For a long time electric scooters were not legal in New York City but as of November 2020 they are now legal. This is great news for electric scooter enthusiasts and maybe not so good news for pedestrians who despise them. Whether you like it or not, electric scooters are here to stay. Now that e-scooter are legal in NYC, what are the best electric scooters for New York City?
There are a few rules for electric scooter riders as pointed out by the New York Times:
- Riders of electric scooters and throttle-controlled electric bicycles must be over 16 years of age
- Helmets are required on scooters for those under the age of 18, while on certain types of throttle-controlled bicycles everyone must wear a helmet.
Safety is extremely important, especially considering that a study from Austin, Texas, showed that almost half of the 190 riders injured there had suffered head injuries. Always make sure you follow safety guidelines and ride responsibly.
The roads in NYC are not great so if you choose a cheap e-scooter from China then your e-scooter will not last long. The best electric scooter for NYC has to be more robust with solid tires, suspension and brakes, to able to handle the tough and demanding roads of New York City.
So I did some research to find what electric scooters would be the best fit for NYC roads. A large portion of the e-scooters that are sold are of fairly poor quality that the roads of NYC will just chew up.
I also made sure that the scooters can be shipped to New York City quickly and chose brands that are known for their quality and customer service.
1. Best Overall Electric Scooter for NYC: The Emove Touring
The Emove Touring is a highly rated portable and foldable e-scooter. It is considered one of the best in its class. It is the perfect e-scooter for NYC roads for several reasons
- 750 Watts of power.
- Up to 24 mph top speed.
- Accelerates to 15 mph in just 4.5 seconds.
- The battery has a 25 mile maximum range.
- The Touring has a triple suspension system ideal for NYC roads.
- Rear electronic and drum brakes, which are reliable and low maintenance. The Emove Touring is is able to come to a full stop from 15 mph in 16.6 feet.
- The scooter only weighs 39 pounds and can easily be folded, which it ultra portable for commuting in NYC.
- Front and rear LED lights enable you to ride on low light conditions and make you noticeable for other commuters.
- The maximum weight capacity of the Emove Touring is 308 pounds. So it can handle heavier riders as well.
- You also have the option of buying a seat for the Emove Touring if you want to have that option.
Emove Touring Rating
Without a doubt the Emove Touring is the ideal electric scooter for Nyew York City. It has great build quality, plenty of power and speed to get from point A to B fast.
It has plenty of range for both shorter and longer commutes. It is lightweight and very portable. Plus the ride quality due to the high quality suspension and tires is fantastic.
It is sold by VoroMotors, which also offer spare parts, various accessories for the scooter, fast shipping from LA.
The customer service and 12 month warranty offered by the guys at VoroMotors is also amazing.
The price at $899 isn't too expensive as well.
Jorge | verified buyer
Best Scooter Under 900$
This scooter is the overall best scooter under 900$. I ride aggressively and this scooter doesn’t disappoint. I live in NYC and the roads are atrocious, the rear solid tire allows me to ride worry free of flats. The ride quality is really good and the deck space is very generous. I love jumping up and off curbs, and going full speed over speed bumps.
The stem, front and rear suspension allow me to jump pretty high like I’m on a trampoline. And you can wheelie with ease cause the stem feels like a pogo stick. The front and headlight are helpful at night, pedestrians will see you approaching them. Cars behind you will see your brake lights too and reflector. I weigh 140lbs. I get a top speed of 26mph, once battery drops below 90% I get a consistent 23-25MPH on flat and very slight inclines.
Range going full speed is 21-24 miles with many stops and full acceleration starts. Acceleration is perfect it takes me around 4 seconds to cross an intersection, and I hit 18mph with ease. Brakes are strong and can easily be adjusted by rotating a nut on the brake line. Folding and unfolding is super easy and the scooter is easy to take up 2 flights of stairs. The bell is good, the horn is loud and the trigger throttle is calibrated well. I often ride with my gf standing behind me since there is so much deck space and we fit comfortably. Together we weigh 260lbs.
