When it comes to electric scooters, I consider myself quite the expert. I have spent countless hours testing various models to determine which ones are truly worth your consideration. While not every scooter is exceptional enough to make it onto my list of top recommendations, there are still a few that deserve a mention. In this article, I will delve into the details of these additional scooters that have caught my attention.
First on the list is the Navee S65. As a relatively new brand in the US market, Navee is quickly making a name for itself. I had the opportunity to test the S65, and I must say, it was a delightful experience (7/10, WIRED Recommends). With a top speed of 20 mph, I was able to complete 16-mile round trips on a regular basis. However, it’s worth noting that pushing the scooter to its limits tends to drain the battery quickly. The S65 features a geared hub motor, which provides excellent acceleration and makes climbing slopes a breeze. However, one drawback of this motor is that it produces a lot of noise, which can be a little off-putting when riding on quiet streets. Weighing in at 53 pounds, the S65 is slightly heavier than the Niu scooter, but it offers a similar range. It’s important to mention that since Navee is a relatively new brand, there may be some concerns about their customer service. Despite these minor drawbacks, I had a great time riding the Navee S65.
Next up is the Apollo Ghost. This scooter weighs a hefty 64 pounds, making it less suitable for walkups. However, if you can handle the weight, it offers a thrilling ride (8/10, WIRED Recommends). Equipped with dual 1,000-watt motors, the Ghost can reach speeds of up to 34 mph (if legal in your area). During my testing, I primarily relied on the single motor, cruising comfortably at speeds ranging from 20 to 25 mph. The Ghost boasts impressive power and an extended range, making it an ideal choice for those living in hilly cities. On a single charge, I was able to cover about 20 miles, although Apollo claims a generous 37-mile range. The scooter features front and visibility LEDs, as well as a taillight for added safety. The braking system options include wire-controlled discs or hydraulic brakes. While the wire-controlled discs provided sufficient stopping power for me, the hydraulic brakes offer more responsiveness and reliability.
Another scooter worth considering is the Evolv Terra. In terms of performance, it rivals the Apollo Ghost, but comes in at a slightly lower price point of $1,242 (7/10, WIRED Recommends). Weighing in at 53 pounds, the Terra is lighter and more portable than the Ghost. Its dual 600-watt motors offer similar power, allowing for speeds of up to 31 mph (check local speed laws before riding). However, I found that cruising at 20 mph on the second gear speed setting with the single motor was quite comfortable. In terms of range, I usually had two bars of battery left after 15 miles, indicating that it has the potential to last more than 20 miles with conservative speed usage. The suspension is average, but the solid tires can make the ride feel bumpy on rough roads. Additionally, the fenders don’t provide much protection, as I ended up with specks of dirt on my back after a wet ride. The stem’s angle can be a little uncomfortable, and the absence of a thumb throttle led to wrist discomfort on longer rides. However, these are relatively minor complaints considering the price point of the scooter.
If you’re on a budget and looking for a more affordable option, the Radio Flyer S533 may be a suitable choice. Priced at $599, this scooter surprised me with its performance during testing. With a folding mechanism that is simple and easy to use, weighing only 30 pounds, and boasting a maximum range of approximately 8 miles on a single charge, the S533 is a convenient option for short trips (not a commuter scooter). Despite its 220-pound load capacity, I found that I averaged around 14 mph on its top speed of 16 mph. This scooter is perfect for quick runs to the post office, grocery store, or even for satisfying a craving for a Cinnabon cinnamon roll. However, considering its power and performance, I would expect the price to be a bit lower. It’s also worth noting that I encountered some issues with the scooter I received for testing, such as a deflated front tire and a non-functioning first model. However, once these issues were resolved, I did not face any further problems.
The Segway Ninebot F30 used to be one of my top recommendations, but after longer testing, I noticed that its range has significantly decreased compared to other scooters (around 6 miles instead of the original 10 miles). Despite this drawback, it is still a solid scooter with a top speed of 15 mph. With a comfortable riding experience, reliable lights, brakes, and an intuitively designed bell, the F30 is a great choice for riders on a budget. Weighing only 33 pounds, it is fairly lightweight and easily portable. For those looking for more speed and range, there is also the option to upgrade to the Ninebot F40 ($800), which offers improved performance. However, if I had to choose between the Ninebot models, I would still prefer the Niu KQi3 Pro at the $800 price point.
Lastly, let’s talk about the Apollo Air Pro. While it is a decent scooter overall (6/10, WIRED Review), I find it hard to justify its high price tag. With a top speed of 21 mph, I was able to ride it for about 13 to 15 miles before the battery died. The Air Pro comes equipped with all the necessary features, such as a front light and bell, and even offers app connectivity to customize settings. However, the app is required to unlock the scooter’s full speed capability, as it is initially limited to 12 mph. I was also not a fan of the folding mechanism, which required more effort than expected. Moreover, despite its weight of 39 pounds, I found it uncomfortable to carry due to its thick stem. It also lacks quick acceleration. It’s worth mentioning that I have not tested the new 2023 model, so there may be improvements in these areas.
In conclusion, while not all scooters make it onto the top recommendations list, there are several others that still offer a great riding experience. The Navee S65, Apollo Ghost, Evolv Terra, Radio Flyer S533, Segway Ninebot F30, and Apollo Air Pro all have their unique features and drawbacks. Depending on your specific needs and budget, any of these scooters could be a suitable choice.