Why are electric scooters so expensive?

Two-wheeler technology has made considerable progress over the years. We have several options to choose from, including the latest and expensive electrical models. Electric bicycles and electric scooters are growing in popularity. They are more convenient, simple to use, and cheaper in the long run than other battery-powered motorbikes and cars.

You may have considered buying an electric scooter. If so, you realize that the price can be shocking. There’s no lie that e-scooters are costly, but what makes them so expensive? What are the factors that justify its price? 

Battery 

Battery

When you’re buying an electric scooter, pay attention to the type of battery it has, as batteries are among the most critical components of any electronic scooter.

Unlike motorcycles and cars, electric scooters don’t run on petrol or diesel. Charging your electric scooters might be easy, but it also depends on several factors, such as finding the right power outlet or adapter. So choosing the right battery is one of the biggest contributions you can make in your e-scooter purchase. So choose wisely.

The battery contributes up to 40% of an electric scooter’s total cost. Typically, a two wheeled upright electric scooter will have a lithium ion battery. These days you won’t see a scooter company choose a lead acid battery for any of their electricscooter models. For the most part, a lead acid battery is really only seen in mobility scooters these days.

Batteries are costly, especially larger ones. While your laptops and smartphones may get away with a cheaper battery, that won’t work with e-scooters. However, you will find that in a cheap electric scooter this is one place where a scootercompany will try to save money. The result of using a cheap lithium battery on an adult electric scooter is that you won’t get much longevity out of the battery. This means it will deplete quickly on a single charge and max speed won’t be what it could be if a higher quality lithium ion battery was used.

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Why are batteries so expensive?

Well, nowadays the majority of e-scooters come with lithium-polymer or lipo batteries (i.e. a lithium ion battery). Recently, because of its use in electronic and battery manufacturing, the price of Lithium has risen significantly. A lithium battery is lightweight and acts as a power source for many electric vehicles and gadgets. Li-ion batteries are used in laptops, smartphones, tablets, and computers, but that’s not it. 

Cobalt is far pricier than Lithium. The Republic of Congo provides most cobalt, so the various international taxes alsoincreases the price. Cobalt serves as a negative cathode of a lithium battery which constitutes a significantly greater proportion by volume. 

Although a number of electric bikes and mobility scooters use a single lead acid battery, this type of battery is not the best choice for electronically powered vehicles due to its weight and size. Using an scooter model, skateboard or other electricvehicle that has a lithium ion battery to power it is the best choice for now.

There are a ton of different sorts of batteries that use different materials, but the key reason for the high price is their cathode content.

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Motors 

electric scooter - Motor (expensive)

The electric motor is not so costly, but its reliability drives up the cost. However, most electric motors fitted in washing machines are static, whereas e- scooter motors are inclined to traffic, variable speeds and shock due to rough terrain.

They also come with a variety of different functions that drives up the cost, such as:

  • Electromagnetic braking system
  • Regenerative braking system 
  • Improvised ball bearings 
braking system
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Other parts

The price of the e-scooters also depends on several other parts and components. The least expensive electric scooters use cheap materials and are not durable and strong enough. There are a lot of electric scooters running around with cheap plastic covers, which are unable to bear the stuns and shocks the ride offers. You can’t tell the difference within a week or two, but the cheap parts will claim their price after a few months of riding.

The priciest e-scooters use parts built out of strong metals such as steel and aluminum. You can value the durability of the parts the second you take it out for a ride.

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Research and development

Research and development costs are huge when developing or producing a new product. Electric scooters also add up to this list. The companies have to manufacture and sell a ton of them to recoup the R&D cost. Major research and developments works include:

  • Mobile applications for products 
  • Hardware research 
  • Testing of the parts and components
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Other reasons

Demand is one of the huge factors driving up the cost of e-scooters. Electric scooters are not yet as common as motorbikes or cars. In the meantime, if they get some footing and will turn out to be more mainstream, the output will scale up, making them a lot less expensive.

But that’s not the case yet. E-scooters come with many benefits and are eco-friendly, but the majority prefer driving ICE cars and motorbikes. Motorbikes and cars are manufactured on a huge scale, that’s why they cost less.

Each new product that turns out to be costly has a small production scale. As a lot of products are mass-produced, the prices will fall as the factories and the companies are having no issues covering the research and development costs.

