The best Electric Scooter review New Zealand scooter models
We are over a year into the scooter craze that has swept the globe, and Lime rental scooters along with other rental scooter operators like Bird Scooters (Uber) and Flamingo scooters are on every street corner.
Many rental scooter users have worked out that the scooter rental cost can be high (around $18/hr including unlocking charge) and inconvenient. They have looked at buying a scooter. They have researched the best electric scooter for NZ. They have (sometimes) bought the right electric scooter. But sometimes not. Because the electric scooter industry is brand new, there is a lot of misinformation. There are many electric scooter reviews written by marketing and SEO companies to attract web traffic, by people who know nothing about electric scooters (you will have found some in the google search that led you to this article). This is not that sort of review. This is based on 3 years of escooter sales and service. And it’s warts-and-all review of scooter NZ users can and do buy.
Best Electric Scooter NZ Review
1. Inokim OXO / Inokim OX
2. Dualtron MX 1.5
3. Inokim Quick 3
4. Mercane Widewheel
5. Speedway Mini 4 Pro 500W
The Best Electric Scooter NZ Review
OK, technically there are 2 scooters in this position, and there is one number one spot. Stay with me here though because there is logic behind this selection!
At Electric Scooter Shop, the Inokim OX is the best-selling electric scooter, by some way. It is a well-established model, and performance is excellent. But the OXO is a better electric scooter. But is it better value? Read on to find out!
Firstly, the technical data.
The Inokim OXO has twin 1000W motors, one in each wheel, operating on a 60Volt system. The OX Super sports a single rear-wheel 1000W motor. The OXO has the hydraulic braking system matched to twin discs for powerful, modulated stopping, and the OX Super goes with a drum front and cable disc rear. It’s good, but not as good as those hydraulics. The OXO up-sizes to a 25.8V battery, the OX Super comes with a 20.8V unit.
Both scooters have the sublime single-sided swing-arm suspension. It is truly the best electric scooter suspension we have experienced. It is height-adjustable, and offers impressive float.
Let’s talk performance
Those twin 1000w motors in the OXO means there is serious torque, however the pickup is smooth and linear, not too vicious, and it swiftly overpowers gravity in a hill-climbing situation. On a flat run, where conditions allow, it will pull to 65km/h. This is still not the fastest electric scooter NZ has available, but it is more than enough for us!
For the OX Super with it’s single motor, the performance is more modest in comparison yet still sufficient for most users. 45km/h is your top speed, hill climbing is capable, and range is a brochured 100km under test conditions (flat road, 70kg rider, half throttle), however real-world riding and a real-world weight rider with real-world hills will chop into that range considerably. The OXO claims 110km range, but take that range-advice to heart and don’t expect 100km days out of either model, in practice.
Inokim are at thetop of the scooter game in terms of build quality. The folding mechanism deserves special praise, as it is 100% rigid and free of flex, with a micro-adjustment to take up and slack that appears over time. If you frequently fold your scooter, you will be thankful for this detail. The grips, paint finish, frame-forming and overall presentation right up to the excellent manual are all best-in-class.
These are heavy scooters, at 28kg for the OX Super and 32kg for the OXO, so don’t plan on carrying either up too many stairs!
The rear mudguard can be a bit flimsy
Charge time is 10-12 hours, so expect an overnight charge and consider a second charger to top up at work if you have a long commute.
Which is the best electric scooter? If money is no object, and particularly if you are a heavier rider, spend the extra $700 and buy the OXO. But for $700 less and with the same handling and build, the OX Super is still a worthy title contender!
2. Dualtron MX 1.5
Hailing from the Mini Motors company of Korea, Dualtron scooters have one overall objective - to offer the highest levels of performance available for a given price point. They offer up some frankly ludicrous scooters with mind-blowing performance statistics. The Dualtron Thunder for example will pull close to 100km. Yes, one hundred kilometres an hour! But is it a ‘best electric scooter’ contender? No. It’s too specialised, too expensive, and too downright scary to make this list! The Dualtron MX 1.5 however nails a beautiful sweet-spot of powerful performance and an attractive price, that makes it bang-for-buck the best performance electric scooter for the money.
