5 best electric scooters of 2021 – Insider

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Electric scooters have gone from curious novelties to reliable forms of transportation over the last few years, due in large part to the rise of e-scooter rental services like Lime and Bird. It doesn’t hurt that they’re just plain fun to ride, too.
But people have also discovered that owning their own is incredibly convenient — I know I have. Whether it’s a quick jaunt to the store, a ride to a restaurant, or the need to commute from a distant parking lot to the office, there are numerous times when having my own e-scooter was incredibly handy.
If you’ve been considering buying one, I can’t recommend it enough. No matter how you plan on using it, there’s plenty of model variety fit for just about anyone. But if you’re unsure which are worth the investment, I’ve compiled the five best electric scooters I’ve tested below. I’ve also included answers to a few electric scooter FAQs, as well as insight into how I tested each of the scooters featured. 
Learn more about how Insider Reviews tests outdoors products.
Best overall: Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES4, $699.99 on Segway
For excellent all-around performance, including good range and speed, the Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES4 is a great option for riders looking for a versatile, easy-to-use model.
Best budget option: Gotrax XR Ultra, $576.95 on Walmart
The budget-friendly Gotrax XR Ultra electric scooter provides good speed and range, along with more than a few unexpected features, without putting a major dent in your wallet. 
Best for commuters: Xiamoi Mi M365, $399.99 on Walmart
Lightweight and capable of folding down to a surprisingly small size, the Xiaomi Mi M365 is an electric scooter built specifically with commuters in mind. 

Best for performance: Outstorm Maxx Ultra High-Speed, $1997.98 on Amazon
If you’re in the market for a fast scooter with long-range, the Outstorm Maxx Ultra-High-Speed is exactly what you’re looking for. 
Best for kids: Razor E100, $164.79 on Amazon
Built with kids in mind, the Razor E100 is stable, comfortable to ride, and easy to control, while managing to remain nimble and fun.
For excellent all-around performance, including good range and speed, the Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES4 is a great option for riders looking for a versatile, easy-to-use model.
Pros: Up to 28 miles of range on a single charge, features a dual-battery design, large wheels allow for very minimal offroad travel, speeds up to 18 mph
Cons: Long battery recharge time
The Ninebot KickScooter by Segway ES4 has been on the market for several years and yet, it remains one of the top all-around models. Not only does it offer a solid and accurate range of 28 miles on a single charge, but it can also hit top speeds in excess of 18 mph.
The ES4‘s solid 8-inch wheels allow it to roll over large obstacles and provide a smooth ride on a variety of surfaces. Front and rear shock absorbers increase the level of comfort and help smooth out your commute. That’s especially important when zipping along at top speed, which tends to amplify every bump in the road.
Other features include a front-facing LED light, as well as customizable lights on the side and undercarriage to aid in visibility in lowlight conditions. A small but easy-to-read LCD screen displays current speeds and the battery’s charge level, while electric and mechanical braking systems allow for a good sense of control. This model even folds down nicely for easy transport and comes with IPX54 water resistance for use in poor weather conditions. 
Because the ES4 uses two batteries to keep it running at such a high level, it takes a little longer than some other models in this guide to recharge. It can take more than six hours to power this scooter up to its full capacity, which can require a bit of planning depending on your needs. The ES4 can function as a traditional kick scooter in a pinch, though. 
The budget-friendly Gotrax XR Ultra electric scooter provides good speed and range, along with more than a few unexpected features, without putting a major dent in your wallet. 
Pros: Inexpensive, weighs 27 pounds, sturdy tires, has both disc and electric brakes
Cons: Limited features
While the top end of the electric scooter market continues to push the envelope in terms of speed, range, and portability, many of those models remain too expensive for the general consumer. As with most products, the technology eventually trickles down to price points more palatable to the general public. 
Such is the case with the Gotrax XR, a budget e-scooter that offers a level of performance that should meet most people’s needs, without making them feel any buyer’s remorse after. 
The XR Ultra‘s top speed of 15.5 mph and a max range of 17 miles seems unimpressive when compared to other, more expensive, competitors. But its sub-$400 price tag makes this model a much more approachable option for those looking to dip their toe in the e-scooter waters. Put in other terms, this is the Toyota Camry of electric scooters.
One of the best elements of the XR Ultra is its very smooth and comfortable ride. This scooter glides along at a steady pace, its 8.5-inch inflatable tires rolling over most obstacles with ease. The XR’s folding frame and 27-pound weight should make it a favorite amongst budget-conscious commuters as well. In an effort to keep costs down, Gotrax didn’t include any kind of suspension, however, which means this model performs best on smooth, paved surfaces. 
