Since 2019, our team of experts has bought and tested 20 electric scooters. In this review, we compare the best 12 head-to-head across several performance tests. We ride these machines on varying street surfaces and measured hill gradients to appraise their power, ride, braking, and range. Each model is put through a multitude of speed tests on a flat course to assess top speed, as well as the experience in each scooter's speed setting. We time how long it takes to fully charge their batteries and assess ease of portability. After countless hours of pushing each model to its limits, we narrowed the group down to our final recommendations that will satisfy needs ranging from transportation to recreation.
Before you purchase an electric scooter, you might like to check out our electric scooter buying advice guide to ensure you get the right one for your needs. If you love zipping around, you may also be interested in some other modes of electric transport, like skateboards and hoverboards, which we have also tested extensively.
Editor's Note: This electric scooter review was updated on December 19th, 2022, with information about the updated version of the Award-winning Glion Dolly 225-22 and the new Unagi Model One.
Good headlight and additional lights for enhanced visibility
REASONS TO AVOID
Settings can be confusing
Eight hour charge time if you don't purchase the fast charger
The Apollo City impressed our testers across the board and came out on top as our most highly regarded electric scooter. The feature-rich model has an excellent, smooth ride thanks to a combination of 10" pneumatic tires and effective front and rear suspension. A 600W motor helps propel this machine up to an impressive 22.5 mph, and powerful brakes balance that speed with confidence-inspiring stopping power. Perhaps best of all, it has a whopping 23 mile measured effective range, so it won't leave you hanging on longer commutes or joy rides. A simple but sturdy lever locks and unlocks the stem, and it can be folded down for storage or transport. Additionally, it comes with a quality headlight, under-deck, and brake lights for enhanced visibility, as well as customizable settings so you can set it up for your needs.
While the Apollo City is portable, its heavier 42.8-pound weight makes it less than ideal for hauling around longer distances. Its long range of 23 miles is impressive, but that also correlates to an above-average 8 hour charging time. That said, you will be less likely to charge from zero thanks to the longer range, and you can also go longer between charging intervals. Purchase a fast charger, and you can cut the charging time in half. We love the customizable settings, but we found the process to be a bit confusing and had to reference an instructional video. Beyond these gripes, this is a stellar model for the user willing to spend a little more for top-of-the-line performance.
The Gotrax G4 is a smooth-riding, long-range electric scooter for those looking to make their commutes hassle-free. The lithium-ion battery easily held a charge for almost two hours or 22 miles in our tests, and the large, 10-inch pneumatic wheels help you take on cracks and dips in the pavement with confidence and comfort. The 350-watt powered motor climbs up hills with a steepness grade of 10% (although, naturally, steeper hills reduce speed). With a maximum speed of 20 miles per hour, this zippy transportation device also comes equipped with reliable brakes.
The G4 is a great all-around scooter. Although, it is important to note that a powerful motor, long-lasting batteries, and durable wheels add extra weight. This scooter clocks in around 38 pounds, which makes carrying it long distances rather cumbersome. However, the weight is evenly distributed, and it is easy to fold up. That means popping in and out of your car is a breeze. The G4 is a significant investment, but we are thoroughly impressed that it performs toe to toe with scooters that cost hundreds more. If you are looking for a quality-built device that is versatile and reliable enough to ride to work or let your kids ride around the neighborhood, the G4 is a great option.
The Gotrax GXL V2 is a good, do-it-all economy scooter with some high-end features. For example, the brakes have an electric anti-locking system for smooth slow-downs, and the accelerator has a cruise-control function to give your thumb a rest on long rides. Additionally, the scooter sports air-filled (pneumatic) tires that provide a nice, smooth ride on rough roads while improving grip in corners. Added frills are a bell, kickstand, and digital display, which provides speed and battery charge information. Finally, the steering column safety latch is quite solid, lending testers a measure of confidence to let it rip when out cruising.
While the Gotrax GXL V2 offers consumers many great features, it lacks power and range. In our hill climbing tests, the scooter failed to climb a 10.5% grade hill that generally separates the lower-end scooters from the higher-end ones. Also, the GXL has a limited range of just 7.4 miles and a max speed of 12 mph. All told, the scooter left adult testers wanting more. Finally, we had trouble with the carrying latch that secures the steering column in the folded position, allowing it to be used as a carrying handle. Despite these shortcomings, the benefits of the scooter, along with its low cost, make it a good choice for smaller riders largely using it for recreation and short commutes.
