Best electric scooters 2021

We test the top electric scooters to see which is best for range, price, riding experience and more

In cities across the world, electric scooters are as much a part of the urban transport network as buses and trains. They have evolved from toys into the favourite way of getting around town for thousands of commuters. However, in the UK, only rented e-scooters can be ridden on the public road; privately owned ones must stay off the highway.

E-scooters can carry adults for up to 20 miles at the same speed as a bike, yet they fold up easily to fit under a desk, in the boot of your car or even in a cupboard. We tested seven of our favourites to see which gave us the biggest kick.

How we tested them

We fully charged the scooters and then tried them on a test circuit with two riders – one weighing 80kg and the other 95kg. The route included a 4 per cent slope to check if the motors were strong enough to make it up hills without assistance. Extra points were awarded for light weight, easy folding and compact size, but sturdiness and riding stability were crucial, too. The final factor was price.

Verdict

Your choice of scooter will depend entirely on how you use it, where you need to store it and how much you have to spend. The E-Twow GT offers a great combination of power, portability and range, so is our premium-priced favourite.

If your budget won’t stretch that far, while were impressed by the built-to-last simplicity and stability of the Pure Air Pro, the cheaper Pure Air Go cuts costs by having a smaller battery, making it great value if the shorter range isn't a problem.

Reviews

E-Twow GT 2020

  • Price: £995
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Power: 700w
  • Scooter weight: 11.9kg
  • Range (claimed): 25 miles

The E-Twow (pronounced e2) GT is the smallest and lightest scooter here, which makes it ideal if you want to carry it on public transport or in a car boot. But it packs a lot of power into that tiny frame. It easily motored up hills, even with our heavier rider, and would top 24mph on the flat if allowed. Take it a little more carefully and it will also manage 20 miles between charges. Small wheels mean it’s more fidgety than a bigger-wheeled scooter, but the combination of power, portability and range make it our winner. 

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Pure Air Go

  • Price: £349.99  
  • Rating: 5 stars
  • Power: 350W  
  • Scooter weight: 16kg  
  • Range (claimed): 12 miles  

Glance at the specs or photos and it would be easy to dismiss the new Pure Air Go. It’s heavy, has the shortest official range and doesn’t have the futuristic looks of some other scooters. But it has been designed to cope with real life, and that makes it a much easier machine to live with day to day. Most importantly, the Air Go has an IP65 water-protection rating, which means it can be used in rain and driven through puddles without invalidating the warranty. This isn’t the case for the other scooters here, which are only suitable for use in dry conditions. The Pure’s sturdy steel frame is rated to carry 120kg – 20kg more than the Ninebot – meaning it’s suitable for larger riders or those wearing heavy backpacks. The downside of this is that the Air Go is heavier and larger to carry around, but it is easier and feels more stable to ride, while also coping with inclines better than its budget-priced rivals here. 

Buy now from Pure Scooters

Pure Air

  • Price: £399.99
  • Rating: 4.5 stars
  • Power: 250w
  • Scooter weight: 16.5kg
  • Range (claimed): 18 miles

On paper the Pure Air doesn't have too much going for it. But while it's heavier, less powerful and marginally more expensive than the Ninebot Segway, it has a far more substantial feel and promises to be water-resistant enough to survive a British winter. It certainly shrugged off a drenching during our testing without any ill effects.

It's also got a solid feeling when you ride it, thanks to a substantial frame and 10-inch air-filled tyres. There's a single traditional brake lever that operates the front (mechanical) and rear (electrical) brakes, too, making it far more intuitive and controllable than the Ninebot's switch-operated system. We were surprised how punchy the 250W motor felt. It was certainly no slower than the more powerful Segway, despite the extra weight. The downside comes when you need to lift or fold the Air, as although none are feather-light the Air would be annoyingly large and heavy to lift frequently.

Buy now from Pure Scooters

Pure Air Pro

  • Price: £679.99
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Power: 350w
  • Scooter weight: 17kg
  • Range (claimed): 22 miles

Pure’s more powerful scooter doesn’t have any gimmicky features, but it makes up for this in sturdiness. It’s a hefty machine, designed to be used every day in the British climate. It has proper waterproofing, self-healing pneumatic tyres, big, 10-inch wheels and is rated for riders up to 120kg. It will be annoyingly large and heavy to lift up stairs or into a car boot frequently, but it feels as though it is built to last and is confidence-inspiring to ride. If we needed a scooter every day, this would be it.

