Top 7 Best Electric Scooters For New Riders
It’s easy to lay on one or two recommendations based on our subjective preferences, but this kind of inquiry requires a multi-faceted approach to finding YOU what will be the best scooter for your circumstance.
So in our quest to find out what we would recommend as the best electric scooter options for new riders, we surveyed thousands of beginner riders and did our own testing of every scooter you’ll see listed below. Remember, we make it our business to test electric scooters, so you don’t have to.
Now, each of the scooters that made it on our list has at least one superpower, but to be one of the best for new riders, they all had to have four things in common:
They need to be easy to ride, inexpensive, relatively lightweight and have a good company backing them up with a warranty.
Here’s a quick breakdown of why these four features are super-essential for new riders:
What to Look for as a New Rider
Should be Easy to Ride
A Reputable Brand
With that in mind, we’ll break down the best electric scooters for beginner riders into different categories, so you can get a scooter that exactly fits your specific needs. Keep in mind that these aren’t the only scooters for new riders; these are what made the cut from our independent testing.
Top 7 Scooters for New Riders
That being said, plenty of beginner electric scooters fall somewhere in the middle price-wise. Here are just a few of the more affordable options that you might come across:
Affordable Beginner Scooters
That being said, plenty of beginner electric scooters fall somewhere in the middle price-wise. Here are just a few of the more affordable options that you might come across:
NIU KQi2 Pro
This is not the most affordable electric scooter on the list (we’ll get to that later), but for anyone with a budget under $600, you can do no better than the KQi2 Pro.
Who is NIU?
NIU is a veteran in the global urban mobility market having manufactured and sold over 1 million two-wheeled electric vehicles worldwide. They made their debut this year in the electric scooter world, and now have 4 incredible models that are taking the market by storm. They are the Segway rival to watch out for, especially with the KQi3 MAX, which we’ll feature later in this review.
The backstory is important because it helps you understand that NIU has extensive design experience and manufacturing capability, which helps their scooters rival other electric scooters in performance and quality. Take the KQi2, for instance–without costing an arm and a leg, here’s what you can get from this scooter:
The KQi2 Pro electric scooter is an appropriate size and power level for beginners. It’s easy to control and has more of everything that makes a scooter feel stable and wobble-free: taller, wider handlebars, larger diameter tires, and a larger rake angle. A stable ride is confidence-inspiring and allows the rider to drum up the courage to get back on and gradually grow their experience.
The performance is just right for a beginner–at 16.3 mph max speed, you won’t feel like you’re going too fast–and should you need to brake, the KQi2’s brakes will never put you over the handlebars. The 75 mm, front drum brake and the strong regen out back ensure that you don’t skid when braking while giving you the best stopping distance in this class of scooters–14.1 ft from a speed of 15.0 mph. Other safety features include the always-on halo light and a good rear/brake light.
The KQi2 is not the most lightweight electric scooter on this list–but we would quickly disregard its weight if only for the warranty. You get the longest warranty–2 years, covering all of the most expensive parts like the battery, display, and motor controllers. Any company willing to back their scooters with such a strong warranty is definitely confident about the machines’ durability and reliability.
Unagi Model One
Now, what happens if you don’t have $600 to spend or aren’t even sure you’re going to like owning and riding an electric scooter? This next one is the most affordable to find out. It’s the Unagi subscription. They’ve lifted a major barrier to entry by giving people the option to rent monthly.
Starting at $55 bucks a month, you get the upside of scooter ownership, but don’t have to do any of the maintenance. Then, if you decide you love it, you can save more, by switching to an annual rental, or if e-scooters aren’t for you, it’s easy to cancel. You can even bundle your subscription with insurance that covers you against theft, and damage. So, between that and the flat-proof tires, this is the most worry-free ride we know of.
The reason we like this idea better than sharing company scooters is that you get to ride whenever you want and as much as you want, and never have to hunt around for a scooter to ride. That’s important because when you’re a new rider it really helps to ride every day to develop your skills. I can’t emphasize that enough. Try riding every day while renting by the minute and you’ll see how quickly the bill piles up.