Ride quality still feels great, suspension works great and doesn’t bottom out, stem feels sturdy for me to control. Max speed is 22-24mph, 26mph on declines. Range is a consistent 17-21 miles with constant stops and full acceleration starts. 20 degree inclines are no issue. We go 17-21mph up hills together and I go 21-24mph up hills. A final thing is the build quality. I got hit by a car and the scooter was dragged under. It survived with very few, small unnoticeable scratches and the handlebar stem bent. I was shocked at how durable the scooter is, it was basically unscathed.
Voro provided handlebars for 40$ and it was a very easy and quick fix. There are a ton of videos released by voro on youtube showing how to maintain and fix any Emove touring issues. The only complaint I have is when hitting large bumps or going over terrain that makes the scooter violently shake, the brake line can pop out. You’ll feel the brake lever go really soft and your scooter will take a very long time to brake and come to a stop. You must stop immediately and pop it back into place because that can be a very serious issue to have while traveling at high speeds.
2. Best Compact Electric Scooter for NYC: Apollo Light
This compact electric scooter is ideal for NYC commuting. You can bring it on the bus or train and it's compact enough to keep under your desk. It is a fantastic last mile solution and it is very similar to the Emove Touring.
- Frame is made out of strong forged aluminium.
- 350 Watts of power with 500 Watts of peak output.
- Top speed is up to 22 mph.
- Accelerates to 15 mph in 6.2 seconds
- The 48V 10.2aH battery has a max range of up to 22 miles
- LED display provides useful information for the rider
- The weight of the scooter is only 37 pounds
- It has a rear drum and re-generative braking and it comes to a full stop at 15 mph in just 13.8 feet.
- The Apollo Light is suitable for NYC roads thanks to the dual suspension system and 8.5-inch air-filled tires.
- The IP-54 water resistance rating allows for riding in light rains as well.
- With this electric scooter you can ride on bike lanes, streets, sidewalks and trails.
Apollo Light Rating
With a price tag of $750 you will get plenty of value for your money. It is manufactured by Apollo Scooters, which is a Canadian company and they are known for their quality products and great customer service.
When you order from Apollo you will get free shipping for all orders within the continental United States and Canada. Apollo also offers you 12 months of warranty on any manufacturing defect and another 12 months of repairs at cost.
Just like with the Emove Touring, you can also buy upgrades, accessories and spare parts from the Apollo Store.
Rick | verified buyer
Very Well Built Scooter - Just saved my life!
I live in NYC, have had my Apollo Light for about a month now, mainly using it to commute and to pickup food from restaurants outside of my usual 'range'.
Today I was out on a leisure cruise, and as I'm approaching an intersection (with a green light), a young child (maybe 5 years old?) suddenly dashed into the crosswalk in front of me just as I entered the crosswalk.
I quickly braked and swerved to avoid, but was immediately struck from behind by a car that was also unable to stop in time. The car knocked me off my scooter onto the hood of the car which I immediately flew off of as the car quickly came to a stop.
Luckily, no serious injuries were suffered by anyone involved. The worst was a couple scrapes on my arm and on my back (both from the car) and some very slight scratches on my helmet, but my Apollo Light definitely took the brunt of the initial impact. Somehow my legs and feet are both totally unscathed and overall I'm in a lot better shape than I should be.
The same could be said for my Apollo. Despite taking practically the full force of the impact and being dragged under a car for nearly 20 feet, my scooter largely survived. The metal where my front axle attaches to the frame is pretty bent, as well as the stem itself (both of which mean that I cannot turn the wheel as far to the left as I can to the right anymore), but otherwise the damage was largely cosmetic – some scratches on the right side and the loss of both front fenders. Otherwise, the scooter still runs perfectly, and actually runs quieter than ever before (the creaking and groaning seems to have vanished somehow).
In conclusion, props to Apollo for putting together a quality product. I might not be here otherwise, and WEAR A HELMET!!!
