Is It safe to drive an electric scooter on rainy days. electric scooter

Is It safe to drive an electric scooter on rainy days?

October 1, 2021

Electric scooters have become a common presence in cities across the world, almost overnight. Fans of e-scooters celebrate them for their accessibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, hailing them as a green-friendly mode of transport for the coming carbon-neutral era. We have given our own run-through of their pros and cons here. But as it’s a question that comes up regularly, we thought we’d give our insight into how well e-scooters can cope with adverse weather conditions and specifically the rain, a question of some importance for residents of countries with notoriously changeable weather such as the UK and Ireland. So, join us as we offer our guidance on the use of electric scooters in rainy conditions. And, while you are here, if you have yet to try an e-scooter and would like to give it a go, why not browse our E-Bike Electric Scooter Tours in the UK.

Can You Ride an E-Scooter in the Rain?

The short answer: normal rainy conditions are unlikely to damage your e-scooter or put you at risk — so, we’re getting off to a positive start here. The vast majority of electric scooters being manufactured today are, to some degree, resistant to water damage. However, there are some caveats to this assertion, and for your own safety, and for the good of your wallet should you wish to buy your own scooter, it is recommended that you always pay close attention to the user guidelines of the particular e-scooter you happen to be using. When e-scooters should certainly not be used is during severe weather conditions. Being electrical devices, e-scooters can be damaged by exposure to water — we all know, water and electronics do not mix! If you find yourself caught in heavy rain, or see that heavy rain, hail, or snow has been forecasted, you should not ride your scooter. Firstly, your visibility is likely to be impaired in such conditions, preventing you from driving safely. Secondly, the cold temperatures and resistance on the surface can put extra, unnecessary strain on your scooter which is a bad idea for the general maintenance of the vehicle. Thirdly, and most importantly, while we said most e-scooters have a degree of water resistance, this can vary wildly depending on your model’s IP rating.

Build quality will vary with your chosen e-scooter

A Note on E-Scooters’ IP Ratings

An IP rating (short for Ingress Protection rating) is an international standard by which a particular device’s ability to withstand damage from water and dust is measured. The IP rating consists of two numbers, the first given is an indication of how well the e-scooter can withstand exposure to dust and other solids; the second relates specifically to water exposure. Understandably, the IP rating will be related to the general build quality of the device you are using, with cheaper models offering less protection. The IP ratings can also be influenced by where the e-scooter is manufactured and sold, as certain markets will value IP ratings higher than others if buyers are more likely to encounter challenging conditions. In relation to our question, any IP rating with the second number above 4 will offer protection against drizzle and light rain. If the water number is 5 or 6, you can be confident that normal rain will not damage the e-scooter, though you will still want to avoid deep puddles, snow, etc. Even with a high rating, you do not want your device to be submerged in water at any point. If the IP rating for water is below 4, you should try not to expose the device to rainwater at all. As it is difficult for e-scooter manufacturers to know how users have treated their vehicles, water-related damages are not usually covered by the warranty. So, if you are investing in an e-scooter and you live in a country with regular rainfall, you will want to look for a high IP rating.

Electric scooter in the city

Conclusions

We believe that electric scooters are a fun, creative way of moving through urban areas. They are energy efficient, almost noiseless, and much cheaper to run than a car. However, the nature of being on a scooter is that you will be exposed to the elements. Safety should always be a priority and, as with any road vehicle, added care should be taken when travelling across wet surfaces. Drivers of e-scooters will want to have suitable clothing should getting caught in the rain be a possibility. Picking a machine with a good IP rating is essential if you expect to drive in the rain. Riders of bikes will already be used to much of this from cycling, while drivers of cars also drive in the knowledge that the flooding of an engine can be extremely costly. Electric scooters are built to be hardy, but buyers and renters should be well-informed about the risks of travelling in wet weather and strive to cultivate good habits regarding the safe use of their e-scooter.

This brings to an end our discussion of whether electric scooters can be driven in the rain. If you are interested in trying out an e-scooter, take a look at our London Tours by E-Scooter And should you have any questions about this blog or any of our tours, please contact us using the details listed on our website.

