Can Electric Scooters be Used Manually? (It’s Complicated!)

  • By: Kevinsmak
  • Date: January 12, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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These days, everybody wants an electric scooter. It’s a popular mode of transportation since it gets you where you need to go quickly and is a lot of fun to ride.

However, what happens if the battery on your electric scooter dies? Is manual operation still an option?

To answer your question, you can ride the electric scooter without the power assist, but you shouldn’t do that for very far or very long. Because of its greater mass compared to a standard kick scooter, this one requires more effort to ride without the use of external power. The electric scooter’s motor also makes it tricky to come to a stop or get going again.

How Does an Electronic Scooter Work?

Knowing the inner workings of an electric scooter will help you navigate using one when you’re stranded without juice. A battery, motor, and controller are the three essential parts of an electric scooter. When the battery runs out, the motor stops.

The scooter’s battery pack, typically made of Lithium-ion and housed beneath the deck, is a notable exception. The scooter moves forward thanks to a motor housed in either the front or rear wheel.

The power from the battery is controlled via a controller in the handlebars.

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter Manually?

It is possible to operate an electric scooter without electricity, but doing so will cause several issues. The electric scooter is meant to be ridden with the motor turned on; doing so without it will need more effort on your part.

To add insult to injury, the scooter’s added heft can make it tricky to steer.

Why Using an Electric Scooter Manually Is Complicated

For the following reasons, operating an electric scooter manually can be challenging:

Large Wheels

Large wheels are a feature of most electric scooters. Most of the models have a height of 8 to 10 inches.

When standing on the base plate of an e-scooter with 10-inch wheels, keep in mind that your feet will be at least 5 inches off the ground.

You are six inches above the surface of the earth if you assume that a base plate has an average thickness of one inch. Manually kicking the e-scooter will place your feet 6 inches apart.

This position can quickly exhaust you, especially on your knees, even if it may be disregarded for the initial one or two kicks needed to start the scooter.

Additionally, as the wheels get bigger, the scooter gets heavier. Additionally, a larger wheel has a larger motor, adding weight.

If the scooter is heavier, moving it will need more effort. The scooter’s weight will make it difficult to change directions, so you will have to exert much more effort if you need to make a turn.

Although it is feasible to travel long distances on an electric scooter with huge wheels, it won’t be fun.

Motor Placement

On an electric scooter, the motor is often found in the front or back wheel. Due to this positioning, using the scooter without a power assist is tough.

It is challenging to manually start the scooter when the motor is in the front wheel since you have to lift the front off the ground. Given that electric scooters can weigh up to 30 pounds, this is easier said than done.

Although it is simpler to start the scooter if the motor is in the back wheel, it will be more challenging to stop. Even when you are not applying throttle, the scooter will still go forward thanks to the motor.

To slow down or completely stop the scooter, you will need to pull its back end along the ground with your feet.


Electric scooters are substantially heavier than regular kick scooters. A typical electric scooter comes in at 12–15 kilograms (kg), (26-33 Pounds); therefore, the term “light” is misleading.

An electric scooter is much more difficult to propel because it is heavier.

The electric scooter’s mass is the result of just a few key components. The electric motor (or motors), the alloy chassis, and the high-capacity lithium-ion battery.

The scooter now weighs more because of the user-requested upgrades. Weight is a significant factor since a heavy-duty frame is built to last.

Some e-scooters even have two motors, with the larger one providing twice the power and speed of a smaller one. Obviously, a high-capacity battery that can take you further will be much heavier than a low-quality, weak battery, but the trade-off is worth it.

The scooter’s ease of manual pushing will be drastically affected by its weight. It will take more work to propel forward and brake on a heavier electric scooter.

Since the scooter’s weight makes it resist changes in direction, turning requires considerably more effort.

In a nutshell, the electric scooter’s weight makes manual operation challenging.

Electric Motor

To the tires themselves, the electric motor is attached. So, the scooter can’t go about easily.

Since the electric motor is not currently in use, there is some resistance. In short bursts of “ride time,” the e-scooter won’t put up much of a fight, but on longer excursions, you’ll feel the resistance increase.

The motor gives the scooter enough thrust that pushing it by hand is a challenge unless the scooter is in motion. The motor’s resistance will be proportional to its power.

An electric scooter with a powerful motor will be more challenging to propel than one with a weaker engine.

Why You Need to Use an Electric Scooter Manually

The following factors necessitate the manual operation of an electric scooter:

Dead Battery

An electric scooter relies on the battery to operate, as I mentioned earlier. The scooter won’t operate if the battery runs out, so you’ll have to drag it home.

Brake Problems

If the brakes on your scooter stop working, you’ll have to push it. This occurs extremely seldom but does occur sometimes.

If your scooter’s brakes don’t work, you may still slow it down or stop it by dragging the scooter’s back end along the ground.

Flat Tire

The scooter will need to be pushed if you obtain a flat tire until you can find a place to fix it. With a flat tire, the scooter won’t be as comfortable, and it can be hazardous, just like operating any other piece of machinery while it has a flat tire.

Loose Handlebar

The handlebar may loosen in extremely uncommon circumstances. If this occurs, you will need to propel the scooter while holding onto the frame until you can locate a place to fix it.

Can Electric Scooters Be Used Manually FAQs

Can Electric Scooters Be Used Manually | Final Thoughts

The manual operation of an electric scooter is not recommended. The necessity to do so might arise in some circumstances, though.

Be ready for a difficult task if one of these circumstances applies to you. Pushing will be difficult due to the scooter’s weight and electric engine.

If you have the strength and dedication required, it’s still possible to do this.

Please be careful and use at your own risk
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