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Is an electric scooter waterproof? IP ratings explained

Are electric scooters ok to ride in the rain?

Updated: Apr 21, 2023 9:25 am
Is an electric scooter waterproof? IP ratings explained

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As electric scooters become a go-to commuter option, the question of whether or not an electric scooter is waterproof arises.

The sunshine barely visits some regions, even in summer, so can you still use an electric scooter when it’s raining? Well, the answer is that some scooters, but not all, are waterproof or at least come with a basic IP rating.

IP ratings are used by manufacturers of electrical goods to inform you of their ability in the wet. An IP rating can vary from a very light drizzle, all the way to bordering on aquatic.

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Are all electric scooters waterproof?

No, not all electric scooters are waterproof and even the ones that claim to be waterproof/resistant, this can vary quite a lot.

It is even worth noting that some manufacturers may advise you against using your electric scooter in the rain.

The waterproof nature of electric scooters varies from not being water resistant at all to feel free to splash some pedestrians by going through that giant puddle.

How do e-scooter waterproof ratings work? IP ratings explained

You will likely see your electric scooter comes with an IP rating if it is at all waterproof.

Products that can be damaged by the elements often come with an IP rating but what is this and what does it stand for?

IP ratings, sometimes known as IP codes, define how effectively your electric scooter can handle wet and debris and stands for “ingress protection“.

IP ratings provide you with guidelines and are published by the International Electrotechnical Commission.

The first digit in an IP code/ rating is a measure of protection from intrusive solid objects (rated 1-6) and then the second digit measures in protection from water (rated 1-9). So, if your electric scooter has an IP rating of IP54, you can quickly determine its capabilities.

Let’s take a look at what the first and second digits mean according to Wikipedia:

First IP digit

Level sizedEffective againstDescription
XX means there is no data available to specify a protection rating with regard to this criterion.
0No protection against contact and ingress of objects
1> 50 mm
2.0 in
Any large surface of the body, such as the back of a hand, but no protection against deliberate contact with a body part
2> 12.5 mm
0.49 in
Fingers or similar objects
3> 2.5 mm
0.098 in
Tools, thick wires, etc.
4> 1 mm
0.039 in
Most wires, slender screws, large ants etc.
5Dust protectedIngress of dust is not entirely prevented, but it must not enter in sufficient quantity to interfere with the safe operation of the equipment.
6Dust-tightNo ingress of dust; complete protection against contact (dust-tight). A vacuum must be applied. Test duration of up to 8 hours based on airflow.

Second IP digit

LevelProtection againstEffective against
1Dripping waterDripping water (vertically falling drops) shall have no unsafe effect on the specimen when mounted in an upright position onto a turntable and rotated at 1 RPM.
2Dripping water when tilted at 15°Vertically dripping water shall have no harmful effect when the enclosure is tilted at an angle of 15° from its normal position.
3Spraying waterWater falling as a spray at any angle up to 60° from the vertical shall have no harmful effect.
4Splashing of waterWater splashing against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effect.
5Water jetsWater projected by a nozzle (6.3 mm (0.25 in)) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6Powerful water jetsWater projected in powerful jets (12.5 mm (0.49 in)) against the enclosure from any direction shall have no harmful effects.
6KPowerful water jets with increased pressureWater projected in powerful jets (6.3 mm (0.25 in) nozzle) against the enclosure from any direction, under elevated pressure, shall have no harmful effects.
7Immersion, up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) depthIngress of water in harmful quantity shall not be possible when the enclosure is immersed in water under defined conditions of pressure and time (up to 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) of submersion).
8Immersion, 1 meter (3 ft 3 in) or more depthThe equipment is suitable for continuous immersion in water under conditions that shall be specified by the manufacturer. However, in certain types of equipment, it can mean that water can enter but only in such a manner that it produces no harmful effects.
9KPowerful high-temperature water jetsProtected against close-range high-pressure, high-temperature spray downs.

A lot of the electric scooters come with a rating of IP54, meaning they are dust protected, although not entirely and they can handle a splash of water on the enclosure with no harmful effect.

Can you ride electric scooters in the rain?

As you can tell by the theme of this article so far, some scooters can be ridden in the rain, while others can not.

It is generally recommended by certain manufacturers such as Pure Electric, to aim for an IP rating of IP65. This rating would give you excellent water protection from every direction during those rainy months.

If you live somewhere where it rains very little or plan to mostly take your scooter out during the dryer months, an IP rating of IP54 may be all you need.

Regardless, make your you read into your specific electric scooter’s warranty and what it outlines as not all manufacturers will cover the cost of fixing water damage.

Can you wash an electric scooter?

Even if a scooter is not completely waterproof, you can indeed wash it. You must take extra care when washing an electric scooter but using a damp sponge to get most of the grime off should be absolutely fine.

Shaun, with a computer science degree and 15 years of computer experience, has been passionate about competitive FPS gaming since the mid-2000s.

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