Electric scooters are very simple to ride and maintain, and that’s why they are so useful and fun. While they are a modern piece of transportation technology, they are still not very complex in the way they work compared to most vehicles.
Components of Electric Scooter
Electric scooters have few moving parts and rely instead on a few simple mechanisms. Every electric scooter relies on its battery for power. Overall performance and maximum range on a single charge will be determined mostly by the scooter’s voltage, charge, and energy storage capacity. The motor is just as crucial as the battery in this case.
The scooter’s speed, torque, hill-climbing ability, and, to a lesser extent, range will all be largely dependent on the quality and quantity of its power source. Electric wires connect the motor to the battery, and a display and throttle are mounted on the handlebar for convenient operation.
With the help of the controller part, the rider can regulate their performance. The screen displays the rider’s instructions, and the throttle and brake are controlled via levers or buttons.
The throttle is on the right-hand side of the handlebar, and the screen is either a small circular LED display in the middle of the handlebar or a centrally mounted display. On the left grip of certain bars is a braking lever. There are certain earlier kinds of scooters where the motor is housed in the deck, and the wheels are propelled by means of a chain and gears.
The wheels of today’s scooters typically house the motors themselves, eliminating the need for a transmission. Motors installed in the wheels’ hubs get their name from that. More robust scooters often use dual engines, one powering each wheel. The scooter’s wheels are its most blatant feature.
They can either be filled with air or be solid. Shock absorbers are available on several scooter models for a more pleasant ride. Wheels will be discussed in further depth later on. A braking system may be installed on either wheel or none. You can apply the brakes electronically, mechanically (with a disc or hydraulics), or by pushing your foot against the back of the vehicle’s fender.
Each of these parts is meticulously fitted into a sturdy frame, typically constructed from an aluminum alloy suitable for industrial use but also occasionally from carbon fiber. The frame consists of the rider-facing stem (which resembles a pipe) and the rider-facing deck (upon which the rider stands).
The scooter is mostly constructed out of plastic and silicone. Scooters typically have collapsible frames. Most electric scooters include two sets of lights: a larger one in front for signaling and a smaller one in the back for braking.
Given the scooter’s practicality, it’s easy to see that there aren’t that many parts involved. The fascinating part is how they interact with one another.
How Does an Electric Scooter Work?
The battery’s stored energy is released when the throttle is depressed. The motor (or motors) receives electricity from the battery via the cables. The engines turn the wheels, which propels the scooter ahead. Due to their design, electric scooters can only move forward when the throttle is depressed.
There is at least one brake on most scooters that can be used to slow the vehicle to a halt. All of that sums up to that. A few variants are introduced, but the details remain straightforward.
How Do Electric Scooter Motors Work?
Scooter motors can be housed in the deck, in which case they must be connected to the wheels by means of gears and chains. However, the wheels of modern scooters already have motors built-in, making them far more durable and reliable. Motors in electric scooters are always direct current (DC) motors because it is the only type of motor that can be powered by batteries.
Brushed and Brushless DC Motors
Brushed and brushless DC motors are the two most common types. Two pairs of electromagnets produce power in a brushed motor. The first is cylindrical, while the second is a little magnet housed within the first. By producing magnetic fields while the inside rotates, the generator keeps revolving without stopping.
As a more recent technological advancement, brushless DC motors have many advantages over their brushed DC predecessors. The efficiency of a brushed motor is around 80%, while that of a brushless motor is between 85% and 90%. A brushless motor operates in a fashion that is similar to but inverted from a brushed motor.
Brushless motors eliminate the need for moving elements like magnets, which are responsible for rotation in brushed motors. This time, the mechanism of a brushless motor is more involved. Knowing the make and model of the motor in your scooter is quite helpful.
Since the brushes in brushed motors eventually wear out, they need a little extra TLC and maintenance. However, regenerative braking is a characteristic available on some brushed motors.
It’s likely that your new scooter will have a brushless motor. Your motor’s output power, in Watts, is how power is measured (W). The typical range for a scooter’s power output is 200–600 Watts, but higher-powered models do exist. It’s important to remember that scooters with less than 300 Watts of power may have problems with inclines of more than 7%. The maximum possible speed also heavily relies on the strength of the motor.
Although this is not an exact formula, you can expect 1 km/h for every 10-20 W of power your motor has. This is just one of many factors that will determine the maximum speed you can get out of your scooter. Obviously, this doesn’t work for the most powerful scooters, but it’s a reasonable ballpark figure for the ones sold to the general public.
Additionally, it’s important to realize that the motor’s output can shift over time. Its true strength is the degree to which it consistently hovers around a certain reference point.
