The Evolution of Electric Scooters: From Autoped to Dockless Sharing Systems
A motorized scooter is a stand-up scooter powered by either a small utility internal combustion engine or a small electric hub motor in its front and/or rear wheel. Classified as a form of micro-mobility, they are generally designed with a large center deck on which the rider stands. The first motorized scooter was manufactured by Autoped in 1915.
Recently, electric kick scooters (e-scooters) have grown in popularity with the introduction of scooter-sharing systems that use apps to allow users to rent them by the minute.
The history of the electric scooter dates back to 1915, when Autoped introduced its stand-up scooter. Pulling back on the handlebar disengaged the clutch and applied the brake. Production continued until 1921, and Krupp of Germany built the Autoped under license from 1919 to 1922.
In 1986, Go-Ped introduced the first modern stand-up scooters, the Roadster and Sport. In May 2001, Go-Ped introduced the first full-suspension stand-up e-scooter, the Hoverboard. In 2004, Evo Powerboards introduced the 2x, the first scooter with a two-speed transmission.
In 2009, Italian-Israeli designer Ricardo Nimrod Sapir designed the world’s first folding e-scooter based on his patent. In 2010, Sapir started producing the world’s first motorized folding e-scooter utilizing lithium-ion batteries and a brushless hub motor under the MyWay brand in Avihayil, Israel. The brand was later renamed Inokim and production was moved to Ningbo, China.
In 2013, light electric folding scooters powered by rechargeable lithium batteries and brushless hub motors became available from Micro Mobility Systems AG. In 2018, dockless scooter-sharing systems were rolled out in major cities, largely as expansions of bike-sharing systems.
Electric kick scooters have surpassed internal combustion-engined scooters in popularity since 2000. They usually have two wheels between 8 and 11 inches in diameter, one or both of which are fitted with an electric motor, connected by a platform on which the rider stands, with a handlebar for support and steering. The use of an electric motor makes gears unnecessary, and may support energy recovery by regenerative braking. Range and speed vary considerably according to model.
In 2017, some bicycle-sharing companies such as Lime and some scooter-only companies such as Bird began offering dockless electric kick scooter sharing services. This segment of the micro-mobility market made large inroads in 2018, with numerous dockless e-scooters appearing on the streets of major cities in the United States and Europe.
Table of Content
- What are Motorized Scooters and Why are They Popular?
- Comparing Electric Bikes and Electric Scooters: Differences in Design and Performance
- Comparing Electric Bikes and Electric Scooters: Differences in Design and Performance
- Deck on a Scooter
- The handlebar (steering wheel)
- Getting Started with Electric Scooters: A Beginner’s Guide
- When looking to buy an electric scooter, there are several factors to consider:
- How to calculate the distance required to stop an electric scooter
- Protecting your investment with an electric scooter warranty
- Maximizing protection for your electric scooter with the right warranty
What are Motorized Scooters and Why are They Popular?
A motorized scooter is a small vehicle that typically has two or three wheels. The rider stands on a platform or deck, and uses a handlebar for support and steering. The scooter is powered by either a small internal combustion engine or an electric motor, which is typically located in the front or rear wheel. Some models may also have suspension to provide a smoother ride. The size and design of the scooter can vary depending on the manufacturer and model, but they are generally compact and portable.
Comparing Electric Bikes and Electric Scooters: Differences in Design and Performance
The main difference between electric bikes and electric scooters is the way that the rider is positioned. An electric bike has a saddle and pedals, so the rider sits and pedals like on a regular bike. An electric scooter, on the other hand, has a platform for the rider to stand on and a handlebar for steering, similar to a kick scooter. Electric scooters are also typically smaller and more compact than electric bikes. In terms of power and performance, electric bikes and scooters can vary greatly, so it is important to compare specific models to determine the differences.
