If you’ve spent any time zipping around town on an electric scooter you’ve probably come to the conclusion that owning one might be a cost-effective alternative to a car. As we’ve already pointed out, electric scooters have several advantages in dense urban environments. Whether you want to get to work faster or just set out on flights of fancy, this little two-wheeled transporter can be a great choice. However, an e-scooter does not come cheap and you definitely want to think about the cost of ownership beforehand. Read on to find out whether owning a scooter is a smart financial decision.
How much is an electric scooter?
Chargeable scooters can set you back several thousand dollars especially if you want one with all the bells and whistles or are looking at a heritage brand like the Italian Vespa (first made famous by 60s London mods). Even for a no-frills Japanese or Chinese model, be prepared to part with several hundred dollars. Having said that, this mode of transportation can be cost-effective in certain situations. Electric scooters, like their more powerful Motorcycle cousins, can evoke all sorts of emotions in people as they can be seen as being cultural icons, not just mere transportation. But a purchase of one is best approached with as level a head as you can muster.
To determine whether a scooter is worth it, think about:
- The range
- Your environment
The range is simply the distance a scooter can cover before running out of charge. On average, depending on the model, an e-scooter can cover between six to 25 miles before needing to be recharged.
As you might have guessed, the range goes hand in hand with price. A scooter with a longer range has a bigger battery and will generally cost more and vice-versa.
How do you intend to use your scooter? A two-wheeled transporter might be a good choice if you only need something to get you to the grocery store and back. Scooters might also be a nice investment for someone who wants to enjoy short leisurely rides.
You’ve probably seen people riding these little gizmos to work and indeed, they can save you lots of time, especially in traffic-choked cities (and these days, it’s hard to find a city that isn’t stuck in traffic). However, if work is more than, say, six miles away, traveling on one might not make much sense and you’d be better off buying gas for your car.
That being said, you can use it as a last-mile option to get you to the nearest public transportation or to help you navigate busy streets where you cannot bring your car.
An e-scooter is a practical mode of transport in places that do not experience lots of snow and rain. In such environments, owning a scooter might not be the best decision even for short commutes, as you will barely use it.
The upside of owning an electric scooters
We’ve looked at what you should consider before buying a scooter. So, do the benefits of owning one outweigh the cost? Let’s find out.
Time-saving: Used as a last-mile option, a scooter can actually save you time. Given its small size and agility, you can easily avoid traffic jams and get to your destination faster.
Cost of operation: Compared to a fuel-based bike or scooter, charging an electric scooter is way cheaper. The cost per unit of electricity will probably be less than the price of a gallon of fuel.
Maintenance: The cost of maintaining a car or motorcycle can add up. Scooters are low maintenance and most now have solid wheels that are resistant to pesky tire punctures.
How about renting?
Owning an e-scooter out of question? Why not rent one! Rental scooters come in handy for shorter commutes or leisurely rides when you want to explore your city. Renting is a particularly great choice if you do not want to deal with maintenance or if buying one simply does not make sense, especially if you regularly cover long distances, say, to get to work.
If renting sounds good to you, an app like Float or one of the apps provided by a scooter rental company such as Bird or Lime can help you locate the nearest scooters in your area. You can compare the costs of rental services, plan your commute, and snag the best deals so you can save more in transport costs. Whether you need to rent a scooter as a last-mile solution or to run errands with it, these apps will help you find what you need.