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Electric scooters are a great way to cover short distances, like commuting from a Metro station to a bus stop. Image Credit: Shutterstock

It's neither a bicycle nor a motorbike but just as convenient, especially if you don’t own a car. Electric scooters are an efficient mode of transport for covering short distances quickly. Need to get to the nearest Metro station or bus stop? Simply hop on your e-scooter and save on taxi fares.

"E-scooters are gaining popularity for the many benefits they offer," said Roman Alkhaier, the owner of a service and repair shop for e-scooters, Dubai's Scooter Service. "They're simple to operate, only cost a fraction of a car, don't need gas, and help avoid traffic congestion."

These eco-friendly vehicles charge like our electronic devices. As long as there's enough power in the battery, you can ride an e-scooter to commute, run errands in the vicinity and even cruise around just for fun.

Alkhaier notes that even car owners tend to buy an electric scooter, if they commute to busy areas. "I've seen many people take their e-scooters with them in the car, especially in Business Bay, Dubai, where it's hard to find parking. They'll park outside the area, and ride the scooter to work," he said.

Plus, the city's well-maintained roads, dedicated e-scooter lanes and absence of hilly streets, make it an ideal environment for cruising safely.

What features should I look for in an e-scooter?

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Remember to check the UAE's guidelines on e-scooters, before shopping according to specs. Image Credit: Unsplash/Marat Mazitov

Our expert shares tips and advice on how to pick the best e-scooter for you. We touch upon speed, range, types of wheels and common maintenance issues to keep you informed.

"The most common type of e-scooter is the folding scooter. It's easier to take in the Metro, carry on stairs and doesn't take up much space in an apartment. I'd recommend this type for beginners and casual users," said Alkhaier.

Most standard e-scooters also stick to safe speeds of 25km per hour, which Alkhaier says is more than enough. (Per Road and Transport Authority (RTA), the maximum speed limit must be 20kmph.) What should matter to the user, however, is the range, or how many kilometres the scooter can clear before it needs recharging.

"Look at your travel distance, and estimate how far your place of work is to see if the range of an e-scooter will be sufficient. It can start from 15 to 25km per charge, but several models can do up to 60km. Do note that scooters with more range are heavier for having a bigger battery," he added.

Never exceed the rider load limit - try to find an e-scooter that suits you best. Different manufacturers will impose different maximum weight limits, the standard being 100kg. Alkhaier says going past the allowed capacity can overheat the motor and burn the wires. It's also illegal to carry any passengers.

Scooter wheels can be an instant dealbreaker for many riders. A flat tyre just so happens to be the most common complaint Alkhaier receives at the shop. You could either go for pneumatic wheels (filled with air), which are prone to punctures, or opt for solid tyres and make do with bumpy rides. Some form of suspension system will also help to absorb shocks from the terrain.

More advice on tyres from Alkhaier: "Always check the tyre pressure out of the box, as you would with a bike. E-scooters might come with low pressure in delivery, making customers think they've had a puncture. Just maintain the proper pressure, around 45 PSI (pound-force per square inch), with an air pump. Many people avoid this hassle by installing soft solid tyres, instead."

Which e-scooter is the best for me?

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Xiaomi and Ninebot have a wide range of models for every rider. Image Credit: Unsplash/Martin Katler

Speaking of maintenance, our expert strongly suggests servicing the vehicle at least once or twice a year. This includes lubricating bearings, aligning brakes, tightening bolts, checking tyre pressure and such.

Reliable e-scooter brands that can be easily maintained are Xiaomi and Ninebot, according to Alkhaier. He said: "They don't have 'bad' models. And, most importantly, if anything breaks, there are parts in the market for these manufacturers. Their app features are quite nice, too."

Pay special attention to the health of your scooter's battery. If you're going away for some time, make sure the e-scooter is parked indoors and charged. An idle discharged battery could spell trouble.

Before you hit the road, always remember to wear a helmet and a reflective vest while riding in dedicated e-scooter lanes. Electric scooters come with their own set of rules and regulations in the UAE to protect riders, pedestrians and road users, alike. Keep yourself up-to-date with e-scooter safety guidelines, and check whether you need an e-scooter permit.

Refer to our best electric scooter picks below, featuring Alkhaier's recommended brands and other highly rated manufacturers on Amazon. Subscribe to Prime to have your e-scooter delivered to you today!

1. Best Overall: Ninebot Segway Max G30 Kickscooter

Pros

  • Excellent speed stability, up to 25kmph
  • Long range of 65km per charge
  • Wheels don’t puncture easily
  • Three speed modes with a pedestrian mode for walking
  • Charges in six hours

Cons

  • No shock absorption
  • Heavy

For top-of-the-range specs, look no further than Ninebot's Max G30. Alkhaier recommends this model to riders who want a sturdy, durable vehicle with good wheels and a long battery range. It's heavier than most at nearly 20kg, but you're never left feeling anxious about the charge running out, say reviewers. It clears total distances of up to 65km on a single six-hour charge, thanks to the big-capacity batteries. If you're trying to go uphill, the Max G30 can climb slopes at a 20 per cent incline. It has large self-sealing 10-inch tyres that can withstand multiple punctures without going flat, since they’re fitted with an additional jelly layer. You can use the colourful LED dashboard to easily switch speeds between Eco, Drive and Sport modes - a thoughtful Pedestrian mode lets you walk alongside the e-scooter. Despite the lack of shock absorbing mechanism, buyers say it's a smooth ride.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh254.17 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh199 and a two-year extended warranty for Dh283.

