While not all of us own cars or find driving in busy cities impractical and unethical, more of us are looking for a more convenient, as well as affordable, way to get around. The solution for me is an electric scooter, and I love mine. But after having an unfortunate incident that involved me, my scooter, and a rainstorm, I figured it was time to upgrade to something that could withstand the moody winter season.
First, I tested out assorted at-home waterproofing methods, which met with limited success. DIY for waterproofing my scooter generally fell into the category of taping up every available surface, or hilariously, to avoid all water, which is interesting when your goal is to ride in the rain. While avoiding water certainly put my fears of waterlogging the motor to rest, it didn’t do much for getting me to work on time anywhere between October and February.
So I decided to investigate the different available models on the market, and put together a waterproof electric scooter guide including a cohesive analysis shortlist of some of the best and affordable options.
Are electric scooters waterproof?
For those of you wondering if the scooter you currently have is waterproof, the answer depends on the IP rating it has. The IP rating, or the ingress protection rating, measures what types of force your scooter is built and certified to withstand. A scooter with a higher IP rating is safe to ride in harsher climates and weather, while a scooter with a low IP rating is more likely to be adversely affected by passing dust, dirt, and moisture.
An IP rating is a two-part scoring system. They usually look like IP65 or IP36; a two-digit number pattern. These scores are not cumulative but are instead read as two different categories, 6 and 5. The first place is always denoting solid foreign objects like dust or pebbles, while the second place is specific to wet conditions such as rain droplets or puddles.
The category for dust and debris is between 0 and 6, with 6 being the highest possible rating and assuring that your electric scooter is off-road ready. The second category, specific to wet conditions, is between 0 and 9, and a 4 rating or higher implies that your scooter can withstand light water droplet exposure to 9 which is total submersion in a pool, and not particularly necessary for anyone (unless you plan on some underwater travelling!)
While the two ratings are not dependent on each other, both are important for ensuring that your scooter can provide high performance in harsher climates.
For instance, even if the e-scooter can withstand total water immersion in marshy areas, it is still vulnerable and therefore fallible to solid debris that can get kicked up into the interior. Therefore, both IP numbers must be collectively considered when gaging your scooter’s suitability to rural or more urban environments.
Check out our IP rating chart below.
Can electric scooters be used in the rain?
Generally, manufacturers recommend not using e-scooters in the rain, even if the IP rating is substantive enough to protect the scooter in case of rainy weather. This is mainly because they don’t want to cover liability issues with a waterlogged motor or parts corroding from extensive water exposure. However, even e-scooter-owners with non-waterproof scooters have been known to ignore these warnings and take their electric scooter out for a spin, with no problems.
A close buddy who inspired me to get my first e-scooter routinely goes out in mildly wet to bad weather on her non-waterproofed Xiaomi, with no bad results other than herself getting soaked!
How can I waterproof an electric scooter?
Waterproofing an electric scooter will never be as long-term a solution as a scooter designed to survive wet weather; however, it is a much cheaper way of assuring transportation, instead of replacing an otherwise acceptably functioning e-scooter. To prevent your electric scooter’s hardware from getting damaged during the winter, don’t fold it down when it’s wet, tape over holes and exposed wiring and protect the display screen with a clear cover.
Not folding the e-scooter down is a simple but effective measure to minimize water damage. When you fold your scooter in half, the water droplets converge on the handlebars and throttle, possibly damaging the display screen. Waiting for it to dry or wiping it down yourself is a small investment that goes a long way to protecting your electric scooter.
Taping up all openings is another useful and cheap way of extending the life of your scooter, without messing with the internal parts and voiding the warranty. As long as no air escapes from the opening while the scooter is running, the opening is safe to shore up, thereby preventing water from sneaking into the internal workings.
Following this vein of approach, carrying some duct tape with you and taping up the charging port is a handy trick for protecting it from sudden rainstorms. While impractical to keep it taped up all the time, having a little extra on hand prevents water droplets from ruining your port.
Finally, protecting your screen with clear tape or a clear screen is a good way to prevent water from messing with the display. All of these are temporary superficial, but effective means in extending the longevity of your e-scooter and its hardiness all year round.
