Just say the words "electric scooter" and depending on your age, a definite image comes to mind. This no doubt is due to the many different types of electric scooters available in the market today.
The fist type of electrically powered scooter is the street version of a powered skateboard. These were a metal platform with a folding handle and two inline skate wheels. These scooters were all the rage just a few years ago and as the craze started slowing down, the scooter makers redefined the toy into a transportation vehicle. Some designs even look like a mini-bike in style. These electric scooters are marketed to the affluent teen as a unique and fun way to get around. They're available both with electric and a small gasoline driven motor. Check with local authorities regarding the use of these little mini bike scooters. Some are not allowed on the road and cannot legally be ridden on the sidewalk making them less than attractive as a transportation device.
The next type of electric scooter is designed as a get around town mini motorcycle – moped. These units are marketed to 20 somethings and anyone else who needs to make quick short trips and don't want the worry or hassle of driving a car. These are perfect for city travel where grid-lock is common. Although not a full sized motorcycle, many or these units will hold 2 people and have accessories like saddle bags to carry groceries and other purchases.
This little units have a long battery life and can get to speeds up to about 30 miles per hour with good acceleration. Depending on the number of starts and stops, these electric mopeds can go about 30 miles before needed recharging. This is usually more than enough to get back and forth to the store several times without a problem. Although most are considered street legal, check to make certain any electric scooter you purchase of this type has been approved by the US Department of Transportation (DOT) and if in Europe, the European Union Transportation Agency.
The final type of electrically powered scooter is marketed toward the adult and senior market. These are typically a wheelchair like device that allows for greater mobility for older people or those with limited motor abilities. These scooters are designed to be used both indoors and out with tight cornering and a long battery life. These units have a top speed of under 5 miles and hour but can go 20-30 miles on a charge. It's a mobility device more than a distance transportation vehicle.
All three types of electric motor scooters have one thing in common and that's the need for constant charging. This is where the weakness of electrically powered anything really comes into play. If a limited mobility scooter runs out of power, it may not be such a big deal as they're typically used only for short trips away from home and around the house.
If however, you find yourself several miles from home on a motorcycle type electric scooter, this can be a problem. With no power and your recent purchases in hand, the return trip home might be long and difficult pushing your scooter.
In the end, the electric scooter industry is alive and well providing products that fit a growing and diverse market.