The throttle in electric scooters sets them apart from conventional manual bikes. It is an easy-to-use feature included in the design of an e-scooter as a part of the mechanism for its power supply. Furthermore, like most automobiles, an electric scooter's throttle helps you regulate the speed of your ride.
There are four different types of throttles found on electric scooters: trigger, thumb, twist, and wheel. The type found on a particular scooter is usually a function of the brand.
Keep reading as we provide adequate information about the mechanism of the electric scooter throttle. We also highlight the common types, their pros and cons, and what to consider when choosing one to use in your scooter.
What is an Electric Scooter Throttle?
An electric scooter throttle is that component of the scooter that gives the rider the ability to control the speed of the ride. Basically, the more pressure you mount on the throttle, the faster the electric scooter would travel.
On electric scooters, you mostly find the throttle on the handlebar. In some e-scooter designs, the handlebar is the throttle (as you would have in a motorcycle). The placement of the throttle in an area close to the fingers allows easy access and quick control using the hands, the thumb, or other fingers. It also makes acceleration on the electric scooter as smooth as possible.
Types of Electric Scooter Throttle
Electric scooter throttles are of different types. These different types have unique ways of working and different sensitivity levels. These throttle types include:
1. Trigger Throttle
The trigger throttle works using a (finger) trigger throttle system, which accelerates with aid of the torque. It is convenient, easy to use, and considered the most efficient throttle type for racing competitions. The trigger throttle is a commonly used type and is usually attached to the handlebars with an LCD. There are two major models for trigger throttles: the QS-S4 trigger and the EY3 trigger. Furthermore, these models have similar components and use similar activation mechanisms.You can activate both designs by pulling on a lever attached to the throttle. It also comes with an LCD and a USB port (QS-S4).
- Popular among high-performance electric scooters
- Allows a high degree of tuning and performance
- A replacement is readily available
- Increased regenerative braking strength with cruise control
- The position of the throttle is uncomfortable for most riders causing hand cramps
- It makes brake lever activation difficult
- Acceleration using trigger throttle requires high torque
2. Thumb Throttle
This type of throttle is suitable for entry-level e-scooters and offers linear control and an ergonomic hand position. Furthermore, its design allows the hands to maintain a firm grip on the handlebars, allowing for easier maneuverability of the scooter. Thumb throttles come in different variations but retain a basic design principle of activating the throttle through the thumb. They are best for modulating speed and smartly navigating past bumps and unfavorable terrains.
- Linear control is commendable
- Throttle placement is comfortable
- Brake activation with thumb throttle is easy
- The plug-and-play connector may be lacking in thumb throttle
- Trigger throttle is often easier to modulate than this throttle type
Thumb throttles are the ideal throttles an electric scooter should have, as it makes speed control easy. And this is why it is the throttle type of the V8 Dual-Battery Electric Scooter, a new model scooter from TurboAnt.
Asides from a thumb control, this scooter also features a 450 W brushless front motor, which gives it enough power to reach a top speed of 20 mph. This scooter also has dual 7.5 Ah batteries positioned at the deck and stem. Furthermore, the stem battery is detachable, which gives you the leverage to plan for a spare battery.
The TurboAnt V8 Electric Scooter has a maximum range of 50 miles, and a maximum load capacity of 275 lb, making it the ideal scooter for adult riders. Its 9.3-inch pneumatic tires and dual spring suspension make for the most comfortable rides on the majority of urban road surfaces.
3. Twist Throttle
The functions of an electric scooter twist throttle are similar to that of a motorcycle throttle. It is controlled by twisting or rolling the handlebar to control the scooter's speed. It provides an ergonomic and intuitive hand position, providing good control for riders. It is not commonly used in E-scooters but remains a viable option if you are used to motorcycle operations.
