Swappable vs Non Swappable Batteries: Pros and Cons for Electric Scooter Users

Daniel Foley
Written By: Daniel Foley
Published on: 6/20/2023

As electric scooters become increasingly popular transportation options in cities around the world, their makers are devising ways making them more convenient and user friendly for everyone. One of the most convenient features you'll find on any electric scooter is what's called a "swappable battery."

Battery packs that can be removed and changed out instantly for a fully charged spare can give an electric scooter twice the range, especially if the spare battery is light enough for riders to carry around with them during their ride.

Swappable vs Removable Batteries

Extended range is only one benefit of a swappable battery. We'll discuss several other pros, and some cons too, of owning electric scooters that let you do a quick battery swap when you run out of juice. First, it's important to note that swappable batteries can differ from battery packs that are just described as "removable."

Most electric scooters have battery packs that users can remove and replace fairly easily. The Lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles in general tend to be plug-and-play (provided they are compatible). Every electric scooter technically has a "removable battery."

Swappable batteries can be removed easily without unscrewing or removing any other parts; and they can be charged externally, so you can always have a spare battery charging at home while you're out riding, or you can carry a fully charged battery pack with you on the go for double the range.

Sometimes the terms swappable and removable are used interchangeably but they don't always mean the same thing. Swappable battery systems offer a range of advantages, but they also have some cons and even present safety risks that we'll discuss below.

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Types of Swappable Batteries in Electric Scooters

There are broadly two types of swappable batteries found in electric scooter designs: Stem-mounted swappable batteries and deck-mounted swappable batteries. The former tend to appear on less expensive models with smaller battery packs, such as the TurboAnt X7 Max.

Examples of deck-mounted swappable batteries range from Anyhill's UM-2, an affordable commuter scooter that's easy to fold and carry, to Minimotors' Dualtron Storm, a scooter that weighs over 100 lbs.

Stem mounted designs can feel more top-heavy and can be more awkward to carry than deck-mounted batteries. The advantage of a stem mounted battery is that it’s removable without bending down. Taking the battery off also reduces the overall weight of the scooter and makes it more portable.

Swappable Battery Pros

Swappable batteries are definitely a game changer for electric scooter users. Apart from extending the range of the scooter, they also offer the convenience of being able to charge externally.

External charging means 1) you don’t always need to bring your scooter inside to charge the battery 2) you can always have a freshly charged (or charging) battery at home. and 3) you can double your electric scooter's range (and eliminate range anxiety) by carrying a spare battery pack with you wherever you go (provided the spare battery is light enough).

A swappable battery can also be considered a security feature. While nearly all swappable battery packs can be locked to the scooter's frame, you can also easily pop them out and carry them with you if you need to leave your scooter outside.

You should always lock your scooter up to avoid someone walking off with it, but taking out the battery will render it unusable and much less attractive to potential thieves.

Swappable Battery Cons

One major drawback of swappable batteries is that they can add weight to the scooter. Some swappable batteries tend to be larger and heavier than non-swappable batteries, which can make the scooter more difficult to handle and maneuver. This can be especially problematic for users who need a lightweight and portable scooter that they can easily carry or store.

Another potential issue with swappable batteries is that they may not be as durable as non-swappable batteries. Because they are designed to be removed and swapped out frequently, they may endure more wear and tear than a battery that is permanently installed in the scooter. This means that users may need to replace their batteries more frequently, which can be costly and time-consuming.

Finally, swappable batteries can be more expensive than non-swappable batteries. While they can save money in the long run by allowing users to replace just the battery pack rather than the entire scooter, the upfront cost of a swappable battery can be higher than a non-swappable one. This can be a barrier for users who are on a tight budget or who don't want to make a large investment upfront.

Despite these drawbacks, swappable batteries are still a great option for many electric scooter users. They offer a high level of convenience and flexibility. Users can easily swap out their battery packs to extend their range or to replace a worn-out battery. They can also charge their spare battery at home while they are out riding, so they always have a fully charged battery on hand.