Is It safe to drive an electric scooter on rainy days?

October 1, 2021

Electric scooters have become a common presence in cities across the world, almost overnight. Fans of e-scooters celebrate them for their accessibility, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, hailing them as a green-friendly mode of transport for the coming carbon-neutral era. We have given our own run-through of their pros and cons here. But as it’s a question that comes up regularly, we thought we’d give our insight into how well e-scooters can cope with adverse weather conditions and specifically the rain, a question of some importance for residents of countries with notoriously changeable weather such as the UK and Ireland. So, join us as we offer our guidance on the use of electric scooters in rainy conditions. And, while you are here, if you have yet to try an e-scooter and would like to give it a go, why not browse our E-Bike Electric Scooter Tours in the UK.

Can You Ride an E-Scooter in the Rain?

The short answer: normal rainy conditions are unlikely to damage your e-scooter or put you at risk — so, we’re getting off to a positive start here. The vast majority of electric scooters being manufactured today are, to some degree, resistant to water damage. However, there are some caveats to this assertion, and for your own safety, and for the good of your wallet should you wish to buy your own scooter, it is recommended that you always pay close attention to the user guidelines of the particular e-scooter you happen to be using. When e-scooters should certainly not be used is during severe weather conditions. Being electrical devices, e-scooters can be damaged by exposure to water — we all know, water and electronics do not mix! If you find yourself caught in heavy rain, or see that heavy rain, hail, or snow has been forecasted, you should not ride your scooter. Firstly, your visibility is likely to be impaired in such conditions, preventing you from driving safely. Secondly, the cold temperatures and resistance on the surface can put extra, unnecessary strain on your scooter which is a bad idea for the general maintenance of the vehicle. Thirdly, and most importantly, while we said most e-scooters have a degree of water resistance, this can vary wildly depending on your model’s IP rating.

Build quality will vary with your chosen e-scooter

A Note on E-Scooters’ IP Ratings

An IP rating (short for Ingress Protection rating) is an international standard by which a particular device’s ability to withstand damage from water and dust is measured. The IP rating consists of two numbers, the first given is an indication of how well the e-scooter can withstand exposure to dust and other solids; the second relates specifically to water exposure. Understandably, the IP rating will be related to the general build quality of the device you are using, with cheaper models offering less protection. The IP ratings can also be influenced by where the e-scooter is manufactured and sold, as certain markets will value IP ratings higher than others if buyers are more likely to encounter challenging conditions. In relation to our question, any IP rating with the second number above 4 will offer protection against drizzle and light rain. If the water number is 5 or 6, you can be confident that normal rain will not damage the e-scooter, though you will still want to avoid deep puddles, snow, etc. Even with a high rating, you do not want your device to be submerged in water at any point. If the IP rating for water is below 4, you should try not to expose the device to rainwater at all. As it is difficult for e-scooter manufacturers to know how users have treated their vehicles, water-related damages are not usually covered by the warranty. So, if you are investing in an e-scooter and you live in a country with regular rainfall, you will want to look for a high IP rating.

safe, drive, electric, scooter, rainy

Electric scooter in the city

Conclusions

We believe that electric scooters are a fun, creative way of moving through urban areas. They are energy efficient, almost noiseless, and much cheaper to run than a car. However, the nature of being on a scooter is that you will be exposed to the elements. Safety should always be a priority and, as with any road vehicle, added care should be taken when travelling across wet surfaces. Drivers of e-scooters will want to have suitable clothing should getting caught in the rain be a possibility. Picking a machine with a good IP rating is essential if you expect to drive in the rain. Riders of bikes will already be used to much of this from cycling, while drivers of cars also drive in the knowledge that the flooding of an engine can be extremely costly. Electric scooters are built to be hardy, but buyers and renters should be well-informed about the risks of travelling in wet weather and strive to cultivate good habits regarding the safe use of their e-scooter.

