Electric scooters have become insanely popular in recent years. But the ruble fell, and prices soared after that. With an average cost of an electric scooter for adults of about 30,000 rubles, today the same models cost 50,000. And taking into account the sanctions, it is still unclear which brands will remain in Russia.
In a word, this season the electric transport market will inherit the fate of the car market: the demand for used vehicles will increase, and for new ones it will decrease. Should you buy an electric scooter?
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What is the main problem?
In the battery. Its cost can be up to 70% of the cost of a new scooter, and you still need to order delivery and pay for a replacement. Most modern scooter batteries are lithium. These can be lithium-ion, lithium-polymer, lithium-phosphate … It is believed that their service life (until they begin to actively lose capacity) is 5 years or 1000 charge cycles. But that’s with the right care.
In fact, the average battery life of a scooter is about 3 years. Then it does not stop working – it’s just that the autonomy of the transport will drop dramatically. Therefore, buying scooters aged 4 years or more is a risky event.
The date of purchase can be established by checks if they are left with the owner of the scooter. Production date – sometimes on stickers or stamps in the documentation.
What to check in a scooter when buying from hand
Let’s say you got a fresh copy. It remains to understand whether everything is in order with its technical condition. You can use this checklist for this.
Checking the engine
Turn on the scooter and press the accelerator. The drive wheel should accelerate smoothly and without dips to maximum speed. Of course, ideally it is better to check it under load (get up and go), but if the owner does not allow you to ride, you can at least hang the wheel.
Checking the brakes
During the acceleration of the wheel, check for extraneous sounds. Models with disc brakes often have bent discs – in this case, the wheel at low speed seems to touch something. On the big one too, but you won’t hear it. Discs are easy to change, but the need for repair is a reason to ask for a discount. Again, ideally, accelerate and try the brakes in action, but not every owner will allow such a test.
Checking the wheels
Protectors on tires or plastic wheels are not for beauty. At high speed, they divert water from the contact patch of the tire with asphalt. So it is very dangerous to drive on wet surfaces on “bald” wheels. The wheels can be solid (then they change entirely) or pneumatic (then the tire is changed separately). If the tread is worn off, this indicates a high mileage of the scooter. And, of course, buying a new wheel or tire is also an additional cost.
Checking the case
Many do not pay attention to the body, but in vain. First of all, you need to check the integrity of the compartment where the battery is located (usually under the foot platform). It must be well waterproofed – otherwise water will get inside, and this will lead to corrosion of the electronics (batteries). Inspect the cover fastening: are all the bolts in place, are they all tightened, is the gasket intact. Stand on the platform and try to shake the steering wheel back and forth. There should not be tangible backlashes; sometimes it is not so easy to get rid of them.
Checking the electrics
Everything is simple here: turn on the headlight, turn signals (if any), press the brake and check if the brake light comes on. Connect the adapter to the connector: make sure that the contacts do not spark, and an icon appears on the control panel that charging has started.
Perhaps this is all that can be checked without disassembly. By the way, there are scooters with seats – check out such models in our selection.