Buy now from Pure Scooters

Micro Explorer

  • Price: £900
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Power: 500w
  • Scooter weight: 13.5kg
  • Range (claimed): 19 miles

The Explorer looks a little like a toy, but it’s actually a serious machine with twice the power of the best-selling Xiaomi. This means it easily overtook lesser-powered machines on the hill test, while twin suspension kept the ride smooth, despite the Explorer having small wheels. It’s also easy to ride, with a twist-grip throttle and brake lever. Folding is simple and the handlebars tuck in, which makes it much easier to carry in a car boot than some of the bigger machines. We missed having a stand, though, and its high price hurt its rating here.

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Ninebot Segway E22E

  • Price: £339.99
  • Rating: 4 stars
  • Power: 300w 
  • Scooter weight: 13.5kg
  • Range (claimed): 13 miles

With its sophisticated LCD display and slick styling, it’s easy to be swayed by the top-selling E22E. It’s lighter, smaller and easier to carry than the majority of its rivals here. But its motor feels much weedier than the Pure’s, so you’ll be using it in full-power Sport mode for most journeys. This means you won’t get close to the claimed 13-mile range in the real world.

Buy now from Pure Scooters

Turboant X7 Pro 

  • Price: £438 
  • Rating: 3.5 stars
  • Power: 350W
  • Weight: 15kg  
  • Range (claimed): 30 miles

The X7’s battery is almost twice the size of its rivals’ here, so the claimed range is more than double. You can easily unclip the battery to charge it, but it’s heavy. Despite being lighter than the Pure overall and having the same power output, the X7 struggles on inclines, and trails the E22E, too. It only makes sense if you really need those extra miles between charges.

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Bird One

  • Price: £999  
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Power: 300W
  • Scooter weight: 17.5kg  
  • Range (claimed): 25 miles

Because it’s been built to survive the rigours of rental, the Bird feels indestructible and foolproof, but it’s heavy – noticeably chunkier than others we’ve tried – so lifting it up stairs or into a boot is an extra effort. The other big drawback is that it doesn’t fold, so you’ll need a big space to store or move it. Taking it on crowded public transport will make you unpopular, too. The controls are basic, with most of the functions operated by an app on your smartphone. You can even track the Bird’s location and lock it via the app. If the scooter is moved without being electronically released it will sound an alarm and flash its lights. You can also track its movements via a GPS tracker. Once you’ve mastered all the technology, the Bird does feel solid to ride, with decent performance despite its heavy weight. But it seems utilitarian rather than fun.

Buy now from Pure Electric

Xiaomi M365

  • Price: £425
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Power: 250w
  • Scooter weight: 12kg
  • Range (claimed): 15 miles

It’s not often that a previous test winner and best seller gets knocked so far off the podium so soon, but the M365’s relegation is an indication of the speed of change in the electric scooter market. Users say it doesn’t like getting wet, which isn’t ideal for daily use, but it’s still a decent scooter for an affordable price. It’s easy to ride, feels stable and has just enough power to tackle hills. But rivals perform better now.

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Zero 9

  • Price: £945
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Power: 600w
  • Scooter weight: 18kg
  • Range (claimed): 27 miles

At 18kg, the Zero 9 just about manages to be small and light enough to be considered reasonably portable, and will fit in a larger car’s boot without needing to put the seats down. But it’s not a struggle you’d want to experience regularly. The inconvenience of this is forgiven when you’re riding it, though, because a bigger board to stand on plus dual suspension, air-filled tyres and two-wheel brakes make it more comfortable to ride over longer distances. Take it easier and it will stretch the battery over 27 miles, too. 

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Zero 11

  • Price: £2,895
  • Rating: 3 stars
  • Power: 1,600w
  • Scooter Weight: 52kg
  • Range (claimed): 80 miles

The Zero 11X is just a bit silly. Two motors producing 1,600 watts will propel it to 60mph if you’re brave enough. To tame the frightening acceleration, you can select low-power modes, which will also stretch the range to a claimed 80 miles. The Zero 11X uses a reinforced frame, 11-inch wheels and full hydraulic disc brakes, which help to explain why it weighs 52kg; it’s therefore a two-person job to load it into a car. Fun if you have a private track, but far too naughty for the road.

Buy now from Personal Electric Transport

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