And then there’s the scooter itself. The Unagi Model One e500 is an ultra-light and easy to ride. So it’s one of the scooters I reach for when I’m helping a friend try an electric scooter for the very first time. It’s not slow though, in fact, when it comes to climbing hills, it’s the strongest lightweight electric scooter there is because it has dual motors (and is the only dual motor on this list)
We have a Special Link for one month off, if you’re looking to start your unagi membership.
Another affordable scooter that’s become a favorite is the UM-1 from ANYHILL. ANYHILL is a new brand that we’re keeping a close eye on. Since they launched, they’ve given us one of the most stable scooters–the UM-2 and one of the most charming entry-level scooters–the UM-1.
The UM-1 scooter surprised us–not just because of how light it is, but because it feels like a scooter that could finally take the place of the Xiaomi M365–a scooter that was immensely popular because it was cheap, light, and super easy to ride. The problem is that since 2020, M365s haven’t been officially imported to the US, so even if you could find one, they weren’t supported by warranty here.
But here’s why you’ll love riding the UM-1. Other than being very light, its superpower is being pretty good (not excellent but pretty good) at just about everything, much like a Honda Civic or an m365. We think new riders will enjoy the friendly, but spunky acceleration (going from 0 to 15.0 mph in just 7 seconds flat) and hill climbing (20.4 seconds to the top of our 200.0 ft, 10% hill grade), and the easy-to-use brakes (a rear regen and front regen, with separate levers and perfectly tuned).
Part of its charm may also come from a feature we’ve never seen before. A hidden vibration damper in the stem smooths out much of the vibration from the road before it reaches your hands. Then there’s the single-riding mode (or no riding modes) that lessens the amount of active input needed when riding.
Premium Beginner Scooters
The first one is TAUR, a new company, with an original scooter design, suited for new riders.
Funded on Kickstarter, TAUR had this brilliant idea to give us a unique scooter that encouraged e-scooter ownership over rentals, since the founders believe that scooter ownership is the more sustainable solution. With that in mind, TAUR set out to design a scooter with a high priority for the user experience in terms of aesthetics, ride quality, performance, and even cost. And the scooter is simply called TAUR.
One look tells you that TAUR is just different. This scooter will get you noticed riding on the street, with its unique side-by-side stance. But they didn’t make it that way for looks. Their design lets them squeeze 12.5 inches tires into a very compact design so you get bicycle-like stability on a scooter that you can store anywhere. The big tires overcome one common mental barrier for aspiring scooter riders, and that’s the fear of small scooter tires getting sucked into a pothole.
The tires are also puncture-resistant, and pretty good at shock absorption. We had a chat with TAUR founder Carson Brown, and he said, they basically stopped getting flats on their test scooters once they switched to their premium Continental Kevlar belted tires. Comfortable air-filled tires that are averse to punctures are basically every rider’s dream–new and experienced.
But that’s not it for the unique features of this e-scooter. We also love the joystick controller that lets you control the horn, lights, and yet-to-be-released features without looking down. Then there’s the ability to store it upright on its bullhorn handles. And yet another thoughtful (security) feature that makes this an easy e-scooter to live with is a dedicated locking point, so you can quickly lock it up to run into the store.
Now, surprisingly, despite its small folded size, it doesn’t feel small to ride. The bars are exceptionally tall at 41.0 inches above the decks, so TAUR is a good option for taller beginner riders. But the rider weight is a bit limiting at 220.0 lbs. The 12.1-mile range is also a bit of a bummer for riders that want to spend hours improving their riding skills–however, the battery charges from 0 to full in under 3 hours, and 0-80% in just two hours–so a quick recharge between rides is within reason.
It’s one of the more expensive scooters on this list, but we’ve ridden almost everything, and we unanimously think it’s definitely one of the most intriguing. If you’re reading this in 2022 or early 2023, keep in mind that right now availability depends on where you live. They’re initially piloting in Los Angeles California, with deliveries elsewhere in the US starting March 2023, and launching in the UK and beyond after that.
