Convenient, compact and fast, electric scooters could just be the future of local transport, but how do e-scooters work? Made available to buy in 1996, e-scooters have been around for longer than many people think.
Although they offer a fun means of getting around, the mechanisms within an electric scooter are surprisingly simple.
If you’re considering investing in one, it’s a good idea to understand the basics as to how e-scooters work. Here’s what you need to know.
How Do Electric Scooters Work?
At first glance battery operated scooters look very similar to a regular kick scooter but the way they work is very different. With a kick scooter you’ll need to power the movement by scooting along the floor with your leg, but with an e-scooter the vehicle does all the work.
An e-scooters uses a small electric motor; this is what provides all the power, allowing you to take it easy and enjoy the ride. The motor uses a rechargeable battery which is considered to be a very eco-friendly form of power. It will require regular charging so that you don’t run out of power while you’re out on your travels.
The speed of the motor is controlled by a throttle which is accessed via the handlebars, usually by either a twisting motion or a button. Electric scooters also have a braking system, of which there are a number of different types such as hydraulic, drum and electric brakes. The throttle and brake ensure that the rider has complete control over their speed and stopping distance at all times.
How Do E-Scooters Charge?
The rechargeable battery is an essential part of the electric scooter, and each will have a maximum range. This can be anything from 9 miles up to the 35 miles available on models such as the P1+.
It’s not a good idea to let your battery go completely flat as this can reduce its lifespan. Recharging your scooter after every use is an easy way to ensure the battery is kept topped up.
When you arrive back home, give your scooter 15 minutes to cool down before charging. Then simply plug your charger into a wall socket, and then into the charging port on your scooter. Many types of scooter have a charging light which turns green when fully charged, but check your manufacturer’s manual.
The length of time the battery takes to charge will depend on how empty it is, and the type of battery. Many modern electric scooters like the P1+ mentioned above have a lithium ion battery. These are not only lightweight but also charge very quickly, typically taking no longer than 2-4 hours for a full charge.
Once your battery is fully charged, unplug it and store the scooter securely until you’re ready to go riding again!
Is It Hard To Ride An Electric Scooter?
Riding an electric scooter is very easy, even if you’ve never operated any kind of electric vehicle before. It takes very little effort and you simply need to steer, brake and control your speed.
The electric motor doesn’t start until the scooter is in motion, so to begin you’ll just need to push off gently - just as you would with a regular kick scooter. You can then use the throttle on the handlebars to control your speed while standing with two feet on the deck.
When you want to stop you apply the brakes, and prepare to place one foot back on the ground for balance.
It’s that easy!
Can You Ride An Electric Scooter Without Power?
In theory, it’s possible to ride an electric scooter if you don’t have any power but it’s incredibly hard work and not recommended.
As the e-scooter needs to be moving for the motor to start, it’s not impossible for the wheels to turn without power. However, the weight of the motor and battery, plus the resistance of a non-operational motor make manual scooting extremely hard work.
If you ever run out of battery power, experts suggest walking your electric scooter back to your destination rather than attempting to scoot.
How Do Electric Scooter Rentals Work?
If all of this has you raring to go, you might want to try out an e-scooter rental before investing in your own. Rental scooters can be ridden on some public roads under the current trial scheme, if you’re within an area which is participating in the pilot.
To rent an electric scooter you must be at least 16 years of age and hold either a provisional or full driving licence.