First, the technical data
The Dualtron MX 1.5 runs twin 800w motors and a 60V system. There is a trigger-throttle, which this reviewer finds the most natural-feeling, and a vast range of mode adjustments, governing everything from the immediacy of acceleration to the intensity of the electric-assisted braking. Suspension is another bush system with excellent responsiveness.
Let’s talk performance
All motors are not created equal, and this kicks off the line like an angry mule. It just hooks up and goes, and the result is exciting and exhilarating. Dualtron upped the output from 52V to 60V for this 2nd-generation model, and the resulting benefit was immediately apparent. Hill-climbing is sensational. Braking can be adjusted through the console, and offers regeneration, and several levels of intensity from ‘steady slowing’ to ‘wow-what-just-happened?’! Top speed hovers around 55km/h. It’s fast.
It’s good, and reliable, but not as premium-feeling as the Inokim offering. The look is a little more ‘industrial’ (some prefer that, of course), and the folding mechanism isn’t as refined, which leads to a bit more potential flex in the steering tube. That said, these are small niggles and overall it’s still a solid and well-made package.
The folding mechanism uses a locking collar, and requires a strong hand to exert enough pressure to remove all movement. It also doesn’t stop movement when folded, so it’s not as manageable when packed down.
It’s another heavy scooter, and not ideal for lifting in and out of a car or carrying any distance.
3. Inokim Quick 3 Super
‘Another Inokim’ I hear you cry! ‘What is this, some sort of Inokim love-in self-promotion?’ Yet there is logic in this choice also. The reason for this selection is this is the scooter that many companies, and individuals, will buy when they want to do many things well and in comfort. This is the third generation of the ‘Quick’ model, and that doesn’t happen if a company isn’t delivering on their promises. This is a very capable all-rounder, and our most popular women’s electric scooter too.
First, the technical data
The Quick 3+, which is the model coming into NZ, has a 450W rear-hub motor, which is geared low and with more low-end torque than top-end speed. The tyres are 10” and very grippy, the exact same tyres as are found on the OX. Dual brakes are a front rim and rear cable disc brake. Battery is 13ah and it runs a 48V system. It weighs a hair under 17kg, and folds easily to lift into a car boot.
Let’s talk performance
Top speed of this one is 30km/h. Not fast relative to some on this list, but get this. It’s fast enough for most. Not everyone wants to tear around with their hair on fire, and with its lower gearing, this scooter will hum along happily on the flat and still hum along happily up a decent incline. The deck is low to the ground making this a very stable scooter and an excellent beginners or older person’s scooter, and the deck is also one of the widest around, so if you like to ride feet-together, (rather than skateboard stance) as many ladies do, it lends itself much more to that riding style.
This is a well thought-out scooter, and as you would expect from Inokim the build quality is excellent. Reliable batteries, durable components, excellent paint finish, and a range of vibrant colours available.
The folding system allows for a little play and movement. Nothing of concern, but if you want a totally rigid feel to your scooter, this wouldn’t be your first choice.
The front rim brake feels a bit old-school now, when discs are becoming more commonplace, but it still works just fine regardless. It wouldn’t be as good in wet conditions as a disc brake, but then we don’t recommend riding in the rain anyway.
4. Mercane WideWheel 1000w
A futuristic-looking and unique scooter, deserving of a place in the top 5 of any ‘Best Electric Scooter’ list! There is a 500w and 1000w version of this scooter, depending whether you go for the single or twin motor, but to make this list the 1000w version is our pick! Uniquely among ‘proper’ scooters it shuns the air-filled tyre for a super-low-profile, solid rubber offering. And those wheels! No kidding its a ‘wide wheel’ - it looks like it can stand unaided on those things (it can’t, but it sure looks like it should).
First the technical data
Our ‘Top 5 electric scooters’ pick of the 1000W Mercane rocks a grunty pair of 500W motors, juiced by a 13.2Ah battery. Not the biggest battery ever, but compact and lightweight. The real head-turner here are the wheels. Urethane foam, not traditional tyre rubber, and airless, they nevertheless have a springiness to them. This tips the scales at 20.4kg. Not featherweight, but still easily manageable, and its a slim chassis, too. Not too bad to heft around.
