Have you ever wondered how fast do electric scooters go? These unique devices seemingly come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can also find an assortment of travel distances and maximum speeds, which can make it hard to choose the best one for you.
There are plenty of features that go into figuring out the maximum speed of a scooter. Some rely mostly on the quality of the battery, whereas others need superior motors. With the help of this guide, you can find a device with the perfect speed for your everyday needs.
How Fast Do Electric Scooters Go?
On average, most electric scooters allow you to travel between 20 and 25 miles per hour, though this can differ a lot. Some of the more affordable ones (around $500) can travel up to 10 or 15 miles per hour.
However, if you invest a couple of thousand dollars into an electric model, you can go as fast as 30 to 35 miles per hour. As with any other type of electronics, the more money you invest in the product, the higher quality it’s going to be. So, you can guarantee the more expensive scooters are going to travel faster and farther than the lower-priced ones you might come across.
What’s going to make the main difference is your experience level, as beginners won’t want a scooter that is too fast for their skill level.
Comparing Electric and Gas Scooters
Typically, when you’re looking into how you can buy your electric scooter, you’re also going to take gas models into account. You’ll find that most riders recommend gas if you’re looking for longer travel distances and faster speeds.
Gas is renowned for its capability to power your scooter, though it might not be the best decision depending on your personal needs.
1. Speed and Distance
By far, gas scooters can often double the speeds and distance of electric devices, especially when compared to lower-priced models. This point is essential to consider.
Gas will power your unit similarly to how it powers vehicles, helping you to achieve top speeds. However, this isn’t ideal for every rider, as you might have restrictions for scooters that you need to abide by.
2. Fuel Type
Gas is a potent fuel to have at your disposal, but it also increases the cost of owning and operating a scooter. Instead of having to pay for electricity to charge your device, you’ll have to purchase gas and oil.
Depending on how often you use your scooter, this can become quite the extra expense to take on. Not only is gas more expensive, but it’s also worse for the environment.
Plenty of people opt to own a scooter instead of a vehicle to minimize their carbon footprint. When you choose a gas scooter, you’re emitting fewer toxins than in a car, but it’s still not as clean as using an electric version.
With an electric scooter, there is relatively no maintenance to worry about. You won’t have to check fuel gauges, switch out oil filters, or make sure you have the perfect ratio of gas and oil for your trips. You’ll be able to save money and time on maintenance, unlike gas scooters.
Even when it comes time to pack the scooter away for the season, you’re going to need to spend the time cleaning and maintaining the parts of a gas scooter more than an electric one. With electric, all you have to do is disconnect the unit from power and fold it away.
Comparing Electric and Manual Scooters
It is quite obvious to tell that there’s no contest between most electric scooters and manual scooters. However, some of the lower-end models might travel just as fast as a manual one.
When it comes time to invest in a device, you’ll want to make sure you can go at speeds that are faster than what you can achieve with your legs. Some of the lower-powered scooters, such as the ones that go up to 10 miles per hour, are far slower than what you can do when manually pushing off.
At that point, it makes far more sense to save the money and invest in a manual scooter. You’ll typically want to find a model that is at least 30 miles per hour or more so that you can experience constant speeds without any physical effort.
How to Make an Electric Scooter Go Faster
There are a few tips you can put to good use when you want to modify your scooter. However, the most important thing to note is that you might encounter legal issues.
It is always best to refer to your local bylaws to see if modified scooters are allowed to be driven. Otherwise, you could be faced with numerous fines, especially if you are required to have a license to operate a scooter at a certain speed.
If you’re in the clear for modifying your unit, the two main components to focus on are the motor and the battery. The basic premise is that the more power your scooter has, the faster it’s going to go.
1. Switch the Batteries
Most of the modern electric scooters are equipped with lithium-ion batteries, which are known for their resilience and longevity. However, they also have rather long charging times, especially if they hold a large amount of power.
When you are buying standalone batteries, you will want to make sure they are rated for the motor you intend on installing it to. Typically, you’ll be able to choose between 24-, 36-, and 48-volt batteries, the more significant being the most powerful.
However, you won’t need a 48-volt battery with a 200-watt motor, as you’ll have too much reserve power not getting taken advantage of.
2. Add Batteries
Another one of the popular methods for increasing the speed of your scooter is to add a battery. However, it’s important to note that this task isn’t going to double your speed immediately; it’s only adding more power available for the scooter to use.
One of the main reasons for adding a battery is better performance traveling uphill, for example. If you add an extra battery without removing the speed limiter, your scooter will simply be able to travel for much longer than with one. However, if you do remove the limiter, you’re going to see a substantial change in speed.
