IP ratings: Electric Scooters Technical Guide – How does Waterproofing work?

Even though electric scooters are designed to help save the environment, riders like you need to make sure that your scooter is protected from the elements in the environment around you when riding! Electric scooters today are nothing but motorized electronics, meaning that they are likely to be more prone to water damage, dust, grime, and mud.

Electric scooters have batteries and electrical wiring that need to be protected from damaging external elements.

If your scooter has low water resistance, there’s a good chance that it might spend a lot more time getting repaired than you do riding it. However, you might wonder how you can tell if your scooter is waterproof and dust resistant.

This is where IP Code comes in. An IP Code defines how well an electric motorized scooter is protected from external elements, like water and dust. This rating is determined by the scooter’s manufacturing company and is usually included in the owner’s manual. It basically gives you a standardized scale to help you understand how resistant your scooter is to wet and dry conditions.

In this article, we’ll look at IP ratings, how they affect your scooter, and whether the scooter you have can withstand the conditions you hope to put it through.

Before diving in, make sure you take a look at our list of the best waterproof electric scooters!

Electric Scooter Ingress Protection Ratings

The International Electrochemical Commission developed a screening system that helped them standardize how electronics were graded based on said products’ ability to resist the invasion of water and dust.

The system they developed is called the Ingress Protection Rating system. Over time, manufacturing companies in the United States and around the world have begun to use this system to help educate potential customers about various electric vehicles like motorized scooters and their ability to withstand water splashes and dust.

The “IP” in IP ratings refers to ingress protection or international protection codes. These are codes where different digits correspond to an electric scooter’s protection from water and debris. The first digit refers to waste, and the second refers to water. If there is an X in either the first or second digit’s place, it generally means that the scooter’s company didn’t collect any data.

An IP rating will look something like this: IPx4. Since there isn’t a digit after IP, this rating indicates that there is no information about the electric scooter’s debris resistance. However, digit four indicates that riding in wet conditions is possible.

Nowadays, most electric scooters are built with water resistance in mind. This means that the products available in the market range from being resistant to light rain or splashes (IPX4) to riders being able to use their scooters in heavy rain. Some scooters can even withstand shallow puddles (IPX5), while others can survive deep puddles and extremely heavy rainfall (IPX6.)

Depending on the IP rating, some scooters can even withstand rough or rocky terrain while you’re riding in the rain, while others glide effortlessly on dusty roads when there’s a heavy mist or fog in the air. If your budget permits, you could even find an electric scooter that simultaneously withstands any terrain and heavy rain.

How to Make Sense of an IP Rating

Before diving into the specifics of water and debris resistance, let’s take a quick look at the different IP ratings and what they signify in the list below:

  • No IP Rating: Can handle limited water but not much. It’s best to avoid riding on wet or rainy days.
  • IPX4 or IP54: Medium levels of water resistance to light rain, fog, or wet ground. Do not overuse your electric scooter if it’s raining daily, doing so could damage the electronics.
  • IPX5 or IP55: Scooter can handle light rain and very shallow puddles. It can also handle light off-roading.
  • IPX6 or IP56: Scooter is resistant to water. It can handle steady rain, and it can handle off-road and rough terrain.
  • IPX7 or IP57: The scooter can handle any terrain. It can withstand heavy rain and is highly water-resistant.

It’s worth noting that even though an IP rating can help make your decision easier when buying an electric scooter, you must check the scooter’s warranty.

While all the scooters available on the market might have a decent ride quality and offer you high-quality features like effective cruise control, a non-skid deck, and water resistance — IP ratings and warranty are not always mutually exclusive.

Water and Debris Resistance

Nowadays, most waterproof electric scooters can withstand light rain or wet conditions, as well as the expected dust and dirt on every road. However, we recommend you refrain from riding your electric scooter during extreme dust storms.