When portability and performance are critical, the Glion Dolly 225-22 is the ticket. This workhorse boasts a huge range, powerful braking, compact dimensions, and moderate weight, making it a standout commuter-friendly scooter. With a 24.5 mile range, the Glion will keep rolling longer than most will care to ride. The namesake dolly function has an extendable handle and roller wheels, which means the scooter is easy to transport. Additionally, the scooter stands upright in its folded configuration, making it great for storing in tight spaces like a cubical.
While we are impressed with the Glion overall, it isn't without its shortcomings. For example, testers reported that the Glion's honeycombed rubber tires transferred feedback from the road to their feet and hands that could become uncomfortable over time. Additionally, the Glion's handlebar grips came loose and started to spin during the test interval. Finally, the dolly wheels that make rolling the scooter so easy stick out enough to contact the road when banking turns at high speeds. That said, this scooter is by far the best commuter in the class.
To find out which electric scooters are the best in class, we did an exhaustive investigation of all the top brands and models. Based on this research, we then bought all the models that showed promise to perform at a high level. We ran each through a battery of comparative testing that pushed the machines to the limits of their performance, utility, and handling. These analyses include (but are not limited to) speed, hill-climbing ability, braking, battery longevity and recharge speed, and portability. Our goal here is to simulate the highest demands a consumer could place on these machines and evaluate which could stand up to such impositions.
Our testing for electric scooters is comprised of five rating metrics:
To analyze the practical strengths and weaknesses of scooters, we devised quantifiable tests to allow us to rate each product side by side. An analysis of this sort prevents us from making vague, anecdotal assertions. Instead, we hone in on specific metrics of interest, such as scooter portability, battery range, ride, braking, and power. The following sections delve into each of the scooter test categories and explain how we quantify the performance of each product. Read on to find the right electric scooter for you.
When making an electric scooter purchase, you first need to consider how the scooter will primarily be used. Generally speaking, the more you ask from these vehicles, the more you will have to fork over at checkout. However, this does not equate to a reduction in value so long as the functionality increases with the price. To put this into context, let's say you want a commuter scooter, and your particular commute is 5 miles each way, and the route has a few short, steep hills. When you get to your destination, you need to fold the scooter up to ride the elevator to your office. And let's suppose it's not possible to recharge the battery for the return trip.
This kind of commute demands a scooter like the Ninebot Max or Gotrax G4, with the Gotrax being the better value for most riders. Both of these products, though, require a considerable outlay of cash. However, we would say that they offer a high value because they can meet all of the requirements above, whereas a less expensive product would leave you walking up the hills or running out of battery. Conversely, if one is looking for a fun toy for the kids to play with in the driveway, the high-end scooters would be overkill. For the best intersection of performance and price, the Gotrax GXL V2 fits in well. It can handle shorter commutes as well as youthful romps, and its price tag is less daunting than the premium models. You will sacrifice some power, range, and portability at this lower price point, but it's one of the smoothest riding machines we tested, and it has a great brake system as well, adding an extra measure of safety.
Range, or travel radius, is the distance you can travel on a single battery charge, and it should be the first factor to consider when shopping for an electric scooter because all the other considerations fall by the wayside if your ride runs out of juice and you end up walking. Most manufacturers provide a claimed range that typically involves ideal conditions and a slower speed (less power consumption). To collect comparable range data on the models, we first set up a flat test track of known length on surface streets near our lab. We then ran the contending models around the course at 13 mph (or at their top speed if lower) until the batteries drained to the point that they could no longer propel the scooter and rider.
A scooter's range may be more or less important to you depending on your intended use, of course, so it is important to consider how and how far you plan on riding it. If you have a long commute, you will want to be sure to get a scooter that can actually make it there. If the scooter is just for your kids to play in the neighborhood, a shorter range may be just fine.
This test highlights some nuanced issues requiring the establishment of two subcategories to quantify and accurately explain each model's range. These are effective range and maximum range. We define the effective range as the number of miles traversed at or near the scooter's maximum speed. Conversely, we define the maximum range as the longest distance you can travel at any speed. Ideally, one would want the battery to propel the scooter and rider at full tilt until the very end of the battery's charge. However, this is not the case with a number of the models tested. Amazingly, the Glion Dolly 225-22 ran at 13 mph for 24.5 miles until the battery died. The Gotrax G4 happily strutted along for about 22 miles, and the Apollo City impressed us with 23 miles. The clear winner in the range test was the Ninebot Max at 25 effective miles.
