If you’re looking for a cheap e-scooter for your travels or commute, you can get one on the market these days for less than $400, however it will be limited in its performance.
An electric scooter in this category may only get you around 5 miles on a good day, and you'll likely have to recharge it after every ride when you get home. This could be perfect for you if your commute is very short or you're just scootering to a local train station every morning.
It will also likely have a lower maximum speed and shorter lifespan than more expensive models, so it's worth really thinking about whether or not it really is great value.
How far can a mid-range electric scooter go?
A mid-range electric scooter, which for the purpose of this discussion is something between $5-600 in price, might get you anywhere from about 7 to 15 miles in range on a full charge. Depending on your journey, this kind of range could be enough for around a day or two.
How much power the scooter holds is a massive factor here, because the cost doesn't necessarily ensure more distance.
Most manufacturers with a reputable name will supply at least one electric scooter model in this price range. Generally it ensures a pretty good max speed (depending on your weight and whether or not you travel light) and a relatively reliable battery charge.
Some electric scooter models in this price range will also have some form of a LED display, which can help you calculate your remaining range and when you need to fully recharge.
How far can a high-end electric scooter go?
A high end-electric scooter can cost anywhere up to around an eye-watering $5000, but of course it's worth noting here that price doesn't always mean quality.
Electric scooters in this range can sometimes travel as far as 40 miles on just one charge, which could easily take you from one side of a major city to another without having to stop for charging or worrying about running out of power.
To a certain extent, the more expensive the scooter, the more range you will get. Likewise, the more powerful the battery, the more range you will get.
More expensive scooters should have higher quality components, not just the battery but also the motor as well, which combine to increase the maximum power.
The same rules still apply here though in that the heavier the rider, the less range you will get. And finally, if you use your throttle too much (as in accelerating or hitting full throttle constantly) then it will decrease your range as well.
Which high-end electric scooter is best for long distance
It's really down to a matter of personal taste, but if you're looking to travel a really long distance rather than for commuting, you'll probably want something bigger and heavier than an Unagi electric scooter.
Some popular brands of electric scooters for long range are the Emove cruiser and the Inokim oxo, which both cost in excess of $1200 and weigh a lot but can go much further.
How far can you travel on an Unagi
To answer this question, we're going to take the popular Unagi electric scooter model, which is the Unagi One.
The first thing to note here is that our electric scooters are designed with longevity and reliability at the forefront of their design. The battery's life in each of these will be many years (with the right care and attention) even with daily use.
We design all of our e scooters for optimum portability too, so low weight is a priority feature, in case you need to carry it the last hundred yards into the office. This does however mean a lighter battery, with enough storage to power a pretty strong motor.
The Unagi One model comes in two variants, the e350 and the e500. Like with electric cars, the electric scooter with the faster and more powerful dual motor (the e500) doesn't get quite as good a range as the less powerful e350.
The range on our e350 electric scooter is up to 15 miles, with 15.5 being the longest range. In comparison, on our more powerful e500 model, you might expect to get anywhere between 7 and 12 miles.
As mentioned, the range is based on many factors outside of the model including rider weight, speed mode, and terrain.
So, the electric scooter range is all trial and error
As you can see there is no universal answer as to how far an e-scooter can go on a single charge because it depends on many factors such as terrain, the rider's weight, the type and age of the battery, and even the tire pressure.
Most electric scooters regardless of the price point will have a baseline range that you can expect to achieve regardless of outside factors.
If you're looking for a cheap e-scooter then expect to get up to 10 miles on a good day, so if your commute is a bit further it might be worth investing in a second charger to use at your destination. If you're looking for something more powerful then expect to do your research, pay more money, and get anywhere up to 40 miles per charge.
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