Best Electric Scooters of 2021: According to Science And Exclusive Data

The Apollo Phantom is a recent addition to the best scooters leaderboard | Richard S. / ESG

These are best electric scooters for adults, based on 1,903 hours of testing 81 electric scooters and ratings from 2,777 owners (updated for August 2021).

Best Electric Scooters: Summary

ScooterTested
Range
MSRP
Hiboy S212.7 mi $389
Xiaomi Mi M36514.6 mi $599
Segway Ninebot Max28.1 mi $949
Apollo City17.9 mi $999
Apollo Explore28.1 mi $1,399
EMOVE Cruiser47.0 mi $1,399
Kaabo Mantis29.1 mi $1,599
Apollo Ghost22.3 mi $1,499
Apollo Phantom31.4 mi $2,099
Kaabo Wolf King33.4 mi $2,999
NAMI Burn-E53.3 mi $4,499
ESG’s picks for best electric scooters, organized from cheapest to priciest.

Hiboy S2

Paul taking the S2 for leisurely stroll | Credit: Richard S. / ESG

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 19.0 mph*
Tested range: 12.7 mi*
Weight: 32 lb*
Max rider weight: 270 lb
Water resistance: IP54

Highlights

Strong acceleration
Effective dual braking system
Good power for size
Brain massage on normal terrain
Narrow honeycomb tires

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Hiboy S2: Overall Best Performance Bargain

The S2, one of the best cheapest scooters you can buy, is a performance bargain.

Even if you spend $100 more, you won’t find a scooter that can beat the S2 for top speed, acceleration, or braking.

It’s also got rear suspension, which helps give the S2 surprisingly good ride quality despite its maintenance-free honeycomb tires.

Hiboy scooters have a 1-year warranty, but the company is not known for customer service or spare parts availability. So keep in mind that after the warranty is over, you may be on your own.

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Xiaomi Mi M365

Xiaomi Mi M365 electric scooter on dock of lake

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 16.7 mph*
Tested range: 14.6 mi*
Weight: 27 lb*
Max rider weight: 220 lb
Water resistance: IP54

Highlights

Excellent 12-month warranty
Great range and speed
Quality construction
Lacks information display
Lacks suspension for rough roads
Frequently unavailable

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Xiaomi Mi M365: Still The World’s Best

The storied M365 is the scooter that started the electric scooter revolution and one we crowned the King of Electric Scooters.

For years the M365 has set the standard for entry-level scooters with its simple design that offered decent range, quality, and price. Our only complaint: a minimalist design that is so minimalist, the display consists of 4 LEDs to indicate battery life and nothing else.

Despite introduction of newer models like the Pro, the original is still one of the best.

During the height of the pandemic, its price from major retailers yo-yo-ed all over the place and it was frequently unavailable, however this seems to have stabilized and it typically be had for around $500, where it is a good value.

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Segway Ninebot Max

Segway Ninebot Max electric scooter - man riding in rain, braking on scooter, side shot
Paul brake-testing the Ninebot Max | Credit: Richard S. / ESG

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 17.8 mph*
Tested range: 28.1 mi*
Weight: 43 lb*
Max rider weight: 220 lb
Water resistance: IPX5

Highlights

Excellent range for its class
Beefy world-class construction
Pre-slimed tubeless pneumatic tires
No zero start
Lacks zippy acceleration
Heavy for its dimensions

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Segway Ninebot Max: Uber Reliable Workhorse

The Max is the #1 choice for riding in the rain, scooter sharing companies, and for being as reliable as a hammer.

Though lacking suspension, the Max sports “self-healing” 10.0-inch tubeless pneumatic tires that do a surprisingly good job of eating bumps and are remarkably flat-resistant.

Lack of zero-start means you’ll always have to kick launch the scooter, but this and a tame 17.8 mph top speed helps deliver its remarkable 28.1-mile range.

It’s just hard to go wrong buying or riding this scooter. It’s not the most exciting thing, but if your goal is maximum transportation with minimum fuss, you can’t beat it at any price.

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Apollo City

Apollo City electric scooter at sunset

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 28.6 mph*
Tested range: 17.9 mi*
Weight: 43 lb*
Max rider weight: 260 lb
Water resistance: IP54

Highlights

Top-notch urban commuter
Triple redundant braking system
Great comfort and ride
IP54 water-resistance
Handlebars tend to loosen

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Apollo City: Fan Favorite Lightweight

The City is hard to beat if you want a single motor do-everything-scooter that is great for daily commuting and won’t cost an arm (or leg).

