In this guide, we will show you in detail which electric scooter to choose among the leaders of the sector (Segway and Xiaomi) which laws you must follow when you are above these means and what characteristics they must have, so as to avoid the purchase of poor products or with a battery that lasts 5 minutes.
Electric scooter: buying guide
The electric scooter is not intended as a toy to be given to children: it is a real means of transport and allows you to pass also in pedestrian areas (with due caution) and in restricted traffic areas without any problem.
In the following chapters, we will show you first of all what Italian law says about the use of electric scooters, what features it must have, and what models it is preferable to buy in order not to have surprises.
Features electric scooter
Before choosing a new electric scooter, make sure that the following features are present, so as to avoid the “rip off” scooters if we want to buy one in a shopping center or in an electronics store.
- Autonomy: all models on the market have lithium batteries, but we must ensure that it is large enough to guarantee at least 25 km of autonomy.
- Charging times: a good electric scooter must be ready and quick in less than 5 hours of charging; since we will often use this vehicle to go to work or to reach it after getting off a train or bus, it is advisable that you have a charger that is comfortable enough to carry in your bag and to be used during working hours.
- Lightness: an electric scooter weighs significantly more than a classic scooter, but must maintain a weight that is light enough to carry it when folded; all models are between 10 kg and 20 kg in weight.
- Braking system: in order to stop a vehicle that exceeds 20 km / h, a good braking system must be present, to be activated with the appropriate lever (as on bikes) or by pressing on the pedal or on the rear wheel cover. On scooters, we find both disc brakes (more effective) and drum brakes, as well as regenerative braking systems (which slightly recharge the battery during braking).
- Power: the electric motors used on scooters have a power that varies from 250W to 500W (there are also models with higher power but they are illegal); we choose the models with more power only if we live in a city with many climbs and with variable slopes.
- Wheels: even the wheels of the scooter offer different performances based on their size and their tread; there are suitable models on the flat (therefore very fast) and suitable models to overcome small slopes and climbs (therefore with better acceleration).
- Maximum weight supported: modern electric scooters can easily handle up to 100 kg in weight, but a lot also depends on the materials used and the weight of the vehicle. Only the more expensive and heavier models support people up to 140 kg.
We always check the technical data sheet of each model and make sure that the most suitable characteristics are present for us, for the city in which we live and for the routes we have to travel.
Italian laws on the use of the electric scooter
Currently the use of electric scooters is regulated by the Budget Law 160 of 27 December 2019, which allows (from 1 January 2020) the circulation of these means of transport on public roads. Electric scooters are equated to bicycles and therefore do not require a license or insurance like on scooters, motorcycles and cars.
In order to be compliant, the scooter must comply with the following requirements:
- Power equal to or less than 500W
- Maximum speed 25 km / h (going down to 6 km / h in pedestrian areas)
- If the engine allows to exceed 25 km / h, a speed regulator must be present
- The scooter must have front lights and rear lights (rear reflectors are fine instead of the latter)
- Must have an audible alarm
To this are added some limits imposed by the Highway Code:
- Circulation is allowed on urban roads or on those with a speed limit of 50 km / h. In suburban roads we can only pass if there are cycle paths
- In pedestrian areas it is necessary to respect the limit of 6 km / h
- From half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise we will have to turn on the vehicle lights and wear a reflective vest or braces
- Driving under the age of 14 is not allowed (it’s not a toy!)
- Up to 18 years of age it is mandatory to wear a protective helmet (those for scooters and motorcycles are fine)
- The transport of other people, animals or objects is not allowed
- We must keep our hands firmly on the handlebars but we can signal the turns by raising the arm in the desired direction (as a substitute for the directional arrows)
- Parking is allowed in spaces dedicated to bikes and mopeds
- Walking with two vehicles next to each other is not allowed (Indian row only)
- All other rules for bicycles apply in the Highway Code
We keep these rules in mind and, to avoid errors or fines (even penalties from 50 to 400 €, until the vehicle is confiscated), we print this guide and always carry it with us, so we always know if we are breaking a law.
Best electric scooters
After seeing the characteristics and the laws to be respected with the electric scooter, let’s see some models for sale online on Amazon, choosing from the best brands on the market. We anticipate that, in order to buy a good scooter, the cost is around € 300-400 for the complete models of everything; € 1000 is also spent on the top of the range.
The best model of electric scooter that we can buy at the moment is the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter Pro (€ 464).
This electric scooter boasts 40 km of autonomy, is very light (only 14.2 kg in weight), has a maximum speed of 25 km / h (adjustable via a speed selector), an integrated display, a double braking system and supports a person with a maximum weight of 100 kg.
We also told you about the Xiaomi scooter in our AI guide Best innovative and technological Xiaomi products to buy online.
Alternatively, we can focus on the Ninebot by Segway (€ 399), cheaper but full of interesting features.
The ES2 model shown above has an autonomy of 25 km, looks like very light and compact (only 12.5 kg in weight), has a front and rear LED light, cushioned wheels, Cruise Control system (automatic speed), LED with all the information on the vehicle, Bluetooth connection with the smartphone and electric brake with anti-lock system.
If interested in increasing autonomy we can focus on the Max G30 model (€ 699), which has much larger wheels (10-inch) and a range of 65 km.
If you don’t want to focus on the top of the range in the sector or are looking for an alternative right away, here are some electric scooters below that we can view:
- Windgoo Electric Scooter (€ 289): cheap and light;
- M MEGAWHEELS S10 (€ 299): another very versatile scooter, suitable for all uses;
- urbetter S1 PRO (319 €): suitable for all slopes, with transport bag included;
- And of twow Booster V (1252 €): the most expensive and powerful scooter in circulation!
However, we advise you to focus on the Xiaomi and Segway to have fast devices, practical to use and with the right price.
Citizen micro-mobility has never been more relevant than now, with state incentives on scooters and institutions that push towards electric scooters to travel short distances without any effort. Obviously, when the battery is exhausted we will have to pedal like any other scooter, but with the right cautions, we will always arrive at the workplace without staying dry!
Since the autonomy of scooters is limited, we will have to combine them with other means of public transport; to help you get around, we advise you to read our guide Find parking lots, taxis, passes and Google Maps route options.
If, on the other hand, we want to listen to music while traveling on a scooter (we always pay attention to background noises to avoid accidents!), We can read our guide to Best alternative Bluetooth headsets to Apple AirPods, for smartphones and iPhones.