Every scooter on the market has an advertised maximum range. The advertised range is basically how far you can get on a full charge under ideal conditions. But what are the ‘ideal conditions’ anyway?
The first thing to know when looking at the range of electric scooters is that there is no standard procedure for calculating it. Every manufacturer has their own way of testing their scooters, and often the advertised maximum range is no more than an estimate. In reality though nothing is ideal, there are many range-reducing factors you will come across on your way: inclines, wind, riding at higher speed and more. Here are the things that you have to take into account, as well as a few tips how you can setup your scooter to get as many miles out of it as possible.
Factors that influence the range of an electric scooter
Just like a Ferrari will consume more than a small Toyota, a 500W electric scooter will need much less juice than a high-performance 2000W scooter. Of course, this is the reason that more powerful scooters come with a bigger battery. But between scooters with similar battery capacity, stronger motors mean more speed but generally less range.
Eco, normal, sport… some scooters offer different driving modes which can influence the power and torque of the engine, and also the top speed.
The chosen driving mode will have a direct impact on the consumption and therefore the range of your electric scooter. This is also the reason why some manufacturers tend to display very broad max range.
If you want to optimize the autonomy of your electric scooter, you need to use the lowest, eco-driving setting. There is no point in burning rubber at full throttle or braking at the last minute.
By adopting a more moderate manner of driving, you will save a lot of battery power and extend the range. So, if you want more miles, adapt your driving style.
Downhill, flat or steep slope – the type of route taken will have direct consequences on the estimated autonomy. For example, slamming in the throttle on an incline is arguably the best way to reduce range to a minimum.
Because the battery is based on temperature-sensitive chemical elements, the outside temperature may have consequences on the autonomy observed. As a general rule, in winter you will get shorter range in winter than in summer with a difference of around 20 to 30%.
With no intention to ask you to go on a diet, we have to note that your weight inevitably has an impact on the expected range. Note: often, the max mileage advertised by the manufacturers are estimates for people whose weight does not exceed 150 pounds. Scooters with load limit of 220lbs will be very affected by rider’s weight, so if you are over 190 pounds take a look at scooters made for heavier riders.
Type of tires on your electric scooter also has an influence on range. An under-inflated tire increases the level of resistance on asphalt and makes the motor work harder. Also, always remember to check the pressure of your tires by following the manufacturer’s recommendations. For questions of autonomy but also of security.
Tips to maximize the range of your scooter
If distance traveled is important for you, look at our list of long range electric scooters. Based on the factors we’ve mentioned earlier, here are few easy tips to help you go as far as possible.
1. Keep your tire pressure topped up
Stick within the recommended pressure scope you can find on the side of the tire. You should ideally check the tire pressure before every ride, but if this is not too practical, make sure that you check it regularly.
2. Reduce the weight
Get rid of any extra weight that you are carrying on your scooter. Be smart about the things you are taking with you, and take out all the unnecessary junk out of your backpack. Warning: Never compromise your safety, so do not leave your helmet at home in any case.
3. Go easy on the brake and throttle
Just like you would do to get the best miles per gallon on your car, you need to go easy on your acceleration and the brakes to get the best range out of your electric scooter. Letting off the brakes early and coasting to a stop, instead of going full speed and slamming on the brakes will save you some all-important battery power. Same goes to easing to a top speed instead of pressing down on the throttle.
4. Keep your scooter clean
Keeping your scooter clean and in the top working conditions will help maximize its range. A prime example would be some mud stuck under your mudguard: you might not notice it’s there, but it could be causing drag, which makes your motor working harder.
5. Keep an eye on your brakes
This is especially important if you have disc brakes. If the pads start to rub on the disc, you’ll get some unwanted drag, costing your precious range.
6. Avoid hills, if possible
If you live in hilly area, try to find the alternative route, and avoid inclines as much as you can. Every time you hit the hill on your scooter, the motor has to work harder and this reduces your range quicker than sticking to flat roads.
Most of these tricks do not make a significant difference, but they are free and easy. At the end, all the small changes add up, resulting in longer range and travelling further.