It’s held back slightly by smaller wheels and tires, but makes up for this with dual suspension … oh, and it’s actually portable.

It has 17.9-mile range and a 30 mph top speed. Dual disc brakes help to quickly scrub off speed and its IP54 water-resistance make this an all-weather vehicle.

The City claimed its spot on the list with an average of 4.65/5 rating from 97 owners, based our annual survey and lengthy standard 2 year warranty – more than any similar rebrand.

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Apollo Explore

Apollo Explore electric scooter

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 29.9 mph*
Tested range: 28.1 mi*
Weight: 52 lb*
Max rider weight: 270 lb
Water resistance: IP54

Highlights

Long warranty
Good top speed
Killer lighting
Good acceleration

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Apollo Explore: Value Juggernaut

The Explore is a value juggernaut and the scooter by which all other single motor scooters are measured.

Full suspension and 29.9 mph top speed make the Explore a fast, comfortable ride suited to tackle the worst urban terrains you’ll encounter. Its 28.1-mile range feels bottomless and all but eliminates range anxiety.

While the overall style of the design is starting to show its age, its performance to dollar ratio remains as dominant as ever.

It’s also one one of our favorites to ride in the rain due to its IP54 rating, excellent braking and grippy deck.

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EMOVE Cruiser

EMOVE Cruiser electric scooter

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 30.5 mph*
Tested range: 47.0 mi*
Weight: 59 lb*
Max rider weight: 350 lb
Water resistance: IPX6

Highlights

Semi-hydraulic brakes
Best range ever tested
Exceptional build quality and LG batteries
Huge for deck for comfortable riding
Great for heavier riders
Cheap key ignition

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

EMOVE Cruiser: Feature-Packed Commuter Has Bottomless Range

The Cruiser has legendary range and is the scooter you’re probably tired of everyone telling you to buy.

Comparing the Cruiser’s range and price with other scooters, you’d think its flying-saucer shaped deck must contain alien technology.

It is one of the longest-ranged scooters and packed with amenities including, electronic horn, turn signals, semi-hydraulic disc brakes and comfortable suspension.

It also came in second for best scooters to ride in the rain, having a stratospheric IPX6 water-resistance rating (caveat: no manufacture currently backs water-related damage, so splash at your own risk — even with an IP rating).

Real-world range of 47.0 miles alone earns it a place on this list.

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Kaabo Mantis

Kaabo Mantis electric scooter

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 39.3 mph*
Tested range: 29.1 mi*
Weight: 62 lb*
Max rider weight: 260 lb
Water resistance: None

Highlights

Very fast and nimble
Locking stem for easy carrying
Top-notch suspension
Too heavy for true portability
Grips are not ergonomic

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Kaabo Mantis: Punchy, Lightweight Beast Scooter

The base model Mantis is famous for value and thrilling performance.

We thought its days on top might be numbered when the Apollo Ghost arrived on the scene, but the Mantis’ 29.1 miles of real-world range, low price and blistering performance put it on top of this value intensive list.

Infamous for stem issues on early units, the entire Mantis product line pulled a heroic worst-to-first maneuver in 2020, with an updated super firm stem design.

The result: an incredibly well-rounded, easy to live with, everyday, wicked fast, do-it-all scooter.

Its weakness: no water-resistance rating with sizable gaps around the deck and electronics to prove it. Getting touched with water won’t instantly kill it, but the Mantis is a fair-weather scooter.

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Apollo Ghost

Apollo Ghost electric scooter - man riding scooter to left of frame, going fast, full view

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 38.4 mph*
Tested range: 22.3 mi*
Weight: 65 lb*
Max rider weight: 300 lb
Water resistance: IP54

Highlights

Fastest scooter in its class
Outstanding braking
Fantastic portability features
Excellent lighting
Underdamped dual suspension
Needs more grip tape

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Apollo Ghost: Fantastic 38 MPH Dual Motor Beast

The new kid on the block is kicking butt and taking names.

A dual motor scooter that beat our Mantis Pro on top speed, and costs less than some single motor scooters? It’s the Porsche Boxster of scooters, with 80% of the power of an Apollo Pro for 64% of the dollars.

While it doesn’t deliver a ride that’s as polished and easy to go fast on as the Phantom, this scooter may be our new benchmark for dual motor performance-per-dollar in 2021.

