Choosing the best e-scooter and upgrading it



Are you an electric scooter owner and you want to increase its torque, range and top speed? Or maybe you are choosing your first electric scooter and lost in the amount of models presented at the market?

You’re lucky you found this post, because now I’m going to share my experience with e-scooters since 2017, and tell you how to choose the best e-scooter and then upgrade it.

Which scooter is the best to buy?

This is a very reasonable question, since there are many models available at the market, starting from cheapest $300 chinese crap, ending with $3000 crazy monsters as fast as bikes:

E-scooter prices

How to make the right choice? Well, the following criteria should be kept in mind:


1. Quality. Of course, you want your scooter to be reliable and durable. It should be waterproof, sturdy enough to withstand your weight(and sometimes your drunk friend’s too), have a good battery which will not burn down your house and will not be exhausted after a few months of use.

2. Popularity. More people own a scooter – more its community and knowledge base, more spare parts and mods are available, more workshops can repair it quickly and cheap. Also, more scooter units are sold by the manufacturer – cheaper the manufacturing process, so widely used scooters always have better quality compared to the same price noname ones. 

3. Legality. Most countries limit the maximum power of an e-scooter to 250-350 watts. Some countries, like Germany, even require the scooter to be certified and officially imported, otherwise its use on the streets will be illegal.

4. Price. No one will buy a perfect scooter if it costs a few thousand euros. It has to be a good balance between price and quality.

5. After all, the characteristics of the scooter, such as weight, torque, range and speed should suit your needs.


Okay, in my opinion, there are some decent models to buy in 2023:

Xiaomi M365/1S/Mi3

Medium torque, 10-20 km range, 20-30 km/h speed, 12 kg weight, $400 price.

Xiaomi PRO/PRO2

Medium torque, 15-30 km range, 25-35 km/h speed, 14 kg weight, $500 price.

Ninebot Max G30

High torque, 20-40 km range, 25-35 km/h speed, 19 kg weight, $700 price.

I mean, all 3 models are high quality, widely used, legal and not too expensive guys. The last thing to understand is if their weight, torque, range and speed characterisics suit your needs. Let’s talk about it.


If you are new to the e-scooters world, you probably have a question: why 20-40 km range? Isn’t that too much? My whole city is 10 km in diameter. Who needs it? Delivery couriers only?


Well, imagine, that your combustion engine car is almost out of fuel: the thing is acceleration and speed of the car are not reduced – it will just stop once the fuel is out. On the other hand, electric vehicle power depends on it battery charge level. If your battery is full – you have full speed and acceleration. If the battery is half charged – your speed and acceleration are not perfect, but still fine. But when the battery is almost empty – the scooter becomes really slow and boring. That’s why you need 30km range to ride 15km with fun and joy.


Another point is that scooter range dramatically depends on the rider weight. You will never reach the range declared by manufacturer, which is measured by a chinese girl riding at a flat road downhill. I would say that true range when riding with fun and joy is the following:

50 kg girl or teenager80 kg average man100+ kg guy with a backpack
Xiaomi M365/1S/Mi320 km15 km10 km
Xiaomi PRO/PRO230 km20 km15 km
Ninebot Max G3040 km30 km20 km

Top speed

Top speed depends on the scooter battery voltage only, which itself depends on charge level. It’s super easy and clear:

100% charge50% charge10% charge
Xiaomi M365/1S/Mi330 km/h25 km/h20 km/h
Xiaomi PRO/PRO235 km/h30 km/h25 km/h
Ninebot Max G3035 km/h30 km/h25 km/h

Torque and uphill power

Okay, let me explain something. The laws in most countries limit the continuous power of electric scooters to 350 watts. Is it a lot? Well, this is about an average power of non-professional bicyclist during a 1 hour ride.


The key word is “continuous”. In fact, most of 250-350 watt scooters are able to deliver 1000-2000 watts for short bursts, but they are software limited to comply with the laws and protect the scooter motor. That’s why advanced e-scooter owners usually install a hacked firmware with no power and speed limits, keeping in mind the following: yes, you can quickly climb to a hill at 1000W, but then you must ride quietly a few minutes to cool down your motor, otherwise there is a real risk to fry it.