- This throttle's operation is similar to that found on motorcycles
- Throttle placement enhances a comfortable hand position
- Splendid control
- Difficult to replace
- Potential difficulty in activating brakes
- Style is unusual
4. Wheel Throttle
Last on the list is the wheel throttle. The wheel offers a comfortable hand position you can control by rolling the wheel inward to boost speed. On the other hand, rolling outward helps regenerative brakes to bring the scooter to a halt. When accelerating, the wheel throttle provides a strong front torque. It is quite easy to use, and some consider it the best in hand positioning.
- Control here is powerful and intuitive
- Ergonomic hand placement
- Brake activation with this throttle type is easy
- Uncommon throttle design
- Difficult to replace since it is not popular in the market
How Does an Electric Scooter Throttle Work?
The act of throttling an electric scooter engages both the speed controller and the battery simultaneously. In other words, when you engage the throttle, you are asking the speed controller and battery to channel power to the motor to foster scooter acceleration—making throttling a power-consuming action.
This also means a throttle helps battery management. Basically, as long as you do not throttle for long periods or engage full power, your battery lasts for a longer distance.
How your throttle works depends on the type, sensitivity mode, and level. More pressure on the throttle for the sensitivity mode translates to higher acceleration and speed. Moreover, there are different ways one can activate a throttle, depending on the type; twist of the hand, button press, lever pull, or wheel adjustment.
Also, the power band of electric scooters is adjustable, but the degree of adjustment depends on the make and model of the scooter.
What to Consider When Choosing an Electric Scooter Throttle
When choosing an electric scooter type, it is important to consider several factors to arrive at the most suitable choice. Some of these factors include:
How you would like to grip the handlebar of your electric scooter plays a huge role in determining the type of throttle you choose. A thumb throttle is ideal if you prefer wrapping your fingers around the handlebar.
This type of throttle also gives you increased control over the electric scooter. On the other hand, if you want a free thumb helping with the handlebar grip, with less control on the fingers, then a trigger throttle is best.
Riding an electric scooter with the throttle and brake system mounted forward is usually not the safest. This is because there is a potential for the throttle to interfere with the brake lever, especially when you want to stop quickly. In other words, you might accelerate when you want to stop. You find situations like this when using a trigger and twisting the throttle.
However, you would not experience situations like this when using the thumb and wheel throttle. Since an electric scooter's thumb throttle relies on a different mechanism, eliminating confusion.
The hallmark of a good throttle is smooth, seamless acceleration. An acceleration makes controlling your scooter difficult, especially when dealing with uneven terrains. You might press the thumb throttle mistakenly with the many vibrations encountered when off-roading. This means that a trigger throttle will do better for the uneven terrains in off-roading. For best results, you need to identify what your acceleration needs are.
The durability of your electric scooter throttle is also an important factor. Even though it is difficult to determine the durability of an electric scooter, it is advisable to go for the best product in the market instead of settling for a budget commuter electric scooter.
A throttling of your e-scooter should remain a comfortable action irrespective of the distance traveled. Riders using a thumb throttle complain that after riding a long distance, they feel fatigued in their thumb or hand. This situation is prevalent in riders who have existing conditions like joint pain and arthritis.
On the other hand, you can ride an electric scooter with trigger throttles for long periods since they do not require much hand movement.
The Difference Between an E-Scooter Throttle and a PAS (Pedal Assist System)
The throttle and PAS are both systems used by automobiles for acceleration. Both of these systems have their merits and demerits. Let us examine both systems to help you make the right decision.
PAS (Pedal Assist System)
The PAS allows riders to select the level of assistance they require from the system. The level ranges from low to high, depending on how fast the rider is pedaling. This system is common on e-bikes, and pedaling engages the motor.
Electric Scooter Throttle
This type of throttle is common on electric scooters and found on its handlebar. Riders activate it by twisting or pressing down depending on the make and model. Activating the throttle propels the electric scooter forward, and releasing it stops it.
Electric scooter throttles are efficient and therefore make life easier for riders. Easy-to-access throttles allow for quicker reactions and a smoother, convenient riding experience. Deciding on a throttle type depends greatly on your preference and the purpose of the scooter.