Can electric scooters go uphill?
It may seem like an odd question, but it’s an important one – especially if you live in a hilly area. The short answer is: yes, electric scooters, generally speaking, can go uphill. Many cities that are famously electric scooter-friendly are hilly; the steep streets of San Francisco are iconic thanks to being featured in many Hollywood movies over the years, and even Paris, while not known for being particularly hilly, contains the Montmartre, an idyllic village area with steep streets leading up to the Sacré-Cœur.
Being able to travel uphill is essentially a question of whether a scooter can overcome gravity, friction, drag, and your weight at a given angle of elevation. As such, there are a number of things to consider when assessing whether your electric scooter can go uphill.
Perhaps the most important consideration is the steepness of the hill you’re attempting to climb. Some hills are too steep for even cars or motorbikes to climb, and many cyclists will know the feeling of struggling to climb a hill and having to dismount and walk to the top. Some electric scooters may struggle with a gradient of 10 degrees, whereas the more powerful scooters can easy overcome 20-30 degree inclines. While we don’t expect anyone to measure the gradient before attempting to climb a hill, it’s a good idea to take a second to look and see whether you realistically think it’s possible to climb. If you know your scooter well enough, you’ll know its capability.
The power output of your scooter is also an important factor. Power is measured in Watts (W) and Torque is measured in newton metres (Nm). Torque is a twisting force that rotates the wheels – think of it as a vehicle’s ability to spin its wheels. An electric scooter’s power depends on the voltage and current being supplied to the motor. The more power your scooter has, the more torque it can produce, and therefore the more capable the scooter is of rotating its wheels. This results in more force applied by the scooter to the road, enabling it to push you uphill.
For example, a 350W motor should be able to climb inclines of 10 degrees without any problems but may struggle to climb anything steeper. A more powerful electric scooter, such as our very own Fuze, with its 48V 422Wh battery and 750W motor, will be able to tackle far steeper hills with ease. In simple terms, the more power you have, the better it is for hills.
The weight capacity of your electric scooter must be taken into account; it’s the factor that causes the most resistance against your scooter’s ability to climb a hill. The same exact scooter may easily climb a hill with a small rider on board, but with a larger/heavier rider, it may struggle. Choose a scooter that’s capable of carrying more than your weight – if it can only just support your weight while on a flat surface, then there’s a very slim chance that it’ll be able to carry you up a hill.
The size, material, and grip of the tires on your electric scooter will decide how steep a hill you can climb. Larger wheels make it far easier to climb, and will therefore allow you to climb steeper, larger hills. The material from which your tires are made is important, and how it interacts with the road surface will create rolling resistance. This is where the tires’ shape will be slightly deformed under your weight, and this affects the wheels’ ability to spin.
Further, if your tires lack adequate grip, then even if your scooter is incredibly powerful, you’ll struggle to climb as the wheels will keep spinning and won’t be able to put the power down. Adequate traction is required for hill climbs, as it correctly inflated tires. This is why our Fuze electric scooter comes with 10-inch pneumatic tires with tonnes of grip – we don’t want any obstacle to get in your way!
The suspension system on your electric scooter will influence how balanced it remains while at an angle. When on an incline, most of the rider’s weight will shift towards the back wheel. If the suspension system isn’t sophisticated enough, then this weight will be transferred onto the wheel, perhaps even forcing the base of the scooter to press against the wheel. This will drastically affect your performance and increase wear and tear and should be avoided wherever possible. A more sophisticated suspension system will help to distribute your weight more evenly and allow for smoother, uninterrupted riding – even uphill.
If you live in an area where electric scooters are legal to ride in public and has plenty of hills, then you’ll love our Fuze electric scooter. With a power output of up to 750W, a comfortable, elegant suspension system, and a two-year warranty, this is the best electric scooter you can buy. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions about our electric scooters and their capabilities.