Very few electric scooters have a notable IP rating, and some electric scooters don’t have an IP rating at all. Still, once you find an electric scooter that you like, it would be best to ensure that its IP rating is at least an IP54, which is ideal for a comfortable ride on wet ground and rainy weather and can withstand light dust and debris.

Is There a Difference Between a Scooter Being Waterproof and Water Resistant?

While it might seem as though those two terms can be used interchangeably, waterproof and water-resistant mean two different things.

Water-resistant electric scooters have been designed in a way that their outer layer prevents liquids from seeping into the electrical components of the scooter. Depending on the manufacturing process, the company might cover the entire scooter with a thin external coating, or it might protect the most sensitive and easily damageable electronic components only.

On the other hand, waterproof electric scooters have a higher level of water protection, meaning that they can withstand water jets, puddles, heavy rain, and even snow. By waterproofing their scooters, e-scooter companies are ensuring that their products remain as protected as possible from rain and snow.

It’s important to note that it isn’t waterproof if your scooter has a lithium-ion battery. An electric battery indicates that your scooter might have high levels of water resistance, but it isn’t waterproof.

Still, while many electric scooters are waterproof and won’t get damaged instantly, it’s crucial to remember that you must not take their waterproof qualities for granted and overuse them. You could risk damaging its internal electrical mechanisms by regularly exposing it to large amounts of water or low temperatures.

While water resistance ratings and information about whether your electric scooter is water resistant or waterproof are helpful, you need to remember that a completely waterproof scooter does not exist. No scooter is fully resistant or protected from water.

Debris Protection

When you read an IP rating, the first digit that follows the letter I and P are what tells whether your electric scooter is protected from debris and dust. If that first digit is a zero, it’s safe to say that your scooter won’t be protected from any dry external stimuli, like moisture, dust clouds, tiny pebbles, and other small objects.

It’s worth noting that the number of digits referencing debris protection range from X to 6.

The list below shows IP ratings for different levels of debris protection.

  • Level x: Scooter hasn’t been tested.
  • Level 0: Zero protection against debris.
  • Level 1: Can withstand debris and objects larger than 50 mm.
  • Level 2: Can withstand debris smaller than half an inch in length and breadth, like fingers and other small particles.
  • Level 3: Electric scooter is protected from objects like thick wires less than half an inch in length and breadth
  • Level 4: Electric scooter is protected from objects like thin metal wires, screws, and bolts less than half an inch in length and breadth.
  • Level 5: Partially protected from dust; can withstand limited amounts of dust without scooter’s internal mechanism becoming affected
  • Level 6: Completely protected from dust and other solid external factors that could damage the electric scooter.

Liquid Protection

When it comes to liquid protection, understanding the IP rating is just as straightforward! In terms of liquid protection, the number of digits referencing the levels of water resistance range from 1 to 8.

If the second IP rating number after IPX is zero, you’ll know that you don’t have a waterproof electric scooter. If the numbers are 1, 2, or 3, your scooter can withstand various levels of splashing, and when the numbers range from 4 to 8, it can withstand wet weather, the occasional puddle, and in some cases, high-pressure jets.

The list below shows you how water-resistant your scooter is based on its IP rating.

  • Level X: Scooter hasn’t been tested.
  • Level 0: Zero protection against water ingress.
  • Level 1: Can withstand a light drizzle or dripping water, the scooter will not get damaged.
  • Level 2: Can withstand water dripping from a 15° angle.
  • Level 3: Can withstand sprayed water from a 60° angle.
  • Level 4: Can withstand water splashed from any direction.
  • Level 5: Can withstand water sprayed from a pressurized source, like a hose.
  • Level 6: Can withstand high-pressure water from any angle.
  • Level 7: Can be immersed in water up to one meter deep for over half an hour.
  • Level 8: Can be immersed in up to three meters of water and can withstand high-pressure jets from any angle.

Best Waterproof Electric Scooters

Now that you understand what the IP Code means — let’s look at the best waterproof electric scooters in the market.

