6 Best Electric Scooters (2023): Affordable, Lightweight, Long-Range, Fast
I’ve tested a ton of scooters. Not all of them deserve a spot above, but some are still worth a mention. These are a few other good scooters I like:
Navee S65 for $1,099: Navee is a relatively new brand growing its presence in the US, and I had a great time using the S65 (7/10, WIRED Recommends). I was able to regularly complete 16-mile round trips at 20 mph, but that pretty much depleted the battery. It has great acceleration, thanks to its geared hub motor, and it climbs slopes with ease, but this also makes it very loud. The motor’s sound disappears if you’re in a noisy city like New York City, but it can make you self-conscious on quiet streets. It’s 53 pounds, so it’s heavier than the Niu despite having a similar range, and its customer service is a little questionable since it’s so new. Still, I had fun riding it.
Apollo Ghost for $1,549: At 64 pounds, the Apollo Ghost (8/10, WIRED Recommends) is not the scooter for walkups, but it’s tremendous fun. I tested the 2021 model, but the 2022 version has some upgrades. The dual 1,000-watt motors can vault you to 34 miles per hour (if that’s legal where you live), but I mostly relied on the single motor and cruised at around 20 to 25 mph—there’s a button to switch between the two, and modes to further limit your speed. Anyone in a hilly city will benefit from the power and extended range of the Ghost. I hit around 20 miles on a single charge (Apollo claims a generous 37). There are front and visibility LEDs built under and around the deck, along with a taillight. As for the brakes, you can get wire-controlled discs or upgrade to hydraulic ones. The former delivered enough stopping power for me, but the latter is more responsive and reliable.
Evolv Terra for $1,242: I enjoyed my time with the Evolv Terra (7/10, WIRED Recommends). If you’re considering the Apollo Ghost above, consider this first because it’s slightly cheaper, a little lighter at 53 pounds, and easier to carry. It’s just as powerful, with the potential to go as fast as 31 miles per hour when you engage both 600-watt motors (check your local speed laws first!). Otherwise, you can cruise along at 20 mph as I did on the second gear speed setting (there are three in total) with the single motor. Range isn’t dissimilar either; I usually had two bars left after 15 miles on the Terra so it can potentially last more than 20 miles, especially if you’re conservative with its speeds. The suspension is OK but the solid tires on rougher roads can feel quite bumpy. The fenders also seem pretty useless to me as, after a wet ride post-rain, my back was covered in specks of dirt kicked up from the rear tire. The stem’s angle is also a little too close to my body, and the lack of a thumb throttle meant my wrist hurt after long rides. You can tweak the angle of the throttle and brakes to improve this though. These are relatively minor quibbles considering the price.
Radio Flyer S533 for $599: Honestly, I’m surprised at how well this scooter did in my tests. The folding mechanism is just a latch and a sleeve you pull down to keep the latch from coming undone while you ride. It’s super easy to fold and unfold, and lightweight at 30 pounds. It’s not a commuter scooter by any means—my range hovered under 8 miles on a single charge—and despite exceeding its 220-pound load capacity, I averaged around 14 mph of its 16 mph top speed. It’s a nice little scooter for going to the post office, to the grocery store, or to Cinnabon when my wife asks for a cinnamon roll. However, its price doesn’t match its power and performance; it really should be cheaper. It’s also worth noting that the first model the company sent me didn’t turn on and the second model had a deflated front tire. Inflating it was a quick affair and I haven’t had problems since.
Segway Ninebot F30 for $400: This used to be my top recommendation for most people, but after a longer testing period, I’ve found that the range has dramatically reduced at a much faster pace compared to other electric scooters I’ve tried. It used to last around 10 miles or so, but lately, I’ve only managed around 6. I still think it’s a great scooter. It goes 15 mph, is comfy to ride, and you get a good set of essentials, such as reliable lights, brakes, and an intuitively designed bell. It’s fairly lightweight, too, at 33 pounds. If your budget can stretch, I’d go for the Ninebot F40 ($800), which can go a bit faster and has better range, but I still prefer the Niu KQi3 Pro at that price.
Apollo Air Pro for $799: The Apollo Air Pro (2022) is a perfectly fine scooter (6/10, WIRED Review), I just don’t think it’s worth the high price. It goes up to 21 mph, and I was able to ride it for about 13 to 15 miles before it died. You get all the accouterments, like a front light and bell, and there’s app connectivity to tweak settings to your liking. However, the app is required to unlock the Air Pro’s true speed—otherwise, you’re restricted to 12 mph. I’m more miffed at the folding mechanism, which is more work than it should be. It also doesn’t accelerate too fast and, despite its 39-pound weight, is uncomfortable to carry due to its thick stem. I have not tested the new 2023 model.