It’s likely that you’ll obtain this amount of power most of the time. The motor’s maximum power is limited, although it can produce far more than that under specific conditions.
Peak power refers to the highest possible output of the motor. Manufacturers can pull a fast one on consumers and advertise the motor’s peak power rather than its average power. If you want an accurate depiction of the motor’s actual power, you need to check the real power as well.
How Do Electric Scooters Batteries Work?
The lithium-ion battery will be standard in most electric scooters. You can count on finding Samsung or LG batteries in the top scooters.
Key Measurements of the Battery Include:
- It’s a charge, which is expressed in Ampere-hours, and its voltage, which is expressed in Volts (V) (Ah). The greater voltage a battery has, the more power it can deliver to a motor.
- In general, a battery’s capacity to store energy grows in direct proportion to its size. Power storage is measured in Watt-hours (Wh), which is calculated by multiplying the voltage by the current.
Here are some easy-to-use converters for making adjustments between various measurement systems:
- Voltage battery calculator Batteries for amp-hour devices Watt-hour meter. More battery capacity means your scooter can travel farther before needing to recharge.
- This is not the only consideration, but it is among the most weighty. A rough estimate is that your scooter will have a range of one kilometer for every 10 to 20 Watt-hours of battery life.
- Because batteries degrade with time, you’ll probably need to swap out the one in your scooter if it starts acting up. The average interval between occurrences is three years.
- If you need additional juice or just want to have a spare, you can always swap out the battery (or two). This will significantly expand your attainable range and may even raise your speed and overall performance.
How Do Controllers in Electric Scooters Work?
Controllers in electric scooters serve as the connecting piece between the throttle and brake levers, the battery, and the engine. As the throttle is depressed, a signal travels through the wires to the controller, which then instructs the battery to discharge more or less power to the motor. The motor will immediately cease spinning once the electric brakes on your scooter cut power.
How Do Brakes in Electric Scooters Work?
Electric scooters have three distinct types of braking systems. The easiest brake to use is the foot brake located on the back of the bike; to apply the brake, simply press down on the back of the fender with your foot. It’s also the least convenient method of stopping, as it requires you to hit the back bumper with your foot while looking forward.
Even yet, not many scooters come equipped with these brakes. Traditional mechanical brakes, either disc or hydraulic, are another option for stopping. Disc brakes for the front and/or rear wheels, or both, are often activated by pressing a lever located on the left handle of scooters of this type.
An electric brake is a third and most cutting-edge option. Commonly used to prevent the motor from producing forward motion, these behave almost identically to the anti-acceleration mechanisms described above.
Regenerative braking is used by scooters with this system as well. Each time this form of braking is used, a small amount of power is returned to the battery.
Even though it makes sense that a scooter would benefit from having at least three brakes, very few actually do. When used together, disc brakes and electronic brakes are formidable stopping forces.
How Do Wheels in Electric Scooters Work?
In terms of wheels, an electric scooter might have either solid ones or air-filled ones (pneumatic). Wheels with solid spokes are unusual. There is no risk of a flat tyre with solid wheels, and they cannot be punctured. The ride quality would suffer due to the solid wheels’ inability to dampen out shocks and vibrations.
That’s why reliable suspenders are a standard feature of scooters with sturdy wheels. While air-filled tyres offer a more comfortable ride, they also occasionally go flat and need to be repaired. This is why scooters with air tyres typically do not feature suspenders.
In addition, the rubber produces increased friction against the ground when the tyres are inflated with air. They can be inflated or deflated to achieve different levels of speed and handling. There is a wide variety of wheel styles and sizes available.
Normal street wheels are smoother and provide a quicker ride, whereas off-road wheels with perforations and holes are better suited to traversing rocky or uneven ground. Many modern scooters have the capability to use both street and dirt tyres. Some aspects of your scooter will also depend on the tyre size you choose.
A scooter with wider wheels will give you more stability, more speed, and shorter stopping distances. Negatives include lower ride comfort, longer battery life, and more wear and tear. For the most part, the scooter’s tyres will be designed specifically for that purpose.
A rarer type of scooter has a single solid wheel and one pneumatic tyre. Some scooters have the option of solid or pneumatic tyres, and tyre changes are usually straightforward. Most models, however, do not make this option available, so you are usually stuck with what you initially select.
How Does Suspension in Electric Scooters Work?
The wheels on some scooters are equipped with suspension systems, making the ride more comfortable and reducing vibrations. To make up for the electric scooter’s lessened stability and comfort caused by its solid tyres, this feature is frequently included in packages.
The typical suspensions on scooters are spring arm or hydraulic. Springs are less complex than other suspension systems but yet serve many vehicles effectively. Because of the added complexity of using hydraulic fluid in the dampers, only the highest-end scooters include hydraulic suspension systems.
