Which is the better means of commuting?
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Are electric scooters good for commuting?
Electric scooters are the best commuting option for most cities today. They are very cost-efficient, and never get stuck in traffic. They have many advantages over public transportation, cars, bikes, other rideables, and walking. Any commute up to 8 miles / 13 kilometers in one way can be easily covered with almost any electric scooter today.
That is a bold statement, but it’s not hard to prove. Electric scooters are simply the perfect commuting option, light years ahead of any other.
The advantages they provide are unmatched, and they have few, if any, disadvantages.
Read on to find out exactly why they are the most economical, efficient, fast, safe clean mode of urban transport.
I’ve always been a budget nerd, and I love saving money. Saving money wasn’t the primary reason why I decided to get an electric scooter, but it was the reason that got me thinking.
Electric scooters vary wildly in price. Some cost as little as $250, but the most expensive scooters can cost north of $7000.
In any case, there are great scooters in every price category. Of course, there will be some “you get what you pay for”. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find awesome budget scooters.
Typically, a good electric scooter costs at least $500.
It will be an upfront investment for your transport needs. But the expenses almost but end there.
The cost of charging your electric scooter is very small.
If you pick a good scooter, you will rarely if ever have to worry about repairs.
With most good scooters today, you will be able to ride them for at least three years. In most cases, you will likely get at least 5, and maybe 8 very solid years out of your scooter.
That’s about 6 years of transportation costs gone like that!
In most big cities, your electric scooter will pay itself off in the first year. Monthly public transport tickets cost around $50, and fuel for your car would cost you at least that.
That’s at least $600 for just one year. And for $600, you can already get some of the most popular, most trusted, time-proven electric scooters. Not to mention what you can get for $1000.
Long-term, electric scooters are a great investment.
Electric scooters are immune to traffic jams
Not only do scooters save you money, but they also save you time as well. And oftentimes, time is even more precious than money.
The biggest downside to cars and buses are traffic jams. Even if we somehow justify the cost, there’s still no excuse for all that time wasted while waiting for the 40 cars in front of you to start moving.
Electric scooters are the cure for traffic jams because they provide the best of both worlds.
In traffic, they are almost the same size as a pedestrian. That enables them to move on every type of road: the motor lanes, the bike lanes, and if necessary, the sidewalks. They can mix and match all of those to cut the time in traffic.
On the other hand, they can go almost as fast as motor vehicles.
Personally, I don’t recommend riding faster than 28 mph / 45 kmh in any circumstance. And while in a dense urban environment, you should probably limit your speed to 15 mph / 25 kmh.
Still, keep in mind that cars and buses rarely go faster than 25 mph / 40 kmh in cities. In fact, most of the time they probably move at speeds of 18 mph / 30 kmh, and they must do a lot of starts and stops.
While I haven’t measured this precisely, I believe I actually even shaved off about 3 to 5 minutes from my commute when switching from buses.
A car ride to my former office may or may not be faster than a trip with my scooter. All I know is, the stress I accumulated when waiting for the cars in front of me to start moving, while watching the green light timer slowly count down, was definitely not worth it.
Plus, it’s not like I’d get there by car in half the time. A car ride may have been only about 3 to 5 minutes shorter than a scooter ride, and that’s only on a day when traffic is not bad.
On a final note, every person that decides to use an electric scooter instead of a car or a taxi, is one less person blocking the lane and adding to the traffic. The more people use electric scooters, the fewer traffic jams we will get.
Simply put, electric scooters are great for avoiding traffic jams, and they may even solve that problem entirely one day.
Electric scooters don’t tire you
The only real challenger to electric scooters for the best commuting option is the good ol’ bike.
Still, in situations when you just want to get to work or home, without pedaling endlessly, the bike is of no use.
And for professionals and entrepreneurs, this is almost always the case.
We want to get to work and be productive there. We don’t want a workout, followed by having to change clothes at work (or even shower!), followed by being tired for the rest of the day.
Bikes are great, but for any commute longer than 1 kilometer, they will make you break a sweat.
With electric scooters, you just push a button. You expend almost no energy of your own at all. That’s why they have the upper hand here.
Electric scooters have great range
One of the biggest advances we’ve been enjoying over the last few years has been increases in the range of electric scooters.
Today, 7 out of 10 scooters have ranges of 15 mi / 25 km on a single charge at the least!
Now, these numbers are usually obtained in lab settings. Whatever the advertised range of your model is, you can expect it to be a bit less in the real world.
On average, your real range will be about 75% of the advertised one. That is to be expected, since you will ride through lots of uneven roads with obstacles and frequent stops.
Even with that in mind, most scooters will be able to go about 12 mi / 20 km on a single charge in the real world.
That is more than enough to cover even the most brutal commutes, sometimes even in both directions.
Electric scooters are very portable and practical
If you have a combined commute or a last-mile scenario, you will also need to fold your scooter and take it into and out of a bus or a train.
Typically, those will be the only 4 to 6 times you have to carry your scooter in your hands.
Luckily, those will all be very short distances.
And most commuting scooters are built to be portable. Sure, there are scooters weighing north of 66 lbs / 30 kg, but those are usually the off-road or racing scooters. Your regular, commuting scooter will not weigh more than 33 lbs / 15 kg.
Also, most of the regular scooters will easily fit through entrance and elevator doors, in the trunk of a car, and through the doors of a bus or a train.
If you need a portable scooter, check out our full guide here.
Electric scooters are fun
Sometimes, I get caught up in the value aspect of electric scooters so much, that I forget the primary reason why many people get them for in the first place.
Electric scooters are a hoot!
Even when commuting, they sure beat being stuck in a car or a bus. There’s simply no comparison here.
When are electric scooters not good for commuting?
Naturally, electric scooters are not exactly perfect for literally every commuting scenarios out there.
There are a few use-cases where you might want to think of other solutions for your commute.
One common example is if you have a really long bus or train ride, and the stations are so close to your home and office that you’d be better off walking. It doesn’t make much sense to carry your scooter only to ride it for 1 or 2 minutes.
Another commuting scenario that is not ideal for electric scooters, is if you already own a car, and getting to your office with it is just perfect. However, those scenarios will not be very common today, as they will require:
- living in a city that has little to no traffic jams
- having a free parking space for you at your office
- commutes under 2 mi / 3 km (no point starting a car for a ride that short)
There could be other scenarios such as this, but honestly, I can’t think of any. I guess if you have a commute of about 1 kilometer or less, you can consider walking. But that’s about it.
If you want to get an electric scooter, get one. They are not exclusively used for commuting, and you will get a lot of value and fun out of them outside of those scenarios.
But if you are only thinking about your commute, and your scenario fits into one of the above, then there may be better commuting options for you.
What are the best scooters for commuting?
This is easily an entire article in itself. Maybe even an article series. (And we’ll post one of those very soon!)
In short, the best scooters for commuting will have the following features at the least:
- long range (or long enough)
- good for climbing hills if needed
- waterproof if needed
With all of that in mind, here are a few great commuting scooters: