The best electric scooters of 2023
Nov 20, 2023
If you worked or lived in a major U.S. city around 2018, you may remember the electric scooter boom. While the sudden influx of e-scooters was met with resistance locally and abroad, the industry is now only growing in size.
Today, there are plenty of high-quality electric scooters to choose from for commuting and leisure. To help you narrow down your choice, we selected top-rated electric scooters with more than 500 ratings. I specifically looked for top-rated options that prioritized safety, and even tried one of the most popular models for one month.
SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best electric scooters | The best electric scooters in 2023 | How to shop for an electric scooter | How to use an electric scooter
To find the best electric scooters on the market, we only considered top-rated models that excel in the following areas:
In addition to examining top-rated models as noted above, I also tried the Segway Ninebot Max G30P for a month riding around the busy streets and bike lanes of New York City including over bridges and in parks (legally permitting, of course). The G30P is a top-rated, bestselling model from Segway, one of the biggest e-scooter brands. I used it to commute to and from work, as well as visit friends in different neighborhoods in New York City. Most of my trips were about 5 miles, and took about 30 minutes.
When commuting, I comfortably wore my everyday backpack; it weighs about 6 pounds with my laptop, lunch, headphones and other daily essentials. Plus, I always wore a Lumos Ultra helmet — not only does its bright color make me more visible to cars and passengers, but helmets can also reduce the risk of head injury by more than 50%, according to research from the National Transportation Safety Board.
Riding around outside in New York in March meant dealing with changing weather. I usually wore a windbreaker to combat both the spring rain showers and any wind rushing past me as I rode at higher speeds. On days where the temperature was below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, I wore gloves — my hands got very cold and uncomfortable gripping the handlebar otherwise.
While there are a lot of cheap electric scooters available online, our top picks cost upwards of $500 and come from established brands like Segway, NIU and Gotrax.
Pros: Comfortable ride, excellent range
I used this electric scooter for my 30 minute commute for about a month. It’s a heavy electric scooter that I felt comfortable and safe riding every day. The wide, grippy footboard helped my feet stay firmly planted, even as I rode over bumps at 15 miles per hour. The handlebar grips have a slightly knurled texture, which helped me maintain a steady grip too. This remained the case when my hands were sweaty or while I wore thick gloves. The textured footboard and handlebars, combined with its smooth acceleration and braking, led to a comfortable ride daily.
The display shows your current speed, riding mode, approximate battery life and light status. It was easy to read — even in direct sunlight — and helped me stay mindful of my speed in crowded areas.
The Segway Ninebot also comes with an associated app that was easy to use. Through the app, you can engage the digital lock, which disables the throttle and engages the brakes, making the scooter very hard for potential thieves to move when parked. You can also view your exact battery percentage and change settings such as cruise control.
My daily 30-minute commute took between 25% and 45% of the total battery. I only had to charge the scooter for about two hours to get it back to 100%. The charging cable for the G30P is slim and lightweight; I packed it with me wherever I went, meaning I could charge the scooter anywhere that had a wall outlet. But, at 42 pounds, the G30P is heavy. If your commute involves a lot of stairs, we recommend one of our lighter weight top picks.
While this is the only electric scooter I tried for this piece, I highly recommend it for long-distance commuters who want an intuitive, comfortable riding experience.
Riding modes: 3 (Eco, Standard, Sport) | Weight: 42 lbs | Est. range: Up to 40.4 miles | Max speed: 18.6 mph | Charge time: 6 hours | Motor: 350W | Brakes: Front mechanical drum brake, rear regenerative electric brake | Tires: 10 inch | Hill grade: 20% | Waterproofing: IPX5 | Weight capacity: 220 lbs | Certifications: UL 2272
Pros: Great security features
Cons: Only two riding modes
The G4, a top-rated Gotrax model with thousands of five star ratings, is a mid-range commuter electric scooter with enhanced security features. This model has a four-digit combination lock that's built into the stem of the scooter and a retractable steel cable that you can use to lock the scooter by wrapping it around a secure structure like a bike stand or railing. To turn the scooter on and move, you must enter a three digit activation code on the screen, which serves as another deterrent for would-be thieves.
Outside of security, the G4 has a 25-mile range and a top speed of 20 miles per hour. (This is faster than nearly all of the other top-rated models we researched.) Similar to our other top picks, the stem folds down and locks to the back wheel, making it easier to carry and store when not riding. It also has a grippy, ridged footboard to help keep your feet steady when riding. It comes with a charger that has a large AC adapter attached, and plugs into any two-prong wall outlet.
Riding modes: 2 (gear 1, gear 2) | Weight: 37 lbs | Est. range: Up to 25 miles | Max Speed: 20 mph | Charge time: 5 hours | Motor: 500W | Brakes: Front electromagnetic brake, rear mechanical drum brake | Tires: 10 inch | Hill grade: 15% | Waterproofing: IPX4 | Weight capacity: 220 lbs | Certifications: UL 2272
Pros: Lightweight, shorter charge time
Cons: Limited range
If your commute is in the 10 miles range, a lighter weight electric scooter like the Segway Ninebot F30 may be more convenient. It’s the lightest weight of all of our top picks at 33 pounds, so it's easier to carry.