This brings to an end our discussion of whether electric scooters can be driven in the rain. If you are interested in trying out an e-scooter, take a look at our London Tours by E-Scooter And should you have any questions about this blog or any of our tours, please contact us using the details listed on our website.

The Art and Science of Building a Faster Electric Scooter—That Won’t Kill You

Electric scooters can be big fun if you know how to mod them safely and properly.

Electric scooters can be a convenient and low-stakes way to get around. Out of the box, most are fairly slow and tepid in performance. They’re usually built to be safe and simple transport, not for hooning and tomfoolery. However, there’s nothing stopping you from building a performance electric scooter; often it takes just a few simple mods to go from mild to wild.

I’ve been building and modding electric scooters for over a decade, melting wheels and burning out motors along the way. Today, I’ll teach you the basic anatomy of the modern electric scooter, and how you can make them faster—much faster. Then you can shoot epic montages while blasting around at high speed. It’s amazing fun.

But before we get to tinkering, heed this warning: Scooters come from the factory rated at certain speeds for safety reasons, and increasing a scooter’s power also increases the risk of danger and injury, both while building and riding it, so be extremely mindful of that. You are working with batteries and electricity, after all. Always wear the appropriate safety gear, abide by local road laws, and be mindful of others’ well-being.

Read that paragraph again. Internalize it. Got it? Good.

Basics of Electric Scooter Drivetrains

Before we get to pulling anything apart, it’s good to know what, exactly, drives an electric scooter.

At their heart, electric scooter drivetrains are very simple and consist of four major components. There’s a motor to drive the wheel and a battery that supplies power. There’s also an electronic speed controller (ESC) which varies the flow of power from the battery to the motor to control its speed, and some kind of throttle to send commands to the speed controller.

The speed controller is the thing that gives you throttle control over the scooter. The more power it allows to flow to the motor, the faster you go.

Speed controllers typically look something like this, but come in several shapes and sizes. The heatsink makes up part of the exterior housing in this case and helps keep the transistors inside cool. YouTube/What Up TK Here

Some scooters get fancier about things, of course. Some will have a proprietary speed controller, which also drives a dashboard display, showing information about battery levels and speed. Others will have a special dual-speed controller capable of driving two motors, one front, and one rear. Most scooters make do with just driving one or the other, though. Cheap hub motor models may just drive the front wheel, while higher-end scooters tend towards driving the rear wheel or both.

The motors themselves can come in several forms, too. Old-school brushed DC motors aren’t commonly seen outside of toy-brand scooters like those from Razor. Brushless motors are far more popular these days for their greater efficiency, though they require fancier speed controllers to drive them. Hub motors, which fit entirely into the wheel itself, are a popular form of brushless motor. These are typically used in modern electric scooters, as they make it easy for manufacturers to build two-wheel-drive models.

Brushed motors, like this large unit seen here, are old technology now. Brushless motors pack more power into a smaller package and are a more typical choice for performance builds these days. YouTube/What Up TK Here

As for batteries, the vast majority of scooters rely on lithium-ion cells similar to those used in modern electric cars. Other battery technologies exist, but most of them are heavier and store less energy, which makes for an incredibly slow, heavy scooter that can’t drive very far. If you’ve got a scooter that runs heavy lead-acid batteries, often a lithium-ion battery upgrade is a great mod to make.

safe, drive, electric, scooter, rainy

Most scooters ship with pretty weedy power in stock form. Many countries limit electric scooters and other similar ride-on vehicles to a maximum power output of just 200 watts, which equates to a minuscule 0.26 horsepower. This is normally good for 15 mph at a maximum. Scooters for kids often have even less power.

Lithium batteries are the key to building a high-performance scooter. I’ve used packs for RC planes in the past, but these days, e-bike packs are readily available online. YouTube/What Up TK Here

You can build or modify a scooter to have way more power than that pretty easily. However, just beware: It’s often illegal to ride more powerful scooters on public thoroughfares in many jurisdictions—for the safety of both riders and everyone else. Keep that in mind before you go crazy building some high-powered monster.

