Electric scooter batteries are a bit more complicated than the phone in your hands — charging is more than plugging in and plugging out.
In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about charging your electric scooter. After years of owning an electric scooter and using it for daily commutes, we’ve come to learn what works best on these vehicles through trial and error. You don’t just want your electric scooter to run, you want to get the maximum performance possible out of its battery for long life.
You’ll find tips in this guide, as well as a basic explanation of how a scooter battery works. Basic scooter battery understanding goes a long way in helping you maintain optimum battery performance for your electric scooter.
How to Charge your Electric Scooter – Step by Step
Most electric scooters come with a manual that details how to charge electric scooters, but they often miss out on cautionary details or steps in the middle.
Here is a step-by-step approach to the modern electric scooter charging process.
Step 1: Plug the charger into the wall outlet
Plug the charger into the wall outlet securely. Most scooters have a green charger light that comes on when power is connected. This indicator light helps you confirm the charger is connected and working.
If you’re traveling with your battery charger, always verify the voltage output of the power outlet. You don’t want to fry your charger with the wrong voltage or without a voltage converter. You can risk damaging the charger as well as the scooter lithium batteries this way.
Step 2: Plug the charger into the terminal
If your electric scooter’s battery can be charged directly, all you need to do is plug the charger in. It’s important to ensure you’re using the right charger if you’re using a replacement, but the original charger that comes with the scooter is almost always the right one since it is branded. If you’re looking for a replacement charger, check out our guide on choosing the right one here.
Charge the connector into the charging terminal on your scooter battery. This is usually on the base of the scooter, under or alongside the deck. Make sure the connector cable is plugged in completely into the terminal, and there’s no loose connection. You should always connect the scooter terminal end after you connect the plug into the wall outlet.
Step 3: Unplug the charger when it is fully charged
Here’s the important bit: your electric scooter has to reach its full battery life before you should unplug it. The battery level should be 100% (or green light, in some cases) before you unplug. Phones and other electronics can handle functioning at different battery levels, but the lithium-ion batteries on an electric scooter deteriorate if not fully charged. You’ll get the best battery life this way, as well as ensure better battery performance.
A scooter battery can also start under-performing, either by dimming the lights or running out of juice too quickly when you consistently charge it less than full.
On the other hand, over-charging isn’t cool either. Never leave your charging scooter battery overnight unless it specifically takes more than 12 hours to fully charge. Not only is it harmful to the battery and scooter, but can be downright dangerous — leading to higher chances of fire hazards and accidents.
The same goes for leaving a battery charging when no one is at home. Unless you want a fireworks display: make sure there’s someone around to keep an eye on your charging e-scooter.
Charging Process for Removeable Chargers
If you’re using an electric scooter with a removable charger (such as this TurboAnt X7 Pro) the charging process will be slightly different.
- Remove the battery
Most electric scooters with a removable battery design will make removing the battery easier. Usually located on the underside of the scooter deck, there’ll be a push button to easily slide out the battery.
Some scooters will require you to use a screwdriver to remove the panel from the battery bay.
- Detach battery cables
Once you’ve removed the panel, you can now remove the battery. Some designs allow you to take it out just like that, while some scooter designs need you to disconnect cables first. Start with the red cable and detach all other wires and cables from the battery carefully, never touching the ends of the cables with your hand. Of course, the scooter should be switched off before you attempt this, but the cables can still carry the battery’s voltage and should be handled with care.
For bigger performance scooters, you may need to use a wrench to loosen bolts to remove the wires.
- Plug cable terminals into the plug-in charger
Plug the cable terminals into the manufacturer’s plug-in charger. Don’t try to remove the plastic connectors since these are supposed to be connected.
If there are two cables, connect the red cable to the positive terminal on the charger. Connect the black cable to the negative terminal on your charger.
- Plug the charger into the power outlet
You can now plug the charger into a standard power outlet. As usual, ensure you’re using an outlet with the same voltage as the charger. A higher voltage can short-circuit the battery and charger.
Electric Scooter Charging 101: Tips to Charge your Electric Scooter
Now that you know how to charge your electric scooter battery, here are our most valuable tips that you won’t find in manuals. These will help you know what to do and what not to when it comes to keeping your battery and scooter in the best shape.
1. Let the Battery Cool Down
It’s super important to let your scooter cool down before you decide to charge it, especially if you’ve been riding in the sun. The battery heats when it is being used, and a hot battery connected to a power outlet is a bad combination, potentially leading to battery damage.
Make sure to wait at least 15 minutes to 30 minutes to let the scooter cool down before plugging it in. And while it’s common advice to never let your battery sit drained, it’s better to let it stay that way for a while to come to room temperature.
