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

  • By: Kevinsmak
  • Date: September 15, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Electric scooters are all the rage these days. They are a fast and fun way to get around; many people use them to commute to work or school.

But what happens if your electric scooter runs out of battery power? Can you still use it manually?

Yes, the electric scooter can be ridden without a power assist, but it is not advisable to use it for a long time. The scooter is heavier than a regular kick scooter, and the extra weight makes it more difficult to ride without power assistance. Additionally, the motor on the electric scooter can make it difficult to stop and start.

How Does an Electronic Scooter Work?

To understand how to use an electric scooter without power, it is important to know how they work. An electric scooter has three main components: a battery, a motor, and a controller. The battery is what powers the motor.

It is usually Lithium-ion and is located under the deck of the scooter. The motor is located in the front or rear wheel and is what propels the scooter forward.

The controller is located in the handlebars and regulates the power from the battery to the motor.

Can You Ride an Electric Scooter Manually?

Yes, you can ride an electric scooter without power, but this will subject you to several problems. The electric scooter is designed to be ridden with the motor engaged; without it, you will have to put in more effort to ride.

Additionally, the extra weight of the scooter can make it difficult to maneuver.

Why Using an Electric Scooter Manually Is Complicated

Here are some reasons that make using an electric scooter manually complicated:

Large Wheels

Most electric scooters have quite big wheels. The majority of models are between 8 and 10 inches in size.

Consider that your feet will be at least 5 inches above the ground if you are standing on the base plate of an e-scooter with 10-inch wheels.

Assuming that a base plate is an average thickness of one inch, you are six inches above the ground. Your feet will be 6 inches apart if you manually kick the e-scooter.

While this positioning may be ignored for the first one or two kicks required to start the scooter, it will quickly wear you out, especially on your knees.

The weight of the scooter also increases with the size of the wheels. A larger wheel also has a bigger motor, which translates to more weight.

More weight means that you will need more effort to move the scooter around. If you need to make a turn, you will need to put in even more effort as the scooter’s weight will cause it to resist changes in direction.

Riding an electric scooter with large wheels is doable, but it will not be a pleasant experience, especially over long distances.

Motor Placement

The motor on an electric scooter is usually located in the front or rear wheel. This placement makes it difficult to use the scooter without a power assist.

When the motor is in the front wheel, it is difficult to start the scooter manually as you need to lift the front off the ground. This is easier said than done, as electric scooters can weigh up to 30 pounds.

If the motor is located in the rear wheel, it is easier to start the scooter, but you will find it difficult to stop. The motor will continue to propel the scooter forward even when you are not pressing the throttle.

You will need to use your feet to drag the rear of the scooter on the ground to slow it down or come to a complete stop.


Compared to traditional kick scooters, electric scooters are much heavier. In actuality, the average e-scooter weighs between 12 and 15 kg, which is far from being “light.”

An e-scooter is much more challenging to push, partly because of its added weight.

A few important parts are responsible for the e-scooter’s overall weight. The high-power lithium-ion battery, the electric motor (or motors), and the alloy frame.

Unfortunately, the user-requested additions add weight to the scooter. An extremely strong heavy-duty frame will weigh much more than a typical one.

A strong electric motor will have a heavier mass than a low-power one (some e-scooters have two motors), allowing for more power and speed. A battery with a higher capacity that will enable a greater range of travel will also weigh much more than a poor-quality, weak battery.

The scooter’s weight will significantly affect how easy it is to push manually. A heavier e-scooter will require more effort to start and stop.

If you need to make a turn, you will need to put in even more effort as the scooter’s weight will cause it to resist changes in direction.

In short, an electric scooter’s weight will make it difficult to use manually.

Electric Motor

The electric motor is directly connected to the tires. As a result, the scooter will not roll freely.

There is resistance provided by the electric motor that is not operating at the moment. If you push the e-scooter a few times, there won’t be much resistance, but longer “trips” will make it more difficult.

The motor provides enough power to make it difficult to push the scooter without turning it on. The amount of resistance provided by the motor will depend on its power.

A high-power motor will make it more difficult to push the scooter, while a low-power motor will provide less resistance.

Why You Need to Use an Electric Scooter Manually

The following reasons make it necessary to use an electronic scooter manually:

Dead Battery

As I discussed earlier, an electric scooter depends on the battery to function. If the battery dies, the scooter will not work, and you need to push it home.

Brake Problems

Another reason you may need to push your scooter is if the brakes fail. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen.

If your scooter’s brakes fail, you will need to use your feet to drag the rear of the scooter on the ground to slow it down or come to a complete stop.

Flat Tire

If you get a flat tire, you will need to push the scooter until you can find a place to fix it. The scooter won’t be as comfortable with a flat tire, and it can be dangerous as driving any other equipment with a flat tire.

Loose Handlebar

In some rare cases, the handlebar may come loose. If this happens, you will need to hold on to the scooter’s frame and push it until you can find a place to fix it.

Can Electric Scooters Be Used Manually FAQs

Is it easy to push an electric scooter?

No, electric scooters are much heavier than traditional kick scooters, making them difficult to push. Additionally, the electric motor provides resistance, making pushing even more difficult.

Do electric scooters run out of battery?

Yes, electric scooters have batteries that will eventually run out of power. When this happens, you will need to push the scooter until you can recharge the battery.

What is the lifespan of an electric scooter?

The lifespan of an electric scooter depends on many factors, such as how often it is used, how well it is maintained, and the quality of the components. In general, electric scooters will last for at least three years with proper care.

Can Electric Scooters Be Used Manually | Final Thoughts

Electric scooters are not meant to be used manually. However, there are certain situations where you may need to do so.

If you are in one of these situations, be prepared for a challenging task. The scooter’s weight and the electric motor will make pushing difficult.

However, it is possible to do so if you have the necessary strength and determination.

Please be careful and use at your own risk
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