Going Faster With What You’ve Got

So, now that you understand the basic elements of a scooter, you want to know how to make yours faster.

The most straightforward method is to work with what you’ve got in order to eke out as much performance from the stock components as possible. There are a few ways to go about this, and it’s typically the cheapest way to get more performance.

A few points of caution, however: There’s also a lower ceiling for what you can achieve if you do choose this path. You also run the risk of blowing up what you have. It’s not dissimilar to the car world. Yes, you can chuck a dinner plate-sized turbo on your mum’s Chevy Sonic, but you’ll blow the head off well before you get to 1,000 HP at the front wheels.

Additionally, some scooters come with speed restrictions baked in from the factory. These can often be lifted or removed with a firmware upgrade. Though, flashing your scooter with a different firmware risks bricking the device, making the scooter not work at all anymore. (Also, speed gains from firmware flashes are typically pretty minor. Manufacturers don’t leave a whole lot of performance gains on the table from stock.)

Upping the Current

But, depending on your scooter, getting a little more pep can be as easy as messing with the in-built current limit. Without getting into the physics behind it all, more current means more power, so that limit on current is what’s limiting your fun.

Typically, the ESC contains what’s called a “current shunt.” It’s a fat piece of wire of a known resistance, and all the current going to the motor travels through it. The ESC uses this to measure the amount of current going to the motor and will cut power to the motor over a given limit to protect it and the battery from damage.

If you’re a rebel, though, you don’t give a damn about no damage! You can trick the scooter by adding metal onto the current shunt, which reduces its resistance. This is typically done by soldering an additional wire in parallel with the current shunt, thus fattening it up. This reduces the resistance and messes with the calibration. It makes the ESC think less current is flowing so it doesn’t trigger a limit condition.

This mod can give you more acceleration and sometimes more top speed. Just note you risk setting your ESC, batteries, or motor on fire if they can’t handle it.

On a speed controller, a current shunt looks like this—the fat wire link indicated by the end of the screwdriver (first image). Soldering additional wire onto the current shunt reduces its resistance, which fools the speed controller into thinking less current is flowing. This can circumvent current limits and get you more power, but it also risks blowing up your ESC. YouTube/What Up TK Here

How do you know if your parts can handle it? Well, much like engine tuners working on a car, you try it and see. Eventually, you’ll push it so hard that it breaks, and you’ll get a better idea of just what those stock parts can do before popping.

Do it outside and away from people and things in case it all catches fire, and be careful when you’re riding, too. Brushed speed controllers that fail can short circuit, supplying full battery power to the motor and sending you hurtling down the road at maximum speed. Alternatively, brushless controllers can make a motor stop dead or jerk suddenly when they fail, hurling you into a bush, a car, or an unlucky pedestrian.

I got about four miles out of this stock Razor E300 motor when I pushed it too hard. It burnt up pretty bad. YouTube/What Up TK Here

As I said above, it’s a dangerous business. Building a modified scooter comes with risks, so you need to be careful. Wear protective gear and only ride where it’s safe. Plus, if you’re new to tinkering with electricity, do your research and get advice from someone that knows what’s safe.

The ‘Overvolt’ Mod

Going further, you can do an “overvolt” mod. Running more voltage through a motor gives more top speed and tends to boost acceleration across the board, too. This is typically achieved by replacing the scooter’s battery with one of a higher voltage. Or, in the quickest, dirtiest version, simply running a second battery in series with the first to double the voltage.

The gains from overvolting aren’t linear, but they can be darn close. You can easily boost your scooter’s top speed by 50 percent or more with this hack, but it comes at a price. The components in your scooter’s ESC are only rated to deal with so much voltage, and can easily fail when overvolted. The more you increase the voltage over stock, the more likely this can happen, and the quicker it’s likely to occur. The motor itself can also fail thanks to the excess heat melting insulation off the windings inside.

