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 array of brands and models on offer. Even among scooters designed mainly for commuting, specifications can vary widely and it’s hard to know exactly what the numbers mean, especially when it comes to how far your scooter can take you.
Potential buyers may only pay attention to specs related to daily use, such as top speed, weight, charging time, and range. An electric scooter’s weight will be determined by several factors, including construction materials and battery and motor size. And, as we’ve discussed, a lighter scooter isn’t just easier to carry up and down the stairs. It can also be a factor in increased range, all other things being equal. A few high-quality scooters, use lighter materials that don’t sacrifice durability or build quality, such as aluminum, magnesium, and carbon fiber, the same materials used to build professional racing cycles.
Other manufacturers may rely on heavier materials, which can result in a slower scooter with decreased range. Scooters designed for off-road use or heavier riders will generally use both heavier construction materials and larger batteries and motors to counteract that added weight. Some electric scooters in this class advertise a range of 30 miles or more. They also weigh significantly more than most commuter scooters.
- Why electric scooters may be heavier
One thing that cause electric scooters to be heavier is the motor size and efficiency. The more powerful the motor the heavier it usually is, so look at your daily commute, and what exactly you’re looking for in an electric scooter. Do you need one of the fastest electric scooters, to zip you around town, or an off-road electric scooter to get through country roads or trails? If you are trudging through mud, and dirt you may need a more powerful motor, which in turn means your electric scooter will be heavier. Most people shopping for electric scooters are looking for the optimal balance of fun and utility for getting to and from work, taking a quick trip to the store, or zipping around with friends. This means most riders want a scooter that is almost as easy to carry as it is to ride. Decreased weight can come at the cost of decreased range, however, if battery capacity and motor size are compromised. The best scooter for you is one that achieves the ideal balance between all these variables, depending on where you’re going, what the terrain will be like on the way, and how long it takes to get there.
- The riders weight
Another reason an electric scooter would be heavy is to accommodate a heavy rider. An electric scooter for a heavy person should have a heavy maximum load capacity. Average commuter electric scooters offer up to 100 kg (220 lbs) of the weight limit. However, heavy-duty electric scooters provide up to 150 kg (330 lbs) of max load.
When considering an e-scooter’s maximum load, get an e-scooter that has at least a 20 kg allowance. So, if you weigh exactly 100 kg, go for an e-scooter with a max weight limit of 120 kg or more. Giving allowance in the weight limit prevents overloading and still gives your e-scooter more pulling power. Overall, an e-scooter with a heavy weight limit ensures that the e-scooter doesn’t fall short of performance. After all, the e-scooter will work harder and use more energy to move a heavy load forward.
As mentioned, pulling a heavier load means that the e-scooter will consume more energy. That’s why a large electric scooter battery is important to ensure that you have enough energy to move the rider forward and produce a long range.
Heavy-duty electric scooters usually have over 600Wh battery, which is enough battery energy for heavy riders. High-performance e-scooters have around 1000Wh of battery energy. Calculate the battery energy of an e-scooter by multiplying the voltage (measured in V) and battery capacity.
- Weight can affect range
When looking into an electric scooter, you need to think of the range it can travel, which can be affected by the e scooters weight. When riding an e-scooter, the e-scooter battery, motor, and wheels are pulling the weight of the e-scooter and rider when moving. Aside from this, these components are also fighting elemental forces that prevent the e-scooter from moving. As a result, it works twice as hard if the e-scooter and rider are heavier. And when the battery and motor use more power, it depletes faster, producing less range.
It’s also important to know and consider the different forces that are affecting your range. Gravity is the force that keeps us planted on the floor. The more mass a person or item has, the more it’s pulled down by gravity. Therefore, it’s difficult to ride uphill. So, if you are riding an e-scooter in a hilly area, expect it to reduce its range significantly as the motor and battery will exert more power to climb. Drag is a force that moves opposite to the relative motion of an object. Like gravity, the e-scooter will also use more power and energy to compensate. As a result, you decrease your e-scooter’s range. This is the force that prevents the wheels from moving forward. So, your e-scooter sends more energy to the wheels to make them move. Rolling resistance increases with gravity, so a heavier load has more rolling resistance. As a result, the e-scooter covers less range.
Since weight and range directly affect each other, riders may choose to get a long-range electric scooter or off-road electric scooter that has enough power and battery to take on longer rides. These are usually heavier than most commuter electric scooters, but their large battery capacity and motor power help them cover farther distances.
These electric scooters may be a bit heavy for everyday commuting. However, many lightweight commuter electric scooters compromise battery capacity and motor power to achieve portability. If you are looking for an e-scooter that can deliver a lot of range, then it’s best to look for one that offers enough power and battery to withstand your weight and the e-scooter’s weight. Overall, the best electric scooter for you is one that offers a balance of power, battery, and range, according to your needs.