Can You Ride an Electric Scooter in the Rain?
- Read Time: 5 min
The short answer is no. Well...preferably not as it is an electrical vehicle. The longer answer is, some you can, depending on their IP rating.
Apart from the obvious hazards of riding in the rain, slippery surfaces, and all that, an e scooter is not as compact as a car, and spray and splashes can find their way into electrical components creating havoc.
And if an e scooter is listed as water-resistant, it doesn't mean it is a waterproof electric scooter. Those are two different things.
Most scooters can handle normal dust and dirt even if they have no IP rating. Extreme exposure is to be avoided though. Too much of the dust/dirt stuff is not a good idea.
Approximately 65% of all electric scooters on the market have no IP rating.
IP Rating Explained
What is an IP rating? The technical explanation of what an IP (Ingress Protection) rating is, as per the international standard EN 60529 (British BS EN 60529:1992, European IEC 60509:1989) goes like this: An IP rating is used to define levels of sealing effectiveness of electrical enclosures against intrusion from foreign bodies (tools, dirt, etc) and moisture.
And the following numbers each have a specific meaning.
So what is the IP rating in electric scooters? The first number indicates the amount or degree of protection (of people) from moving parts, as well as the protection of enclosed equipment from foreign bodies.
The second number indicates how well the enclosure is protected from forms of moisture, (spray, submersion, dips f.e.)
When it says X it simply denotes that the value for that number is missing. You can replace it with a zero, assuming there is no ingress protection from foreign bodies, to be on the safe side. It might not be the case in actual fact, but better safe than sorry.
If the electric scooter doesn't have a listing or it says none under IP ratings in the spec list, it means you should avoid riding in any type of rainy weather and stay out of any type of moisture and water splashes. The scooter might have some water resistance but it is not guaranteed.
Most electric scooters have an IP rating of IPX4. What that means you can see below in our chart.
|IPX4||IPX4 is where the chart begins. You can ride in some wet conditions if not too excessive. Foggy, misty, and very light rain, if infrequent, should be ok|
|IPX5||Constant light rain and puddles are ok|
|IP34||Infrequent light rain, wet surface, fog/mist, rocky roads, infrequent dust|
|IP54||Some off-roading if not every day, wet ground, fog/mist, light rain if infrequent|
|IP55||Occasional off-road, wet conditions such as light constant rain, puddles|
|IP65||All-terrain, light constant rain, puddles|
|IP67||All-terrain, constant heavy rain, some immersion|
What about Fluidfreeride Scooters?
Mantis Pro - Fluid Edition: All new Mantis have IPX5 ratings. Light rain and some lighter puddles should be ok. Hard-packed trails and some gravel is also ok.
Fluid CityRider: The Fluid CityRider has no IP rating. Try to avoid riding this e scooter in moist rainy conditions as well as dusty gravel roads.
Fluid Horizon: Although the Horizon lacks an IP rating, lighter trails, and some light rain are ok.
Mantis V2 Fluid Edition: IPX5 rated. Light rain, smaller puddles, and some trails are ok.
Reasons to Avoid the Rain
Poor visibility is a factor that doesn't allow you to ride safely in bad weather. A light sprinkle will probably not be a huge issue but in proper rainy conditions, even a scooter with a good IP rating won't help with visibility. In the same way as you adjust your driving style in a car in heavy rain, you should do the same on an e scooter. It will be more difficult to see ahead.
A torrential rain in a short amount of time can result in flash flooding from overflowing rivers streaming across roads and pavements. This can seriously damage your e scooter as it might get fully submerged. Never ride on or over those type of wet surfaces.
Furthermore, riding in cold wet weather can cause the battery and motor to overwork and affect the longevity of both.
Things to Consider When Riding in the Rain
Riding an e scooter in the rain is not very pleasant and not particularly safe. It is not comparable to a bicycle as the wheels are so much smaller on e scooters. The braking or emergency response is the big danger. Yanking those brakes instinctively in a quick reflex move can cause you to slide and fall.
Even if your e scooter has an IP rating allowing for rainy conditions, you should still treat moist and water with respect and understand that completely water-resistant electric scooters don't exist. It can never be totally protected even if you have a high-end expensive scooter.
If you need to have an electric scooter allowing for different types of weather or varied surfaces, then don't expect to get one at a budget price. Go high quality and good IP ratings; IP55/IP65/IP67.
Make Yourself Visible
Riding anything on two wheels also means you are at risk of being hit by...let's be generous and say, less good drivers of cars and/or trucks etc. After all, smartphones are nowadays more important to attend to than actually driving your 3 tonne SUV safely and keeping your eyes on the road.
Always wear a reflex vest and especially in the dark or in the rain.
Adapt your speed accordingly and remember, wet conditions means you will have less grip and braking distances will be longer. Wet pavement and white lines are treacherous and they can get super slippery. Even leaning slightly might catch you off guard. Be aware.
Electric scooters are not meant for extreme conditions, not yet anyway. They are perfect in dry warmer weather and if treated gently. They are not to be thrown around and expected to survive any kind of manhandling. It is basically a battery on two wheels. And batteries are fragile components.
Maintaining and wiping off your e scooter is a good idea from time to time. Especially if you have been caught in a light drizzle or heavy rain, wipe it off as soon as you can. The more TLC you give your e scooter the more you will get back.
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