Fortunately, e-scooters and bikes are becoming more mainstream these days. E-scooters and e-bikes are perfect for traveling small distances like riding to school or commuting to work.

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Overall costs

In the long run, the upkeep costs are more modest than gas scooters or motorbikes and don’t forget cars. Regardless of whether the purchasing cost is somewhat high, reasoning that there’s no innovation and special features or parts, the total price of owning an e-scooter is way less than those. 

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Cost of building an E-scooter

Electric Scooter (expensive)

The expense of building an e-scooter unit is determined by the existing infrastructure, brand building, extra shipping cost, and salaries of those who build it.

One thing is sure: the margin of profit on a cheap scooter often will be significantly below the profit margin of expensive scooter.

Some budget brands can bear to sell their models even for $300 or less.

 The Xiaomi M365 Pro is the perfect example of this. Xiaomi has established itself as a titan of electronics gadgets and produces all sorts of products. You can also have a look at the GoTrax GXL V2 which is an excellent all-around scooter for a great price. Or, you can take a look at the Segway or Razor scooter lineup. Both of these brands have a scooter model or two that fits in this sub-$300 category.

However, on the other end of the spectrum, an expensive electric scooter such as the Rion2 RE90 (which is the fastest electric scooter) is priced at $6800 per unit. 

Taking everything into account, the pricier the scooter model, the more the electric scooter cost to build. 

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Shipping cost 

When e-scooters are shipped worldwide, the cost becomes twice as much, be it by weight or by volume. This is because some e-scooters are heavier and need to be shipped in a larger box. For the most part, unlike an electric bike, they can’t be shipped in parts and later assembled on site. 

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No economies of scale

E-scooters are still not wildly popular. This means that each electric scooter company doesn’t get the benefit of economies of scale. Sure, there are a few companies that have tremendous volume because scooter sharing companies have contracted with them for a particular scooter model, but for the most part, these manufacturers aren’t that big yet.

The manufacturers of non electric kick scooters or pedal bikes are fairly confident they can sell their bikes in large numbers.

This enables them to purchase large components in bulk and at wholesale rates. All of these factors allow standard scooters and bike manufactures to decrease the expense of each item they make, yet the electric scooter manufacturers can’t do this yet because of their lower order demands.

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Are e-scooters worth the buy?

g pro 3 folded (expensive)

E-scooters are convenient, lightweight, and easy to ride and sometimes can help you commute to your work much quicker than your car. But while they sound so awesome, they come with their fair share of pros and cons.

If you buy a commuter electric scooter model, e-scooters are a great way to travel around the city or town or allow you to get to work quickly. Scooter riders can avoid rush hours, the costs are much less than motorbikes, cars, even an electricmoped and riding them is entertaining.

Electric scooters are similar to motorcycles in their design and are made in many different styles including seated electricscooter models and ones that don’t have seats. All of these little things can raise the price but they are still a fantastic alternative to a gas or diesel powered car.

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Pros and Cons of e-scooters

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Pros 

Lightweight and convenient

Electric scooters are very lightweight and convenient. On average most commuter scooter models weigh around 20-26 pounds based on their battery size and model. Many electric scooters are portable and enable you to fold them and store them under your chair or a desk.

blonde with electric scooter

You don’t need a lot of maintenance.

Electric scooters are fantastic and don’t require serious regular maintenance. All you need to do for is to make sure the tires are inflated properly (assuming you are using a scooter with pneumatic tires) and and periodically change brake pads or the disc brake.

But to be honest, branded electric scooters are fitted with high-end parts that are built out of strong materials such as steel and aluminum. So I would say that fixes the only issue too. Even if a broken mudguard, lamp, or tire has to be replaced, that’s nothing compared to the expense of owning a car.

Cars need a ton of maintenance. However, cars and bikes require a lot of extra work, such as regular oil changes, brake oils, pollution control, fuel filters, and brake pads, and much more. 

Electric scooters are a fun way of riding.

keep your eyes on the road (expensive)

Electric scooters can be an excellent way to get around, especially if you’re in a bigger group with family, friends, or coworkers. In addition, these electric bikes have become very well known for touring purposes. In several cities, e-scootertours are provided to tourists as it is a perfect way to travel around the center of major towns and save visitors time as opposed to walking tours.

No need to having a driver’s license

One of the key benefits of electric scooters is that you don’t need to have a driver’s license to ride in most countries. This means that you don’t have to pay for a test, lessons, or an actual license, making it an accessible choice.