Like the Ninebot Max G30P, the F30 has three riding modes: eco (which has a 9.3 mph top speed), standard (which has a 15.5 mph top speed) and sport (which also has a 15.5 mph top speed, but has faster acceleration than standard mode). To switch modes, you can double tap the power button on the digital console. The F30 also has regenerative braking (a process that stores energy every time you engage the brakes) adding a tiny bit more to your maximum range so you can go further.
It comes with a charger you can plug into any two prong wall outlet, though it has a large AC adapter attached, so it's not as portable as the charger for the G30P.
Riding modes: 3 (Eco, Standard, Sport) | Weight: 33.3 lbs | Est. range: Up to 18.6 miles | Max Speed: 15.5 mph | Charge time: 5 hours | Motor: 300W | Brakes: Front regenerative electric brake, rear mechanical drum brake | Tires: 10 inch | Hill grade: 15% | Waterproofing: IPX5 | Weight capacity: 220 lbs | Certifications: UL 2272
Pros: Triple-braking system, high-weight limit
Cons: Very heavy
The NIU KQi3 Pro has the highest weight capacity of our top picks at 265 pounds. In many ways, it is similar to the Segway Ninebot Max G30P. It is larger and heavier than many e-scooters I researched and has a maximum range over 30 miles, a grippy footdeck for comfort and built-in lights and reflectors for safety.
Aside from weight capacity, its biggest differentiator is its braking system. It has brakes in both the front and rear wheels, and has corresponding left and right brake levers on the handlebar, which provides stability when stopping, according to the brand. The rear wheel also has an electronic brake. With three brakes instead of the typical two, the NIU KQi3 has the strongest braking potential of our top picks.
This model also has three riding modes: e-save (with a top speed of 9 mph), sport (with a top speed of 19.9 mph) and a custom option that you can set via the NIU app. Like our other top picks, this model has over one thousand five star ratings on Amazon.
Its charger, which plugs into any two-prong wall outlet, is also larger than the G30P as it has an AC adapter attached.
Riding modes: 3 (E-Save, Sport, Custom) | Weight: 44.75 lbs | Est. range: Up to 31 miles | Max Speed: 19.9 mph | Charge time: 6 hours | Motor: 350W | Brakes: Front and rear disk brakes, rear electric brake | Tires: 9.5 inch | Hill grade: 20% | Waterproofing: IP54 | Weight capacity: 265 lbs | Certifications: UL 2272
You can buy an electric scooter for as little as $100, but that doesn’t mean you should. Any vehicle you are using should be safe and durable. When shopping, I recommend keeping the following in mind:
If you are the new owner of an electric scooter, here are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin riding:
Riding an electric scooter is very different from riding a bicycle or moped. New riders should have their first ride in a low-risk environment, according to Alison Dewey, the director of education at the League of American Bicyclists. “Find a place without traffic, away from pedestrians, where you can practice handling the scooter,” she says. For safety reasons, I also recommend using the e-scooter’s low or middle speed modes, especially for your first few rides. These modes will restrict your electric scooter's top speed, making it easier to handle as you learn how to ride comfortably.
“Predictability is a key safety measure on any type of scooter,” says Dewey. Try to avoid making sudden direction changes, and, if possible, indicate where you intend to turn. Cyclists typically use hand signals, but in my experience taking your hands off of the handlebars on an e-scooter (as compared to a bicycle) immediately leads to an unstable ride.
To solve this, I consistently wore a bike helmet with built-in turn signal lights so I didn’t have to take my hands off the handlebars. When I was moving at a slow speed, I found it much easier to use a hand signal than when I was at higher speeds. Regardless, be sure to stay aware of traffic and pedestrians while riding, and follow any and all local laws.
All of our top picks (and most electric scooters generally) come with a charger included, and need to be plugged into a wall outlet to charge. Most electric scooters take between four and six hours to get from 0-100%. I charged my e-scooter for about two hours every night and never ran out of battery, but charging needs vary depending on the scooter and the distance traveled per day.
Nearly every manufacturer recommends a few common-sense charging rules to maintain a safe and working battery:
At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
Harry Rabinowitz is a reporter at Select who has ridden bikes and e-bikes around New York City for years. To better understand electric scooters and their complexities, he commuted to work with an electric scooter for a month. He also performed extensive research into electric scooters and looked for top-rated models that were safe, portable and reliable
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Harry Rabinowitz is a reporter for Select on NBC News.SKIP AHEAD How we picked the best electric scooters | The best electric scooters in 2023 | How to shop for an electric scooter | How to use an electric scooterEditor’s choiceMost secure pickMost lightweight pickControlPortabilityVisibilityUL certificationProConsRiding modesWeight Est. rangeMax speedCharge timeMotorBrakes TiresHill gradeWaterproofingWeight capacityCertificationsProsConsRiding modesWeightEst. rangeMax SpeedCharge timeMotorBrakesTiresHill gradeWaterproofingWeight capacityCertificationsProsConsRiding modesWeightEst. rangeMax SpeedCharge time MotorBrakes TiresHill gradeWaterproofingWeight capacityCertificationsProsConsRiding modesWeight Est. range:Max SpeedCharge time MotorBrakesTiresHill gradeWaterproofingWeight capacityCertificationsUnderstand electric vehicle lawsCheck for e-scooter certificationsGive it a test rideCatch up on Select's in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.