Keeping It Nought

Is it worth buying an electric scooter?

Buying an electric scooter can help you to get the most out of big city living without a single carbon emission. But how much do e-scooters cost and are they worth it? There is an upfront cost when buying an electric scooter and pros and cons to that zero-emissions life. But as they are so cheap to charge, we take a look at how the electric scooter cost is soon made back by the significant savings on fuel and transportation costs.

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Is it worth buying an electric scooter?

City living has its charms, and as the world’s major cities continue to expand, we need to adapt our habits to make it viable well into the future. Because along with this expansion comes congestion, increased carbon emissions and increased pressure on the grid.

Buying an electric scooter can help you to get the most out of big city living in these changing times. You’ll do your part by getting where you need to be without a single carbon emission, which motor vehicles and public transport are not close to matching. Fully operational on battery power, electric scooters don’t need a drop of fuel. Ultimately, this translates to significant savings on fuel and transportation costs.

But there is of course an upfront cost that needs to be justified. And whilst it’s relatively low compared to other vehicles, as with any investment, you have to consider if it’s for you, and if it’s worth it.

Here we take a look at the initial and ongoing costs of electric scooters, the pros and cons of having your own, how long you can expect them to last and why the savings long term make them worth it.

Are electric scooters worth the money?

Buying a electric scooter allows you to see more scenery and nature on your commute

Electric scooters range a lot in price, function and quality which of course will largely influence your opinion of its worth. Before investing in an electric scooter, it’s also important to consider if it’s a feasible solution for you and your lifestyle.

Let’s start with the hard costs involved. Electric scooters range in price from a few hundred pounds for a very basic model, to a few thousand for a high-end one. On average, you can expect to pay around £600 for a mid-range e-scooter. The range is pretty broad, so you’ll need to assess exactly what you want out of an e-scooter to establish what a good price point will be, and in turn, whether that makes it worth it.

The main advantage of e-scooters here is that once your initial investment is made, that’s pretty much it. You won’t be tied down by things like parking costs, fuel costs, road tax, congestion charges or breakdown cover. You can also wave goodbye to the high MOT and service charges associated with cars.

E-scooter maintenance is generally very cheap and can mostly be done easily at home. Charging your e-scooter is also incredibly low-cost– more on that below.

Beyond that, many e-scooter riders also find great value in this mode of transport for its ability to get you where you need to be in the city without any hold-ups. It’s often a lot quicker than waiting for multiple train and metro changes, or traffic jams to move when you’re in a rush. For some, this easily makes an electric scooter well worth any investment.

At Nought, we also strongly believe that e-scooters are a means to reimagine the city and experience it in a new, exciting way. It’s a means to say goodbye to long, dreary mornings wasted in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and instead, be fully immersed in the journey. Which some might say is priceless.

How much does it cost to charge an electric scooter?

The short answer is, not much at all. An electric scooter is one of the most cost-efficient modes of transport available today.

Currently in the UK, it costs between 15p to 30p to fully charge an average electric scooter battery from flat. This is based on it taking an average of 5 hours to charge a mid-range e-scooter, but it may even be possible to achieve a slightly cheaper rate if your provider offers off-peak lower cost electricity rates at certain times of the day.  

That works out at around just 1 pence per mile if your scooter has a range of 30 miles, putting e-scooters in a category of their own when it comes to cost-efficient travel.

If we compare this to the cost of fuelling a petrol scooter, which is just over £6 per time, it equates to a huge saving of around 85%. And the savings compared to other traditional methods of transport are just as significant – we've broken down all the costs so you can see how much you can save with an electric scooter in our latest blog here.  

Electricity is a fraction of the price of gasoline or petrol, especially given recent fuel hikes worldwide. Of course, electricity is the same price whether it’s charging a car, a bike or a scooter. But the compact size and weight of an electric scooter make it much more efficient than bigger electric vehicles. This also means you don’t need to charge as frequently, saving you further time and money.