3. Best Portable Electric Scooter for New York City: UNAGI Model One
The Unagi Model One is a very popular e-scooter that is light, slim and portable, making it a very good choice for all residents of the Big Apple in 2023. It is lighter, very stylish, packed with technology and a favorite of Billie Eilish.
- 500 Watts of power with 1000 watts of peak output and 32 newton meters of torque.
- Top speed of 15 mph and maximum range of up to 15.5 miles.
- Dual electronic anti-lock brakes with additional step-on fender brake, offer plenty of stopping power.
- Unagi has used Japanese Toray carbon fiber in its tubing to blend light weight and heavy-duty strength.
- The magnesium alloy handlebar is 33% lighter than its aluminium counterparts. The handlebars also incorporate throttle, brake, horn, LED light functionality and sleek design.
- It has a unique "One-Click" folding system that folds and locks in one smooth, satisfying click.
- The weight of the scooter is a very light 26 pounds making it very portable for NYC streets.
- The unique 7.5-inch wheels are made of solid rubber and are puncture proof.
UNAGI Model One Rating
The Unagi Model One is certainly geared towards the younger population. Great emphasis has been put on making the scooter as light and as strong as possible with unique design and technology.
It is very ergonomic and comfortable to ride. It has an amazing paint job and just looks much better than most commuter scooters. Unagi scooters are basically the Teslas of car-less transport. It doesn't have the seams, joints, stitches, bulk, scratchy sandpaper grips, and harsh metal finish that comes standard with many other scooters.
With the Unagi Model One you can comfortably ride during low light conditions as well thanks to the flush-mounted 47 lumen LED front light and a rear blinking red LED.
Due to the lack of suspension it might be a little uncomfortable to ride, especially over the NYC potholes and the price of around $1450 might be a little too much. But other than that the Unagi Model One is exceptional.
Jacqueline K | verified buyer
Monthly rental is fantastic for NYC
I have been renting an Unagi scooter for the last couple months, and it is a complete game changer for NYC. I no longer need to take the subway anywhere, and I can go places I haven't been able to due to lack of subway access in the past.
The strengths of the Unagi are the quick folding mechanism, the weight, the light (SO BRIGHT), and the speed and power. This flies up hills in double motor mode (including the Queensboro Bridge both ways). I regularly commute around Queens and into Manhattan and it's been the quickest way I've ever commuted. Depending on your situation, the range may not do it for you - I am pretty light (140 lbs) and I get 9-10 miles on one charge. In the recent cold I've noticed the range dropping some, so I imagine once it gets down to 30 degrees or so it's going to cover less ground. Important to know if you plan to use it during the winter.
The solid tires have pros and cons. I LOVE knowing that I won't have a flat from the broken beer bottle someone threw in the bike lane, but on the flip side you have to get really good at knowing your route and avoiding the worst parts of the road. It's not too terribly difficult (as I said I ride into Manhattan and the areas I go through have some giant holes and bad pavement), but you have to pay real attention and sometimes it can be difficult at night or when there are a lot of pedestrians to watch out for too. I have learned to plan routes around the smoother streets.
All in all, I think the subscription is definitely worth it. If you aren't sure if you want to buy a scooter, start out by trying the rental out and see if you like it. I've grown obsessed with it and I tell everybody they should rent one of these.
4. Best Long Range Electric Scooter for New York City: Ninebot KickScooter MAX G30
The Ninebot MAX is known for its long range, sturdiness, portability and overall quality. Making it an ideal choice for the rough roads on New York City. It is one of the most popular Segway Ninebot e-scooters and for good reasons - it is a true workhorse.
- 350 Watt motor with a top speed of 15.5 mph.
- The 551 Wh has a maximum range of up to 40 miles, which is enough for a big city like NYC.
- The Ninebot KickScooter MAX can climb slopes around 20%, allowing it to go uphill easily.
- It has 4 different speed modes.
- Weight of the scooter is 40 pounds.
- Large 10-inch pneumatic tires offer great traction and comfort.
