How to Choose the Perfect Electric Scooter or Unicycle for Your Lifestyle and Needs
Choosing the Best Electric Scooter or Unicycle For Your Needs
Making the switch to an electric scooter or unicycle can be both exciting and overwhelming. How do you pick the right one? Does it matter which vehicle you pick? What goes into a decision like that? Here’s everything you need to know about how to choose the perfect electric scooter or unicycle for your lifestyle and needs.
Why choose an electric scooter or unicycle?
Personal electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular as we move away from large, environmentally-hazardous vehicles like gas-powered cars and toward more walkable cities and living spaces. Electric scooters and unicycles offer their riders unique experiences; they’re fun to ride, efficient for commuting, and good for your wallet.
How to choose the perfect electric scooter or unicycle for your lifestyle and needs
Electric scooters and unicycles are safety rated based on the Ingress Protection or IP rating scale, which is a two-digit number that represents how well it is protected against debris and water. The higher the IP rating, the better protection you will have; the scales go from 1-6 for debris protection and 1-8 for water protection.
For these vehicles, it’s best to look for IP54 and above. This means that you are protected from dust and general particulate spray as well as water spray from all directions. IP65 and above may be a good safety rating to aim for if you live in a very dry or wet environment or plan to do more offroading than regular commuting. The highest ratings, IP67 and higher, are the best for sports, long-distance, and performance riding.
Note that it’s difficult to say whether an electric scooter or unicycle is safer to ride. Both have their points - unicycles are more maneuverable but scooters have a more familiar riding method - so it’s largely a matter of preference and comfort. If you have the time to invest in learning how to ride an electric unicycle, then you may benefit from its more detailed and responsive control. If you prefer a system you’re likely already familiar with, you might prefer the stability of an electric scooter.
Range and Speed
After safety, the biggest factor in your purchasing decision for a personal electric vehicle is the range and speed you will need.
The average range on an electric scooter is around 35 to 40 miles, and an electric unicycle gets about 40 miles. To decide the kind of range that you will need for your electric vehicle, find the length of your average commute (you can do this using a maps application). Add some padding to this to ensure that you can go the entire commute at least one way on a single charge. For example, if your usual commute is about 20 miles, you might consider looking for a PEV with a 35-mile range.
As for speed, the averages for both kinds of vehicle range near or above 30 mph or 48 kph. This is more than enough for average commuting as you will likely be using sidewalks and bike lanes, so going much faster than this average might be dangerous in higher-traffic areas. If you are looking for a faster model for recreation or long-distance travel, consider also looking for additional safety features such as stronger breaking and suspension systems.
The features that you need will vary depending on what you intend to use your personal electric vehicle for. The list of essential features - solid footboards, a headlight and/or reflectors, and a strong breaking system - work for every purpose. Still, there are a few optional features you may choose based on whether you’re using it as a commuter vehicle or a sports and recreation machine. These might include:
- An electric horn
- Strong suspension systems
- Bluetooth speaker connectivity for playing music
- External battery compatibility for long-distance trips and extra power
- Foldable frames for ease of transportation
Which personal electric vehicle you choose and which model you decide on may have quite a bit to do with the budget you set aside for your vehicle. While these machines will oftentimes be cheaper and more economical long-term than larger vehicles like motorcycles and cars, they can still be a decent upfront investment. Consider your budget before you begin shopping.
The average electric scooter costs between $300 and $600, with some performance models costing upwards of $1,500. The average cost of an electric unicycle is between $500 and $2,000, with a middle-of-the-road model often costing around $1,500.
It’s also important to ensure that you’re getting a quality machine for the price you’re paying. Opt for a model that has all of the features you need rather that simply going for the cheapest machine, and buy from a reputable retailer. You may also want to consider warranty coverage in your budget - a good warranty can help keep costs for repairs, malfunctions, and accidents down in the future.
Looking to buy first electric scooter or unicycle? Have a list of features, ideal safety rating, and budget in mind, but not sure where to start? Alien Rides has you covered. Our industry-leading selections of electric vehicles are tested rigorously in-house to ensure that you’re getting the best quality product every time. On top of this, our generous warranty program can help you make sure your machine stays in top condition for a long time to come so that you can stay moving.