When designing the Nought.One, we wanted to make charging as easy and efficient as possible. The result is a removable battery pack, which means you don’t need to take the entire e-scooter to a charging point to plug it in. It's also possible to buy a spare battery so you always have a backup, increasing your range and reducing your chances of ever being stranded with an exhausted battery.

How long do electric scooters last?

The average electric scooters lasts anywhere between 3 - 6 years. Like most things that come with a price tag, it’s often true that you get what you pay for. If you invest in a high-end eScooter, you can expect it to have a longer lifespan. By the same logic, cheaper models usually won’t usually last as long, some as short as just 2 years.

Many electric scooters last much more than 6 years with the proper care and maintenance. You can do a lot of this maintenance yourself at home and it can go a long way in extending the lifespan of your electric scooter.

Here’s a few other simple things you can do to increase your chances of enjoying your eScooter for longer:

  • Keep an eye on your charging habits. Don’t ride to zero, and instead recharge when you see the battery at around 30% capacity. At the same time, overcharging should be avoided. Both these habits, over time, will help your battery capacity. Keeping an eye on your battery level couldn’t be easier with Nought.One’s smart integrated LED screen display.
  • Handle your e-scooter with care. Things like sticking to reasonable speed and weight limits, avoiding rough terrains and generally being sensible about the way you handle your e-scooter will help it to stay in top condition.
  • Watch the weather. A lot of e-scooter models are not impervious to water and the moisture will have an effect on the proper functioning of the vehicle, so you should avoid riding in harsh conditions.

You don’t need to worry about this with the Nought.One though. Our IP65 waterproof protection rating means that it’s smooth riding through puddles, sleet and snow, without impacting the lifespan of your e-scooter. We’ll get to the details of that later.

What is the point of an electric scooter?

The point is, many traditional modes of transport are simply not sustainable. As cities grow and carbon emissions increase, urbanites need to do their part to ensure city living is still viable now and into the future. Switching to a zero-emissions mode of transport is one way of doing that.

We believe that the main point of an electric scooter is to make a zero-emission ride through the city possible. And of course, they’re a lot of fun. But there’s much more to it…

Buying an electric scooter- The e-scooter

What are the pros of electric scooters?

  • Lower carbon footprint compared to other modes of motorised transportation.
  • Cost efficiency. The initial investment pays off fast, and there are no fuel costs to worry about. Battery charging is very low in cost.
  • Easy storage. Most eScooters conveniently fold away, making them easy to store at home and carry as you move through the city. This also means parking space becomes a non-factor.
  • Less traffic jams and more moving. Getting from A to B is generally much quicker on an electric scooter.
  • It’s an easy, effortless ride. One that lets you experience your city in a new way. No need to stop to smell the roses.
  • If adopted en masse, there’d be much, much less congestion and air pollution.

What are the disadvantages of an electric scooter?

  • They aren’t fully legal to ride in public (yet). But this is likely to change very soon under the new Transport Bill as the importance of micro-mobility is recognised.
  • Their maximum speed is slower than traditional modes of transport (but they are often able to whizz past traffic in busier cities).
  • It’s a one-person ride. E-Scooters are built to accommodate one adult only. Any weight pressure can compromise the quality of the ride and potentially the lifespan of the vehicle.
  • An exhausted battery could leave you stranded. It’s important to keep a close eye on energy levels to make sure they don’t ever drop below around 30%. (The Nought.One also comes standard with two batteries to avoid situations like this).
  • They’re not ideal for harsh weather conditions. The Nought.One is one of the only electric scooters to gain IP65 waterproof protection rating, which means it is impervious to rain, snow and sleet. But regardless, the rider is fully exposed on an eScooter, so will be vulnerable on stormy days.
  • Little storage space. We imagine that you won’t have much to store while on the move anyway. The standing position, though, is ideal to carry a backpack as you ride.
  • They can’t ride everywhere. Micro-mobility is ultimately made for short-distance, city riding.

Are electric scooters hard to ride?