2. Best Speed: KUGOO G-Booster

Pros

  • Off-road tyres with anti-slip tread and suspension
  • High speeds of up to 55kmph
  • Maximum load of 150kg
  • Strong, robust build for bumpy rides
  • 35-degree slope climb

Cons

  • Heaviest on our list at 30kg
  • Front light could be better

Kugoo's latest upgrade in the market, the G3 or G-Booster, runs faster than Ninebot's G30. Refuel it for six hours and enjoy cruising speeds of 55km per hour, with the battery lasting for up to 60km. Compared to its predecessors, the e-scooter has a larger deck and a wider handlebar to accommodate different types of riders. There's also been an increase in the load limit, now measuring 150kg, due to the revised, stronger frame. More good news is that you'll experience a less bumpy ride, with the scooter's dual suspension system, as well as 10-inch pneumatic tyres design for off-roading and especially bumpy rides. With all its bells and whistles, the Kugoo G2 Pro is the heaviest (30kg) on our list, as reviewers note the difficulty in carrying the vehicle. Otherwise, the suspension and ride are excellent. Those who faced minor issues out of the box were able to get local support from Kugoo in the UAE.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh369.50 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh284 and two years for Dh404.

3. Best for Long Distances: eVA X2 Max High Performance Electric Scooter

Pros

  • Long battery mileage of 70km
  • Supports a maximum load of 150kg
  • Detachable battery
  • Triple braking system
  • Responsive customer support

Cons

  • Expensive spare battery

This one gets all the accolades for its 10-inch wheels, smooth riding experience and swift customer service. It’s not going to be a bumpy ride with eVA’s X2 Max e-scooter. Accelerate with up to three different speeds, using a convenient lever, and travel up to 70km on a single charge. You can always double your range with a spare battery pack, but this could be an expensive investment. Still, recharging should take you up to four hours, which is a lot less time compared to other brands. For added safety, the vehicle triggers a triple system to stop – pedal brake, disc brake and an electronic lever brake. Weighing 21.5kg, it can support a weight load of up to 150kgs! Note that the scooter does have limited resistance against water. Reviewers love how user-friendly this model is, from the built-in baggage hook to the detachable battery pack.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh274.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh199.

4. Best for Short Distances: Ninebot Segway E25 Kickscooter

Pros

  • Three speeds, with maximum 20km per hour
  • Dual braking system
  • Hollowed-out tyres won't get punctured
  • Includes colourful atmospheric lights
  • Lightweight at 15.4kg

Cons

  • Load capacity is 99kgs
  • Doesn't have dedicated shock absorbers

If you'd rather pick up a Ninebot to manage short distances, here's a lighter, more affordable model, the Segway E2 e-scooter. It rides at a maximum speed of 20kmph, supported by a dual braking system. Besides the electric and drum mechanical braking, you get 22km on a single charge on hollowed-out tyres that measure 8.1 inches. Don't worry, this new design makes them far more shock-absorbing and puncture-proof. Equipped with colourful atmospheric lights that include nine different effects and tens of thousands of colour options, this Segway has a one-push folding system that makes it easy to load into vehicles or the Metro when you need to. Reviewers are impressed by its build quality, saying that even in hot, sunny weather, the E25 manages to last its full range.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh124.17 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh86 and two years for Dh121.

5. Best Budget: Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3

Pros

  • Great option for beginners
  • Conserves battery under 30 per cent
  • Easy to carry, since it weighs 13.2kgs only
  • Climbs 16 per cent inclines
  • Sturdy quality

Cons

  • No shock absorption

Xiaomi electric scooter’s 2021 model lets you ride 30km on a full charge, withstanding up to 100kg in body weight. Tell the e-scooter if you’re on the way to work, cruising in a park or riding close to pedestrians using the three speed modes, from S to D. Not only does it have a bright headlight, angled to keep the scooter from distracting oncoming traffic, but also a red tail light for when you brake. Speaking of braking, the rear 8.5-inch wheel uses a dual-pad disc braking system to prolong brakes. When not in use, fold in the stem and carry the 13.2kg scooter with you in three seconds! Reviewers use it to commute to bus stops and work, so carrying this vehicle around has been easier than most.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh116.58 for 12 months with select banks.

6. Best for Younger Riders: Razor A2 Electric Scooter 

Pros

  • Lightest scooter on the list at 6.5kgs
  • Suitable for children aged eight and up
  • Single charge allows 40 minutes of use
  • Doubles as a non-electric scooter

Cons

  • Not for those looking for speed - runs at 16km per hour

If you're looking to ride around the city for errands or leisure, instead of an intensive commute, opt for Razor A2 electric scooter. Carrying the rider on eight-inch air and airless wheels, the scooter helps conserve battery by functioning as a non-electric kick scooter as well. Razor's deck can support a load of 60kgs and rides a little slowly at up to 16kmph for 40 minutes on a single charge. Children aged eight and above can ride this model safely since it only weighs 6.5kgs, and its height can be adjusted. However, do note that the rider age limit stipulated by the RTA is 16 and up. For more child-friendly scooters, check out these options for kids.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent instalments and pay Dh196.17 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers a one-year extended warranty for Dh142 and two years for Dh202.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.