How Do Electric Scooter Screens and Controls Work?
Many modern electric scooters feature a single power button, and an LCD screen mounted centrally on the handlebars. The right handlebar of most scooters is equipped with a circular gadget.
The display will serve multiple purposes for you. Depending on how many times you touch it and for how long, it can:
- You may toggle the scooter’s driving mode by turning it on and off beside the battery percentage and display other pertinent facts about the scooter. In the absence of a brake lever, the only controls on a scooter are the on/off button and the throttle. Rather than using a touchscreen, some scooters require a key to activate.
- The scooter can include an optional horn or bell to alert pedestrians and motorists.
Electric Scooter Deck
Several characteristics can be assigned to the deck.
- The size of the surface is the most glaring. Typically, their length will be about 40 centimeters (cm), and their breadth will be anywhere from 10 to 20 cm (cm). Comfort and security depend on the deck’s size.
- People who are taller than average or who have wider feet may have difficulty riding certain scooters because the decks are excessively narrow.
- The height of the deck, or how much above ground it is, is another significant aspect.
- This is the scooter’s “ground clearance,” another term for how high off the ground it sits.
- To maintain equilibrium and cross obstacles of varying heights, you’ll need adequate clearance.
- A higher center of gravity, for instance, makes you less stable on your scooter, but it also means you won’t touch sidewalks with your deck and might be able to ride over some without stopping.
- And last but not least, some scooters have decks that are extremely sticky, so your feet will have a better time staying put. A deck with rubber bumps, sandpaper-like material, or some other anti-slip treatment is a terrific addition.
Electric Scooter Handlebars
When riding an electric scooter, you steer with the handlebars. You can utilize them to make sharp directional changes. The handlebar height of some practical scooters may be adjusted so that it is comfortable for riders of varying heights.
The ends of the handlebars, the parts you grip, are often protected by rubber or silicon on most scooters. You need these to have a good grip and not be slippery so that your rides are safe.
A throttle button is typically found on the right side of a vehicle, while a brake lever if any, is located on the left. The display is typically positioned in the center of the handlebar.
The throttle is typically located on the right side of the handlebars and the brake on the left, making it difficult for left-handed riders.
Electric Scooter Lights
Almost all models of electric scooters have a built-in LED headlight, and some even have a brake-activated rear light.
Some scooters may only have dim lighting because powering the lights takes up so much juice. LED lights on the sides or underneath the deck are a feature of several scooter models.
How Do Electric Scooters Get Charged?
Even though charging an electric scooter’s battery is easy, there are a few things you can do to make the process more efficient and extend the battery’s and scooter’s lifespan:
- Charge your scooter in a cool, dry place at room temperature.
- Use only the original charger, and
- Never let the battery die completely.
What Are Electric Scooters Made Of?
Aluminum or carbon fibre frames are common for electric scooters, and sometimes both materials are used. The motors are consistently fabricated from metals like copper and steel.
Rubber, plastic, silicone, and various metals are also used in the construction of electric scooters. Check out the post on the composition of electric scooters if you’re curious about the components of these vehicles.
How to Perform Electric Scooter Maintenance?
Electric scooters are low-maintenance transportation options. The only thing you have to be concerned about is keeping your battery charged and not letting it die completely.
Even if you aren’t riding the scooter, you shouldn’t let the battery die completely. Your scooter needs to be taken to a repairman if you have a significant problem, such as if it won’t power on, run, or charge. While you can do some troubleshooting on your own, it’s best to leave more serious problems to a professional.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How Does an Electric Scooter Work?
When a rider twists the throttle on the handlebar, the controller reacts by commanding the battery to send electric energy to the motor, which is mounted on the hub of the wheels. The motor uses this energy to rotate the gear which then moves the wheels of the electric scooter forward.
Brushed and Brushless Motors
There are two types of commonly used DC motors: Brushed motors and brushless motors (or BLDC motors). As their names imply, DC brushed motors have brushes, which are used to commutate the motor to cause it to spin. Brushless motors replace the mechanical commutation function with electronic control.
Types of E-Scooter Motors and How They Work
There are three main types of electric scooter motors: hub motors, belt drives, and gear drives. Hub motors are the most common type of motor, and they are reliable and easy to maintain. Belt drives are more efficient than hub motors, and they produce less noise than hub motors.
How Does a Scooter Work?
When the rider uses the throttle, electric signals go from the throttle through wires to the controller, which instructs the battery to release electric energy to one or two motors in the wheels. The motor transforms that energy into a movement of the wheels, and the scooter moves forward.