Can you use an Electric Scooter in the rain ?
Electric scooters have become incessantly popular in recent years. And while they can pretty much get you anywhere, can you use an electric scooter in the rain?
Much like any other electrical component, electric scooters are not recommended for use in rain. The water will damage the battery, and you run the risk of an electric shock.
But if you want to further waterproof your scooter and learn of the dangers of rain commuting, then read on.
Here’s a list of all the dangers you face in the rain, both for you and your scooter.
Dangers to ride an Electric Scooter in the rain
Electric scooters, being electronic in operation, are no doubt vulnerable to water and rain damage. Lack of visibility and mobility are the biggest culprits of electric scooter accidents.
Here are the common issues that people face when they try to use an electric scooter in the rain.
Visibility in the rain is sufficiently low. It is due to the heavy rain droplets blocking out your vision. But the rain isn’t the only issue here. Many times, the rain is accompanied by fog and dense humidity. It means that visibility can be low even before or after it’s done raining.
Another factor that comes into play here is the water going into your eyes. Wear goggles, an helmet or a visor/cap to keep the water away from your eyes. The visor will especially help if you wear glasses and need to keep them dry.
High standing rainwater
Rainwater can collect on roads and trails (especially if there’s a poor drainage system). Scooters require a flat surface to work on. But when there are ounces of water gushing against your feet, your scooter becomes less than efficient.
It is because of the drag caused by the water. And if your scooter is designed to float, it won’t be able to stand grounded in the water. In this case, the only thing you can do is just walk.
Be careful in high standing rainwater, as the water will mask any open manholes or ditches. Consider public transport over walking or scootering.
Cold and freezing rain
Another issue people face when scootering in the rain is cold freezing water stabbing their skin. But it’s not just your own discomfort that underlines the problem. Your electric scooter too takes quite the beating in harsh weather.
Most electric scooters have waterproofing, but a lot of them can’t withstand the cold. It’s either the internal components that start to malfunction or the tires that give way. Extreme cold is jarring to the health of the tires.
This, plus the levers and mechanical parts of the scooter can get jammed. And your battery can die as well if it’s too cold. To prevent your scooter from cold-weather damage, carefully tuck it in a coat and get on your local transit. Then remember to warm it up when you get home.
Slower emergency reaction time
We can say that our scooter will leave our side in unpromising conditions. The levers will fail, the battery will die, and you run the risk of an electric shock.
It leaves with you no way to go home, save for your own two feet, or any public transport. If you’re caught in a storm, chances are that public transport will be unavailable or delayed. In this case, you will be left with little hope of getting home in time.
The best way to counter this is to ask someone for a ride. You’ll still have your phone on you. You can also take shelter in a nearby canopy or public building, such as a church or park.
Common Electric Scooter accidents / injuries that can happen riding in rain
Electric scooters are good as dead if the weather becomes too harsh. But they can safely get you home in mild rain. However, there are other risks you may run, such as electric shock and a dead battery.
Here are the most common electric scooter accidents and how to fix them.
Getting electrocuted by your own scooter is a very rare occurrence. Electric scooters are designed to withstand a substantial amount of rain and moisture. And the casing is tightly packed to prevent any water leaking inside.
However, if the case gives way, or if the scooter is submerged, you may get electrocuted. Your chances of getting hit by an electric shock increase when you tamper with the equipment. The casing comes factory-sealed. And if you open it once, you just might not put it back correctly.
Also, your scooter isn’t completely waterproof. It has an IP rating (more on that later), and if you submerge it beyond its capacity, the water will start to leak.
To prevent electric shocks, it’s always a good idea to pack anti-shock shoes. Also, try to keep your scooter out of high standing water on the ground.
Front tire slip
Front tire skids can lead to nasty crashes. And the situation can get worse if there are oil and grease on the road that will make it slicker.
If possible, find a sidewalk or unpaved road to take home. This way, you avoid your front tires sliding off of oil. The tread pattern and wet-road rating of your tires also matter. Even the tires best rated for wet-performance can skid on oil.
Battery is dead and Scooter is stopping
A burnt or dead battery can land you in a sticky situation. And if you’re not careful enough, you can easily become stranded in the middle of a storm. Batteries can go dead for several reasons, including cold-weather and water damage.
The water will damage other components first before getting to the battery. But the cold can cause your battery to overwork, especially if the conditions are below freezing. Dead batteries can be avoided by not using the electric scooter in the cold.
When can you use an electric scooter in the rain? If the conditions are favourable, most scooters can survive light rain. But when the weather gets rough, your best shot is to just find shelter or get on the local transport.
Are Electric Scooters Waterproof?
Yes, but not quite. Waterproof means the scooter does not allow any water to get in. This is usually the result of some special waterproof coatings being applied to the surface. But most electric scooters are water-resistant, which means they can resist water to a certain extent.
