The main appeals of getting an electric scooter (also called 'electric moped' or just 'moped') are for it's cheap, eco-friendly travelling around a small area. In a world where electric transport are seeing a rise in popularity, expensive toys like Segways and electric unicycles are becoming trendy. It's refreshing to see something as simple and fun as an electric scooter, which is one of the reasons why people tend to use a charged moped.
Travellers also tend to rent a charged moped for sightseeing purposes, which can be great fun too, though be sure to double check the law if you're planning on doing this, since some states require a license.
Below is a review of one of my favorite electric scooters: the Razor EcoSmart Metro. Razor Scooters have been around since 2000, and have received numerous awards and praise for their innovation and cutting edge technology.
The Razor EcoSmart is powered by a 500W motor with a 36 volt electric system which can be recharged with any source of electricity. As advertised, the EcoSmart can reach ranges of 18-20 mph on flat surfaces and even faster on downward slopes.
The battery is a 7.5 AH one which could be replaced to improve the travelling distance. Furthermore, these batteries are stored in a nylon zipper case which is in the bin, under my feet, allowing me to ride this in the rain without fear of ruining it.
The manual suggests charging the batteries for 12 hours, however, I'm able to get this thing running for 7-8 miles by just charging for a few hours. Occasionally, I would charge it overnight for 12 hours though, as it's good for the batteries.
Max travel distance of the scooter:
This is one of the most important questions to ask when considering buying or renting an electric scooter. Unfortunately, it's extremely difficult to answer, since it varies from scenario to scenario. Things such as rider's weight, travel surface and slopes/hills can alter this value greatly. Hills are the biggest factor and even a slight slope can cause a change as drastic as 60% reduction, especially if the rider weighs a lot, since it takes a tonne more energy to move upwards than horizontally.
Here's a rough estimation on the travel distance: If the driver is light weight and travelling on a completely horizontal surface, the scooter should reach 10-14 miles. On the other hand, if they're heavy and constantly travelling uphill, expect the max range to be reduced to 1-3 miles (no kidding).
The seat is heavily padded and contains 2 shock absorbing springs, making it a comfortable ride even during long distances. The seat and handlebar rake is also adjustable unlike some other mopeds, allowing both short and tall people to ride comfortably.
The rear luggage space is also nice, as sometimes I'll be carrying up to 12 lbs of items with me.
I'll let the picture speak for itself. This isn't a motorbike, so don't expect to look cool riding one of these things, but it sure is fun as hell. Riding this thing will bring out the inner child in most of us.
The design is also as minimalistic as it gets, nothing flashy.
Pricing and Conclusion:
The scooter only costs around $400 on Amazon, but it's certainly not a low end product, and it's certainly worth more than it's price. This is a great purchase for those who are on a budget, and need some means of transportation other than public transport (especially for those in rural areas). Or it's for those who just want to have some fun!