That isn’t to say that the XR Ultra doesn’t have a good feature set. The scooter comes with both a disc and electric braking systems with regenerative properties. It also includes a bright LED headlight and an LCD screen that displays speed, distance, and battery life. 
Lightweight and capable of folding down to a surprisingly small size, the Xiaomi Mi M365 is an electric scooter built specifically with commuters in mind. 
Pros: Folds down for easy portability, weighs 27 pounds, comes standard with front and rear taillights
Cons: Only rated to carry riders up to 220 pounds
When selecting an e-scooter for use as a daily commuter, I want something that’s lightweight and easy to carry around, without compromising on performance. That’s exactly what I found in the Xiaomi Mi M365, which manages to provide 18.6 miles of range and a top speed of 15.5 mph while tipping the scales at a shade over 27 pounds.
And don’t let that lightweight fool you, it still has plenty of features packed into its design. For instance, it comes with front and rear lights, wide shock-absorbing tires, and an LED indicator for battery life. It also has a regenerative braking system that feeds power back into the battery, as well as a companion app for customizing settings and tracking distance, speed, and other metrics.
It’s clear Xiaomi put a lot of thought into making the M365 easy to use, too. This is evident in its folding mechanism, which allows it to shrink down to a more compact size in under three seconds. I appreciate that simplicity when entering and exiting trains, climbing stairs, riding elevators, or even taking the M365 in and out of a car trunk.
In order to achieve the M365‘s relatively low weight, Xiaomi used a minimalist design and a lightweight aluminum frame. Because of this, it’s only rated to carry riders weighing up to 220 pounds. The frame itself is plenty durable and can certainly support someone who exceeds that weight limit, but a heavier passenger cuts into performance, reducing both its range and speed.
If you’re in the market for a fast scooter with long-range, the Outstorm Maxx Ultra-High-Speed is exactly what you’re looking for. 
Pros: Up to 52 miles of range and speeds to 56 mph, maximum weight capacity of 485 pounds, can ride on gravel, dirt trails, and in sand
Cons: Extremely heavy at 100 pounds
When moving up to the performance level of the e-scooter market, prices increase substantially. While the models found at the top end of the scale are indeed fast and powerful, they can also cost several thousands of dollars. The Outstorm Maxx Ultra-High-Speed flirts with a $2000 price tag but ultimately delivers a lot of bang for the buck, striking an intriguing middle ground when it comes to performance and cost. 
The Maxx provides a top speed of 56 mph and a range of up to 52 miles. This is achieved thanks to dual motors, which can produce as much as 3200 watts of power at their highest level of output. It also allows the scooter to carry a maximum weight of 485 pounds and ride not only on paved surfaces but also on dirt trails, gravel, and sand.
This scooter features three different speed modes and two power modes, which made it easy to find a balance between speed and range. A digital readout prominently displays the scooter’s speed and shows its battery life and distance traveled. A regenerative braking system feeds energy back into the battery, while a bright LED headlight makes riding at night safer. The Maxx also features a hydraulic shock system, 11-inch tires, durable running boards, and electronic cruise control. 
This model weighs in at a whopping 100 pounds, which means it isn’t an especially good choice for commuting. Yes, it can fold down to a smaller size for ease of storage, but that doesn’t make it any easier to lift or move around when the battery is dead. Thankfully, with its large 60V power cells, it doesn’t run out of juice that often. 
Built with kids in mind, the Razor E100 is stable, comfortable to ride, and easy to control, while managing to remain nimble and fun. 
Pros: Offers a stable ride perfect for kids to learn on, easy to maneuver, favors safety over performance
Cons: Limited long-term durability, 26-pound weight could be a lot for kids to carry, not many features
While speed and range are of the utmost importance to adult riders, safety and stability are the chief concerns for kids. That design philosophy is evident with the E100, an e-scooter that’s sure to delight younger riders. 
The E100 provides a top speed of 10 mph and offers a ride time of about 40 minutes between charges. Yes, the range of this model is measured in minutes rather than miles, which is another departure from the adult scooter market. Forty minutes of continuous use is a fairly long time by kid standards, however, providing a reasonable amount of range before the battery runs dry. 
With its 8-inch pneumatic front tire, the E100 provides a nice, smooth ride. Coupled with the scooter’s rear-wheel-drive system, this shifts much of the weight to the back, enhancing stability and balance as a result. Hand brakes and a thumb throttle make learning to ride quick and easy too, making this a scooter even younger kids will feel comfortable on quite quickly. 