Apollo Air 2022
The other premium e-scooter we love and recommend for new riders is the new and improved Apollo Air 2022. We have always been big fans of the Apollo Air and particularly loved the Air Pro 2021. But when Apollo released the 2022 version of the Air, we weren’t ready for how much better this office favorite could actually get.
If you’re a beginner looking for an ultra-comfortable, ultra-stable, and lightweight electric scooter for under $1000, then this is pretty much it. The Air 2022 features a spread of improvements that make it THE entry-level scooter of your dreams. The scooter now comes with an upgraded 500 w powerful motor, up from the Pro’s 350 w. It also features a larger 36 v, 15 Ah battery made from premium energy-dense LG cells n(great for battery life) so you can go out and ride 20.0 miles per charge, and really build up your skills (trust me, 20.0 miles feels like a lot when you’re riding an electric scooter!).
The smooth ride quality just sky-rocketed with the new 10.0-inch puncture-resistant, Aramid-reinforced inner tube tires, and the motorcycle-style front suspension. With this duo in place, the Air scooter laughs at potholes and other forms of inconvenient obstacles. The riding ergonomics are surprisingly roomy for a lightweight scooter–with super-wide, relatively tall handlebars and a long deck.
Then there’s the performance, with a satisfyingly high, 19.9 mph top speed in sport mode, but a throttle that’s still very beginner friendly. And Apollo are absolute experts when it comes to blending regenerative brakes (that charge your battery) with mechanical brakes. Just pull the regular brake lever and you get activate both regenerate and the rear disc brake. However, you also get a “regen throttle” at the left handlebar that gives you the option to use 100% regen brake when slowing down.
The aesthetics are in true Apollo fashion, great, with the graphite gray color scheme really bringing out the ‘premium.’ Their app may also be the best in the industry, and like Tesla, seems to add new features every month–It’s the same one we have on their more premium models like the Apollo City.
Performance Beginner Scooters
When we did an independent review of the Mercane Jubel, we called it the Pothole King. The Jubel is the second release from the Korean manufacturer that brought us the Mercane WideWheel Pro, a.k.a, the Batman Mobile of electric scooters. The scooters are stunning and each brings something different and unique to the market.
That said, not everyone wants the same thing from their electric scooters. Some want to get going fast, as soon as possible, and for that, we like the Mercane Jubel. The Jubel is friendly enough for a beginner rider, but can also handle the performance requirements of intermediate and even experienced riders.
Off the top, we like the bicycle-like stability of its large 12.0-inch air-filled tires. These make it easy for any new rider to handle. It helps that the Jubel also comes with a massive 10.0-inch x 19.0-inch deck with a hybrid grip tape and rubber cover that gives riders the utmost stability and enough room to get their best stance. Unsurprisingly, these features give you a really smooth ride. Also, interestingly, large-tired scooters are traditionally poor at hill climbing, but the Jubel surprised us by sustaining 9.0 mph on our 200.0 ft, 10% hill test.
The throttle is pretty responsive. Initially, it is soft but picks up quickly to get you to 15.0 mph in just 5.6 seconds. You can then push the throttle to its max to achieve an ESG-certified top speed of 24.3 mph, which is enough to satisfy intermediate-level riders and beyond. And even if you ride it fast, it has a ton of range, covering 23.8 miles on our test track. The larger diameter tires give you noticeably better stability and cornering that will deceive you into riding the Jubel extremely fast.
With added performance comes the need for added safety, which the Jubel grants. It is fitted with dual drum brakes and is said to also have regenerative braking, which brings the scooter to a stop from 15.0 mph to 0 in just 11.1 ft. Drum brakes are less grabby than mechanical disc brakes, which means you won’t put yourself over the bars when braking. The Jubel also has an easy-to-read, easy-to-use display that gives you all your riding metrics in a single glance–and gives you access to a tonne of P-settings to customize your ride.
Next, we have a worldwide sensation by Voro Motors, the EMOVE Touring. The Touring is an entry-level performance scooter that has always been value-priced for what you get, and is a favorite of heavier riders. The Touring has been around for a while and last received an update in 2020–an update that has held through massive innovation in the industry and helped the Touring stay relevant.