TurboAnt X7 Max - A Budget Option with a Lockable Battery

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Source: Electric Scooter Insider

The TurboAnt X7 Max is an excellent all-around option as an entry-level electric scooter. Moreover, it's also one of the least expensive scooters you can purchase with a swappable battery pack.

With an eye toward maximum convenience, the X7 Max mounts its battery on the scooter's stem for easy access without bending down. This makes it easy to take the battery off when parking your scooter to pop into a convenience store quickly in urban areas, for example.

While swappable batteries tend to be locking, and the X7 Max is no exception, leaving your scooter without a battery to power the scooter on can deter potential thieves. If security is a major concern, a scooter with a swappable battery system can help alleviate concerns.

On the other hand, the stem-mounted battery on the X7 Max can feel awkward and make the scooter a little top heavy and awkward to carry when folded.

Anyhill UM 2 – A Great Commuter Scooter with a Swappable, Locking Battery

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Source: Electrek

Anyhill's UM-2 is a serious step up in quality to a commuter scooter that's incredibly fun to ride and has some great features like best-in-class braking. It has a larger battery than the TurboAnt X7 Max, but an extra battery still only weighs a meagre 5.5 pounds. That means it's easy to carry an additional battery with you at all times for double the range.

One major benefit of such a portable, swappable battery is that you can easily carry it inside with you to a coffee shop, office, or library and charge while you work, or charge several extra batteries while you work. One downside is that

The UM-2's locking battery mounts in a case inside the scooter's deck, and when the battery is locked in place, you don't have to think about it at all until you need more range. The battery itself uses energy dense, premium LG 21700 cells and is highly water resistant with a rating of IPX6.

Dualtron Storm – The Best Performance Electric Scooter with Swappable Battery Packs

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Source: Rider Guide

For an electric scooter on the premium, high performance end of the spectrum, the Dualton Storm already gets excellent mileage with its 2268Wh beast of a battery. It's got a tested range of over 40 miles -- this is one battery that won't give you range anxiety.

As if the battery size weren't enough, the Storm has also got dual charging inputs for fast charging a depleted battery. But should the fast charge time be too slow, riders has the option of battery swapping to get their scooter back on the road immediately.

In the case of the Dualtron Storm, however, many of the benefits provided by swappable batteries diminish. The Storm doesn't just have a bigger battery than the scooters above; it's deck-embedded battery is practically gargantuan, well over twice the weight at 30 pounds. You aren't likely to carry additional Storm batteries in a backpack.

Moreover, an additional battery pack for the Dualtron Storm can cost as much as a premium scooter. This is not battery technology for those who travel light.

Safety Concerns of Battery Swapping

With the faster adoption of batteries that swap easily in and out of electric scooters, there is always the greater risk of battery fires when battery swapping gets misused.

The electric bike community has an increase in battery fires because of users ignoring manufacturer specifications. Electric scooters with a battery swapping system should always be powered with the battery designed for the specific make and model to avoid the short-circuits and charging issues that result in thermal runaway, i.e. battery fires.

Unagi Model One -- A High Quality Battery in an Ultraportable Electric Scooter

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Unagi's Model One Classic and Model One Voyager do not feature swappable battery packs, but they are also two of the most portable electric scooters on the market today, and two of the most stylish. Try one for yourself with our All Access Scooter Subscription.

Unagis are so light and compact that they're easy to bring inside to charge. They're also built with high quality LG battery cells, and the Voyager uses larger 21700 cells just like the Anyhill UM-2.

The option of having additional batteries at your disposal can be appealing for many riders because of the added range and charging flexibility. But if you recharge your scooter between rides and use best charging practices, you generally won't need to carry an extra battery around with you.


Daniel Foley
Daniel Foley

Daniel tests all the latest e-scooters and currently enjoys the Unagi Voyager as a daily driver for it's light weight, good range, and stylish look.

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