As with any product designed for kids, long-term durability is always in question. To alleviate those concerns, Razor used a steel frame in the construction of the E100, giving it a very solid feel overall. Those materials do end up adding some weight to the scooter, which tips the scales at 26 pounds. By adult e-scooter standards, that is quite svelte but younger kids may find the E100 unwieldy to lug around.  
Each of the electric scooters in this guide went through a series of tests to determine how well they compared against these four categories: Range, portability, versatility, and value. Here’s how I specifically considered each category while testing:
Range: Most electric scooters are defined by the range they’re capable of delivering, and this is the top factor to consider. To test this, we compared the on-paper range to how it fared in real-world tests. Where range begins to take a hit on almost every model is when you start riding uphill or traveling at its top speed for extended periods of time (and we’ve noted in the review of each model where this was the most significant).
Portability: Being able to easily transport a scooter is a vital consideration for anyone living in an apartment building or someone who plans on commuting part of the way on a scooter. Portability means not just how much it weighs but whether it folds up and is easy to carry. 
Versatility: Versatility also means that a scooter can handle a wide range of uses, from fun rides to commuting to running errands. Judging a scooter’s versatility meant seeing if it was capable of operating outside of its typical use case (within a set of safe parameters, of course).
Value: Value is a combination of the three categories above and how it relates to what it actually costs. This can often mean that it’s better to spend a little more on a quality scooter designed to last and function properly, as opposed to spending less on something you’ll need to replace more often. 
As the electric scooter market has grown and diversified, there are now a number of categories that help to define it. The most obvious of those categories is whether or not a specific model is designed with kids or adults in mind.
Those made for the younger crowd tend to be smaller, less expensive, and slower. They often have less battery life as well, which translates to a shorter range. Conversely, adult scooters are built for, well, adults, and as such, they are larger, faster, and heavier. They also tend to be more expensive. 
Unsurprisingly, when it comes to choosing an electric scooter, price is one of the major defining factors. At the lower end, you’ll find budget models that come with less expensive components, smaller batteries, and slower top speeds. Mid-tier e-scooters typically fall into the commuter segment and offer a nice blend of range and speed, with prices reflecting those upgrades.
At the high-end of the market, you’ll find performance models that can potentially cost more than $1,000 but are also quicker, more nimble, and have a longer range than their competitors. 
When shopping for an e-scooter of your own, there are some important specifications that you’ll want to keep in mind. Probably the most important of those specs is the range a scooter offers. Each scooter manufacturer offers an estimated range for a given model, which is defined as the distance it travels on a single charge. That distance is directly impacted by the size of the battery, the weight of the rider, and the surface type of surface that it is ridden on.
The outside temperature can also have an impact on the range, with colder temps drastically reducing the life of the battery. In real-world conditions, you can expect to ride anywhere from 10-40 miles before having to recharge.
Another defining characteristic of an e-scooter is its top speed. Its actual number varies greatly depending on the model and manufacturers will often boast of speeds in excess of 25 or even 30 mph, although in practice those numbers aren’t always accurate.
The size of the motor and battery, along with the weight of the rider, each have an impact on the level of performance. This results in many scooters cruising along in the 5-10 mph range, particularly when not riding on a flat, even surface. 
Still, shoppers are encouraged to consider the top speed of a model very carefully. A faster model may seem more fun, but it can be much more challenging to control. Quicker acceleration and more power can come in handy, particularly for commuters, but safety should be a primary concern as well.
Inexperienced riders are encouraged to choose slower, more stable options while still learning to ride. Additionally, faster scooters also tend to burn through their battery life more quickly, reducing range as result. 
Those who plan to use a scooter for commuting should pay close attention to its weight. Lugging it on and off the subway, or up and down several flights of stairs, can be quite a challenge, especially if your particular model wasn’t built with that in mind.
As with buying a bicycle, the components used in manufacturing an e-scooter have a direct impact on how much it weighs. Budget models tend to have smaller batteries and motors, which of course weigh less than their larger, more powerful counterparts. However, the other components found on these types of scooters often weigh quite a bit more, which keeps the price down but pushes the weight up.
More expensive models tend to have a more powerful drivetrain but are made from high-quality, lighter components. The result tends to be a scooter that costs more, performs better, and is easier to carry around. 
Some electric scooters that have been specifically designed with commuters in mind may even offer the option to collapse down to a smaller size for ease of transport. Scooters that fold up and can be stored in a carrying case or bag have become so common that they now fall into a category entirely of their own.

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