What to look for in terms of speed, range, weight, charging time, durability
When regarding such elements, you will need to take into consideration a few questions:
1. What should I look for regarding speed?
When speaking of speed, consider that you will require to fall within the speed limits, to not place yourself and others at risk. Thus, you won’t need more than 20 miles/ 32 km/h top speeds, which is what most e-scooters are capable of.
2. How do potholes influence e-scooters?
Regarding potholes, the main issues lie with the tires’ life-span and suspension. Check my in-depth article on tires and how they work in different environments.
3. How often do I need to repair it?
When speaking of repairs, it mostly boils down to flat tires; however, always having tools/spare tires/repair kits available is a must. And by repair kits, I mean basic essential tools such as hex keys, rubber to cut and a small torch to patch your wheels, a wheel inflator. Repair kits are usually tailored toward wheel repairs since they are arguably the only vulnerable parts that can be repaired by yourself.
Check my other article on e-scooter tires for an in-depth guide on wheel types, removal and repairs.
The process of delivering with an electric scooter
Here is a video with the full process of delivering food with a Xiaomi Mi M365 electric scooter:
Return on investment delivering with an e-scooter
When considering an e-scooter for such a job, you will want to know if it is ultimately worth it financially. And it mostly is. However, you will want to check the prices, speeds, charge and range, build, etc.
The best e-scooter range at full charge currently achieved by an e-scooter, like it is the case with the Dualtron Ultra, tops all charts at a whopping 80 miles or 130 km. However, the price is about 3,200$, without shipping and accessories. Such a distance, although it seems huge, could still be insufficient for a day’s worth of food deliveries.
The nice thing here is that their fuel, electricity, is really cheap. So, your return-on-investment calculations will mostly involve the initial prices and any other possible repair/replacement along the road. This means that you will require to add only their price (scooter and/or batteries), safety gear, some tools, lock, and lights (if not attached from the factory) when calculating your return.
Furthermore, the benefit of removable batteries is that when one is in use, the others can be left to charge. And, unlike big names on the market, they usually require somewhere between 3 to 6 hours for a full charge.
For more info on e-scooters with removable batteries, check my article on the subject, here.
How much money will you make delivering vs cost of the scooter?
This depends entirely on how much you are making. A crude, yet efficient calculation should go like this (with The Turboant X7 as an example):
The scooter (600$) + 3 batteries (200$) + accessories -helm, pads, tools, lights, lock – (about 150$) = 1350$ (one time purchase)
With a minimum wage of 7.25$/h for 8 h = 58$ daily (without tips). 58$ daily for 261 legal workdays in a year = 15,138$ / 12 months = 1,261.5$. Thus, you will almost cover an entire purchase with one months’ worth of minimum wage.
When compared to others:
Walking: walking is free, but not profitable since you cover very few areas in a long time.
Cars: the most expensive of the bunch: 1.46$ (at the moment of writing) per gallon (3.78541 liters of fuel). Depending on car consumption, traffic, and others, you will still lose a lot of money, since most food services expect you to use your own car. And this means you are to provide your own fuel, insurance, repairs, etc. Not worth it.
Bike: like e-scooters, including repairs and no batteries involved, but without energy consumption. More profitable overall, but also more tedious.
Ability to lock them
The more expensive they are, the more you will need to use at least one type of protection. Having a 500$ e-scooter stolen is bad, but a 2000+$ one gone? It is beyond bad. Thus, next to any purchase, you will have to make sure that you will apply the most efficient protection mechanisms for your best interest.
Unfortunately, most e-scooters do not come with an integrated locking mechanism out of the factory/sellers depo. And going over this statement, should you have an expensive scooter that came with a lock, you should consider ditching it.
Most locks that come with scooters are decent, don’t get me wrong, although they are not of the greatest quality. Most sellers specialize in the e-scooters themselves. And you will want to choose only what is best.
And what are a few dollars in addition, for your added peace of mind? For an in-depth analysis of what to use, what advantages different methods present and other such gimmicks, check out my previous article on e-scooter protection and safety.
Ability to carry them
When regarding their ability to be easily transported and stored, you are in luck. Most e-scooters out there are foldable, and when folded, even when talking of tall e-scooters, will not occupy much space. And I am talking here of *under the bed/chair* kind of required space.
This also points toward the aforementioned ability to lock them. The greatest danger with e-scooters lies with the riders’ lack of attention. With most e-scooters being kick, and not key activated, a single moment of laxity can lead it to be stolen without you noticing.
Most e-scooters are relatively low/medium-weight, at an average of 27 lbs/12 kg. And there are multiple, practical ways to carry your e-scooter. They are:
- Rain-proof bags, since they are large enough to fit most scooters out there.
- *Strap-on to carry* belts; attach them to the opposite ends of the scooter and to carry it on your shoulders.
- Attached cases/backpacks. Just fold them and grab the case as you would normally/wear it on your back. Carry your stuff and the scooter in one go! Just make sure you get one that fits your scooter
- Add handles to your e-scooter to easily carry them by hand.
For more in-depth info, check my other article on the best methods to carry an e-scooter.
The top 3 e-scooters for the job
Taking from both pools of e-scooters, meaning with and without replaceable batteries, here are the best 5 to consider:
1. The Turboant X7 (with removable battery)
A great user-reviewed e-scooter. For a price-tag of under 600$, it comes with many more features (compared to others at this price bracket). They include things such as:
- suspensions (they usually come at higher price-tags);
- a short 3-4 hour charge time ;
- a small and easy to maneuver deck and handle; furthermore, it is small and easy to carry when folded;
- an easy to remove battery (flip and take);
- it also has a LED battery indicator (5 lines);
- a sturdy aluminum build;
- a powerful motor, capable of going on 15 degree inclines, even when holding more than 250 lbs/113 kg.
2. The Qiewa Q1Hummer (fixed battery)
Another great pick. However, despite its 1.400$ price tag, it brings great features such as:
- 65 miles/100 km range;
- A whooping capacity of 550 lbs/250 kg, including the all too powerful ability to climb 35-degree angles;
- Incredible speed and range; according to one Amazon reviewer: ”Third gear is downright scary!”;
- A sturdy, long-lived build for both its body and components;
- A short 3-4 hour charge time, but with high power consumption as higher speed-modes;
- Small, yet maneuverable deck and handlebar.
3. The Swagger 5 City Commuter (fixed battery)
Last, but not least, an incredibly cheap (for an e-scooter) model, at about 300$, which comes with:
- A great, sturdy build;
- Good power, speed and ability to climb 20-degree inclines;
- Comes with integrated lights;
- A large hand brake for a good grip;
- A decent range, top speed, and climbing angle;
- A high weight capacity, despite its supposed ”flimsiness”.