Electric Scooter – How it Works

Many New Zealanders are turning their heads to electric scooters because they are fun to ride and a practical mode of transportation. With a quality electric scooter, such as the Blade electric scooter, you can navigate city streets with ease! They are simple in design, convenient to carry, easy to maintain, and often seen as a sustainable alternative to traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, making them even more attractive to riders. 

Today, we explore how an electric scooter works so you can understand how to operate them better.

Basic Components of Electric Scooters 

Rechargeable batteries power electric scooters, but there are many components to make them work. Here is what you need to know:

The Battery

he battery is the heart of every electric scooter. It sends power to the electric motor and is critical in determining your electric scooter's overall performance and range. Higher voltage means more power and better acceleration. However, if you're using more acceleration and braking, it may reduce battery life quickly and limit your range on a single charge. 

On some models, you can use your electric scooter's smartphone app to see the current state of its battery. It's best to keep the charge between 20% - 80%, as overcharging or completely depleting the battery may harm it over time. Every battery will eventually become worn out. However, with care, you can maintain performance and prolong its lifespan.

The Motor

The battery and motor are connected through electric wires. When the throttle is pressed, it will signal the battery to release power. The battery's electrical energy is then sent through the wires to the motor, which moves the wheels to propel the scooter forward.

The type and quality of the motor significantly impact the electric scooter's ride quality. Brushless motors, found in modern models, are more efficient, durable, and provide smoother acceleration. Motors mounted in the wheel hub offer better weight distribution, a quieter ride, and eliminate the need for belts or chains, reducing maintenance needs.

The Controller

Serving as the "brain" of the scooter, the controller manages the power flow from the battery to the motor. It ensures efficient power distribution, regulates speed, and controls acceleration. When you press the throttle, it will send signals through the controller, telling the battery to release energy to the motor. A well-functioning controller enhances the overall riding experience. 

The Throttle and Gears

The throttle is the rider's control, adjusting the current supplied to the motor, thus determining the scooter's speed. The most common place to find the throttle on your electric scooter is on the handlebars in the form of a lever or button. Additionally, many electric scooters have speed settings or gears. Gears work by limiting the power going to the motor, with higher gears allowing more power and, therefore, more speed. The throttle and gears are useful when riding on uneven terrain, cruising at different speeds, or preserving battery life.

The Wheels

Electric scooters come with various types of wheels, including air-filled and solid, as well as solid pneumatic and honeycomb variants. The latter two types, solid pneumatic and honeycomb tires, offer the advantage of being puncture-free while providing some cushioning. However, it is not advisable to use solid or honeycomb tires on high-speed scooters due to their lower traction.

The choice of wheels significantly impacts both the ride comfort and overall performance of the scooter. You'll need to slow down on solid tyres as they do not grip the road as well. You should also exercise caution while navigating corners and riding in wet conditions when using solid tyres to ensure safety and stability.

The Frame & Suspension Systems

The scooter's frame material impacts its weight, stability, and durability. Industrial-grade aluminium alloy frames are common due to their lightweight yet sturdy nature. Additionally, electric scooters will feature either spring suspension or hydraulic suspension systems. These provide a smoother ride, particularly on bumpy terrains, increasing riding comfort.

The Brake System

Brakes are crucial for safety and ride quality as they affect the scooter's stopping power and responsiveness. A rear foot brake presses the rear fender with your foot to create friction. Mechanical brakes use a lever on the handle to activate the disc brake. Electronic braking is common and this slows the motor when the brake lever is used allowing the scooter to slow without using the brake pads. Some advanced models include electronic brakes that utilise regenerative braking. This braking method captures small amounts of energy during braking, somewhat increasing overall battery efficiency.

How Do Electric Scooters Work?

Now that you know how each component works in an electric scooter, how exactly do you operate them? Here's how!

  1. When your use the throttle, it will send electric signals through cable wires to the controller.
  2. The controller releases power from the battery to the motor.
  3. The motor will convert electrical energy into mechanical energy – moving the wheels.
  4. The movement of the wheel will propel the scooter forward.

How Do I Make Them Work?

Ready to try your first ride? Here are some recommendations for a smooth riding experience.

  1. Wear the proper gear – Whether using your electric scooter for work commutes, leisure, or off-road activities, wearing appropriate attire is essential. This means wearing a safety helmet and closed footwear, ensuring your safety while riding.
  2. Get acquainted with your electric scooter – It's vital to familiarise yourself with your ride and get comfortable using it before tackling the city streets on your first try. We recommend riding your electric scooter in your garage or parking space (if the space permits). You can also try out open park spaces that are not too busy. Get accustomed to riding, controlling, manoeuvring, and braking your electric scooter until you feel confident riding it on your way to work.

Power up before getting on – When using your electric scooter, we recommend powering it up and setting your speed levels before getting on it. You can then step on the deck and use the throttle to propel the ride.

Woman in proper gear riding on an electric scooter

Try Your First Electric Scooter Ride with Freed

By understanding how electric scooters work, you can enhance your riding experience, ensure safety, and extend the lifespan of your scooters. Plus, you can contribute to a greener environment by using an efficient yet more sustainable mode of transportation.

Hop on your first electric scooter with Freed. We offer a wide range of electric scooters, e-bikes, accessories, and parts for a supreme ride. Visit our electric scooter shop in Auckland today!

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