What are Electric Scooter IP ratings?
An IP rating indicates how well the scooter is able to resist water. The rating will be in two-digit numbers. The first digit represents how well the product can resist solids, such as dust and screws. The second digit defines the liquid protection of the scooter.
For instance, an IP rating of 54 means the scooter can resist dust as well as splashes of water. The dust rating isn’t of concern here. Normally, the water rating should be between 3 and 7. Most scooters can only resist splashes and light sprays of water.
Make sure to have good fenders
Aside from the IP rating, you can look for features such as fenders that prevent water from damaging the scooter. Fenders keep the water splashes minimal, and they ensure that the water doesn’t leak into any crevices.
A good fender would be positioned such that the water is reflected at steep angles. Sometimes, if the angle is too low, the water will hit the road below and come splashing right back up. Look for fenders that are at 90 degrees to the wheel of the scooter.
Issues that can happen if you don't protect an Electric Scooter in the rain
When your scooter is short on waterproofing, the rain can get the best of it. It’s not recommended to use the scooter in the rain.
But if you’re already outside and need to carry the scooter, then here’s why you need to waterproof it.
Inside the Scooter
If we let rainwater go inside the scooter, then this can be the death of your device. The water will go into electrical components, such as the battery and the motor.
Damage to the motor can result in permanent loss of speed and acceleration. Soon your scooter will be taking hours to reach its destination. And the motor can stop completely, forcing you to buy a new one.
As for the battery, it will most likely get damaged, or worse, blow up and cause some form of hazard. Batteries are the most fragile here, but there are other components too. The LCD screen, for instance, can completely shut off.
Some scooters have safety features where they turn off at the slightest inconvenience. But don’t bet on that. It is better to waterproof your scooter or not use it entirely.
Outside The Scooter
The condition of the exterior should be the least of your concerns. But water can and will degrade the outside of your scooter.
If your scooter doesn’t use a rust-resistant material, the first signs of damage you will see will be rusting. Water can cause other forms of corrosion as well. And if your scooter uses an LCD screen, the water can go into the screen and render it useless.
Another thing to note is that heavy rain can damage the tires if you use them. They will skid and slip and lose their traction. This is why it is important to get good fenders that direct the water away from your scooter’s casing.
How to Make Electric Scooter Waterproof?
So how can you use an electric scooter in the rain? While we don’t necessarily recommend using it, you can enhance its endurance for unfavourable weather.
If you feel like your scooter doesn’t resist water quite well, here’s how you can improve its durability.
If your scooter comes with a digital display, it is important to protect it. There are certain solutions present on the internet that can waterproof your display. Simply search “LCD waterproof solution” or any other type of sealant.
Your scooter’s display may already come with a screen protector. However, this protector won’t keep water from getting in from the sides of the screen. So it’s always best to use a solution to waterproof the edges.
Seal all the cracks
Again, you need a special solution for this. A waterproofing sealant is simply liquid silicone that hardens as it dries out. Use a waterproof sealant to fill in all the gaps. Look for crevices around the screen, buttons, handlebars, and areas where the metal is welded.
What’s best about silicone sealants is that they retain their consistency even under low temperature. So you’ll be covered for most of the winter.
You can also wrap up the neck and body of the scooter in plastic. Keep in mind that these are just to keep the scooter as splash-resistant as possible. Don’t think you can submerge the scooter in water with these.
Protect the connections
Connections are harder to see if the casing is compact. We do not recommend opening the case to expose these connections. That will not only affect the waterproofing of the case but also damage the components.
However, if there are some visible connections, such as those for the brakes and handles, then here’s how to waterproof them.
You can use a silicone tape or special silicone paint (more expensive) to wrap around the wire. We can do this for any visible pipes and hoses.
Additionally, you can use a cable tie or clip on the wire just before the connection. The idea here is that the water accumulates behind the clip and drips off before it reaches the connection.
Lastly, you can make use of waterproof sprays. Waterproof sprays don’t prevent water from going into crevices. Instead, they prevent water from wetting your screen, brakes, handlebars, and the body in general.
Spray the neck, handles, cables, and the body with a waterproof spray. If you want protection on the tires, you can consider waxing them. But they might get slippery, especially on wet conditions.
Turtle wax is the best in this case, as it is water and grime resistant. The best part is that you can repurpose your waterproof spray for just about anything. It works on a bunch of different materials.
Using an electric scooter in the rain can cost you more than just taking the local transport. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for the worst.
So can you use an electric scooter in the rain? No, but you can waterproof it. Rembert that this is only to protect the scooter in case it rains when you’re already outside. We don’t recommend purposely taking your scooter outside to commute in the rain.
Remember to stay indoors, stay safe, and keep yourself and your electric scooter dry!