There is a problem known as the last mile problem. It is the idea that the last mile of any journey in a city is a problem. We feel that electric scooters, electric skateboards, and standard skateboards can help to alleviate that issue. Which one though is the best for you to use?
We will start by looking at electric scooters and electric skateboards, and then we will come back to the ordinary skateboard. We believe they all can solve the journey problem though. You can get all of them on public transport or in the boot of your car, and they can then be used to conquer the last mile easily.
What is faster an e-scooter or e-skateboard?
Let us start at the question we all want the answer to, is an electric scooter faster than an electric skateboard. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the fastest speed ever gone on an electric skateboard is 59.55 mph. At that speed, you would finish your final mile in a minute, but it might not be the safest manner in which to complete the journey.
There hasn’t been an electric scooter record set yet. So, if you want to see one, it might be time to go and set the record yourself. There is though a Motability scooter record of almost 110 mph. I would love to see someone hit that speed on an e-scooter.
In production electric skateboards the two fastest are the Blink Qu4tro and the Boosted Stealth. The Blink can get up to 23 mph, and the Boosted goes an extra mile per hour faster. It does cost you double though to get that extra mph.
Electric scooter wise it looks to be the Nanrobot D5+ that is the fastest. The D5+ has a reputed top speed of 55 mph. Electric scooters then are capable of going twice as fast as electric skateboards. A good reason for this will be their mobility.
What is easier to move around on?
Electric scooters are easier to ride than electric skateboards. You have a nice safe handle to hold onto, and that brings you a lot of confidence. I don’t think it should breed the confidence to ride the Nanrobot at 55 mph down a crowded city street though.
You would also have to be supremely confident in your abilities to ride an e-skateboard at over 20 mph down a city street as well. You might though prefer the skateboard as you can surf down the sidewalk and feel at one with yourself and your surroundings.
What is cheaper an e-scooter or e-skateboard?
As you can probably guess our super-fast versions of e-scooters and e-skateboards are expensive. The Nanrobot costs a few hundred dollars more than we would pay for an average e-scooter. In a previous article, we worked out that the best price point for buying an e-scooter was around $350.
Electric skateboards all cost a bit more than electric scooters. We would be looking at around $500 to get a decent electric scooter. The Boosted mentioned above comes in at about 3 x that price and more than double the price of the Nanrobot e-scooter.
The reason for the higher price is that electric skateboards are a much smaller market than e-scooters. E-scooters have much larger economies of scale. The more e-scooters that are made, the lower the price becomes. As e-skateboards are harder to ride, fewer people are buying them, and the price is staying higher.
Which one is more practical?
Once you fold an e-scooter for storage, it will have a similar footprint to that of an e-skateboard. Both are able to be easily carried on public transport and hidden away in the corner of the office if you use either to commute on.
You’ll find that most e-scooters have pneumatic tires and e-skateboards are still using urethane wheels. Pneumatic tires will help you to roll over rough and uneven ground. They will deal easily with cracks in the sidewalk or local roads.
Urethane wheels, even ones as soft as those on electric skateboards, don’t find it as easy to get over bumps. A stone in the wrong place and a lack of attention can be an excellent way to get a free flying lesson. You will also feel a lot more of the road through your feet. These vibrations can make an e-skateboard feel more of a chore than a pleasure at times.
Practicality wise the e-scooter has the advantage, and it is easier to ride. There may be those nice summer days when cruising on an e-skateboard is an absolute pleasure and will make you wonder why you ever bought an e-scooter. You have bought one of each, right?
How much maintenance do I have to do?
The good thing about urethane wheels is that you’ll never get a puncture. With your electric scooter’s pneumatic tires this is a different story. You will want to check your tires weekly to make sure they are up to pressure and that you have no flints sticking in your tires.
If you keep your tires up to pressure, the correct pressure will be written on the tire’s sidewall; you’ll limit your chances of punctures. Carrying a puncture repair outfit and mini-pump in your bag will also limit your chances of needing to fix a flat tire on a trip.
Besides your tires, electric scooters and skateboards will require about the same maintenance, which is to say virtually none. You’ll want to keep your electric motors clean, check your wheel bearings, and make sure nothing is damaged. Pretty simple really.
Electric scooter versus a non-electric skateboard
We have looked at the differences between electric scooters and electric skateboards so what about non-electric skateboards. The first thing I will do is clarify the type of skateboard. We are not going to compare the e-scooter with penny boards or freestyle skateboards.
Penny boards are pretty awful for cruising any serious distance. Yeah, they look cool, but they suck. We won’t be looking at freestyle boards as they have hard urethane wheels that are usually small. These wheels are great for doing tricks with but will let you feel every crack in the sidewalk.
We are going to compare an e-scooter to a longboard. Longboards do not necessarily have to be longer than freestyle skateboards. The “long” comes from the fact they have a long wheelbase. They don’t need the long nose and tail of trick skateboards.
The long wheelbase is also what you’ll find on electric skateboards. The reason for the long wheelbase is that your board becomes more stable. Allowing you to surf the road on the way to work. In the electric skateboard, it also helps to fit the motor and battery in.
Which is faster?
Again the skateboard has a world record. The fastest speed ever gone on a skateboard is 91.17 mph. Admittedly it was set down the side of a mountain and not pushing through city traffic. The point here is that a battery or a motor don’t limit you.
You’re only limited by yourself. You can very likely push at a comfortable 10 mph on a skateboard around your city. That speed will seem plenty enough, and you’ll have time to take in the sights.
Is a skateboard easier to carry?
Your skateboard will take up as much room like an electric skateboard or scooter. There is one big advantage though. A non-electric skateboard does not have a motor or battery attached to it. You’ll be saving a lot of weight by not having to carry them around as well.
What should I pay?
You’ll obviously be saving a lot of money by not having to pay for a battery or motor, and you can find good skateboards from $100 upwards. You will also not have to pay to keep it charged during the year. It may even help stop you from having to pay for the gym.
Which is more practical?
The skateboard is just as practical as both the e-scooter or the e-skateboard. Unless you are unfit and need to get somewhere in a hurry, if you leave going to work till the last minute you’ll be better off with one of the battery-powered options.
Does a skateboard need maintenance?
You’ll again not have a lot of maintenance to do. You’ll practically have none to do if you just leave your bearings in until they die. If you don’t want to check tires and motors, then the simple skateboard might just be your option.
If your time-strapped and want a more environmental form of transport than a car, an electric scooter is a great option. It will get you to and from work at a decent pace and will hardly take up any room in your house.
If you fancy surfing the city your way to work, then the e-skateboard would be a great choice. It will hopefully have you smiling for the rest of your day. If you want to save money and still surf the city, then the humble skateboard will be the best option for you.
All 3 of our options though will eliminate the last mile problem.