The Touring goes for under $1000, putting it in the mid-range market. What you get, however, is much more. For starters, the 310.0 lbs weight capacity was unprecedented in its class when it first came out and is still in the top percentiles of high-rider weight e-scooters. The build is also designed to accommodate more, e.g., the 22.8 inch x 7.3-inch, ultra-long deck, while the handlebar height is also adjustable from 28.8 inches to 40.3 inches, making it ideal for new riders of different heights.
The Touring is also designed to deliver maximum performance. The 2020 model comes with an upgraded LG, 624 wh battery that increases battery life, and rides through 18.7 miles of range on a single charge in peak performance. You can push the throttle to a top speed of 21.5 mph–with the scooter reaching speeds of 15.0 mph from 0 mph in just 3.9 seconds. It also helps that one of the upgrades the Touring got in 2020 was plug-and-play cabling, which allows riders to choose between a trigger style, thumb, or twist-style throttle–based on whichever feels most comfortable (or affordable).
The Touring is also an excellent climber–one of the best in its class–scaling our 200.0 ft, 10% hill in just 12.4 seconds. But what spells a damper on this otherwise wonderful scooter is the smaller-than-average 8.0-inch wheels, of which the front is air-filled, while the rear is solid. The number one problem with this scooter’s solid tires is that the traction in wet weather is not the best. But also surprisingly, what we hear over and over from owners is that the EMOVE Touring’s ride quality from its dual suspension is the number one stand-out feature, especially for heavier riders, on bumpy roads.
And, best of all, if you don’t like riding around standing up, the Touring has a ton of options you can add on, including a seat.
Honorable Mentions Summary
Uscooters GT Sport
Uscooter’s have a long track record for reliability, and being ultra portable–they have an ultra-high speed to weight ratio. Uscooters commuter scooters are also robustly built–and the most recent model, the GT sport, is also incredibly fast. In fact, the GT Sport is so fast, it supersedes the manufacturer’s stated top speed of 28.0 mph by 2.0 mph.
It also comes with one of the largest batteries on an ultra-portable scooter–an energy-dense 48 v 10.5 ah battery with Samsung cells, that lets the GT Sport go a decent range of 13.8 miles on a single charge, despite its incredibly high top speed. And speaking of ultraportable, the GT Sport is so lightweight you can bicep curl it, which is great for new riders that need to park it in an apartment, or go multi-modal and fit it into an Uber.
Despite its size, this is no toy with a price tag of about $1000. However, you will need to contend with one downside– ride quality and cornering ability are affected by its narrow 8.0-inch solid rubber tires. The narrower handlebars and deck might also be an issue, but remember the scooter has a priority for portability and this is an acceptable tradeoff.
Name it and you’ve got it with the EMOVE Cruiser–the world’s most famous long-range scooter. We’ve even called it, the only scooter you’ll ever need. Because, aside from being a little heavy from the big battery, it’s a scooter that can take you from beginner to intermediate, to expert, to delivery rider if you want to. The range? 47.0 miles on a single charge, which is unprecedented in its class.
On top of a ton of range, you also get 30.5 mph top speed, a high rider weight capacity of 350.0 lbs, and an excellent IP rating for water resistance. The scooter is also highly customizable with plenty of mods available, e.g., the throttle, adjustable handlebars, rear grab handle, a seat, etc. Beginner riders might also appreciate the huge deck space, measuring 21.0 inches x 10.0-inches, and fitted with two runs of grip tape for uncompromised stability.
The ride is even more comfortable thanks to the 10-inch tubeless tires, and the front and rear suspension. And as if that’s not enough, you also get the highest hill climb speed on a single-motor scooter we’ve tested when going up hills. If all that sounds like what you’re looking for, plus absolute maximum range, just stop here this is the one you’ve been hearing about.
Another favorite from Voro is the EMOVE Roadrunner, our pick for seated scooter of the year. This scooter is great if you’re transitioning from bikes to electric scooter, or simply want the benefits of the scooter with the comfortable ride and stability of a bike. If you know how to ride a bike, you’ll feel right at home on the Roadrunner except there’s none of that silly pedaling business because it has motorcycle-style foot pegs instead. We took one with us to the CES show in 2022 and to the recent micro mobility conference and people could not stop riding it.