Electric scooters aren’t hard to ride at all. Riding an electric scooter is possibly the easiest mode of motorised transport to learn. Some might say it’s even easier than riding a bike. Common sense, a knowledge of the rules of the road and a little balance is all that you need.  

We recommend familiarising yourself with the scooter, its controls and operations before first using it and then practising for your first ride in a safe, hard, dry, open area to get comfortable with the balance, steering, acceleration and braking.

Here’s some simple steps to ensure beginners are good to go:

  • Turn your e-Scooter on (you’d be surprised at how often this step gets by-passed)
  • Set the eScooter’s mode to its slowest
  • Find a comfortable standing position
  • If your model requires a kick to start, kick it
  • Hit accelerate, and go (slowly though if you’re a beginner)
  • Be considerate and watch out for other people that may not see or hear you coming
  • Experience your city with fresh eyes

We'd also recommend wearing a helmet and keeping your things in a backpack to make riding safer and easier.

So why are e-scooters illegal?

As it stands, it’s illegal to ride e-scooters in public places in the UK. This includes public roads, pavements, footpaths, cycle lanes, and pedestrian-only zones. However, it is completely legal to purchase, own and use an electric scooter on private property.

The other good news is that the government has been running trials across the UK to establish the viability and safety of e-scooters as a sustainable mode of transport. So, why are e-scooters illegal in the first place?

Being governed by the same legislation as motor vehicles, to be made legal, e-scooters are subject to the same requirements. This includes insurance, licence and tax. An electric scooter could technically be used in public if you could register it, insure it, and tax it like any other motor vehicle. This isn’t currently possible though.

The results of the trial are promising, with the government announcing that new legislation will be introduced to fully legalise riding e-scooters in public places. The new Transport Bill will factor in a new vehicle category entirely: 'low-speed zero-emission vehicles'.

We know the current legislation is confusing so we've written a blog all about the legality of e-scooters in the UK here. We’ll also be keeping you up to date with any changes to the law on electric scooters as and when it happens- watch this space.

Are electric scooters safe in rain?

Rain on a window

Electric scooters are not always safe to ride in rain. Being an exposed, electric vehicle, the risks are obvious. However, there are a number of models that are made to withstand wet conditions. The Nought.One is one of them.

If you are sure you’re going to be riding in rain, it’s recommended that you get the best electric scooter for wet conditions. These can be on the higher end of the price scale, but it’s true that you get what you pay for.

An eScooter’s IP rating gives you an indication of its water-resistant levels. Voltage Rider does a good, simple explanation of how this rating works. The first number following ‘IP’ refers to solid object resistance, while the second number refers to water resistance.

Here’s what those numbers mean for solid resistance:

4 - Protected from solid objects over 1mm

5 - Limited protection from dust

6 - Totally protected from dust

Here’s what they mean for water resistance:

4 - Protected from water splashes from all directions

5 - Protected from low-pressure water jets from any direction

6 - Protected from high-pressure water jets from any direction

7 - Protected from short periods of immersion in water

8 - Able to withstand long periods of immersion in water

The Nought.One boasts IP65, which means it is totally protected from dust and low-pressure water jets from any direction. If you’re riding an eScooter rated 3 or lower, it’s safest to stay indoors during rainy weather.

Moisture resistance is one factor to consider for eScooters in the rain, but it’s important to consider other safety elements too. This includes a robust braking system, inflatable tyres to decrease traction and slip-proof decks and fenders. These should work together to ensure the rider won’t get caught off-guard riding over wet, slippery terrain.

So ultimately, is it worth getting an electric scooter?

There’s so many reasons why it makes sense to buy an electric scooter to get around the city. But we believe ultimately the planet’s needs trump our own.

With relentless CO2 emissions and the continuous pressures of expanding urban centres globally, eScooters pose a smart, cost-effective alternative to the status quo. There are ways to continue to enjoy city living while lightening our impact on the environment.

Sure, the rider will also save money, time and energy. But what matters most now is the fact that there is a way to move around your city without harming it. That, to us, makes getting an electric scooter well worth it.