Budget is obviously an important consideration when choosing between different electric scooters.
The ideal price point will vary between individuals, but the most important thing here is to find the right balance between value and price. That is, how much you are willing to pay against what features you actually need.
Consider the basics first, according to the features we have discussed above: get a good braking system, large enough wheels with air-filled tires, a durable frame, and available spare parts.
As with any products, quality and features will improve with price, but there is always the possibility for outliers. In general, we can divide electric scooters into the following categories based on price points:
Budget Electric Scooters (less than $300)
Scooters in this category are only recommended for recreational use on smooth and easy terrains. Typically characterized with relatively low-powered motors (and so low top speeds), low range (battery capacity), and weaker brakes. There are, however, some excellent products in this category with great overall value.
Commuter-Class Electric Scooters
We can further divide commuter electric scooters into three price categories:
- Budget Commuter (between $300 and $600)
Typically these scooters are designed for travelling short distances, ideal for daily commuting. They offer reasonable ranges and pretty decent build, but you should expect occasional maintenance and repairs every now and then. Can last for 3 to 5 years with proper maintenance, and is a great choice if your daily ride has smooth surfaces and not a lot of steep hills.
- Midrange Commuter ($600 to under $1,000)
Typically characterized with a slightly larger battery capacity (and so more range), and there are also those that offer more motor power and comfortable speed that budget-level commuters. Some electric scooters offer suspension or any other shock-absorbent technologies.
- Premium Commuter ($900 to $1,500+)
Premium electric scooters like Segway Ninebot Max typically feature suspensions, larger motors (and higher top speeds), more range, and better brakes. As a result of these extra features, you’d get a much more comfortable ride compared to the mid-range offerings. There is, however, typically a major downside besides price range in this class of commuter scooters: extra weight. You can expect premium commuter scooters to be around 35 to 40 pounds in weight, and so carrying it up stairs or loading it into the trunk of a car can be difficult.
Performance-Class Electric Scooters ($1,200 to $2,500)
As the name suggests, this class of electric scooters is reserved for those with above-average top speeds (and comfortable cruising speeds) as well as above-average range/battery life. Many electric scooters in this category feature dual motors with large battery capacities. Some of the best electric scooters in this category can offer 50 miles (around 80km) of range. You will also start to see some advanced features like tubeless pneumatic tires, extra-large wheels, hydraulic brakes, LED lights/turn signals, and so on.
High-Performance Electric Scooters (Above $2,500)
The best of the best, this category of electric scooters offer the top performance in all aspects except weight and portability. They typically offer dual motors that can reach above 40mph, large battery capacity for at least 40 miles of range, advanced suspension technology, and hydraulic disc brakes for instant stopping power.
While you can certainly use scooters in this price range for daily commuting, their large wheels and tires might not be comfortable to ride on, since they are typically designed for off-roading. They are typically the heaviest and can weigh above 70 pounds.
What To Expect From What You Pay
In general, the price for a scooter should be determined by the following factors:
- A better ride-quality overall
- Higher speed and higher cruising range
- Better quality and materials used to manufacture the electric scooter
- Battery quality. The battery can come in various types (lithium-ion, lead-acid, etc. ), capacities, brands, and so on
- Software and in some cases and mobile app that controls the riding capabilities
- Extra features and functions (better brakes, better design, etc.)
However, this is where pricing might go wrong. Some products might be cheaper, but provide better performance and offer better features. However, in today’s mature and fair market, most of the times the above factors are pretty accurate.
Let us dig deeper about the factors that might reflect the price of an electric scooter:
The electric scooter’s motor is an important factor in driving the electric scooter’s price range. Powerful motors can produce higher top speed and can allow the scooter to pass rough terrains and steep hills.
In most cases, the price of the motor itself is about 20 to 30% the total price of the whole scooter. The average motor power for electric scooters is around 250 W, and at the moment most provinces in Canada only allow a maximum power of 500 W.
- Battery (Cruising Range)
The battery capacity of an electric scooter will affect its cruising range and is one of the main factors that determine the price of the scooter. In most cases, the battery is around 30% of the price of the entire scooter. The stronger and more reliable the battery is, and the shorter the charge times, the more expensive the battery will be.
The frame of an electric scooter dictates its durability and also weight. High-end scooters generally are made of high-quality and lightweight materials like aluminium, and cheaper scooters tend to be made of plastics.
When it comes to scooter electronics, there are several factors that must be considered: lighting system, on/off functionalities (some have newer, more advanced functions), electronic/regenerative braking, and so on.
- Software and App
Newer electric scooters can connect to smartphone apps, where we can control things like turning on/off the lights, monitor the battery status, check your travel distance, and even adjust/limit the speed. Advanced software and app might contribute to the electric scooter’s factors.
It’s important to note that more expensive scooters aren’t necessarily the better ones (although in most cases, they are). Yet, it is more important to consider the right balance between price and overall value you’d get from the electric scooter, based on the factors we have discussed above.