Electricity And Water, Should You Be Careful?
The usual answer to this question is, yes, you probably should be careful.
As electric scooters are becoming more common all over the world, along with many other electric riding devices, I see many people asking these questions.
The problem here is that this is not a simple question, it will depend on who’s riding the electric scooter and also, more importantly, what kind of electric scooter we’re talking about. I will go more into depth on this question below.
Can I Ride My Electric Scooter In The Rain?
Being able to ride your electric scooter in the rain will depend on what kind of electric scooter you’re using.
There are many different ones on the market and they can differ quite a lot in terms of their IP/X-Rating (aka, how resistant/tolerant they are to water/dust/dirt). It will also depend on who’s riding the electric scooter.
If you are an experienced rider you will probably be okay, however, a beginner might be too confident and not consider the changes to the breaks and the road conditions they’re riding on when wet.
Electric Scooters And IPX-Rating
IP-Rating stands for “Ingress Protection”.
IP-rating and IPX-rating is a measurement that gets thrown around quite a lot in many products, not just electric scooters. Speakers, clothing, smartphones, watches, you name it.
In terms of electric scooters, an IP or IPX-rating will let you know how tolerant/resistant the electric scooter will be to rain/dust according to the manufacturer.
Some companies will use IP and some will use IPX, the IP generally for dust/rocks and the X for liquid/water. This can be quite confusing but it will depend on what kind of item it is.
Since this article is about rain specifically I won’t go into dust protection too much.
To get you a better idea of IP ratings and how they work in real life, I will show you a table below.
|IP Rating||Riding Conditions|
|None||Not tested by manufacturer|
|IPX4||Wet ground, light infrequent rain, mist/fog|
|IPX5||Light constant rain, small puddles, mist/fog|
|IP34||Infrequent dust, rocky roads, wet ground and infrequent rain|
|IP54||Off-roading, wet ground, mist/fog, infrequent rain|
|IP55||Off-roading, small puddles, light constant rain|
|IP65||Off-roading, dirtroads, small puddles, light constant rain|
|IP67||Can go offroad on all terrain, constant rain, larger puddles|
These ratings can be rather confusing, why don’t they just go 1-10 for example? Well, they generally do in many cases, the thing is that different manufacturers will test their products for different things.
After browsing through many of the electric scooters on the market, the ratings above are the ones most commonly used.
IP Rating Example
If you want to get a better understanding of the ratings, I’ll give you an example below.
IP65 – Suitable for off-roading, riding on dirt roads, going through small puddles, can withstand light constant rain.
The IP is the term used, it means it’s been officially tested.
The 6 is a measure showing how much it can withstand in terms of objects like dust/rocks.
The 5 is a measure showing how much it can withstand in terms of water being projected at the product and/or possible immersion(going underwater). This is not advised with any electric scooter.
My Electric Scooter Doesn’t Have An IP-Rating, Why?
Many electric scooters aren’t made to be out driving in the forest or in the rain. Does this mean that your electric scooter will break as soon as some light rain falls on it? Probably not.
For example, the latest electric scooter that I’ve been using doesn’t have an IPX-rating by the manufacturer.
Does this mean that I won’t ride home if it’s raining lightly? No. Will I wait for the rain to calm down if there’s a storm? Yes.
Just because one doesn’t have an IPX-rating doesn’t mean it can’t survive some light rain, it just means that it’s not guaranteed by the manufacturer to survive.
Think about it, if it’s not 100% certain that a scooter can survive light rain and it still is listed as IPX5, companies would have a massive problem with warranties.
Rain And User Safety
Apart from some electric scooters not being as resistant to water as others, an equally important thing is user control.
I’ve been riding different electric scooters for some time now, I believe I am able to control it well regardless of what kind of ground I’m riding on.
However, when the ground is wet it can become quite slippery at moments even for an experienced rider. Some electric scooters have larger wheels with a better grip that can withstand worse road conditions, however, they’re still small in comparison to a car for example; and also, scooters obviously only have two wheels.
Even riding on wet pavement can seem fine at first but when you’re forced to slow down quickly or make a turn, you’ll notice that the water on the ground affects the friction. This can cause loss of control and possible accidents.
Apart from the wheels not being able to get the same grip, mechanical breaks might be affected by water. This could make the breaks apply less pressure than they normally would.
If you are not aware of these potential changes, you might not appreciate the time it’s gonna take for you to actually stop at a road.
Many people might think that electric scooters are toys but they’re not. Many of the electric scooters on the market have speed limits of around 20km/h or 12mp/h. However, some can go as fast as over 60km/h or 35mp/h.
This is no longer just a toy, it is the same as a moped, the only difference being that it is charged by electricity instead of filled with gas. Even at the lower speed limits, you can still cause serious injury or death to others or yourself, especially if you’re driving in a crowded area with cars, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Add wet roads to this equation and you can see the real danger. Bottom line, if you’re going to be riding while it’s raining or even after it’s been raining, you have to be more cautious, even if you see yourself as an experienced rider.
Always go through the user manual of your electric scooter to see what the manufacturer has written regarding riding conditions, more precisely, an IPX-rating if there is one.
Regardless of your previous experience riding electric scooters, always take into consideration to be cautious when the riding conditions are changed by rain.
An electrical scooter is always gonna be at least somewhat vulnerable to large amounts of water, regardless of the IP-Rating. Also, remember that it’s powered by electricity. Sure, so is my Tesla but it’s also much more protected than a lightweight scooter.
If there’s just some light rain, you will probably be okay. If it’s pouring down and there’s a big storm with big puddles, I would advise you to wait for sunnier days.