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Apollo Phantom (52V)

Apollo Phantom electric scooter - scooter, full, brick wall
Apollo Phantom | Credit: Richard S. / ESG

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 39.7 mph*
Tested range: 31.4 mi*
Weight: 76 lb*
Max rider weight: 300 lb
Water resistance: IP54

Highlights

Fantastic ride quality and suspension
Solid acceleration and speed
Impressive swag lighting
Good acceleration
Poorly adjusted stem bearings
Underwhelming brakes

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Apollo Phantom: Next-Generation BMW of Electric Scooters

The Phantom is Apollo’s answer for riders who demand a premium vehicle-grade experience and are willing to pay for it.

Apollo solicited feedback from hundreds of riders to design and build the next-generation Phantom, one of the top scooters of 2021.

The Phantom is jam-packed with features like an intelligent display, ergonomic cockpit, complete lighting package, rock-solid folding mechanism, quad spring suspension, big tires, and huge hydraulic brakes.

These details plus class-leading ride quality make the Phantom a solid contender for best scooter of 2021, blazing a featured-packed trail that other scooters are sure to follow.

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Kaabo Wolf King

Kaabo Wolf King electric scooter - man riding scooter, tucked down to right of frame, lgiths on, can see road and water

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 59.4 mph*
Tested range: 33.4 mi*
Weight: 112 lb*
Max rider weight: 330 lb
Water resistance: IPX4

Highlights

Fastest scooter tested
Incredibly smooth at high speeds
Fantastic build quality
Zero stem wobble
Portability
No mode indicators
Complicated folding mechanism

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Kaabo Wolf King: When Too Much Isn’t Enough

The best known beast scooter in the world, the Wolf King and its older Warrior 11 brother remain #1 for customer satisfaction with a well-earned and fiercely loyal pack of customers.

With the 72V Wolf King’s arrival at ESG, we found the royal beast delivers even more of a good thing with stupid fast, record-breaking top speed of 59.4 mph — the fastest electric scooter we’ve ever tested.

The Wolf King gets stellar marks for massive 33.4-mile range, solid build and serene ride quality.

It’s simply one of the best designs yet — one of just two to include hydraulic suspension (the other is the $4,499 Burn-E).

Dual motors put down enough power to satisfy even adrenaline junkies and its rock-solid stem and geometry contribute to a ride that is exceptionally stable at speed.

We expect that this design of scooter — or one very similar like it — will be most prevalent in the open classes when electric scooter racing becomes more widespread.

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NAMI Burn-E

NAMI BURN-E - Man riding fast to left

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 58.8 mph*
Tested range: 53.3 mi*
Weight: 106 lb*
Max rider weight: 330 lb
Water resistance: IP55

Highlights

Excellent ride quality
Record breaking performance
Longest range ever tested
Dead space in throttle
Potential finger pinch point
Poor screen visibility

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

NAMI Burn-E: Best Grand-Tourer

The NAMI is a record-breaking, but polarizing scooter. One of the fastest, and longest-ranged scooters we’ve ever tested, it tries to justify its $4,499 price tag with shear performance.

Some think its hand-welded aluminum frame, smooth acceleration and adjustable hydraulic suspension make it the best thing since lithium-ion batteries. Some people seem to think it’s the scooter the devil himself would manufacture.

All we know is that we can’t stop riding it, even though all of our performance tests were complete weeks ago. There’s no scooter we’d rather ride for 53.3 miles. This is good because no other scooter we’ve ever tested will go that far.

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Honorable Mentions

Honorable mentions are for fantastic scooters that for one reason or the other just didn’t make it into the top 10, though are still notable and deserved some recognition.

Kaabo Mantis 8

Kaabo-Mantis-8-electric-scooter-with-rider-on-scooter-wearing-helmet

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 26.9 mph*
Tested range: 26.7 mi*
Weight: 54 lb*
Max rider weight: 270 lb
Water resistance: None

Highlights

Nimble
Excellent braking
Superb fit and finish
Sluggish acceleration
No IP rating

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Kaabo Mantis 8: Most Fun Per Dollar

Okay, fun per dollar isn’t an actual category but if it were, this scooter would win. We’ve never ridden a scooter that begged to be jumped off of speed bumps more. Its acceleration is smooth, but not head snapping, and it loves to carve. Just thinking of cornering on this scooter makes us smile. The build is super solid, and it’s a great value.

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Inokim OXO

Inokim OXO Electric Scooter - man riding to right of frame, toward camera, side view, full view

Technical Specifications

Tested top speed: 36.7 mph*
Tested range: 36.6 mi*
Weight: 75 lb*
Max rider weight: 260 lb
Water resistance: None

Highlights

Best braking ever tested
Awesome rubber suspension
Outstanding range
Superbly built
Frustrating throttle response
Hard plastic deck
Kick-to-start only

* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.