So, in short. If we talk about scooters out of the box, they all are slow and boring to comply with the laws and reduce warranty cases quantity. But an important feature of popular scooters is the availability of custom firmwares with unlocked full power and top speed.


I would say, a hacked Xiaomi M365 is powerful enough for 50-70 kg riders, Xiaomi PRO – for 80-100 kg ones, and Ninebot Max  – for 100kg+ guys.


Most of the time your scooter carries you, and it’s no matter how much it weights. But you still have to lift it time by time if there are some stairs on your way, or if you want to fold the scooter and put it somewhere. And this is why you can not just buy the biggest scooter with top characteristics: you will just suffer every time you meet a stair on your way.


I am a 90 kg strong man, but it’s real pain for me to carry my 19 kg Ninebot Max G30. For a 50 kg girl it’s just impossible to carry such a heavy scooter, so only smallest 12 kg Xaiomi M365/1S/Mi3 are suitable. Medium 14 kg PRO/PRO2 are good choice for others.

Finally choosing the best e-scooter

So, in my opinion, the 3 scooter models mentioned above meet the needs of 90% of customers.


Are you a nice 50 kg girl or a teenager? Buy Xiaomi M365/1S/Mi3 and enjoy 20 km range at 25 km/h speed.


Are you a 80 kg average man? Buy Xiaomi PRO/PRO2 and have the same 20 km at 25-30 km/h speed.


Are you a 100+ kg big guy? Ninebot Max G30 is a good option for you, providing 20 km range at 25-30 km/h speed.


All these scooters are of amazing quality, they are widely used, there are tons of spare parts available at the market, every service can repair them, they are allowed in every country, and they are not too expensive.

What if you want more?

As you can see, there is no option to have average speed over 30 km/h at all. And there is no option for big guys to have more than 20 km range. How can we deal with this? 


Well, the first idea is to just buy a bigger scooter. Aliexpress is full of these that look big, powerful and not too expensive:

Chinese scooters

But please trust me, all these noname aliexpress scooters are real crap: low durability, weak batteries, no custom firmwares and spare parts. Never buy it.


Another option is buying a top scooter model from a good manufacturer, like Ninebot P65 or GT2:

Ninebot GT

These scooters are amazing, but they weight 30-50 kg, cost 1000+ EUR, and require a driving license. This is not what you want for city ride at bicycle lines.


But what if I told you that it is still possible to get a compact lightweight scooter with top speed of 40 km/h, real range of 50km, for less than 700 EUR?

Scooter upgrading

The idea is to buy one of widely used small models from a good manufacturer and then upgrade it a bit. What kind of upgrades are possible? Well, it depends on which characteristics you want to improve.


If you want more comfort ride, you can install a suspension or bigger softer tyres.


If you want more torque, you can flash a custom firmware or even replace the motor.


If you want more top speed and range, you have to upgrade your scooter battery.


Our workshop is focused on batteries, so today we will mostly talk about batteries upgrades, improving your scooter range, top speed and even torque if a proper firmware is flashed.

Battery upgrades

Well, this is how the battery inside your scooter looks like:

Xiaomi PRO2 internal battery
The main battery characteristics are voltage and capacity. Your scooter range is proportional to the battery capacity. Your scooter speed is proportional to the battery voltage. It’s easy, right? You want more range – you have to increase capacity. You want more speed – you have to raise voltage.
Now let’s discover how to increase capacity and voltage of the scooter battery.  

Stage 0. Custom firmware

But before we proceed to battery upgrades, I would shortly clear something about hacking your scooter software.


Even if you install the biggest battery and the most powerful motor in the world, you will see no changes in your scooter behavior. The thing is a big battery and a powerful motor just make it possible to have more speed and power, but the scooter software makes a final decision to deliver it or not. Original scooter software is aimed to comply with the laws and protect the scooter hardware: it has no idea if you installed a better battery or motor. That’s why you must flash your scooter with a custom firmware to unlock more speed and torque.


Are you happy with your current top speed and torque? Lucky you, you don’t need to flash your scooter at all, just install a bigger battery to get more range.


Do you want more speed and torque? You have to flash a custom firmware. This is usually not too complicated: you get an Android smartphone, install a special app, connect to your scooter via bluetooth, press a few buttons, and that’s it, the scooter is flashed. 


