Navigating Electric Scooter Certifications and Requirements

Navigating Electric Scooter Certifications and Requirements

When you’re comparison-shopping for an electric scooter, you might feel like there are a lot of numbers thrown at you: motor wattage and battery watt hours, to top speed and range. Deciphering these is easy if you’re already familiar with these specifications. If not, they are an easily surmountable challenge: you can get caught up on the technical jargon with any of the guides on this blog. 

But many fewer people have familiarity with another series of numbers you might come across: the certifications and testing requirements specified by industry authorities and governing bodies. These include certifications from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), and many other acronyms we’ll explain below!

Electric scooter laws in Canada 2024

Understanding UL Certification

One of the most important certifications to look for when purchasing an electric scooter is UL certification. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, an independent safety science company that tests and certifies products for safety. UL certification ensures that the electric scooter has undergone rigorous testing to meet safety standards.

UL certification covers battery and electrical system safety and overall construction. By choosing an electric scooter with UL certification, you are choosing a product that has met strict safety requirements, and reducing your risk of accidents and malfunctions.

When it comes to battery safety, UL certification ensures testing of the battery's capacity, voltage, and charging capabilities to prevent overheating and potential fire hazards. With a UL-certified scooter, consumers can be confident in the reliability and safety of their electric scooter's power source.

Moreover, UL certification evaluates the scooter’s electrical system to guarantee that it meets industry standards for wiring insulation and overall electrical safety. This testing process helps identify and eliminate the potential risk of short circuits, electrical shocks, and other failures that could pose a danger to riders.

Electric scooters and other electric vehicles with UL ratings conform to laws passed in New York City that mandate certification. These laws could become standard elsewhere as they can reduce the number of fires caused by defective, poorly-tested electric scooters and e-bikes.

What is UL2272?

UL2272 is a specific UL certification that focuses on the electrical system and battery of personal electric mobility devices, including electric scooters. This certification signifies that a scooter's electrical components have undergone extensive testing to prevent hazards such as overheating, short circuits, and explosions.

To obtain UL2272 certification, electric scooters need to undergo rigorous testing, including thermal cycling, and overcharge, impact, and vibration tests. A UL 2272 certification provides reassurance that the scooter's electrical system meets the highest safety standards, reducing the risk of fire-related incidents.

UL2272 certification also takes into account the impact of electric scooters on the environment. Manufacturers seeking this certification must demonstrate compliance with strict guidelines regarding the materials used in the construction of the scooter, ensuring they are environmentally-friendly and sustainable.

Furthermore, UL2272 certification requires ongoing monitoring and quality control to maintain compliance with safety standards, including inspections and audits to verify that the electric scooters continue to meet the stringent requirements set forth by UL.

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FCC, DOT, UL, ETL, CSA, IC, and International Certifications

In addition to UL certification, there are several certifications relevant to electric scooters. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification ensures that the scooter's wireless technology adheres to electromagnetic interference (EMI) regulations. This certification ensures that the scooter's wireless signals will not interfere with other electronic devices like phones and tablets. 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) certification focuses on the safety of transportation devices, including electric scooters. This certification guarantees that the scooter meets requirements for road use, such as proper lighting, reflectors, and braking systems. By obtaining DOT certification, manufacturers demonstrate their commitment to producing electric scooters that meet or exceed road safety standards.

ETL, CSA, and IC certifications are also important, as they ensure compliance with safety standards for electrical components used in electric scooters. The ETL certification, in particular, signifies that a scooter's electrical components have been tested and verified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) for compliance with North American safety standards. 

A CSA certification indicates that the scooter meets Canadian safety requirements, while the IC certification ensures electromagnetic compatibility with Canadian regulations.

IEC Testing

When it comes to international certifications, buyers may see an International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) test report. This report verifies compliance with international safety standards, and may be required for scooters intended for global use. 

By obtaining the IEC certification, manufacturers demonstrate that their electric scooters meet the stringent safety and performance criteria required for international markets. IEC testing includes specific standards for safety, interoperability, performance, EMI emissions, and environmental suitability. 

Battery Certifications


Batteries are the power station of an electric scooter, and sometimes the source of serious risk, so it’s also important to pay attention to battery certifications. One certification to look for in particular is UL2271, which focuses specifically on the safety of lithium-ion batteries used in light vehicles like scooters.

UL2271 certification shows the scooter's battery has undergone thorough testing to mitigate risks from overheating or malfunction. The testing involves subjecting the battery to temperature cycling, vibration, impact, and crush tests, which simulate real-world scenarios to ensure the battery's safety under actual riding conditions.

UN/DOT 38.3 and IEC 62133

Other battery certifications like UN/DOT 38.3 and IEC 62133 are recognized standards for the transportation and performance of lithium-ion batteries, respectively. UN/DOT 38.3 ensures that batteries can be safely transported, while IEC 62133 certification focuses on their performance and reliability.

UN/DOT 38.3 certification involves subjecting the battery to tests like altitude simulation, vibration, shock, and external short circuit tests. This testing is meant to verify whether the battery can withstand the rigors of transport portation without posing any risks. 

An IEC 62133, like a UL2271 certification, evaluates the battery's performance, including its capacity, cycle life, and safety features.

E-scooters for adults

Certifications and Testing: Summing Up

By choosing an electric scooter with these additional certifications, you can have even more confidence in the safety and quality of the battery. These certifications further validate the manufacturer's commitment to producing electric scooters that meet the highest standards of safety and performance.

It’s not necessary for every scooter to have all of these certifications, since many of these governing bodies perform the same tests. However, by understanding and considering certifications, you can confidently choose an electric scooter that meets the necessary safety requirements, and you can minimize the risks of overheating, malfunction, and electrical failure.

Reading next

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Table of contents

    1. Understanding UL Certification
    2. What is UL2272?
    3. FCC, DOT, UL, ETL, CSA, IC, and International Certifications
    4. IEC Testing
    5. Battery Certifications
    6. UL2271
    7. UN/DOT 38.3 and IEC 62133
    8. Certifications and Testing: Summing Up