The type of motor used in an electric bike or scooter can vary depending on the manufacturer and model. Some electric bikes and scooters may use the same type of motor, while others may use different types. For example, some electric bikes and scooters may use a brushless electric motor, while others may use a hub motor. In general, the motor used in an electric bike or scooter will determine its power and performance, so it is important to consider the motor when comparing different models.
Comparing Electric Bikes and Electric Scooters: Differences in Design and Performance
The manufacturing process for an scooter can vary depending on the specific model and manufacturer. However, in general, the process may involve the following steps:
- Design and development: The scooter’s design is created and refined, taking into account factors such as the intended use, target market, and desired features.
- Material selection and sourcing: The materials needed to make the scooter, such as metals, plastics, and electronics, are selected and sourced from suppliers.
- Fabrication: The individual parts of the scooter, such as the frame, wheels, and handlebars, are fabricated using processes such as casting, forging, and injection molding.
- Assembly: The individual parts are assembled into a complete scooter, with the motor and other components being installed.
- Quality control and testing: The scooter is tested to ensure that it meets the required standards for performance, safety, and durability.
- Packaging and shipping: The finished scooter is packaged and shipped to the retailer or end user.
The parts of a scooter may include the following:
- Deck: This is the platform on which the rider stands.
- Handlebar: This is the bar that the rider holds onto for support and steering.
- Headset: This is the part that connects the handlebar to the frame and allows the handlebar to turn.
- Brake lever: This is the lever that the rider uses to apply the brake.
- Wheel: The scooter typically has two or three wheels, depending on the model.
- Motor: This is the part that provides the power to the scooter, either through a small internal combustion engine or an electric motor.
- Battery: If the scooter is electric, it will have a battery pack to power the motor.
- Throttle: This is the control that the rider uses to accelerate the scooter.
- Fender: Some scooters may have a fender over the front or rear wheel to protect the rider from mud and other debris.
- Kickstand: This is a small stand that allows the scooter to be parked upright when not in use.
Deck on a Scooter
The deck of a scooter is the platform on which the rider stands. It is typically made of a sturdy material such as wood, metal, or composite plastic, and is designed to support the weight of the rider and any cargo. The deck is an essential part of the scooter, as it provides a stable base for the rider and allows them to control the scooter with their feet. Some decks may also have grip tape or other textured surfaces to improve traction and prevent the rider’s feet from slipping. The size and shape of the deck can vary depending on the scooter model, and may have features such as concave or convex shapes to improve the rider’s ability to perform tricks.
The handlebar (steering wheel)
The handlebar of a scooter is the bar that the rider holds onto for support and steering. It is typically made of a strong and lightweight material such as aluminum or steel, and may be straight or curved depending on the scooter’s design. The handlebar is connected to the front wheel, and turning it allows the rider to steer the scooter. The handlebar may have grips or other features to improve the rider’s comfort and control, and may also have controls such as the brake lever and throttle attached to it. The size and shape of the handlebar can vary depending on the scooter model and the rider’s preference. The size and shape of the handlebar can vary, with typical sizes ranging from 20 to 30 inches (51 to 76 cm) in length and 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in diameter.
The headset is the part that connects the handlebar to the frame and allows the handlebar to turn. It consists of bearings that allow the handlebar to rotate smoothly, and may also have a locking mechanism to keep the handlebar in place.
The brake lever of a scooter is the lever that the rider uses to apply the brake. It is typically located on the handlebar, and pulling it activates the brake and slows the scooter down. The brake lever may be a separate component, or it may be integrated into the handlebar itself. The brake lever may also have a locking mechanism to keep it in place, and may have an adjustable reach to allow it to be positioned comfortably for the rider’s hand size. The brake lever is an important safety feature of a scooter, as it allows the rider to slow down or stop quickly in emergency situations.
The brake of a scooter can be made of a variety of materials, depending on the type of brake and the scooter’s design. Some common materials used for scooter brakes include steel, aluminum, and composite materials such as carbon fiber.