Tip: Although two scooters may have the same factory-listed run time, that does not mean they will have the same effective or maximum range. Range depends on how fast the scooter will go and for how long, and at what steepness. It is also affected by variables such as rider weight and riding speed.
Complementing the range analysis is the charge time. All the models in this review, except for the Razor E300, use lithium-ion batteries. The average charging time for these batteries is about 4.7 hours. While charge times vary a great deal, one way to look at a model's performance is as a ratio of charge time to range. Using this as a yardstick, the Ninebot Max is a standout with a recharge time of 6 hours and a range of ~25 miles. That's just 14 minutes and 30 seconds of charge time per mile traveled! Similarly, if you purchase the aftermarket fast charger for the Apollo City, you can reduce the charge time from 8 hours to a mere 4 hours.
We concede that power is a fairly general term, but it's nonetheless an important performance consideration for any motor-powered vehicle test. We break this metric into an assessment of a vehicle's maximum speed and its ability to climb both moderate (3.5%) and steep (10.5%) grades. The speed test, which was conducted on flat ground, is simply an assessment of maximum speed in miles per hour.
Before we dive into the power tests, we should first mention how these scooters get going. Most of the test models will not take off from a dead stop without the rider first kicking once to get them moving. Once the machine gets some human-powered momentum, the electric motor takes over. It pays the human back in kind, plus some serious interest as it accelerates and cruises without any additional input.
Okay, with that out of the way, on to the speed tests. Once the vehicle was moving from the initial pump, we took it up to its maximum flat ground speed — the speed with the throttle fully depressed — and timed it while it traversed a 100-foot stretch. This test was repeated three times for each model. Finally, we calculated the average feet per second of the three trials and converted them into miles per hour. The Ninebot Max (16.7 mph), Hiboy S2 (17 mph), Razor E Prime III (18.4 mph), and Gotrax G4 (19.8 mph) are standouts in this category for their top speeds, but our true winner is the Apollo City. The Apollo hits a whopping 22.5 miles per hour, easily besting the others in this test. This result didn't come as too much of a surprise, given the Apollo's 600W motor.
As for hill climbing capability, most of the models in our test suite cruised up the 3.5% grade with mild reductions in speed ranging from 3-7 mph. When forced to ascend the much steeper (10.5% grade) quarter-mile test slope, most scooters displayed their lack of power and failed to complete the ascent. The Ninebot MAX flew up this hill like it had a hellhound chasing its rear wheel. No other model matched this scooter's uphill power and speed. The Apollo City also impressed us on the hills. It was unfazed by the 3.5% slope and only slowed to a respectable 7-8 mph on the steeper 10.5% grade. The Gotrax G4 wasn't far behind. It only lost a few miles per hour on the 3.5% grade and crawled up the 10.5% grade at a slow 5-6 miles per hour.
An electric scooter'sride is a more subjective metric than the others discussed thus far. However, it is a critical aspect of our appraisal because it evaluates the smoothness — or lack thereof — that any person who has operated a vehicle knows. To make this assessment as objective as possible, we test each model on the same 1.2-mile surface street loop with a variety of surface textures. When the scooter wheels pass over bumps and cracks in the road, we ask ourselves: how aware are we of these features? When on rough surfaces that cause vibration, we asked: how do our hands and feet feel? Is there any discomfort? Do we feel in control? And most importantly, is this still fun?
One way to contextualize the questions posed above is to create a spectrum for comparison that has a skateboard (small, hard rubber wheels) on one end and a beach cruiser bike (large pneumatic or air-filled tires) on the other. As the reader may already know, skateboards give a ton of feedback passing over cracks. In comparison, pneumatic (air-filled) tires on a bike provide some give and, thus, absorb vibration quite well.
Of the highest-rated model in the ride metric, the Apollo City was head and shoulders above the rest. It features 10" pneumatic tires along with front and rear suspension to provide a supremely smooth ride. Other products in this review that enjoy high marks in the ride metric — such as the Gotrax G4, Gotrax GXL V2, and Ninebot MAX — also have pneumatic tires. Accordingly, they transfer minimal vibration through the handlebars and the deck (standing platform). On the other hand, the models with hard tires, such as the Unagi Model One and Hiboy S2, offer a relatively rough ride. Even the Segway Ninebot ES, which has solid tires and a front and rear suspension system, does not achieve equivalent ride quality to the models with pneumatic tires.