The ideal way to charge a scooter battery is in a cool environment, and turn off any humidifiers nearby to make sure that there’s no unnecessary moisture in the air. A garage tends to be the ideal place to charge your electric scooter.
2. Use the Original Charger
To be clear — the original charger isn’t special, it’s just branded, and won’t boost your battery pack health. However, it is the most guaranteed way to ensure you’re using the correct battery, one with the right voltage and connector type.
Technically, if you found the exact same charger with the right specifications, it would work exactly the same as the original charger.
But if you have the original charger with you, you should definitely stick to using that as much as possible. Many warranties are voided if you’ve used an off-brand charger, and this is also an important factor to consider. You could make the mistake of choosing a generic charger with the wrong voltage, so double-check if you’re going that route. If you’ve misplaced your original charger, you’ll find the needed specifications on the scooter manual or the battery for getting a new one.
3. Make sure the scooter isn’t wet
Most electric scooters have some level of IP, meaning they are water-resistant to a certain extent. But even the most water-resistant electric scooter should not be charged when it’s wet. It’s the same principle as not using a light switch in your house with wet hands, except potentially more dangerous.
Make sure to let the scooter dry completely before you decide to plug it into the charging port. You might want to manually dry the scooter from the outside with a clean cloth, but be careful while doing so. Don’t dismantle or unscrew anything for drying, the safest option is to let your scooter stand for a while and air-dry.
If you can visibly spot water near the charging port, you can try using a blowdryer to dry up this area. Try keeping it on the lowest setting possible, since you don’t want to cause battery damage through heating.
Wait for a minimum of an hour, and plug it in once your electric scooter seems completely cool and dry.
4. Keep out of sunlight
You do not want to charge your electric scooter in the sunlight. Even if you don’t live in a place with extreme heat, your scooter can react adversely to being in the sun. This can sound conflicting — since your scooter can handle riding in the same sun, but not being charged in it. That’s because charging automatically heats up the battery, which is only exacerbated why sunlight.
The ideal temperature range for electric scooter charging is between 35°F and 113°F (10-45°C). Electric scooters can handle cold temperatures better than hot, but absolutely freezing conditions are clearly detrimental as well.
5. Switch your electric scooter off
This might sound like obvious advice — but a quick Google search reveals multiple forums, suggesting not all scooter riders know this! You should definitely switch off your electric scooter before you decide to charge it. Keeping it running causes the battery to be spent and charged at the same time, which not only reduces the battery charging speed but also contributes to battery damage.
It can get understandably confusing since phones, laptops and other electronics also use lithium-ion batteries and can be switched on while charging. Ultimately, it takes a lot of voltage and battery power to get an electric scooter running, and battery safety has its own rules when it comes to a vehicle.
6. Plug the charger into the wall outlet first
Your charging process should always first plug the charger into the wall, and then into the scooter connector. The reason for this is that it protects the scooter from a short circuit since only the charger would be damaged in that case. Since chargers cost significantly less than scooters, this is a great way to safeguard against rare accidents.
Most modern electric scooters will have an indicator light, either a red or green light, that switches on to indicate the charger is connected to the power source. Verify that this light is on before you connect the connector plug into the scooter battery. No indicator light can mean that either the charger isn’t working, or there’s a voltage issue/fluctuation from the power source.
7. Charge your electric scooter to 100%
It’s important to completely charge your electric scooter before you plug it out. This maintains battery life and health and keeps it going for as long as possible. It’ll also give you a maximum range for more rides.
Many scooter owners want to do a quick ‘top-up’ to their battery when they’re short on time for a full battery charge. This is actually not a great idea, and simply taking the battery from 50% to 75% doesn’t do it much good in the long run. You can do this if you’re in a pinch and could be stranded with a dead battery, but try to plan your trips in such a way that you have enough time to fully charge your scooter’s battery.
You might want to invest in a commuting e-scooter that has high mileage if you have longer rides. This gives you enough buffer mileage so that you don’t have to worry about constantly running out of juice.
8. Don’t let your battery drain completely
Lithium-ion batteries on modern electric scooters have a finite number of charging cycles. Letting your battery drain completely uses up a battery cycle. Try preserving the battery so that it doesn’t drain completely, and this will end up prolonging your battery life in the long run.
Charging your electric scooter till it is full also reduces the chances of a drained battery. Don’t choose an electric scooter with a maximum range that cuts it too close to your daily commute distance. For example: if your round commute is 15 miles every day, choosing an electric scooter with a 20-mile range might be cutting it too close. With a little bit of extra acceleration, braking, or light usage, you could end up draining the battery every day — which is not advisable.
There are some premium electric scooters in the market with a maximum range of 90 miles, and riders only need to charge them once a month. This could be a great option for you if you have a longer commute.