The brake itself may be a disc brake, which uses a rotating disc attached to the wheel to stop the scooter. The disc brake has a caliper that squeezes the disc with brake pads, creating friction and slowing the wheel down. Alternatively, the brake may be a drum brake, which uses a cylindrical drum attached to the wheel to stop the scooter. The drum brake has brake shoes that press against the inside of the drum to create friction and slow the wheel down.
In general, disc brakes are considered to be more efficient and effective than drum brakes, as they provide better stopping power and are less susceptible to overheating. However, drum brakes may be used on scooters that have limited space for a disc brake, or for other design or cost reasons.
- The wheel The wheel is the round component that provides the scooter with mobility. It is typically made of a durable material such as rubber or polyurethane, and may have various features such as air-filled tires or suspension systems to improve its performance. The wheel is typically attached to the scooter’s frame and is driven by the motor, either directly or through a transmission system. The number and size of the wheels can vary depending on the scooter model, with some scooters having two wheels and others having three. Typical wheel sizes for a scooter range from 8 to 11 inches (20 to 28 cm) in diameter, with larger wheels providing a smoother ride but also adding weight to the scooter. The width of the tire may also vary, with wider tires providing better traction and a more comfortable ride, but also increasing the scooter’s overall weight.
- The motor The electric motor of an electric scooter is the part that provides the power to the scooter. It is typically located in the front or rear wheel, and drives the wheel to propel the scooter forward. The electric motor may be a brushless DC motor, which uses a series of permanent magnets and electromagnets to generate rotational motion. This type of motor is typically more efficient and durable than other types of motors, and is commonly used in electric scooters. The size and power of the electric motor will determine the scooter’s performance, with larger and more powerful motors able to accelerate the scooter faster and reach higher speeds. Typical motor sizes for an electric scooter range from 100 to 500 watts, with larger motors providing more power but also adding weight to the scooter. The electric motor is an essential component of an electric scooter, and is key to its performance and efficiency.
- The battery The battery of an electric scooter is an essential component, as it provides the power to the electric motor. The battery pack is typically located on the scooter’s deck or frame, and is connected to the motor through electrical wiring. The type and capacity of the battery will determine the scooter’s range and performance, with larger and more powerful batteries able to provide more energy and support longer distances. The battery pack may be removable, allowing the rider to replace or recharge it as needed. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in electric scooters, as they are lightweight, have a high energy density, and are relatively safe and reliable. The size and weight of the battery pack will depend on the scooter model and the rider’s needs, with sizes ranging from 100 to 500 watt-hours.
- Throttle The throttle of an electric scooter is the control that the rider uses to accelerate the scooter. It is typically a small lever or button on the handlebar, and pressing or twisting it increases the electric motor’s speed, causing the scooter to move forward. The throttle may be adjustable, allowing the rider to fine-tune the amount of acceleration, and may also have a locking mechanism to keep it in place. The throttle is an important safety feature of an electric scooter, as it allows the rider to control the scooter’s speed and movement. It is typically used in combination with the brake lever, which slows the scooter down or stops it completely. The throttle and brake lever are the primary controls of an electric scooter, and are essential for the rider’s safety and enjoyment.
- The fender The fender of an electric scooter is a small piece of protective equipment that is attached to the front or rear wheel. It is made of a durable and flexible material, and is designed to shield the rider from debris thrown up by the tire. The fender is curved or angled to match the wheel and tire, and may have a decorative or functional design. It is an optional component of the scooter, and may not be included on all models. However, it can provide additional protection and comfort for the rider in wet or dirty conditions.
- The controller It is a small electronic device that regulates the flow of electricity from the battery pack to the electric motor, and controls the speed and torque of the motor. The controller is typically located on the scooter’s deck or frame, and is connected to the battery pack and the motor through electrical wires. It may have a number of different components, such as power switches, fuses, diodes, capacitors, and transistors, which work together to manage the flow of electricity and ensure the motor’s performance and efficiency. The controller may also have additional features, such as a display screen or user interface, that allow the rider to monitor the scooter’s speed, battery level, and other information, and make adjustments as needed. The controller is a critical component of an electric scooter, and is essential for its operation and performance.