I’ve used Ryobi’s power tool batteries to do overvolt mods before. However, it typically pays to use a proper pack designed for e-bike or scooter use. It’s just easier to wire up. YouTube/What Up TK Here

Either way, overvoltage failures typically lead to smoke and/or flames. You also risk the motor accelerating unexpectedly or suddenly stopping while you’re on the scooter, causing potential injuries. In fact, many scooters have fault protection in their ESCs that will shut them down if an overvoltage condition is detected. Canny tinkerers can work around these, but doing so can be tricky, and typically the parts aren’t rated to operate beyond such limits anyway.

That doesn’t mean you have to stop your hunt for more performance, though. Indeed, you’re just beginning!

I toasted a motor by overvolting it. It stank like hell and burned my lil’ fingies. YouTube/What Up TK Here

Total Drivetrain Swaps

If you want to go really fast in an old Miata, you’re often better off dumping the stock economy-car engine for something with real performance. It’s the same with electric scooters. If you want big performance, don’t bother trying to mod the gear you already have. Rip out the existing ESC and batteries and replace them with more powerful gear. You’ll probably want to replace the motor, too—a new high-power battery and ESC will likely deliver so much power that your motor will simply melt into an anchor in a matter of minutes. That smells really bad (ask me how I know), so chuck it out as well.

Let’s say you’ve got a scooter with a 250-watt motor running off a 36-volt battery. You can rip all that out and buy yourself a higher-voltage battery, a higher-power motor, and an ESC to suit. They’re readily available on sites like eBay or Aliexpress. Typically, a roadgoing scooter would be plenty thrilling with a 48-volt battery and a 500- to 1,500-watt motor. However, 60-volt and 84-volt builds with motors in the 5,000-plus-watt range aren’t uncommon, particularly in larger off-road scooters with more space for batteries.

The challenge then is to fit all these new components in or on your scooter. Thankfully, wheels with higher-power hub motors are readily available, so the hardest part is often finding somewhere to stash a bigger, more powerful battery. Generally, an upgraded speed controller is small enough to lash onto the frame somewhere if you can’t install it internally. You’ll probably find you need a new throttle, too, to interface with your replacement ESC.

However, if you’re working with a scooter with a chain drive or belt drive, you might have to get more creative. This often involves building your own mounts to fit a larger, more powerful motor. Chain drives offer some flexibility in gearing that can be useful, too. You can gear the scooter down for better hillclimbing performance, or go the other way to get a higher top speed.

What is the True Cost of Riding an Electric Scooter Than A Car

No one wants to sit in traffic for long hours in a car, especially when there is a time constraint. Year after year, new means of transportation have evolved, each with unique advantages and disadvantages. If you have ever thought of replacing your car with a faster and more affordable means of movement, then it’s time you do so. Electric scooter comes when commuters need to beat the traffic, save costs, and ride with fun. Thankfully, this 21st century features e-scooters providing more versatility and solving all these problems even more.

safe, drive, electric, scooter, rainy

With a rough estimate of the cost of riding a motorized scooter compared to a car, you will find that you must keep paying even after purchasing a car. This gives better insights into whether it’s time to make a compelling call to ditch your vehicle for the Varla electric scooter.

What is a commuter electric scooter?

Before we go into the cost implications of owning and riding one, we need to know about the adult scooter. Primarily, their design is supposed to replace public transportation and driving of your car, especially within your neighborhood. Electric scooters are more fun to ride and can get you to your destination quicker and without hassles. The two-wheel automobile runs majorly on batteries and does not pose much of a problem regarding parking, unlike your car. Studies have shown that people who own cars and electric scooters for adults will choose to ride their motor scooters 90% of the time. This result goes to show the many advantages the electric scooter brings. A commuter motorized scooter is slightly different because its build favors long-distance commuting. They are more comfortable to ride, and their battery lasts longer; hence they can go farther than your cars.

Is an electric scooter cheaper than a car?

It’s important to look at some areas where owning a motorized scooter is cheaper than owning a car. The actual car price is only some of what you pay at the point of purchase. As a car owner, you incur other overhead costs not applicable for electric scooters. Let’s get to them:

The initial price of purchase:

From the get-go, you can spend about 20,000-40,000 to purchase a luxury car if you don’t already have one. This is way more expensive than an adult scooter. You may type ‘How much is a scooter’ on your search engine to get an idea of how much you need. E-Scooter’s costs range from 1000 to 2,000 at Varla, which is a better investment than a car.

