E-Scooter buyer´s guide 2020

Vytvořil Ralf Jodl v 12:05 18. května 2020

The use determines the choice

The decision which scooter to choose depends on where and how you intend to use your scooter. Why? Because you should look at the technical details which are most relevant for how you want to use your new pocket rocket. If, for instance, you travel by train every day and often have to carry your scooter a 22kg fun scooter does not make much sense. Sounds plausible, doesn’t it? So this here is the time to warn you that there is a piece of bad news coming: An E-Scooter which you can enjoy for a long time is made of high quality materials. In addition to that manufacturers try to use lightweight materials so as not to add unwanted weight. And last not least every scooter needs to be approved for public roads in Germany. All that has an effect on the cost of manufacturing and thus on the final price. We have been watching developments for a good while now, and our conclusion is that it is difficult to find an E-Scooter below 500 Euro worth its salt. That’s our personal verdict, but we are open to be shown differently by manufacturers.

What type are you?

To make choosing easier for you we have divided our portfolio into three categories. There are, of course, scooter that fit into more than one category but still do not really meet all the expectations in all categories. The second step then would be to look at the features that are particulary relevant for yourself. 

  • Cityhopper: You’re out and about in the city all the time, and you want to take the E-scooter with you on the train/bus, or into the office? Then this here is for you.
  • Cruising: This is your category if you go on longer rides and want to ride in comfort.
  • FUN: You’re looking for the extra bit of E-Scooter fun, off road, for instance? Then the Fun Category is exactly right for you

Cityhopper - the compact and lightweight e-scooters

You live in the uppermost apartment in an old high ceiling building in a large city and want to use your scooter mainly to complement public transport? Then the “Cityhopper” category is where you will score. We considered the following aspects particularly important:

  • Weight: The E-Scooter shouldn’t be too heavy for you to still be able to carry it. Heavy is relative, right! We offer scooters between 13kg and 22. For a cityhopper 15 kg or less is nice.
  • Folded size: If you want to take your scooter along with you on a bus or train, or in the car, it also is important to know the size of your scooter when folded. If, for instance, the handlebar grips fold out of the way width is drastically reduced.
  • Removable battery: Some models (not all Cityhoppers) feature a removable battery. That may turn out an important aspect! With a fully integrated battery you will always have to park your complete scooter near a socket (in your flat, for instance!). With a removable battery it’s only the battery.
  • Comfort: With a typical cityhopper you, in part, give up some features that make longer rides more comfortable, such as wider floorboards, a wider handlebar, heavy suspension. Why? Because all that makes a scooter heavy, and you want to keep the weight as low as possible.
  • Battery capacity/Range: Every E-Scooter should have a minimum range of at least 20km, even a light cityhopper. Battery size directly impacts the weight of the vehicle of most manufacturers. A larger battery usually is heavier. While in the cruising category a range of 40km to 60 is the rule the cityhopper scooters hover around 20km to 30.

Category Cruising – Your partner for the ride into the country

You want to use your E-Scooter for longer rides without having to plug in all the time? Then this here is for you. The comfortable cruisers with their long range are just the thing for brief journeys, for shopping, for the ride to your university or to explore your holiday destination.

We were particularly interested in the following aspects:

  • Battery capacity/Range: Your E-Scooter’s range depends on a number of things. Primarily it’s the size of the battery, and the specific consumption of your E-Scooter. Some manufacturers also have a very sophisticated energy management and recuperation systems to make their scooters more efficient. The scooter that fall into the cruising category have a minimum range of 25 km, in the best case it’s up to 65km on one charge, according to the manufacturer.Background: The manufacturers state the power of their battery either in WH (watthours) or in AH (amperehours). WH is a much more telling information because this figure alone gives you an idea how long your scooter is supplied with a given power. Example: For a steady 250W 500 WH will last you two hours runtime.
  • Comfort: A wide, long floorboard and a wide handlebar make all the difference. A cruising model beats a cityhopper in that respect. In addition to that they can cope with the odd pothole. Cruisers either roll on large tires or have suspension elements. That’s why they usually are a bit heavier.
  • Engine performance and management: In the “Cruising” category you will find scooters with power outputs between 250W and 500. Since the maximum Speed is limited to 20kph in Germany and since pretty much all scooters would be faster if not restricted the difference in power mainly matters for acceleration and for riding uphill. The Metz Moover (250W) for instance has shown itself to be a veritable mountain goat in our tests which will give even 500W models a run for their money.
  • Weight: And here comes the bad news: Large batteries, suspension and wide frames affect the weight. Hence the candidates are in the upper weight range. The GO!MATE staep with its scant 13.2kg is the lightest scooter here while the Segway Ninebot weighs in at a solid 19.5 kg. The comparison isn’t entirely fair though since the Segway impresses with an almost incredible range of 65km while the GO!MATE only offers 35km. The good news: There is little difference in the handling of the cruising models. Only when carrying!

Category Fun - No rules just feeling

Experience Full speed ahead with the streetsurfer-Feeling of the GO!MATE staep range, or go off-road with the massive 800W maximum power of the IO HAWK Exit Cross? The category “FUN” includes everything that is fun and only models that offer more than you would reasonably expect from an E-Scooter.

Here are two examples:

The Streetsurfer ER1 and ER2 by GO!MATE comes with a multilayer wooden sandwich floorboard. Similar to a skateboard this floorboard flexes and dampens shocks without heavy wear parts such as shock absorbers. In combination with the large and voluminous tires air tires this makes for a feeling like surfing on the road. Deceleration comes courtesy of hydraulic TEKTRO disc brakes with 140mm disc diameter. The GO!MATE also is special with regard to the frame geometry. The traditional double sided rear frame with its 250W E-Motor in a  12” wheel is completed with a single-sided Fork with a 16” frontwheel. This Hightech-Scooter is not only fun, it also is Handmade in Germany. Here is a real Made in Germany product!

The er Exit-Cross PREMIUM by IO HAWK does weigh 22 kg on the scale, but in return you get massive power. The 500 Watt rear wheel engine means huge punch, it makes short shrift of climbs of up to 20 degrees. The floorboard is almost twice as wide as it is on a conventional E-Scooter, and it offers maximum support. In addition to that the shock absorbers iron out a lot. In combination with the 10 inch cross wheels it makes for real off-road feeling and maximum grip on a wet surface too. As regards weather: With the IP54 certification and the strong build it is even possible to ride in rain or even in snow. Two disc brakes mean great deceleration. The premium version comes with a mechanical disc brake in the front and a fully hydraulic discbrake in the rear.

Ralf Jodl
Ralf Jodl

Ralf is managing director and co-founder of SIP Scootershop. He has been riding Vespa since 1990 and even today the working day starts best for him when he rides to the SIP headquarters in Landsberg on his Rally 200. Otherwise he owns a 180 SS, a 160 GS and a VM2 fenderlight Vespa.