The EMOVE Roadrunner is insanely fun, surprisingly fast and just an all-around excellent scooter. The thumb throttle is smooth and intuitive, taking away a lot of the hassle from the learning process. And you can extend your hours on the road since the Roadrunner not only gives you a decent 33.0 miles on a single charge, but it also provides the accommodation for a swappable battery, meaning you can double or even triple your range should you purchase the extra packs.
The performance is great and not overwhelming for beginners. You get a decent 35.5 mph for max speed, getting you from 0 to 15.0 mph in just 3.9 seconds. The semi, dual hydraulic brakes do a good job of bringing the scooter to a stop–10.4 ft from 15.0 mph to a complete halt. And if you live in hilly areas, you’ll be glad to hear that it performs just as well on inclines, thanks to the torque from its dual 350 W motor power. Just beware that for what it is, it’s definitely a heavy scooter.
Basically, if you’re on the fence between e-bike and scooters, the Roadrunner gives you the benefits of both.
Okai Neon Pro (ES20)
Normally, somewhere on this list would have to be the Segway Ninebot Kickscooter Max G30–but we’ve found something faster, that goes further, and is cheaper, and that’s the Okai Neon Pro. Here’s the comparison:
- Speed: the Okai maxes out at 20.5 mph, while the Max’s top speed is 18.4 mph
- Range: the Neon Pro has a range of 26.8 miles on a single charge, against the Max’s 21.6 miles
- Price: You can find the Okai retailing for about $849, while the Max goes for about $899
The Segway Ninebot Kickscooter Max G30 was good, but scooter innovation has moved on, and the Neon Pro has out-evolved the Max mainly due to an even larger lightweight battery made with LG21700 cells. The Neon Pro is also faster to fold and unfold, has three displays you can choose with the app, swag deck lights for visibility, and connects via bluetooth to the Okai smart helmet, for extra road safety, by enhancing your visibility up high.
If you weigh below the Neon Pro’s 220.0 lb rider weight limit, and want a beginner-friendly commuter scooter that is safe, fun and thrilling to ride in 2022//2023, then the Okai Neon is as safe a bet as any.
NIU KQi3 Max
We’re putting a second NIU scooter in this list, because even in real life it’s a brand we can’t seem to stop talking about, or grabbing at the end of the day to ride home. And like the Neon Pro the KQi3 Max has one job… and that is to be better than the Ninebot MAX in every way. It’s got higher top speed, better range, better acceleration, better hill climbing and best-in-class braking, for about the same price. Here’s the comparison:
- Speed: The KQi3 Max rides to a max speed of 22.0 mph, while the Ninebot Max’s top speed is 18.4 mph
- Range: The KQi3 Max’s larger 608 wh battery that delivers a range of 23.3 miles, while the Ninebot Max’s 551 wh battery goes as long as 21.6 miles
- Acceleration: From 0 to 15.0 mph, the KQi3 Max will take 4.6 seconds, while the Ninebot Max will take 6 seconds
- Hill Climb: On our 200.0 ft, 10% hill test climb, the KQi3 Max sustained an average speed of 9.4 mph against the Ninebot Max’s 9.3 mph
- Braking: The KQi3 Max stops from 15.0 mph to a complete halt in 9.3 ft while the Ninebot Max has a tested stopping distance of 11.3 ft from the same speed.
That said, you need to beware that the braking system is so powerful, that you have to remember not to just grab a fist-full if someone steps out in front of you. However, you will enjoy a smooth ride on the sturdy U-shaped deck, the [esg_unity 9.5 inch] self-healing tires, and the wide ergonomic handlebars. Beginner riders are also taken through an app tutorial to ensure they have the basics down before unlocking higher speeds–so that’s good if you’re just starting out.
The best part is that the KQi3 Max is definitely a scooter you won’t grow out of once you have a little more experience; and, it has the same 2-year warranty as its siblings.