I will make a detailed flashing tutorial later, but for now I just give you names of the most popular custom firmwares: “XiaoDash” and “ScooterHacking”. Try to google and discover it, there are many tutorial posts and videos in the Internet.

Stage 1. Additional internal battery

This option gives the best performance increase for its price. It almost doubles your scooter range, and you can stay under $100 if making everything yourself.


The key idea is that there is no reason to COMPLETELY replace the scooter battery with another huge double capacity one, but it’s better to ADD another small battery with a capacity approximately equal to the original one, finally getting the same double capacity with both batteries installed. This kind of additional battery is not too huge, so it stays under $100 even if assembled of good branded cells. The battery is connected via a cheap wires splitter and located inside the scooter, so you do not have to spend money on an external bag as well.


This is how it looks, the DIY option:

And the professional edition:
This is how the range is increased:
Scooter range vs additional internal battery
A big advantage of this mod is that scooter keeps almost stock appearance and do not attract attention of police, which may be not happy that you made illegal changes to your vehicle.

This upgrade is possible for Xiaomi M365, 1S, Essential, Mi3, PRO, PRO2.

DIY this upgrade, using the following guide:

Or buy additional internal batteries in our shop:

Stage 2. Additional external battery

The previous option is amazing for its price, but some people wouldn’t like to sacrifice their scooter clearance for an additional internal battery accomodation. Okay, the next upgrade stage idea is to mount a bag at the scooter and put an additional battery there
The mod grants about 5 km/h more speed and 15-30 km more range depending on your weight and riding style:
External battery vs scooter range
External battery vs scooter top speed
The big advantage of this mod is that you can detach the external battery at any time, taking it to home or office for charging, leaving the scooter outside!
Detached battery charging
A little disadvantage of this mod is that the bag with wires sticking out of it may attract attention of police in countries with strict laws, like Germany.

This upgrade is possible for Xiaomi M365, 1S, Essential, Mi3, PRO, PRO2, Ninebot Max G30.

DIY guide is not finished yet, but read the following post:

External battery sets in our shop:

Stage 3. Custom extended internal battery

Well, this option is the most “nice and clean”: you just replace the original battery with a bigger one, covering it with an extended cover, but the loss in clearance is not as much as when installing an additional internal battery:

Expected performance boost is the following: 

Custom internal battery vs scooter range
Custom internal battery vs scooter top speed

This option is also a perfect choice if your scooter battery is exhausted after a few years of usage. The scooter frame, motor and electronics are still in perfect condition, so there is no reason to buy a new scooter. Yes, you pay almost a price of a new scooter for the new extended battery, but after all you get a scooter with double range and 10km/h more speed.

The advantage of the mod is that it keeps almost stock appearance of the scooter. The disadvantage is its price, but it can be reduced a bit by selling your used original battery for about 100 EUR.


This upgrade is possible for Xiaomi M365, 1S, Essential, Mi3, PRO, PRO2.


Complete DIY guide for this mod, where you can stay under $250 if making everything yourself:


Extended internal batteries in our shop:


As I said in the beginning of this post, 90% of people really don’t need to upgrade anything, just buying one of a few commonly used models with desired characteristics. 

The mods are mostly for 10% crazy geeks, who want to have an unique fast, small, “legal”, high quality e-scooter, looking stock, but overtaking all bicycles and e-scooters around.

The custom internal battery upgrade is also a good solution for ones who own scooter for many years and its battery is exhausted, not providing enough range and power anymore. Probably other scooter hardware is in perfect condition, and it’s better to invest money to a new battery rather to a whole new scooter. Yes, you pay almost a price of a new scooter for the new extended battery, but after all you get a scooter with double range and 10km/h more speed.


Are you DIY enthusiast? Make the desired mod yourself, saving money and enjoying the building process! Take a look at the following post, discovering all available DIY options:


Visit our online store! Get a ready-made kit, which can be installed in 10 minutes with a single screwdriver:

If you like this post, please share it on your social networks and e-scooter communities you belong to. It will really help me to get more customers, grow my small business, publish more posts, and release new cool devices. =)


I also invite you to join my telegram group related to Xiaomi and Ninebot electric scooters, where I share the newest inventions and answer the questions:

Thanks for your attention!