There are plenty of different types of personal transportation vehicles out there for consumers to choose from, leading some to pit an electric unicycle vs. an electric scooter. Even the best electric scooters, after all, lack the unique form factor of an electric unicycle. Keep reading to learn about the key differences between the two types of mobility vehicles.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Motorized scooters tend to be easier to ride than electric unicycles, thanks to the larger surface area and the inclusion of handlebars.
  • E-scooters are also slightly safer to ride, as the handlebars tend to include integrated braking systems.
  • When it comes to speed, battery life, maximum range, and cost, both of these vehicle types offer comparable results.

Differences Between an Electric Unicycle and an Electric Scooter

The primary difference between an electric unicycle and a motorized scooter is the number of wheels, as a unicycle has just one wheel while a scooter has two. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to comparing these two types of electric vehicles. Here are other differences you should consider before making a purchase.

Balance

Motorized scooters are easier to ride than electric unicycles thanks to the increased balance provided by the handlebars and the extra wheel. Most people will be able to hop onto an electric scooter for the first time and instantly be able to maneuver at will. The same cannot be said for an electric unicycle, as they feature a much steeper learning curve than an electric scooter. Just as when considering an electric skateboard vs. an electric scooter, the handlebars simply make the scooter easier to ride.

Shock Absorption

Again, electric scooters have an edge here. The extra wheel, extra surface area, and handlebars provide a smoother riding experience over bumpy roads than what can be found with an electric unicycle. These handlebars allow riders to grip on tight when approaching a bump in the road or a crack in the road, a feature unicycles lack. Additionally, it can be difficult for electric unicycle riders to avoid these cracks or bumps, as sideway maneuvers are tough to pull off due to the nature of the design.

Safety

The handles of most electric scooters include brakes of some kind, making them easier to stop in an emergency. Unicycle riders must physically lean back in order to stop or avoid obstacles, which can make new riders more prone to accidents. The increased control of an electric scooter also helps riders avoid potholes and the like.

Insider Tip

Adhere to the maximum weight limit of any personal transportation vehicle to ensure you can reach the fastest speeds possible.

Speed

When comes to speed, it is a draw between the two vehicle types, as speed largely depends on the make and model of your specific vehicle and the included electric motor. In other words, powerful motors will feature higher maximum speeds. Electric scooters and electric unicycles feature a relatively similar maximum speed range when you consider the large array of makes and models out there. However, when you are considering an electric scooter vs. a gas scooter, the gas scooter will have the edge with speed.

Battery and Range

Both electric scooters and electric unicycles typically include the same lithium battery packs, meaning you can expect a similar range from each device. Of course, this will depend on the make and model of your actual scooter or unicycle and how large the battery is. Other factors can also impact range, such as the rider’s body weight and the type of terrain you are going over.

Cost

This is a draw. Both electric scooters and electric unicycles come in at similar price points, though there are outliers when it comes to budget-friendly units and ultra-expensive high-end models. The price will generally boil down to the motor design, battery life, durability, range, and any additional features you desire for the vehicle.

Fun Factor

Both of these vehicles are fun, though electric unicycles certainly offer a more unique experience for the rider. The single-wheel design can really impress friends and family, once you get the hang of it, whereas riding an electric scooter has become relatively commonplace.

Warning

Make sure to always wear appropriate safety gear when you ride a scooter or a unicycle, including a helmet, knee pads, and more.

F.A.Q.S

Do electric unicycles require maintenance?

They do need some maintenance. Try to regularly maintain the tire pressure and be sure to pay special attention to the battery. Never allow the battery to drain to zero percent and try to charge the unicycle after each ride.


What’s the future of electric unicycles?

This vehicle type has been making major inroads the past few years, so the future looks bright. New features are forthcoming, including models that include suspension, regenerative braking, and more. You should expect quality and QA to improve in the coming years.


Is a motorized unicycle right for your needs?

This depends on what you are looking for in a vehicle. These unicycles offer a significant fun factor, but they are harder to ride than scooters.



STAT: In 1977 Charles Gabriel presented an electric unicycle that resembles the design of today’s devices. (source)

Lawrence Bonk

Lawrence Bonk is a copywriter with a decade of experience in the tech space, with columns appearing in Engadget, Huffington Post and CBS, among others. He has a cat named Cinnamon.

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