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The Third Wheel

Group of people riding 3 wheel electric scooters together


— Cycleboard Editorial Team

How Electric Scooters Work: What Owners Should Know

If you've recently bought an electric scooter, or are getting ready to pull the trigger, you've probably asked yourself - how does an electric scooter work?

These are powered by a motor, and you'll use the acceleration throttle and brake controls located on the handlebars. But if you're a bit more interested in the science behind these, you're in luck. Today, we're going to take a look under the hood of electric scooters so you can gain a better understanding of how they work. We'll talk about the electric motors these are powered by along with how to operate them.

Let's begin!

How Exactly Do Electric Scooters Work?

The electric scooter is gaining popularity as more and more adults realize that these things aren't just for fun anymore. They are a viable means of transportation if you have a shorter commute to and from work. Those living in the city have realized that taking daily taxis or Ubers is too expensive. But, sitting in your own personal car waiting in traffic isn't much better.

With a quality electric scooter, though, you can zip around the city with ease - and have fun doing it along the way! With top speeds over 25MPH and ranges up to 40 miles, you can rely on an electric scooter to get you from point A to point B. The best part? Many of these are rated for all-terrain - so you can take them off the beaten path if you see a shortcut. You aren't limited to the street.

But, before you get yours on order, you probably want to learn a bit more about what makes the electric scooter tick. Unlike gas-powered scooters and manual kick/push scooters, electric scooters use batteries. You'll have to charge your electric scooter regularly to keep that battery topped off. Then, hop on the electric scooter deck, power it up, and use the handlebar throttle and brakes to stop and go. Turning is easy, too - with Cycleboard electric scooters, you simply lean to turn.

We'll talk more about how to actually operate your electric scooter shortly - first, let's pop open the "hood" and take a look at the motor of the electric scooter.

A Look Under The Hood At The Electric Motor


The operation of an electric scooter is pretty simple. They use batteries - typically, lithium-ion batteries. You'll find different types of rechargeable batteries from different manufacturers/models. For example - our Rover & Golf scooters implement a 60V battery - whereas the Elite Pro street scooters implement a smaller 48V battery. Let's look a bit deeper at the internal components of our Rover's battery:

The Rover's battery pack contains 96 lithium-ion cells that contribute to 1152Wh of energy. To get a bit more specific, these batteries are built using genuine LG MH1 and Samsung 35E cells. These are among the most energy-dense and reliable lithium-ion battery cells on the market.

These rechargeable batteries send power to the electric motor. This is what actually propels the electric scooter forward. In the case of Cycleboard Rover electric scooters, you'll find mighty 60v 1800w brushless silent rear hub motors. This type of motor is virtually silent, and yet provides substantial torque. This allows for quick acceleration, off-road conquering, and hill-climbing.


What About Brakes?

Now that you know what propels the e-scooter forward, let's talk about what slows it down and brings it to a stop. Everyone is concerned with speed when shopping for their electric scooter - but braking is just as important, if not more so. Being able to quickly come to a complete stop is something you should not overlook. So, how do electric scooter brakes work?

Again - this will vary depending on the specific manufacturer and model you go with. But, we'll use our Cycleboard Rover as an example once again. The braking system here implements a combination of electronic and hydraulic braking. This slows the electric hub motor down while adding stopping power through a hydraulic disc brake. The disc brake is 180mm - which is fairly large for an e-scooter. We do this to ensure you have the ability to stop on a dime.

An electric brake alone will stop your scooter, but adding the hydraulic brake adds safety and performance. To activate the hydraulic and electric brake system, you simply pull the brake lever on the handlebar.

Other Components That Make An Electric Scooter Work

Stopping and going are the main mechanisms behind electric scooters. But these two systems are married to a myriad of other components that make your electric scooter work. Here are a few other aspects that make an electric scooter work:


Wheels - there are two types of wheels you'll find on most electric scooters: air-filled pneumatic tires (great for all-terrain use) or solid wheels. These days, you'll seldom find solid wheels because they don't provide the comfort, safety, or performance most riders need. The bigger the wheels, the more performance. While you may be more familiar with the 2-wheel style scooter, 3-wheeled electric scooters are rising in popularity. This extra wheel adds a level of stability and performance that the 2-wheeled counterpart cannot match. For example, you could ride these all-terrain scooters on grass if you wanted.


Suspension systems: the best e-scooters even come with an intuitive suspension system. This allows for a smooth, comfortable ride. You won't feel the bumps and potholes nearly as much as you would on a stiff scooter. And, this suspension allows you to take your electric scooter off-road, too!


Steering systems: the steering system on e-scooters is what allows you to turn left or right. You may be used to physically turning the handlebars on your scooter to make your turns. But this technology is outdated. At Cycleboard, we've engineered a patented steering system that uses advanced lean-to-steer technology that works with the self-centering suspension springs. The scooter moves with you - if you lean to the right, it turns to the right. This creates a unique, instinctive ride, unlike anything you've experienced before.

There are other components of electric scooters too - such as the deck (what you stand on), LCD display (shows your speed, mileage, battery levels, etc.), and more. But, the components we've mentioned above are the main players that make electric scooters work.


How To Actually Operate Your Electric Scooter

Now that you know what makes electric scooters work, how do you work your electric scooter? When you hop on a Cycleboard, it's pretty simple. We even have an entire section of our website dedicated to teaching you how to ride.

We're going to quickly provide some recommendations for that first ride, though.


For a quick intro on how to get riding in just 90 seconds, visit our Learn to Ride page

Final Thoughts On How Electric Scooters Work

Now, you know how electric off-road scooters work and you know how to operate one. All that's left to do is get out there on yours and give it a try! If you don't have one yet, head over to our site and pick yours out. Trust us - there is nothing quite like riding a Cycleboard. It'll be the most fun you've ever had on three wheels! For more information on how these scooters work and how to use one, check out our help center or other resources in our blog.