Best Electric Scooters 2023: We hands-on tested 100+
Rider Guide’s Editor-in-Chief is a seasoned expert in the electric scooter industry. With a wide-ranging background that includes managing scooter warehouses, selling thousands of motorcycles, and restoring high value (+1M) European sports cars, his expertise is unmatched. Having personally tested more than 100 electric scooters, he offers invaluable insights and recommendations to our readers. We are fortunate to have him as part of our team, as his diverse skill set and extensive experience ensure top-notch reviews.
It’s that electrifying time of the year again when we, the crew at Rider Guide, set the stage for our much-awaited Best Electric Scooters 2023 awards – and this time, it’s not just bigger–it’s phenomenally better.
It takes more than a quick spin around the block to crown the Best Electric Scooters of 2023 (or any year for that matter). We’re talking about getting down and dirty, hands-on testing a mountain of e-scooters… literally. That’s why, year after year, without dispute, Rider Guide has put more electric scooters through their paces than anyone else on the planet.
Recognizing diversity in rider preferences is key for us. Some yearn for a long-range, others crave high top speed, while lightweight scooters steal the show for others. At Rider Guide, we test electric scooters in exactly the same way, and we can tell you, for a fact, what each one does best.
That said, this Editor’s Choice post aims to help you find the best electric scooter for you, no matter what your level of experience or how you want to use it. We’ll do it in three sections: Starter Scooters, Intermediate, and Expert.
And, as we wrap up, we’ll shed light on why certain scooters have been mysteriously absent from our list for some time and announce the grand comeback of a major brand (Hint: it rhymes with ‘Dualtron’).
So, without any more fanfare, let’s dive into our selections for the Best Electric Scooters of 2023, beginning with our top 9 picks for entry-level scooters.
Best Electric Scooters 2023: Summary
Best Starter Scooters
Best Starter Scooters
Best Performance on a Budget
GOTRAX G3 Plus
Last year, GOTRAX seemed to have gone missing in our Best Electric Scooters of 2022 roundup. But this year, they’re back and charging, making an impressive entry with multiple contenders on our list. Kicking things off is their budget-friendly warrior, the GOTRAX G3 adult electric scooter.
If you’re just dipping your toes into the e-scooter world, the GOTRAX G3 is a solid choice. It’s a robust piece of machinery from one of the most reputed U.S. brands, backed by a reassuring year-long warranty. The G3 e-scooter fills the void left by the GXL V2, which was their best-seller and most affordable scooter. But let’s be honest; it had its fair share of shortcomings.
The G3, in contrast, channels the spirit of the GOTRAX G4, without burning a hole in your pocket, and even manages to slip in a few upgrades. It delivers respectable performance figures – a max speed of 18.1 mph and leaps to 15 mph in just 7.1 seconds. It muscles its way up inclines faster than the G4, and when it comes to stopping, the front regenerative braking and rear disc brake make sure you’ve got things under control.
Comfort’s been dialed up on this scooter with improved ergonomics and a smoother ride from the 10-inch inner tube pneumatic tires. The G3 Plus also sports a full lighting package – rear brake light included, which can be a rare sight on most budget scooters. Sure, it’s not packed with bells and whistles, but what it does bring to the table is solid, dependable commuting with more performance per dollar than any other scooter in the extremely budget class. Quite a comeback, GOTRAX. We can confidently recommend the G3 Plus as a top pick for this year’s best-budget electric scooter
Best for Students
Segway Ninebot E2 Plus
Segway is a name that resounds in the scooter universe–a heavyweight in the industry. This year, they’ve rolled out a couple of charmers for rookie riders–the budget-friendly $299 Segway E2 and the slightly spruced-up $350 E2 Plus. But, for our list of Best Electric Scooters of 2023, we’re tipping our helmet to the E2 Plus as the perfect choice for cross-campus commuting.
The E2 Plus e-scooter is the ideal campus sidekick due to its ultra-low maintenance personality. It boasts that typical Segway robust build quality that gives you the feeling that the frame will outlast the price tag in terms of value. And they didn’t skimp on the looks department either. The scooter comes off like a mini Segway GT, easily one of the most well-crafted scooters we’ve had the pleasure to meet.
When it comes to performance, the E2 Plus pulls ahead with a 15.5 mph top speed, beating out the E2’s 12.5 mph, giving you that little extra zip. Its beefed-up motor–a 300w with a 500w peak power, provides more grunt for tackling those campus hills. The 220 wh battery packs enough juice for shuttling around campus and handling those essential first and last-mile commutes.
