Are all electric scooters waterproof?July 6th 2020
As popularity soars in the UK and across Europe, more and more people are looking towards e-scooters as a practical solution to their everyday mobility needs. Completing a short journey quickly while avoiding use of the car or public transport has never been so appealing.
However, the dream of everyday use of clean personal transport has always had a drawback in the form of rain, so understanding if your chosen e-scooter is waterproof is a really important issue.
E-scooter build quality and waterproofness go hand-in-hand, and these factors vary between brands and models, which can make choosing an e-scooter that can handle real world, everyday conditions a real minefield.
So, here we demystify waterproofness in e-scooters, and what it means for you.
Are all e-scooters truly waterproof?
This is the big question, and in the vast majority of cases, the answer is no. In fact, even if an e-scooter is claimed to be waterproof (or water resistant), many manufacturers will still advise riders to avoid using their products in the rain.
The reality is that waterproofness is rated on a scale, from ‘not waterproof at all’ to ‘completely waterproof’ and everything in between.
This can understandably leave riders without a clear message about when they can safely use their e-scooter, and in what conditions. So, how can you tell if an e-scooter is waterproof enough for your needs?
How waterproofness is measured: IP ratings explained
Waterproofness is measured using something called an ‘ingress protection standard’, which is published by the International Electrotechnical Commission. In effect, it standardises the testing and measurement of devices, so that a product can be given an objective rating of the protection it has built in. The higher the rating, the more protection you get from ingress.
Once tested, there are two digits given to an IP rating. For example, “IP64”. The first digit is a measure of protection from intrusion of solid objects (rated 1-6), and the second is a measure of protection from moisture (rated 1-9).
These are the basic definitions for the moisture protection ratings:
x/0 - Not rated
1 - Protection against vertically falling droplets, such as condensation.
2 - Protection against falling water droplets deflected up to 15° from vertical.
3 - Protection against moisture spray up to 60° from vertical.
4 - Protection against water splashes from all directions. Tested for a minimum of 10 minutes with an oscillating spray (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
5 - Protection against low-pressure jets (6.3mm) of directed water from any angle (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
6 - Protection against high-pressure jets (12.5mm) of directed water from any angle.
7 - Protection against full immersion for up to 30 minutes at depths between 15cm and 1m (limited ingress permitted with no harmful effects).
8 - Protection against extended immersion at greater depths. Precise parameters of this test are set and advertised by the manufacturer and may include additional factors such as temperature fluctuations and flow rates, depending on equipment type.
9K - Protection against high-pressure, high-temperature jet sprays, wash-downs or steam-cleaning procedures.
So, at IP64, a device has been tested and rated for protection against water splashes in all directions (the ‘6’ actually has nothing to do with moisture – this is its separate protection rating for solid object intrusion).
Note: an ‘x’ or ‘0’ rating (e.g. IP6x or IP60) indicates that no rating has been given for that measure.
I want to ride in the rain. What rating do I need?
For safe everyday use in typical rainy conditions, including riding through puddles, we recommend a rating of IP65.
This ‘5’ level of moisture protection gives effective ‘water resistance’, meaning that the e-scooter is designed to withstand and continue operating safely in the face of splashes and low-pressure spray, and is perfectly adequate for day-to-day responsible use.
Wait, your warranty matters!
Alongside the IP rating, you should also pay attention to the quality of the warranty that’s supplied by the manufacturer. This is because, although an e-scooter may test to a certain standard, not all manufacturers will cover this if something goes wrong.
For example, an e-scooter may carry a rating of IP65, but the warranty that accompanies it may stipulate coverage in dry weather conditions only, or warn against use in rain or through certain hazards like puddles. This means that, should the product develop a fault as a result of use outside of these recommendations, you could void your warranty despite adhering to the rating with best intentions.
For everyday riding in the rain, Pure Electric strongly recommends an IP65 rating and a warranty that backs use in wet conditions for real peace of mind.
The bottom line
There are three key lessons to take away when it comes to waterproofness and deciding which e-scooter is right for you:
- Check e-scooter IP ratings for an objective measure of waterproofness.
- Consider what conditions you’re likely to encounter (taking into account a worst-case scenario) on your e-scooter journeys.
- Check the manufacturer warranty to ensure it covers water resistance adequately.
And, if you’re looking for an e-scooter that is rated water resistant for everyday conditions, with the reassurance of a warranty that covers use in rain and riding through puddles, why not check out the Pure Air range of e-scooters.
Buy the Pure Air now.