Cost of charging and gas:

Cars run on gas, while electric scooters for adults travel several miles with a fully charged battery. With a full gas tank, your car can only last hours of driving before refilling. However, a motorized scooter battery doesn’t cost much; with a charging cable and a power source, you would have a full battery soon enough. Compare this to driving your car which gas alone equates to a cost of 0.15/mile. This is yet another area where an adult scooter is more cost-effective than a car. If you think this is not a fair comparison, remember there are gas-powered scooters for adults. These electric scooters for adults run on gas but are still 200 times cheaper than driving a car. Gas e scooters generally function more effectively than battery-powered scooters, but both costs are almost equal.

Insurance:

Cars generally come with a monthly payment of hundreds of dollars, equating to thousands in a year. If you decide to insure your electric scooter (which is advisable), you will only be spending only a tenth of what you spend on your car insurance as insurance for your motorized scooter. If you get lucky as a car driver and never get to file a claim, you can lose monthly money for insurance. Wouldn’t it hurt less if you did not pay so much as a monthly insurance fee?

safe, drive, electric, scooter, rainy

Cost of parking:

One of the perks that come with riding an adult scooter is that you get to enjoy free parking spaces. While cars require that you pay a specific fee every time you park, an electric scooter only needs you to find an area on the sidewalk where you can safely lock it in. With a car, there is every possibility that you would get a ticket for wrong parking at some point, but this is never a concern with an electrical scooter. So, on your way to work, school, or the store, look for parking spaces on the sidewalk where you can safely park your best electric scooter and walk to your destination.

Rentals services:

If you are in a different city or state for a visit, you need something to get you around. Another example is when your car is under repairs or inspection, and you must commute to work or other places. If you have taken out public transport as a means of movement, you are most likely considering renting a car. Here’s some advice that could help; do not do it! You spend more money on a car rental than an adult scooter. So pay less attention to your comfort and more to your

Depreciation:

Depreciation is a phenomenon whereby cars start losing their value from the day of purchase. It is derived mathematically by subtracting the selling price of the used car from how much you bought it as a new car. It is always 50% of the initial cost price after five years of use. Thankfully, motor scooters depreciate slower than cars do. They still retain almost their initial value even after some years of riding. Another plus is that you can easily pimp up a used scooter so that it looks new without spending so much.

Cost of maintenance:

There will always be things to buy, repair, and upgrade, and these accessories are costly for cars. Several routine checkups need to be done, some of which are daily. A mechanic’s services are usually required, for which you will also pay. At the end of the month, you find yourself paying almost a thousand dollars for these. It is different for scooters. The total cost of e scooter maintenance can never be as much as the purchase cost. If it ever gets that high, you can leave the adult scooter at the mechanic workshop and get a new one for the same amount.

Choosing a cost-effective electric scooter

Several motor scooters in the market do not cost an arm and a leg, but you need to carefully consider your options before making a choice. The Varla Eagle One Dual Motor Electrical scooter is a perfect example of a cost-effective electric scooter. Firstly, it costs only 1,700 for a new one, which is relatively cheaper than the ones in the market with the exact specifications.

Varla Eagle One has 1kw of battery capacity and can go for about 40 miles per charge. If you factor in the cost of charging it fully, it would be 0.15 per charge, which amounts to 0.004 per mile. This gives you a commuting distance of 30,000 miles throughout the battery’s life span, amounting to 0.03-0.06 for every mile. All in all, the real various cost of driving your car could be as high as 13/mile.

Affordable right? With the Varla Eagle One, you avoid the cost of purchasing and maintaining a car and still have the best commuting experience.

Conclusion

Saving up to buy a car is good, but it can surprise you to realize other never-ending costs come with this purchase. In comparing the cost-effectiveness of a car and an adult scooter, consider the factors above and make a choice that would not cost you gravely.

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