The ride isn't just a luxury. A rough riding product can be a safety concern because roughness at its extreme translates to a loss of stability and, ultimately, control. On the other hand, a smooth ride provides a predictable platform that allows the operator to focus on other concerns such as cars, pedestrians, and potholes that have the potential to give more serious feedback.
Up to this point, we have concerned ourselves with the movement of the scooters: how fast, how far, and how smooth. To be sure, these are important features to consider. However, we also think that stopping is pretty important. Before going into how we assess braking, let's first look at the different types of brakes employed by the scooters in our review. These are electronic, disk, fender, and drum. The first is a battery-dependent magnetic device, while the latter three are friction devices.
In most cases, the brakes discussed above will be paired either as disk and motor or fender and motor. In the case of the Ninebot MAX, it's a drum and motor. The Razor E300 is an exception as it only employs a single brake.
Our top performers in this category are the Gotrax GXL V2, Hiboy S2, Ninebot ES1L, Ninebot KickScooter MAX, Unagi Model One, and Glion Dolly 225-22. Other notable performers in the braking metric were the Apollo City and the Ninebot KickScooter ES2.
The way we see it, there are two scenarios in which brake performance is critical. The first is flat-ground braking when something unexpected occurs, and you must bring the scooter to a rapid halt. An example would be when you're cruising down the street, and a car unexpectedly pulls out in front of you. The other is when you're heading down a hill. Although zipping around at high speeds can be a hoot, hills are where things can quickly get out of hand, so you need to be able to rein it in quickly.
We dubbed our hill test the confidence on descent test. We conducted these tests on three different grades (5, 10, and 15%). All the models performed well on the shallower two grades, so we'll discuss the steepest of the three. Each model we tested allowed us to hold their speed to a comfortable level or come to a complete stop on a 15% grade. However, we discovered that if we carried speed into the hill, this outcome became a bit harder to achieve, requiring additional brake pressure and resulting in prolonged slowdown distances.
Models with fender brakes proved a bit more difficult to use on the steeps due to the required change in foot position and weight distribution. Models with dual brake systems activated by a single hand lever proved most effective on descents because the system is quite powerful. Moreover, the convenience of the hand lever allowed the test rider to maintain a balanced, comfortable position that was otherwise disrupted when using a fender brake.
The flat ground stop tests uncovered some unanticipated disparities in the braking systems when contrasted with the descent tests. First, we were surprised by the distances required to bring a scooter going ~12 mph to a complete stop using the motor + disk brake system. Second, we were surprised and impressed by the power produced by the fender brake. On average, the motor + disk systems took 27.9 feet, while the fender brakes took 16.3 to stop completely. The Gotrax GXL V2 reduced that distance to just 12 feet, the shortest in the class.
Portability is a critical feature for anyone who wants to use a scooter as a transportation device in an urban setting. Why? Well, the machine must be able to fold to stow in an apartment, office, on a train, or in the trunk of a car. Additionally, the machine must be light enough to carry up a flight of stairs or through turnstiles. With a critical eye on design features supporting these needs, we looked at the folded dimensions (compactness), the carrying handle, and the ability to roll the machine — opposed to carrying it — when folded.
The Ninebot MAX, Apollo City, and Razor E300 are outliers in this category as they each weigh over 40 pounds and have bulky dimensions relative to others in the class. However, all of the products in this review except the Razor E300 attempt to address the portability issue. As the name implies, the Glion Dolly 225-22 effectively resolves the portability problem. The Glion is light, compact, and can be rolled when folded — like a dolly — to make walking with it a cinch. None of the other models we tested can claim to have a dolly function, although one can roll them on their rear wheels if needed. Of those models trailing the Glion, the Razor E Prime III, Gotrax G4, and Unagi Model One aren't far behind.
There are dozens of electric scooters on the market today, and each year the number grows. We know how difficult it can be to pick one out of the many and still feel confident about the decision. Above, we have outlined what we think are the most important factors to consider and which models perform best in each area. We hope that this thorough review will aid you in purchasing one of these fun and practical machines.
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GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.