The scooter has semi-solid 8.1-inch hollow front and rear wheels–no worries about flats (bye-bye bicycle pump and toolkit), and they offer a smidge of shock absorption. And when it comes to safety features, the E2 Plus doesn’t hold back. It has a dual braking system, head and tail lights, E-Mark reflectors for visibility, an audible bell for those crowded paths, a user-friendly thumb throttle, textured grips for a confident hold, and a roomy, grippy platform.
Best Scooter Under $600
NIU KQi2 Pro
NIU are authorities in the electric vehicle space. They’ve now leveraged their expertise to conquer the motorized scooters market, and it doesn’t get more ‘masterpiece’ than the KQi2 Pro. This scooter has been making waves and consistently appearing on ‘best scooters’ lists, and here’s why–the KQi2 Pro electric kick scooter is frankly exceptional for its $599 price tag.
Let’s break down why the KQi2 Pro e-scooter ranks as one of our best-value scooters. Firstly, there’s the smooth ride quality from the 10-inch tubeless tires that also offer excellent handling and are less susceptible to pinch flats. Along with a spacious deck, tall handlebars, generous rake angle, and a robust frame, the KQi2 Pro ensures a steady, wobble-free ride that’s hard to beat.
Next up is the performance, which is seriously impressive for its price bracket. It’s not just the respectable top speed of 16.3 mph, the brisk 7.6-second acceleration to 15 mph, or even the speedy 20.3 seconds it clocked while climbing our 200 ft 10% gradient test–it’s also that the brakes and throttle have been fine tuned to make the ride not only fun but also extremely user-friendly for novices.
Other noteworthy features include the always-on halo light, high-quality grip tape on the deck (with a spare thrown in for good measure), cruise control, the easy-to-read dashboard, and a robust and easy-to-deploy side stand. Then there’s something we don’t see on most electric scooters we get, and that’s NIU’s super long warranty, which covers expensive parts like the battery, motor controller, and dashboard. There’s no doubt that the KQi2 Pro is the best electric scooter under $600.
Most Comfortable Ride Under $600
With the GOTRAX G5, you’re getting a ton more value than the scooter’s $600 price mark. The G5 is the first GOTRAX model with front suspension. Paired with the scooter’s 10-inch tubed tires, the suspension gives the G5 a planted and cushioned ride–which is great given the 14.2 miles you get from the 460.8Wh battery capacity.
The chunky handlebar grips are thicker than average: they are firm, and don’t move around. The large deck is covered in a grippy mat for a stable stance. The scooter has well-positioned controls for more intuitive riding, including the thumb throttle with cruise control function for when you want a throttle-free ride.
The e-scooter is 48v, so you don’t get reduced performance as the battery drains. Riders will enjoy higher speeds and zippy acceleration–though we should mention that the scooter struggles a little on hills. It also doesn’t have a zero-start function. But for the price, this is the biggest battery, the highest motor power (500 w), and the smoothest ride we’ve seen.
The GOTRAX G6 Upgrade
For about $100 more, there’s also the very similar-looking G6 which has the same 500W motor but 56% more battery. We haven’t tested the G6 yet, but based on our tests of the G5, we estimate the G6 will have 22 miles or more of real-world range.
Best High-Performance Commuter (Single Motor)
NIU KQi3 Max
The NIU KQi3 Max electric scooter is our reviewer Paul’s “at-home” scooter, and that’s saying something. It is the best budget electric scooter if you want serious performance from an everyday ride. Its 22 mph top speed is especially impressive, with a 4.6-second acceleration to 15 mph, making it a scooter that won’t get stuck behind bikes in the bike lane.
But that’s not even the most spectacular performance number. The KQi3 e-scooter has the best mechanical brake calipers that act on the dual front and rear disc brakes. That, plus the rear electronic brake, brings the scooter to a stop in 9.3 ft–the 6th shortest tested braking distance by Rider Guide.
The 450W motor also pulls its weight on hills, with a 14.4-second climb on our 200 ft 10% hill. Speaking of weight, the KQi3 Max has an awesome 265 lb max rider weight capacity. And with the 608Wh battery, it has more than sufficient power to support higher rider weights; that, and it gave us an excellent 23.3 miles of range when we took it out on our challenging range test course.
You also get bonuses like the scooter’s app with a clean UI, a large deck, the adjustable always-on halo light, wider bars, a great folding mechanism, a big bright taillight, a steady stem, and of course, NIU’s leading 2-year warranty. With the NIU KQi3 Max electric kick scooter, you’re getting a ton of performance and outstanding build quality for the price.