  1. EMOVE Cruiser – Our Top Recommendation

There’s a reason the EMOVE Cruiser is considered the best mid-range waterproof electric scooter. Its IP rating is IPx6, indicating that it is strong enough to resist high-pressure sprays of water. While we’d advise against riding through deep puddles on this scooter, you can definitely ride home in light rain! Its tires are 10-inch pneumatics, its got a 1000-watt brushless DC electric motor, and its maximum speed exceeds 30 miles per hour.

This scooter is perfect if you’re looking to buy an electric vehicle for your daily commute through busy city traffic.

  1. GoTrax G4 – Best Budget Scooter

The GoTrax G4 is one of the best budget scooters for a student with a limited budget.

As a college student, you’re probably struggling with juggling classes and deadlines and making it to lectures on time, and you don’t need to add a scooter spontaneously combusting in the rain to your list.

The GoTrax G4 is a portable scooter with an IP rating of IP54. It’s arguably one of the best waterproof scooters out there, thanks to its simple folding mechanism, excellent ride quality, and maximum range of 25 miles per hour. Since this scooter is ideal for shorter distances, we think it’s perfect for students riding around campus and young people starting out in their careers.

  1. Kaabo Wolf King GT – Best Premium E Scooters

This Kaabo Wolf King GT is the best electric scooter for riders with roomier budget. Kaabo is one of the best e-scooter brands in the world, and the Wolf King GT is built for users that need a heavy-duty vehicle that can withstand extreme weather conditions, different kinds of terrains, and a top speed that exceeds 85 miles an hour.

The IP code is IPX5, and it has excellent deck traction, thanks to natural rubber that keeps you safe and stops you from slipping as you ride. An added bonus is that is has dual hydraulic brakes.

  1. NAMI Burn-E 2 Max

The NAMI Burn-E 2 Max is an amazing scooter. It has an IP55 rating, meaning that it’s protected against both dust and moisture. This scooter’s frame is also protected from low-pressure water jets, as well as some small solid objects. If you want to go for a ride in the rain, then this NAMI scooter will ensure your safety. It’s got a hydraulic suspension system as well as a dual braking system. It’s also lightweight and portable, and can carry heavy-weight riders above 300 lbs.

  1. Apollo Phantom V2 – Most Water Resistance

This is one electric scooter that is perfect for thrill-seekers and experienced riders looking for something that makes you feel as though you are flying! Its IP rating is IP54, meaning that it is protected against both water splashes and dust. This electric scooter has two spring on both the front wheel and rear wheel, and incredible as well.
We highly recommend this product because this scooter boasts speed, wonderful fender protection, and a dual-braking system.

FAQ

My scooter doesn’t have an IP rating. What do I do?

Unfortunately, if your scooter doesn’t have an IP rating, it likely has extremely poor water resistance capabilities. Avoid exposing it to water and moisture, and store it in a dry and moderate-temperature area.

Can you ride an electric scooter in the rain?

Yes, you can ride an electric scooter in the rain, but it would be best to check your user manual to see if the scooter’s IP rating permits it. While some scooters can withstand water from a medium pressure jet and light rain, others do not. Additionally, some scooters can withstand extreme weather conditions, including snow. Therefore, you need to do your research and check what conditions suit your scooter before buying one!

Do warranties cover water damage? 

Most electric scooters have some kind of warranty plan, but very few warranties cover water damage. This is because it’s difficult to define the level of water exposure your vehicle has been subject to when it’s malfunctioning.
While some brands offer a warranty for three months, others offer warranty for up to two years. Warranties also differ from brand to brand in terms of water damage, overloading, incorrect riding, and other factors.

Conclusion

In this article, we walked you through an extensive guide about IP ratings.

These ratings help indicate the safety levels of a scooter, particularly in dusty or wet conditions. Most major electric scooter brands pay close attention to the waterproofing technology that goes into developing electric scooters. While factors such as stopping power, shock absorbers, and acceleration are incredibly important, it’s also important to ensure that the scooter’s external parts are sealed to prevent seepage.

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