9. Don’t overcharge your battery
There’s no such thing as charging all the way to 200%. Once the green light on your charger has come on and the battery indicator shows you your scooter is fully charged, disconnect your scooter and store it in a cool, dry environment.
Overcharging the battery definitely leads to battery damage, with a chance of short-circuiting. There have been plenty of house fire instances when people left their scooter charging too long and forgot to switch it off.
Keep an eye out for the red led light, this indicates that your battery is still charging. For many chargers, a blinking red light indicates a voltage fluctuation (due to not using the correct charger or an input-output voltage mismatch). Even if your scooter charger claims to have a protective barrier against over-charging, you can keep your battery cells in the best shape by avoiding overcharging altogether.
Plan your charging sessions according to your schedule — let your scooter charge overnight if the battery takes more than 8 hours to charge, try to keep 3-5 hour charging sessions for the daytime.
10. Wait after charging electric scooters
You already know you should wait before plugging in the battery wires into an electric scooter you were just riding. The opposite is true as well — don’t ride immediately after fully charging your battery capacity. It’s a good idea to let your battery cool down, even if its just for five minutes.
This is because the scooter’s charging port can overheat, as well as the battery pack itself. Slight heating can be a problem if you ride immediately. You don’t have to wait for so long that the battery starts to drain, but just 5-10 minutes can make a difference in letting the battery cool down.
How Long Does it Take to Charge Electric scooter?
The average charging time for an electric scooter battery is 5 hours, though most vary between 3 to 8 hours. You can calculate the exact original charger charge time when you know the battery ampere hours.
|2.6 Ah||2.6 hr||1.3 hr||0.9 hr||0.7 hr||0.5 hr|
|5.2 Ah||5.2 hr||2.6 hr||1.7 hr||1.3 hr||1.0 hr|
|7.8 Ah||7.8 hr||3.9 hr||2.6 hr||2.0 hr||1.6 hr|
|10.4 Ah||10.4 hr||5.2 hr||3.5 hr||2.6 hr||2.1 hr|
|13 Ah||13 hr||6.5 hr||4.3 hr||3.3 hr||2.6 hr|
|15.6 Ah||15.6 hr||7.8 hr||5.2 hr||3.9 hr||3.1 hr|
|18.2 Ah||18.2 hr||9.1 hr||6.1 hr||4.6 hr||3.6 hr|
|20.8 Ah||20.8 hr||10.4 hr||6.9 hr||5.2 hr||4.2 hr|
|23.4 Ah||23.4 hr||11.7 hr||7.8 hr||5.9 hr||4.7 hr|
|26 Ah||26 hr||13.0 hr||8.7 hr||6.5 hr||5.2 hr|
|28.6 Ah||28.6 hr||14.3 hr||9.5 hr||7.2 hr||5.7 hr|
This table depicts how long it takes for an electric scooter battery to go from 0 to 100%. The OEM charger charge time for most chargers is mentioned in the owner’s manual as well. Fast chargers are generally sold separately and you can invest in these if the regular charger takes too long for your lifestyle.
Knowing the exact time your scooter battery charger needs is useful when you want to avoid overcharging a new electric scooter. For example: if you know your electric scooter takes 6.8 hours to charge, it may not be the best idea to simply plug your electric scooter overnight.
Set an alarm so you can disconnect the charger as the charger light turns green for the battery’s life and health.
How to Charge an Electric Scooter without a Charger
It’s not recommended to try and jump start an electric scooter or use anything but a compatible electric scooter charger.
However, there are emergencies where you do need to start an electric scooter and a charger isn’t around. Here’s a way to do it. We also have a detailed article with a step-by-step process on charging electric scooters without the charger here.
For this process, you’ll need a power source like a car battery.
- Switch off your scooter and remove the battery, and locate the positive terminal and negative terminal on the scooter’s battery.
- Take your jumper cables, taking care that the leads don’t make contact with each other. Connect one red lead to the positive terminal, and the other end to the car battery positive lead.
- Connect the black lead to the negative terminal on the car battery. Take the other end of the black lead to a grounding point or bare metal, do not let it touch the negative terminal of the scooter’s battery as it could explose.
- Start the car’s engine and let your battery charge for a few minutes.
- First remove the black lead from the grounding. Then remove the red lead from the scooter battery. Now remove the remaining two leads from the car battery.
There are very few electric scooters that still use sealed lead acid batteries. Most electric scooters are made with a Li-On battery and are relatively low maintenance as well as low cost. The only real cost for maintaining a electric scooter is the added cost to your electricity bill, but it is almost negligible when compared with rising fuel costs for automobiles.
Owning an electric scooter can be stress-free and fun, and you can get a most out of your electric vehicle and battery by following the steps we’ve included in this guide. Soon, these guidelines will become second nature to you as you get comfortable with owning an electric scooter!