ANYHILL also makes our list twice. New brands have really upped their game this year, and we’re getting a lot of innovation from them. The UM2 is a great scooter and was responsible for putting us onto the brand; a discovery that has given us more grace for new entrants and other future brands. The UM2 is one of the most stable scooters we’ve ridden, and we’ve ridden many, especially for its price point. For new riders, that is one of the things we’ll keep pointing to as vital for your sustained enthusiasm for riding.
Like the Roadrunner, you get the option for a removable battery. But this one is not just any old battery, it’s the best one we’ve seen. Here’s why. The battery is made using energy dense LG 21700 cells, so that speaks for the battery’s longevity. It’s the lightest one we’ve experienced at 5.0 lbs, making it easy to carry more than 3 if you can afford it. It comes with a keyed lock and an easy-to-swap mechanism. And finally, it has an IPX6 rating to protect it from any accidental spills that may occur when charging.
This sub $1000 scooter comes with exceptional build quality, and in a white color scheme that is quite aesthetically pleasing. It also has a unique centre stand and folding mechanism. And the UM2 is another favorite for heavy riders as it not only comes with an exceptionally high rider weight capacity of 300.0 lbs, but we’ve also tested it and can assure you that heavier riders won’t experience a lag in acceleration or compromised top speed or hill climbs. We also have the long and low deck for its ultra-stable ride, making the UM-2 a comfortable and confidence-inspiring ride.
Cost is King - Most Affordable Alternatives
GOTRAX GXL Commuter v2
It feels like every other scooter you see on the street is one of these. Keep in mind though, the tested top speed on our GXL was painfully low and on steeper hills, you’re going to have to get off and push. And when this happens, you quickly appreciate that the GXL is a lightweight scooter.
For beginner riders, the 13.5 mph top speed might not be too bad, since you don’t want to be riding super fast from the word go. This becomes a problem when you get a little more experience and want to test your skills.
The smaller battery on the Gotrax GXL V2 gives you about 10.1 miles of range in max performance mode. The ride is not too bad given that the scooter rolls on 8.5-inch air-filled tires. You also get two riding modes that are easier to work with, and cruise control. However, the deck is not overly roomy and you might feel a bit squeezed.
BUT, you won’t find any better adult electric scooter at the $350 dollar price point than the Gotrax GXL V2.
To close off the list, we have the Hiboy S2–another budget electric scooter, with a need for speed. While it comes with the usual tradeoffs of cheap commuter scooters, the Hiboy S2 has zippy acceleration and will take you from 0 to 15.0 mph in just 6.2 seconds. The max speed is 19.0 mph, which is excellent in terms of speed per dollar. It also sustained a decent 7.1 mph average speed when going up our 200.0 ft, 10% hill climb.
However, despite having rear spring suspension, the ride quality from its solid, honeycomb tires isn’t the best. They are not as stiff as regular solid tires, but the ride quality compared to that of air-filled tires is a few notches lower. The front and rear fender also tends to get a bit rattly, and the scooter doesn’t come with a rear light.
That said, you can’t go faster at this price point with a reliable electric scooter from a reputable brand, which as a new rider, you’ll find to be extremely crucial.
Gear Up–Pick Up a Helmet!
The good news is, under 20.0 mph, which covers almost all electric scooters listed here, or riding within most local speed limits, your risk of injury is pretty close to what it would be riding a bicycle.
You can give yourself one more reason to gear up by getting a smart helmet. These do cool stuff, like signaling for turns and stops, and helping light your way. Some can even automatically call your emergency contact in a fall. We love how Okai’s smart helmet automatically syncs to the Okai Neon’s brake lights.
And if you look at the last 5 or ten videos we’ve made on our YouTube Channel you’ll spot me wearing the Unit 1 from Faro, which we recently unboxed(Use the code ESG for the best price).
Whether you’re looking for the lightest electric scooter, or the best budget electric scooter, we’ve tried to include something for everyone. There are plenty of other scooters out there; so if you think we missed one that should have made the list, engage us in the comments section of the video. Oh, and please forward the article (or video) to your aspiring new rider friends.
Another video you’ll definitely want to check out is Electric Scooter Guide channel’s#1 video of all time: Top 7 Riding Mistakes made by New Scooter Riders and How to Avoid Them.