3. Improve the Motors
The second part of your scooter you’ll have to focus on if you want to make it faster is the motor. Similar to your battery, motors are available in numerous capacities, typically ranging from 200 to 2000 watts, though some high-powered scooters go up to 8000 watts.
On average, you will want to stay within the realm of 2000 watts, as you won’t want to either burn the motor or the battery out with insufficient voltages.
4. Remove the Controllers
Also known as the speed limiter, the controller in your scooter is responsible for managing the speeds it achieves. This feature is how manufacturers can ensure customers only reach up to 20 miles per hour, for example.
Unfortunately, for those of you who want to improve your speeds, the controller can be quite inhibiting. This process is also where laws are going to come into play, as scooters typically require controllers to be legal to operate.
Most units give you the ability to remove the controller; however, this could also put a substantial amount of drain on your battery. This issue occurs because nothing is telling the motor or battery when to stop working, allowing you to reach maximum speeds.
Another concern to have is the likelihood of burning out your motor or your battery. You can achieve maximum speeds, but traveling at these speeds consistently will put a lot of wear and tear on the inner components of your scooter. If your model is designed to cap out at 20 miles per hour, you won’t want to ride it at 40 miles per hour every day.
5. Improve the Efficiency
If you’re not a fan of working with wires and circuits, there’s a far simpler solution that should help you gain a couple of miles per hour. All you have to do is make the device more efficient, smoother, and more aerodynamic. By removing unnecessary parts and equipment, you can improve the scooter’s speed.
One of the best ways to make a scooter travel faster is by limiting the weight it has to carry. Alternatively, you can opt for ones that are designed for heavier loads. You’ll want to get rid of unnecessary components, such as detachable seats or extra grip around the handlebars.
The less you carry with you on your trips is also a great way to improve scooter speeds. If you’re using yours for commuting, consider lessening your load by bringing a smaller backpack. It can also be a good idea to remove any baskets that you would use to hold belongings, as they can increase drag.
Tips to Remember
The most important thing to remember when it comes to making your scooter faster is its limits. Unless you’re building the device from scratch, there will always be one part limiting the unit, for example, the controller limiting the motor and battery.
Not paying attention to these limitations can force you to do more damage to the scooter.
You’re not going to want to remove the controller and install a larger motor without assessing the battery power. Otherwise, your scooter will be trying to draw an excessive amount of energy from a lower-powered battery, causing it to burn out. This theory also applies to replacing the battery or any other power-related part of your scooter.
Electric Scooters and Local Laws
As earlier mentioned, it is essential to make sure you’re not making any updates to your scooter that could be seen as unlawful. Otherwise, you might invest a lot of money into a unit and not be able to ride it anywhere for fear of being ticketed.
You must consider your local bylaws, as a lot of things can affect the effectiveness of your scooter.
First and foremost, you’ll want to consider the speed limits in the different areas you want to ride your scooter in. Depending on where you live, these limits may vary, quite similar to driving a traditional vehicle.
For example, in San Diego, the Mayor reduced scooter speeds to eight miles per hour within high-pedestrian areas. However, you might find the speed limits on park bike paths or private residential properties could be substantially higher.
Anywhere that there is a lot of foot traffic, you’re likely to see lower speeds and higher speeds with vehicle traffic. These rules help to make sure accidents and nuisances are avoided as much as possible.
There are also plenty of areas that set a maximum speed limit for scooters in general. For example, you won’t be allowed to purchase a device that goes above a certain speed. An excellent example of this is in Ontario, where electric bikes and scooters cannot be faster than 32 km/h.
You can guarantee there will also be restrictions about the available features on your scooter. It’s unlikely a government would allow riders to use ones without brakes, for example.
This part is particularly important for people who enjoy modifying the aesthetics of their electric scooters. Two of the most common design features you might need to have are headlights and brake lights.
Especially if you intend to ride your scooter on a roadway or sidewalk, you’ll need a model that provides clear visibility in low light. You might also find reflective stripes that could be required on the scooter’s body for your safety and the safety of other commuters.
If you live in a city where bikes are only permitted in certain areas, you can guarantee the same rules apply to electric scooters. You might only be able to ride them in specific lanes or on particular trails in your area.
At times, these devices could be banned in high-traffic areas that are prone to tourist traffic. Typically, local governments will provide maps of all of the electric scooter-friendly areas that you can go for casual rides. You may also want to consider using these maps to plan your commute path daily.
On average, most electric scooters allow you to travel anywhere from 20 to 25 miles per hour. However, numerous models go faster than 35 miles per hour, especially with modifications.
Regardless if you modify your scooter or not, you must take a look at your local laws to ensure you’re able to ride one in all of your favorite places. It’s always a good idea to ask how fast do electric scooters go to figure out if you can or should modify yours.