4 important things to consider when buying an e-scooter in Thailand
Every country is unique, and what works in one country wouldn’t necessary work in another. That is the same whether it is for government policies, or business practices, or choosing an electric scooter.
Thailand also has its own quirks and idiosyncrasies, with its narrow walkways, potholes and bumpy roads. So here are 4 important considerations to think about when choosing a personal electric vehicle in Thailand:
1. Wheel size
In Bangkok, where roads aren’t well paved and have as many potholes as they have cars, wheel size is perhaps the most important factor to consider when choosing an e-scooter. Larger wheels are safer, as they can deal with potholes easily. Smaller wheels would give you a more bumpy ride, or even a potentially dangerous one if you don’t see a large pothole coming.
Our recommendation for Bangkok roads is to get wheels that are at least 8 inches in diameter. Electric kick scooters like the Inokim Light, which has 8.5” wheels, would definitely give you a more comfortable ride than one with smaller wheels. The 10” wheels on the Inokim Quick 3 would be even better, but then you will have to sacrifice portability for ride comfort.
From personal experience, smaller 6” wheels also work, but the journey will be far from smooth, unless you are living in gated community, and your usual journey is to the restaurants and 7-11 marts just outside your house.
Due to bumpy roads, whether as a result of speed bumps or potholes, suspension is also an important consideration in Thailand.
Scooters with suspension like the E-TWOW Booster Plus will handle the roads of Bangkok with ease. The award-winning electric scooter has both front and rear suspension, which makes it ideal for uneven terrain.
If portability and lightness aren’t important to you, then the Dualtron e-scooters would be the best in this category. They are designed for rough and rugged terrain, and can handle them with complete ease.
3. Type of tyres: air or rubber
Both types of tyres offer advantages and disadvantages. Full rubber tyres cannot go flat and therefore require less maintenance. Air or pneumatic tyres, on the other hand, offer better shock absorption and hence smoother ride than solid tyres. They are also lighter than solid rubber tyres.
The Zero 2.0, which carries the title of the lightest e-scooter in the world at 6.8kg, has full solid tyres, and thin rubber tyres especially for the rear tyre. While it’s a very popular electric ride in Singapore due to the well-paved roads, Thai roads are much less forgiving.
It might pay off to consider the Inokim Mini, which has a front pneumatic tyre, especially if you are travelling long distances (i.e. anything more than 1km). Or if weight isn’t an issue, then the Inokim Light or Quick 3 instead.
As for the E-TWOW, which also has full rubber tyres, it still gives you a comfortable ride on Thai roads as it compensates by providing front and rear suspension, so do take into account the specifications of various models as well.
4. Size of e-scooter
This is where you need to consider you usual commuting route. If you take the BTS or MRT during peak hours, you will probably know by now, there is hardly any space for humans, much less e-scooters.
The ideal e-scooter would be something small and light, taking up a small footprint in the cramped train cabin. The Inokim Mini+ and the Zero 2.0 are the best contenders here as they are the lightest and smallest out of all the scooters, while still giving you enough speed and power to be of utility to you.
All that being said, it is also important to take into account your own personal considerations. What you will be using the scooter for; your usual route; and your own personal preferences. Take a look at our blog post about the important factors in choosing the most suitable e-ride for you.
It always differs from person to person, so talk to us, and we will help you choose the best personal electric vehicle for you.