Scooters are trending for a reason. They are fun to drive and make you feel like a ‘super pedestrian’. There is a certain thrill in going faster than you could before.
For those who have busy lives, they can save sizeable chunks of time. When you get off the bus and need to walk for fifteen minutes to the office, a scooter can be exactly what you need. The time it saves can be better spent with family and friends.
But which one should you choose? These light electric vehicles come in various forms: hoverboards, electric scooters, motorized scooters, electric skateboards and more.
Among all these, hoverboards and electric scooters have become the first choice of the general public.
So how are they different?
Driving a hoverboard is more intuitive rather than mechanical. There are sensors built in the body of the hoverboard. To change direction while driving, all you have to do is tilt your weight in the direction you want to go. If you happen to over speed while riding a hoverboard, it will start beeping. The footpad will push your feet back. Such sensors ensure that riders maintain the right speeds and stay safe.
On the other hand, an electric scooter has pretty much nothing in terms of smart maneuvering. You need to use the handlebar to maneuver it and change directions.
Storage and Portability
If your office is at a short distance from your home, having a personal lightweight vehicle can be a great way to commute. An electric scooter, in this case, will be heavier and hard to carry around. Although you can fold it and store it in a compact space. A hoverboard can be slid under your desk and after a long work day, just drag it out and hop on. But if you have appropriate storage, an electric scooter isn’t a bad option either.
The major advantage of an electric scooter is that when the battery dies, you can use it like a normal mechanical scooter. But with a hoverboard, there is no alternative — you will have to carry the 12-14 kg by hand.
Electric scooters are more capable in terms of performance as compared to hoverboards. This is due to how they are designed.
- Riding over Potholes
You can go over potholes and other debris with an electric scooter, but not with a hoverboard. If you usually ride on dirt roads or areas where the roads are rough, riding with a hoverboard is impossible and can lead to accidents. Hoverboard can give you a pleasant experience in well-developed and protected spaces, like skateparks.
Electric scooters can zip faster than hoverboards, making them a better alternative for regular users. For an average 6.5 inch hoverboard, the top speed is 7.5 miles per hour. However, electric scooters can get to 15.5 miles per hour. Although hoverboards can have a better pick up speed than electric scooters, they are still slower.
Electric scooters can outperform hoverboards when it comes to range, but there is a caveat. The high-performing electric scooters are usually expensive. A basic hoverboard can go up to 7.5 miles and a basic electric scooter can reach anywhere from 7.5 to 9.5 miles. Hence the electric scooter gives you more range. But to get significantly higher range, you will have to invest in more expensive models.
An electric scooter can be more expensive as compared to a hoverboard. The electric scooter has more components too, like the handlebar and its maintenance is pricier as well. If you want a long-term, reliable solution for a quick commute or even for some thrill, an electric scooter will be the better option.
A hoverboard doesn’t go over rough terrain, so it doesn’t incur any damages or need any major repair. An electric scooter, on the other hand, is often used for commuting on roads and can demand serious repair. Hence, the electric scooter is more expensive, but also more practical in the long run.
The electric scooter and hoverboard have their own pros and cons. But how easy it is to get used to them really matters for many of us. If you plan to use either one for a short commute starting next week, you won’t have the time to go through the “learning curve”.
The electric scooter is easier to get used to because of how it is designed. The handlebar and the stalk give it greater aerodynamic stability when you hold the handlebar grips on both sides. The handlebar allows you to change directions and the stomp brake allows you to stop with ease. But the hoverboard relies on how you shift your weight. The control is more subtle and hence more difficult.
Laws: Hoverboard vs Electric Scooter
The laws on hoverboards seem to be stricter than those on electric scooters. The primary reason is that you can only drive hoverboards in safe spaces where the ground is even. Moreover, if push comes to shove, you won’t be able to make a quick stop with a hoverboard. With an electric scooter however, you can bring it to a quick halt within a couple of seconds using the stomp brake.
Laws relating to hoverboard vary in each state. In New York City, however, the police have clearly declared that electric hoverboards are illegal since they are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. The person breaking this rule will have to pay a fine of up to $200.
Electric Scooter Laws
Electric Scooter laws are better defined for different states in the US. In some states, like South Carolina and Michigan, a license is required to drive an electric scooter. In other states, you need to be at least 16 years of age and wear a helmet to drive the electric scooter. In NYC, electric scooters are not allowed at all, for the same reason mentioned for hoverboards above. In West Virginia, there are no laws stated for these light electric vehicles. So take a good look at your state’s laws before you decide to take your scooter on an adventure.
Hoverboards are not meant to be driven out on the roads. They don’t have the mechanism to go through rough roads or stop quickly in case of an emergency. They are also more dangerous since there is nothing to hold on to like the handlebar in case of an electric scooter.
That said, both are fun to drive in their own domains. One is meant for safe spaces and indoors. The other is meant for short commutes — like when you need to get to the office after you get off the bus.