Getting Started with Electric Scooters: A Beginner’s Guide
- To turn on the electric scooter, locate the power button or switch on the scooter’s deck or frame. This may be a small button or lever that you need to press or flip to activate the scooter.
- To hold the handlebar of the electric scooter, stand on the deck with your feet shoulder-width apart and grab the handlebar with both hands. Your hands should be positioned comfortably on the handlebar, with your thumbs wrapped around the grips and your fingers resting on the brake levers.
- To check the battery level of the electric scooter, look for a battery indicator on the scooter’s display screen or user interface. This may be a digital or analog display that shows the remaining battery capacity in percentage, miles, or time. You can also check the battery level by looking at the scooter’s LED lights, if it has any. Green or blue lights typically indicate a full or almost-full battery, while red or yellow lights indicate a low or empty battery.
- To start moving on the electric scooter, gently press the throttle control with your thumb or index finger. This will increase the electric motor’s speed, and the scooter will start moving forward. You can adjust the amount of acceleration by pressing the throttle harder or softer, depending on your desired speed and the riding conditions.
- To stop the electric scooter, squeeze the brake levers on the handlebar with your fingers. This will engage the scooter’s brake system, and the scooter will slow down or stop depending on how hard you squeeze the brakes. You can also use the brake levers to slow down gradually, or to come to a complete stop at a traffic light or intersection.
- To steer the electric scooter, lean your body slightly in the direction you want to go. The scooter will follow the direction of your body, and you can make small corrections by turning the handlebar slightly with your hands. Keep your feet on the deck and your knees bent to maintain your balance and stability, and avoid sudden or sharp turns that could cause the scooter to lose control.
- To park the electric scooter, look for a safe and legal spot to park the scooter. This may be a designated parking area, a sidewalk or bike lane, or a street corner. Avoid blocking pedestrian or vehicle traffic, and avoid parking in private property without permission. Once you have found a suitable spot, engage the kick.
When looking to buy an electric scooter, there are several factors to consider:
1. Price: Make sure to set a budget and stick to it. Electric scooters can vary greatly in price, so it’s important to determine how much you’re willing to spend before you start shopping.
Here is a table that shows the price range of electric scooters:
|Under $100||Budget-friendly scooters that are suitable for short trips and occasional use.|
|$100-$500||Mid-range scooters that offer a good balance of price and performance.|
|$500-$1,000||High-end scooters that are built for long-range travel and off-road use.|
|Over $1,000||Top-of-the-line scooters with advanced features and premium materials.|
When shopping for an electric scooter, it’s important to keep in mind that the price doesn’t always reflect the quality of the product. It’s a good idea to do your research and read customer reviews before making a decision. Additionally, be sure to consider the factors mentioned above, such as range, weight, speed, and battery life, to ensure that the electric scooter you choose is a good fit for your needs.
2. Range: Consider how far you’ll need to travel on your electric scooter. Look for a scooter with a range that meets your needs, whether it’s commuting to work or just running errands around town.
Here is a table that shows the range of electric scooters based on their battery size:
|Under 2,000 mAh||Up to 5 miles|
|2,000-3,000 mAh||Up to 10 miles|
|3,000-4,000 mAh||Up to 15 miles|
|4,000-5,000 mAh||Up to 20 miles|
|Over 5,000 mAh||Up to 25+ miles|
Keep in mind that these ranges are estimates and can vary based on factors such as the terrain, the rider’s weight, and the speed at which the scooter is traveling. Additionally, some electric scooters come with additional features, such as pedal assist, that can help to extend the range. It’s always a good idea to check the manufacturer’s specifications to get a more accurate idea of the scooter’s range.