Best waterproof electric scooter
I mentioned previously that I conducted a thorough search (in the name of science!) for the most commendable waterproof electric scooters on the market today. Essentially, I searched the different available models and read through the product descriptions, specs, and looked at the customer ratings and reviews, to get a thorough understanding of how the scooter was designed to perform, and how successful it was at satisfying consumer expectations.
My criteria for judging different electric scooter models were cost, speed, IP rating, warranty, and reviews, as well as the subtler details like charging time and weight.
Surprisingly, considering the obvious market niche, there aren’t that many reputable waterproofed scooter models available, as it seems that the initial marketing push was in convincing people that the electric scooter was a viable alternative to a car or a bike. However, three impressive and relatively affordable models are the RCB Electric Scooter, the Urbetter Lightweight, and the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2.
RCB Electric Scooter
The RCB Electric Scooter is a standard black electric scooter design that can get up to as high as 30km/h (18.6mph), with a maximum distance of 30km (18.6 miles) between recharges. While not the cheapest for e-scooter pricing, the RCB has a pretty standard cost, so won’t break the bank. Totalling at 11kg and a 4-hour recharge time, it has a 7.5 AH power output, meaning that if ridden at lower speeds it can conceivably last longer than the models described below.
This model has a double brake system, with a magnetic front controlled by the handlebars and a back brake that can be physically depressed to help the scooter stop within a distance of four meters. It’s also minorly regenerative, so as you brake some of your power loss is recouped.
The RCB received an IP54 rating, meaning that it is equipped to handle some ingress of dust or other small objects without suffering harm and withstand splashing water coming at it from any angle without compromising the inner workings of the overall performance of the scooter.
Finally, with generally pleased and positive reviews, the only mark against the RCB was that a few complained of the folding mechanism being a bit stiff. On the whole, an affordable and safe mode of transportation, rain or shine.
Urbetter Lightweight E-Scooter
The Urbetter Lightweight is (unsurprisingly) an easy 8kg, making it more convenient to lug around than the heavier RCB. A little slower, with a maximum speed of 25km/h (15.5mph), the diminished speed is countered by being considerably cheaper than the RCB.
On the other hand, the Urbetter has some real advantages over the RCB, namely in a shorter charging time, usually between 3 – 4 hours, and a higher IP rating. With an IP55 rating, the Urbetter Lightweight is not only equally impervious to dust and dirt as the RCB but more protected when it comes to water, even so far as to be protected from a low-pressure consistent jet and some submersion.
The Urbetter brake system is the standard two-part rear foot activated brake, and a braking system in the front, in this case, an electric braking system. These braking methods are what make the Urbetter so lightweight. You can make your own judgment call on this one; it is considerably cheaper and definitely a reasonable buy.
The braking system is obviously not as high performing as the disc or drum but is adequate in providing a reasonable braking time. The angled climb attributed to the Urbetter is approximately 15 degrees, at a pace of 10 – 15km/h (6-9mph).
With a 6AH lithium battery pack and a positive user experience, the main complaint expressed in the reviews was that sometimes the scooter arrived with a faulty part. The seller was quick and thorough in replacements refunds. Overall a good, affordable, winter-ready buy for the current and future seasons.
Xiaomi Mi Pro 2
Last but certainly not least, the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 is 12kg with a meagre 2 hour charge time. It actually functions on a KERS system, which while not operating the same as the regen braking systems, serves the same function in boosting how far the engine will take you.
Essentially, KERS uses your kinetic energy and converts it into chemical energy in your battery, so that you partially charge your battery while using it. Getting up to a smooth 20km/h (12.4mph), with the front electric and rear physical brake system, the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 is rated at IP45, making it resistant to encroaching dust well as puddles and rain.
Xiaomi Pro 2 – Full Walkthrough Video >
Another fun aspect of the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 is that it can connect to a mobile app on your phone, which allows for a more thorough display of your stats like battery status and your e-scooters speed and performance. While many say that it struggles on real inclines, the consumer response to the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 is the most enthusiastic of all the waterproof e-scooters discussed. The most expensive of the three, the Xiaomi Mi Pro 2 is my top pick for performance, solidity, and function.
So there you have it, 3 great electric scooter options to use in wet weather, alternatively a couple of quick-fix ideas to get you out of trouble if you get caught out in the rain.