Can electric scooters go uphill?
- September 15, 2023
- Edited: December 27, 2023
Electric scooters are an ideal mode of transport for short urban commutes. But how are they at climbing hills? Do most electric scooters have enough power for steep inclines, or do riders end up pushing scooters up hills more often than not?
As is often the case, the answer depends – on the make, model, and components of the scooter, the weight of the rider, and other factors such as wind speed, terrain, tires, etc.
Fortunately, there are many electric scooters that can go uphill on the market, and even scooters capable of climbing steep hills with ease. In this post, we'll look at how electric scooters work, discuss what factors to consider if you're looking for an electric scooter that can go uphill easily, and list some of the best electric scooters for climbing hills.
An Overview of an Electric Scooter Motor and Battery
Electric scooters use two major components; a motor and a battery. A robust motor is necessary to ensure an electric scooter can handle rough terrain and inclines. The motor provides the necessary torque, or rotational force, to power the wheel's rotational movement.
A motor’s power is measured in Watts, a number representing how much torque a scooter can produce. The higher the Watts, the greater the possible amount of torque for better uphill movement.
The battery must also produce enough power to match the output of the motor otherwise riders may find themselves losing significant power when going uphill. Energy-dense, high-quality batteries are essential for electric scooters to travel reliably up hills and should be able to maintain a high power output for extended periods of time.
A good motor and battery combination will ensure that electric scooters can handle most hills without issue at low speeds. An electric scooter with two high-Watt motors and a powerful battery can even climb steep hills without a significant loss in speed.
Single motor electric scooters, whether their motor is mounted in the front or rear wheel, often struggle to climb steep hills or even stop altogether and require a push. This is especially true of single-motor electric scooters with motors rated at 500W or less.
Single-motor scooters with more powerful motors of 1000W and above can usually climb hills without difficulty, but they continue to lose speed as the grade increases.
Dual-motor scooters, on the other hand, tend to be much better at climbing hills. This is true even when the two motors are relatively low-wattage.
For example, a scooter that has two 250W motors for a total of 500 Watts will in general be a much better hill climber than a single-motor scooter with the same rated motor power.
Electric scooters that can go uphill at high speeds is another story.
And yet, when two powerful motors combine with a large, powerful battery, the result is high performance scooters like the Apollo Phantom or Apollo Pro, premium scooters with grippy tires and suspension that can tackle pretty much any kind of terrain thrown at them and keep moving, fast.
When climbing, an electric scooter must carry the combined weight of its own frame and the rider. The total load of both can be a few hundred pounds, depending.
Of course lighter riders will have an easier time cruising uphill, and riders who are very slight may not actually need the power and torque of a dual motor scooter.
On the other hand, riders who are larger or heavier will definitely want to look at a scooter with more powerful dual motors and a high weight limit.
When it comes to climbing hills with an electric scooter, there are a few different tips and tricks that can help improve performance. The first tip is to make sure the battery is fully charged. A fully-charged battery will give the scooter a better chance of going uphill successfully.
Secondly, if you are riding a single motor scooter with a rear-mounted motor, moving closer to the front of the scooter will help increase its speed slightly.
Thirdly, operate the scooter with smooth, steady movements. Focusing on a consistent, gentle acceleration will give the scooter the best chance of going up the hill successfully without slowing to a crawl.
Finally, since rider weight is also a factor in hill-climbing performance, you may want to leave the heavy backpack at home and travel as light as possible if you're out on a ride with lots of inclines.
While most e scooters can tackle a 10-20% grade, steeper hills require more torque, and thus more power, to climb. If you live in an area where you'll be doing a lot of hill climbing on your ride, you'll definitely want a powerful dual-motor scooter that can handle serious inclines and rougher terrain.
While electric scooter motors have become more and more powerful in the past few years, they are still subject to overheating. Trying to push lower-powered scooters up extreme inclines at their top speed can potentially overheat the motor or even , in the worst cases, start a fire.
Most scooter manufacturers will list the max incline in their specs (you can find all max inclines on Apollo Scooters in the compare scooters page). Taking on hills that are way too steep for the scooter, and exceeding the optimal incline rate, the slow acceleration that works best on hills, can cause serious damage to your ride.
When choosing an electric scooter that can climb hills there are several things you'll want to look for -- including, of course, the motor power and battery capacity.
You'll also want to check out the tires. Knobbier, all-terrain tires for off-road use can often perform better on hills, especially if you're riding on rougher pavement or gravel.
Finally, an electric scooter that can go uphill at speed will almost have two motors, one in each wheel, giving it enough combined torque to conquer gravity while carrying a human being.
Heavier riders or those with a desire to maintain a high uphill speed, will want to look into purchasing a more powerful model like the new, dual motor Apollo Rover or the Apollo Pro, with its over 3500W of combined motor power (continuous), the Pro can take on pretty much any road surface and carry any rider.
The dual motor Rover, City Pro, Pro, Phantom V3, and Apollo Ghost all excel at climbing hills. With high capacity batteries and high-wattage dual motors, these are some of the best hill climbers on the market, as well as some of the most exciting and comfortable rides.
Can electric scooters climb hills? The simple answer is, yes, in most cases, they can. Can they climb steep hills without slowing to a crawl, stopping, or overheating and shutting down? For the most hilly terrain, you'll need a scooter built for the job.
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