Inokim OXO: Exotic Scooter

The only scooter we have ever dubbed exotic, the OXO deserves it. Both for its world’s best suspension (tied with Eagle Pro) and for its unusual single-sided swingarm design which it shares with its little brother the Inokim OX. Like the OX, the OXO has a presence and ride which are impossible to capture on a spec sheet. One piece of data does shine through: the OXO has the shortest braking distance from 15 mph that we’ve ever measured, due to a combination of excellent hydraulic brakes and rubber suspension. The OXO is Chuck’s favorite so far in 2021, which is a hard-earned distinction in itself.

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Rion Thrust

$6,800

Rion Re90 Electric Scooter

Rion Thrust: The Only Hyperscooter

The world’s least practical scooter, they’re also so rare, they practically don’t exist.

That said, we’re so very glad they do. So many products claim to be no-compromise designs, but when you delete the kickstand from a scooter to save weight, you’ve proven your point. If the Rion came with a nutrition label, ingredient #2 would be carbon fiber (immediately following battery).

Some would argue for the RE90 as the choice here, but they would be wrong. By all accounts the Thrust is the better road scooter. In fact, for the road, there is no scooter we would rather go make bad decisions with, than a Rion Thrust.

ESG Methodology For Choosing Best Scooters

For those who are interested in getting down to the details on how the 2021 list of best scooters for adults came together, our methods are explained below.

The scooters were judged using the following seven figures of merit:

  1. Customer rating: over 2,000 votes from scooter owners. For mid-summer 2021 update, we’ve dialed back the weight of customer ratings because number of responses per scooter can be very unevenly distributed.
  2. Range/dollar: ESG certified data
  3. Range/pound: ESG certified data
  4. Acceleration per dollar: measured by the lowest 15 mph acceleration time (ESG certified data)
  5. Top speed per dollar: ESG certified data
  6. Braking: Stopping distance from 15 mph (ESG certified data)
  7. Quality: Subjective score for ride and build quality, compared to all scooters we have tested

To find the best performing scooters, we look for outliers: scooters that perform noticeably better than their peers.

For range, acceleration and top speed, we plotted the results for all scooters we’ve ever tested, and then fitted a curve representing typical performance across the spectrum. Next, we measured how much better or worse each scooter performed compared to the trendline and assigned a percentile score for deviation from trend in each category. 

For the categories: Braking, Quality and Customer Satisfaction, scooters were scored by percentile directly versus other scooters. All figure-of-merit scores were weighted equally and averaged to determine the final score and the top 10 scooters.

Not all of the top 10 electric scooters are exceptional in every single category, but on the whole each of these scooters puts in a remarkable performance.

Below is an example of the plots used when comparing figures of merit.

Range versus Price

Plot of price versus range for bests electric scooters
Plot of price versus range for the top electric scooters | Credit: ESG

We plotted the range versus price for every electric scooter and fitted the data with a trendline which reflects the typical range for a given scooter price. Scooters above this trendline are exceptional, and the further above it, the more exceptional they are. The EMOVE Cruiser, for example, is an extraordinary performer in terms of range per price. All of the scooters chosen for this best list are labeled and generally fall near — or significantly above the trendline.

Range versus Weight

We plotted the weight versus price of every electric scooter and fitted the data with a trendline.  Scooters such as the EMOVE Cruiser and Segway Ninebot Max were exceptional performers in this category and landed significantly above the trendline.

Acceleration versus Price

We plotted the ESG certified 0 to 15 mph acceleration versus price. Because the data fell exponentially with price, we fitted it to a logarithmic trendline.  All scooters below the trendline were exceptional performers for their price, with the Apollo Ghost being one of the most standout.

Top Speed versus Price

We plotted ESG certified top speed versus price, along with the accompanying trendline. All points above the trendline were exceptional and nearly all the winners were slightly above — with notables like the Apollo Ghost and Kaabo Mantis significantly above.

ESG Quality Ranking

In finding the best electric scooters for adults for our 2021 list, we also factored in an ESG quality rating, which is a subjective score based on our hands-on riding and testing experience. We grade ride quality and build quality to generate this score.

The lowest ranked scooter on this list is the Hiboy S2, a sub $400 scooter which doesn’t have the best quality, but when judged in the context of it’s low-priced peers it is average to above average.

Survey Rankings

ESG received more than 2,023 responses from electric scooter owners who rated their scooters during our 2021 survey, bringing the running total of survey responses to 2,777. We factor this data into our final decisions, but as of Summer 2021, have decreased the weight of these rankings.

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