- The braking system consists of a front drum brake and rear KERS brake.
- The rear-wheel drive offers a better solution to acceleration, stability, and braking.
- Water resistance rating of IPX5 for the whole body (IPX7 water resistance to its core components).
- LED screen showing speed, riding mode and battery level with Bluetooth connectivity.
- 2.5 W high-brightness LED front light with rear and brake lights offer plenty of visibility in low light conditions.
- The built-in charger lets you recharge the scooter easily when on the go without having to carry along a bulky charging adapter.
Ninebot MAX G30 Rating
Whilst the Unagi Model One was a sleek, lightweight and beautifully designed electric scooter, the MAX G30 is more of a robust, long-ranged workhorse.
The main benefits of the MAX G30 are its long-ranged battery, robustness and durability, as well as high water resistance rating. This scooter can take a pounding and still keep going, which makes it ideal for NYC roads.
Additional benefits are the one cord fast charging function and the Segway-Ninebot App, which enables you to customize your riding experience.
It is a bit bulky at almost 40 pounds but it is certainly worth the $850 price tag.
Ankara M | verified buyer
I’m happy I got the higher end one living in New York the roads are terrible and I feel safe on the bike paths
5. Best Seated Electric Scooter for NYC: Stigo B1
Now for something completely different. The design of the Stigo B1 is very different from the other stand up electric scooters. This seated e-scooter is lightweight, foldable and much more comfortable to ride than most other commuter scooters.It is actually classified as an e-bike but many still consider it to be a scooter.
- This stylish and compact e.Bike is made by the Estonian Company Stigo.
- The Stigo B1 has an upgraded 350 Watt motor with a cruising speed of 20 mph.
- The 48 V lithium-ion battery has a maximum range of 25 miles or 40 km.
- Simple and convenient rear wheel fold-up design for reduced storage footprint.
- Front and rear disc brakes and reliable and convenient.
- Rear shock absorption along with the large 14-inch wheels making riding very smooth even on New York City roads.
- The weight of the scooter e-bike is only 37 pounds and it can carry a 265 pound rider.
- The handlebars sides into the stem, making it just small enough to fit in the typical car trunk.
- Has won several awards for its elegance & unique design.
Stigo B1 Rating
Whether you consider the Stigo B1 to be an e-bike or e-scooter, it is certainly unique. Many people prefer this type of design over the standard stand-up electric scooter because it is more comfortable.
The designers of the Stigo B1, Rainer Nõlvak & Skype founder Jaan Tallinn, have really put in lots of effort to make it as ergonomic as possible.
The large wheels, ergonomic seat and handlebars and rear suspension make it very easy and comfortable to ride. The folding mechanism is also quick and easy. Considering that the Stigo B1 only weighs 37 pounds, it is very portable.
It is available at eWheels online store for $1050 and comes with one year warranty, ships from Los Angeles, with free shipping within the continental USA.
Scott mccarthy | verified buyer
This thing is dam near perfect.
It's comfortable to ride and the motor is powerful. It really does 20 MPH like they say it does. I own a couple URB-Es and was looking for something with bigger tires and more power and I decided to take a chance and buy the Stigo. I am glad I did! I am 6' 1" so I am pretty tall and this thing seat me comfortably. I also like that the rear wheel is easy to fold in with a release pin. Makes it easy to carry. The battery charges lightning fast with the included charger (I think it's a speed charger). Because it has a rear shock absorber, the ride is also super smooth as the shock absorber does a great job of dealing with the LA road bumps.
Overall, well worth it. I have owned a traditional standing scooter which I think is much too dangerous and also an URB-E which is a sitting scooter. The URB-E was probably my favorite one but after riding the Stigo, there is no way I can go back to riding anything else. I hope people buy and support this model because it really is a great scooter. Ewheels was super easy to deal with and their customer service and quick response to my emails was also the other reason I decided to buy it. I want something that has customer service as I don't have time to buy something that has no support.
Overall, outstanding! I could not be happier!