Investing in an electric scooter for commuting will save you money. Even better news is that they need very little in the way of attention, maintenance or servicing. The reliability of the electric scooter is one of its many attractions. Here’s how you can keep it looking and riding great.
An incredibly important component, understanding your battery and how to take care of it will help lengthen its life. That said, the 36v 6.4ah lithium battery on our electric scooter will last for many years before it needs replacing.
The two biggest killers of your electric scooter battery are temperature and age.
Changes in temperature affect electrics and also affect the performance of your scooter battery. The e-scooter battery is similar to the so-called intelligent batteries found in your smartphone, laptop or smartwatch. Leaving these items in the freezer or in full sun can lead to the battery malfunctioning (hence, we don’t suggest you do any of the above!).
Lithium batteries, like all batteries including acid-filled car batteries and the more modern gel-filled batteries, function best at ambient or room temperature. A steady temperature of around 20℃ gives optimal performance although a lithium battery operates fairly well up to around 27℃, a temperature range well-within the usual British climate. Cold kills the battery too. At -18℃, a lithium battery operates at 50% of its performance at normal temperature.
The reason why is all down to resistance and conductivity, something that heat and coldness affects. If you want to get really in-depth with the technical stuff, you could hop on over the Battery University, a font of all knowledge on extending the life of the battery, the lithium scooter battery included.
If you keep your scooter outdoors in a shed or other area, when winter hits, throw over an old blanket to keep the worst of the cold from getting to the battery. If temperatures drop below zero, it’s worth bringing your scooter indoors.
Don’t leave it in full sun or a hot place in the summer, either because you may find that the hot battery doesn’t give the same mileage that it normally does.
When the battery ages, it becomes less efficient. That said, battery experts don’t put a time-bar on batteries because how well they weather aging is don to use as well as changes in temperature.
The health of a lithium battery is measured in capacity. And the reason why experts can’t put a definitive figure on how long a lithium battery will last is because it depends on the nature of the discharge and charge cycle. Most lithium batteries will last for between 300 and 500 cycles of charging and discharge.
Every time you use your scooter, you discharge some or all of the battery and then you’ll charge just enough to put this charge back in. How well the battery charges and discharges are dependent on temperature, as we have already seen, and because temperature continually fluctuates, the depth of discharge and charging of the battery fluctuates too.
Looking after your battery
In practice, what does all this really mean? It means you need to try to keep your scooter at ambient temperature - not too cold and not too hot - and look after the lithium battery by;
- Allowing it to completely discharge every now and then
- Removing the charger when the battery is full
- And only placing it on charge when the battery needs a boost
- If you don’t use your scooter for 3 months or so, plug it in to give the battery a charge will keep it in good condition
- Store in a cool place, not too cold and not too hot.
Essentially, the rechargeable lithium battery on electric scooters performs better and lasts longer with regular use.
Second on the maintenance list are the scooter tyres. Just like on a car or bike, underinflated tyres make journeys hard work and also place extra stress on the machine, specifically in this case the battery and motor.
Check the tyre pressure on your e-scooter regularly – check the instructions supplied as this will tell you the optimum tyre pressure (it’s listed as a digit followed by PSI). Don’t overinflate the tyres, something many people do assuming that they won’t have the repeat the exercise very often. Overinflating scooter tyres damage them, just as riding it with underinflated tyres does.
Even with daily use, you’ll find the tough tyres on the e-scooter last a long time and so you have few worries about finding the cash to buy yourself a new set.
However, as much as you try, there is one thing that you can never predict – punctures. As you scoot along city pavements, you may pick up a sharp object that pierces the outer tyre wall, stabbing into the inner tube.
As annoying as it is, don’t carry on your journey riding the scooter as you will damage the wheel itself and land yourself a large bill.
However, our scooter tyres are a little different from the norm in that they don’t have an inner tube. Often referred to as vacuum sealed tyres (we’ve also seen them described as ‘no-explosion’ tyres…) the lack of inner tube filled with air means the likelihood of a paralysing puncture is rare too.
The rims and valves of the tyre are sealed. Air sits in the cavity between the wheel rim and the inside of the electric scooter tyre. With lower pressure, many die-hard scooter enthusiasts also advocate sealed tyres are better for grip too, great news for commuters scooting to work on busy London pavements.
However, should a puncture happen when riding your Elka electric scooter, we have you covered. With our top e-scooter package, a snip at £1.65 a day, help with punctures and mishaps are just a call away.
With a simple braking system, there is very little that can go wrong. How long your brakes last before they need replacing depends on how often you use your scooter and your braking habits.
Electric scooters will have either an electric braking system or a disc braking. Our Model-T electric scooter has disc brakes, an option we decided on because of the significant advantages;
Rear action braking is also the safer option because it pulls you back rather than stops you by pushing you back from the front, which is what would happen if there were front brakes on the electric scooter.
Maintaining your brakes is a case of being aware of how you use them and what you can do to improve your braking action. Try to ensure that braking is smooth and gentle, avoid sharp braking an emergency stops unless you really have to. As robust as your electric scooter may be, the way you use it is important too.
There are a few hills in London, although of course, the terrain differs from one city to another. The electric scooter is a humble piece of kit that packs a punch and copes admirably with most types of terrain.
However, straining it uphill on a regular basis places the battery, tyres and braking system under stress, just as carrying heavy weight, such as overloaded bags, does too.
Keeping your tyres at the correct pressure, braking gently, avoiding hilly jaunts and rough surfaces will help to maintain your electric scooter for commuting in tip-top condition, minimising hassle and breakdowns.
Thankfully, there are no expensive pieces of power washing kit needed nor trips to automated car washes because keeping your e-scooter clean takes no more than a wet cloth.
Taking mere minutes to wipe over, cleaning your electric scooter won’t be at the top of your must-do list come the weekend but dirt is abrasive. Giving your scooter a wipe over keeps it looking great but also protects things like the joints.
There are very few moving, mechanical parts to an electric scooter meaning there is less to malfunction. However, from the folding joint on the handlebars to the wheel axles, a periodic greasing with a high-quality lubricant keeps everything running smoothly.
Lubrication not only greases joints, it protects them too. Rust is problematic for some metals, especially iron. Our scooters are lightweight aluminium but some of the joints and fixings are made from iron, a robust metal that is robust and incredibly hard wearing. But it has an enemy: rust, a form of corrosion caused by water.
Aluminium protects itself by forming a top layer of aluminium oxide. It looks unsightly, however, and not something you want languishing on your scooter.
As a result, our scooters are coated with a tough, durable polymer paint, a process that is used on bikes and other piece of equipment.
Helping you in maintaining your electric scooter for commuting in great shape, lubricating joints protects from rust too.
Aside from keeping your scooter at an ambient temperature, keeping it dry is a must too.
And finally, your scooter will tell you if there is a problem. Electric scooters for commuting are quiet, barely raising an audible whisper from the lithium battery as you scoot along between the tube and the office.
If it's clanking, whining or making any kind of audible sound it’s telling you there is something wrong. All it probably needs is a quick service and you’ll be on your way in no time.
Hassle-free commuting in London
Commuting itself is a nuisance. A frantic start and end to your day, plagued with delays and stress. An electric scooter is an effective solution to minimising the drudgery of the daily commuting grind. Look after it – it doesn’t take much - and it will provide you with a reliable mode of transport on a daily basis.