CNET First Look
Zip zap zoom: What to look for in a folding electric scooterElectric scooters could transform your commute. Before you buy, watch this video.
[MUSIC] Why walk to work? A folding electric scooter could speed up your commute. They shrink down small enough to fit in the trunk of a Miata, or even on the trains luggage rack. With a good electric scooter, you never have to stop for traffic. Are small enough to weave between cars Fast enough to take the bike lane and you can switch to the sidewalk whenever you need. But not all folding electric scooters are the same. Some, like this Fusion V1000 are built like a tank. It's durable, but you might not want to lift its 36-pound frame. Others like the Emicro One might weight 17 pounds at most, but it's other lacks suspension means you'll feel every bump in the road. To make sure your scooter can handle all sorts of strain look for shocks and coil spring, they'll keep your ride smooth. Comfortable handlebars also make a surprisingly big difference. And if you'll be weaving through pedestrians or cars, short, stubby handlebars are way better than wide ones. When it comes to your scooter's electric motor, the more watts the better. And you may want a scooter with a motor up front. The electric brake builds into many front wheel drive scooters can slow you down far more effectively than a rear disc brake and keep you from skidding into pedestrians or objects. The best scooters will also have a second foot brake over the rear wheel So you can use both brakes together in emergencies. Personally, I've found thumb levers give me a much better grip on the handlebars than bike-style brake levers, and I'd recommend scooters with a real computer mounted up Some scooters have simple battery readout. The computers can keep track of your mileage and sometimes offer advanced features like cruise control. Look for a scooter that charges in just a few hours so you'll never run out of juice But if you get stranded without power, it would help to have a scooter with a low desk height too. It's much easier to kick when you don't have to stretch to touch the ground. If you ever plan to ride at night, it's nice to have built-in headlights and tail lights. Folding handlebars on these scooters may mean it may not be easy to add those lights yourself. And if you do plan to take your scooter on the bus or train, look for one you can fold down quickly, so you don't get trampled by a crowd. Some scooters take several time consuming steps to shrink [MUSIC] While others are lightening fast, this Glion even has a carry handle like a rolling suitcase. [MUSIC] No matter which electric scooter you pick, be sure to wear a helmet and stay safe. You can check out our reviews for the top scooters at cnet.com