3. When shopping for an electric scooter, it’s important to consider the weight of the scooter and how easy it is to carry. Many scooters are designed to be lightweight and portable, making them a convenient option for commuters who need to bring their scooter on public transportation. However, if you plan to ride your scooter over rough terrain or off-road, a heavier scooter with larger wheels and more suspension may be a better option. It’s always a good idea to try out the scooter in person to see how it feels and make sure it meets your needs.
4. Speed: Think about how fast you need your electric scooter to go. Most models have a maximum speed of around 15mph, but some can go as fast as 25mph or more.
5. Battery life: Check the battery life of the electric scooter you’re considering. Most models can last for around 10-15 miles on a single charge, but some have longer battery life.
6. Customer reviews: Before making a purchase, be sure to read customer reviews of the electric scooter you’re considering. This will give you a good idea of the scooter’s strengths and weaknesses and help you make an informed decision.
How to calculate the distance required to stop an electric scooter
The distance required to stop an electric scooter depends on several factors, including the speed at which the scooter is traveling, the type of brakes it has, the weight of the rider, and the condition of the road. In general, it’s important to allow plenty of time and space to stop, especially when traveling at high speeds.
To determine the distance required to stop your electric scooter, you can use the following formula: distance = speed x time. For example, if you’re traveling at 15mph and need to stop in 2 seconds, the distance required to stop would be 15 x 2 = 30 feet.
It’s important to note that this is just a general guideline and the actual distance required to stop may be different depending on the conditions. It’s always a good idea to ride cautiously and allow plenty of time and space to stop. Additionally, make sure to check the manufacturer’s specifications for your electric scooter to get a better idea of its braking distance.
Simple steps for maintaining your electric scooter:
- Keep it clean: Regularly clean your electric scooter to remove dirt and debris that can build up and cause damage. Use a soft cloth and a mild cleaning solution to wipe down the frame, wheels, and other components.
- Check the tires: Regularly check the air pressure in your electric scooter’s tires and inflate them to the recommended level if needed. This will help to ensure that they are properly inflated and can provide a smooth ride.
- Lubricate the moving parts: Lubricate the moving parts of your electric scooter, such as the chain and the gears, to keep them functioning smoothly. Use a high-quality lubricant and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for how often to lubricate the components.
- Check the brakes: Regularly check the brakes on your electric scooter to make sure they are functioning properly. If you notice any issues, such as a squealing sound or a lack of responsiveness, have them checked by a professional to ensure they are safe to use.
- Store it properly: When not in use, store your electric scooter in a dry, protected location. Avoid leaving it outside where it could be damaged by the elements or stolen.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your electric scooter in good working condition and extend its lifespan. It’s also a good idea to read the manufacturer’s instructions for maintaining your electric scooter and follow their recommendations for best results.
Protecting your investment with an electric scooter warranty
When you buy an electric scooter, you may be offered a warranty or guarantee by the manufacturer or retailer. A warranty is a promise by the manufacturer to repair or replace any defects in the product within a certain time frame. This can provide peace of mind and protect your investment in the event that something goes wrong with your scooter.
Not all electric scooters come with a warranty, and the terms and conditions of the warranty can vary. It’s a good idea to read the warranty carefully before making a purchase and make sure you understand what is covered and for how long. If you have any questions, be sure to ask the manufacturer or retailer for clarification. Additionally, it’s a good idea to register your electric scooter with the manufacturer to ensure that you can take advantage of the warranty if needed.
Maximizing protection for your electric scooter with the right warranty
examples of warranties that sellers may offer for electric scooters:
- Limited warranty: This type of warranty covers defects in materials and workmanship for a certain period of time, typically one to two years. The warranty may not cover damage caused by misuse or improper maintenance.
- Extended warranty: An extended warranty provides coverage for a longer period of time than a limited warranty, often up to three or four years. This type of warranty may provide additional coverage for wear and tear, as well as accidental damage.
- Full warranty: A full warranty provides the most comprehensive coverage, covering defects in materials and workmanship, as well as accidental damage and normal wear and tear. This type of warranty may also include additional services, such as free tune-ups or roadside assistance.