Very little pollution – Electric scooters are eco friendly

white electric scooter (expensive)

Smog is always a problem in big cities, particularly during the busy hours when everybody is headed to and from work. With electric scooters, there’s no air pollution which makes it an eco-friendly choice. If more commuters were encouraged to turn to e-scooters instead of their cars and bikes, there may really be a more positive effect on the air quality in big cities.

Noise pollution is another type of pollution worth noting. E-scooters are very quiet and add little to the noise pollution in major towns and cities.

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Cons

E-scooters are expensive 

The cost is the biggest snag for all of us. Electric scooters are expensive, particularly those of high quality. The batteries are the prime reason behind the exorbitant cost of e-scooters. Batteries are costly and hard to manufacture, so the long range electric scooter models and the fastest electric scooter models are pricey.

If you don’t have a car, getting an electric bike appears to be a rational decision. 

If you already own a car and pay for the regular maintenance and taxes, you can get a lot of gas for the price of an electricscooter. But eventually, if you decide to go with an electric scooter, it will be more eco-friendly. 

E-scooters are not for everyone. 

E-scooters are made in different shapes and sizes and so are people. Therefore, e-scooters would not be a suitable transport for all. Electric scooters come with a weight limit, so the scooter is more likely to get damaged when an overweight person uses it.

Keeping them charged 

How To Charge An Electric Scooter At Home

With a motorbike or a car, you are continually watching out for the fuel gauge and know when it’s time to top off. E-scooters are also kind of similar, except e-scooters are inclined to stop out of nowhere if the charge runs out. This can be very dangerous, especially when you’re on a bustling street. It is really important to make sure that you charge the battery completely before riding.

Related Article: How To Charge An Electric Scooter At Home – A Complete Step By Step Guide

Limited carrying capacity

E-scooters are built only to carry a single person and are not feasible for hitching a ride on. This is where cars come in so you can travel with your whole family. An average scooter would have a weight limit of approximately 220 lbs to 260 lbs, based on the model and design. Don’t forget to carefully decide what things you will be traveling with, such as backpacks and travel bags, which add to your general weight. 

Only suitable for short distances

As already stated, e-scooters are best used for short journeys or are not a good transportation choice for long trips. This is one of the significant disadvantages of e-scooters and something that buyers don’t find appealing

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Conclusion

Yes, electric scooters are expensive, but the prices won’t always stay the same. The price will fall once they become more mainstream and famous. They are also a reliable choice because they do not need much maintenance. While a motorbike may appear to be a better alternative, there are a few benefits like the portability and overall operating cost of electric scooters given the kind of utility they provide.

FAQ

Frequently asked questions and answers

Do you need a license to ride electric scooters?

A driver’s license, registration, or insurance is not needed in order to ride an electric scooter. However, there are laws that restrict where you can use them and the amount of power (read Wattage) the motors can have.

Where can you ride?

Electric scooters are often prohibited on sidewalks. You may use it on public roads where the speed limit is no greater than 25 mph, and on roads above by using the bike lane.

Do scooters pollute more than cars?

Figuring out carbon (aka carbon dioxide or CO2) emissions is easy because you just have to look at how much fuel you’re burning. If a scooter burns less gas then a car then it’s producing less carbon than a car. Simple. So virtually every scooter produces less carbon than even the best cars.

What impact do electric scooters have on the environment?

The electric scooter has a smaller impact on the environment when compared to other traditional vehicles. This is because it runs on electricity and does not depend upon any other external resources, including fossil fuel. Electric scooters are great because of their low-impact nature and how eco-friendly they are.

What is the advantage of using an eco-friendly e scooter?

The most significant advantage of using your own electric scooter or even that of a shared scooter is that you don’t need to visit the gas station, you’re reducing your overall carbon footprint by reducing co2 emission and hopefully by doing your part, we have the opportunity to slow global warming.

What are the set rules by the government about an electric scooter?

If one of these scooter-sharing companies wants to resume their business, they must pay a permit fee to the government’s city planning department. There are additional restrictions, such as allowing only 20,000 scooters to be in operation. In addition, they require the rider to have a driver’s permit, wear a helmet, not exceed 15 mph and the e scooter rider can only take the scooter on streets with speed limits less than 25 mph.

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