Let’s talk performance
So, how does it ride with those fat-boy wide wheels? Is this the best electric scooter for any particular user group? Yes, I think it could be. It rides….a bit weird. But you quickly dial in to that. It doesn’t have the roll side-to-side you get with regular tyres, and you don’t lean it right over to turn. You sort of hang off the side a bit, like a sidecar rider, and pull it around the corners. It’s fun when you get into it! It’s great over grass as it doesn’t sink in, and there is sufficient torque to keep it going on softer ground. As escooters go the ride is plusher that many at the price point, and the excellent suspension makes it softer than you would think for airless tyres. Perhaps its the wider contact patch with the road that spreads the load a bit.
How’s the power? It’s ample for the design. 40km/h is achievable, and is as fast as you would want to be going. Pickup is quick, the smaller wheels will help here with the natural lower gearing effect, and it pulls hard. It’s a hoot, really!
This looks, overall, like a well-specced piece of kit. Die-cast seamless construction gives is a flowing, design-led appearance which is reassuringly sturdy.
The folding mechanism is a bit plasticky and doesn’t feel as strong as the rest of the scooter. A bit underbraked with just the rear disc, and the control screen (or lack of) takes a bit of getting used to. These comments are based on the 2019 model however, and we believe have been addressed in the 2020 model, due in NZ around March 2020.
5. Speedway Mini 4 Pro 500W
A worthy contender on a Top 5 Best Electric Scooters list, and a pocket-rocket e-scooter par excellence, The Speedway Mini 4 Pro 500W has bog-scooter heart and performance in a gutsy little package. If you are particularly interested in portable performance, then read on….
First the technical data
As the title suggests, this is a 500W motor, sharing the throttle console with the mighty Dualtron, which offers a heap of tuneability, for elements such as urgency of take-off and even abs braking. It’s produced by the same company, MiniMotors, and has the same industrial feel. Sturdy and dependable. It’s a 48 Volt system matched to a 13ah battery.
Let’s talk performance
‘Gutsy’ is how I have and will describe this little beastie. With a noticeable hum it powers up and its off. It climbs with gusto, and will hit 40km/h on the flat. Twin lights at each end make for good visibility, however as with all scooters we recommend visible riding gear and helmet-mounted lights for night riding. The small wheels and solid rear tyre (no punctures, but a bit harder to ride on) don’t give the smoothest ride, but with a headshock and sprung rear it’s acceptable. It is worth noting just how rigid this scooter is. The engineering is very precise, even the folding handlebars (very handy) snap into place with barely a jot of movement. It folds in a flash as well, and is a compact and easy unit to stash in a boot or a cupboard.
A bit underbraked with just a rear drum brake. A little noisier than some, but then again it is an impressively powerful unit for a claimed 500w. It is clearly putting in the effort!
So there you have it. 5 picks from the bewildering array of e-scooters on offer nationwide. How do you choose? Put simply, we strongly suggest you test-ride a selection of scooters, and our test centre has a full demo range available. We focus purely on Electric Scooters, and can advise you on suitability, as well as be on hand for warranty advice and support, and general questions and queries.
You can find us at 25 Lake Road in Devonport, Auckland, 7 days a week.
Thinking about buying an electric scooter? Good call. But how do you avoid buying the wrong electric scooter? Read on...
1. Decide what sort of riding you are going to be doing. Scooters come in many different sizes, levels of specification and performance, and of course prices. Matching to your needs is paramount.
2. How far will you be riding? Battery size is the biggest factor in determining the range of a scooter. A battery of around 10ah (amp-hours) should see you around 20-25km of real-world range. But read on for other factors.
3. How hilly is the area you are riding in? Nothing drains a battery, and causes a scooter to struggle, than big steep hills. To climb hills you need power in the motor. In the authors opinion, 500w (watts) plus is the go-to power output for hilly areas. And higher wattages need more electrical power, cue a bigger battery.
4. How often will you be riding? If you are planning on a daily commute on your escooter, you will likely be racking up the kms. Cheaper scooters are not built for this level of use. You will need to buy a proven, durable branded scooter or it will be back to the car for you when it breaks down (and it will)!
5. What terrain are you riding on? Smooth, flat areas work well for smaller-wheeled scooters with no suspension. If you have rough ground, broken pavement, or other more challenging surfaces to traverse, a scooter with suspension, bigger tyres, and more ground clearance will suit you better
6. What sort of a rider are you likely to be? Are you generally cautious, dislike speed, and like to keep a careful eye on things, or are you an adrenaline junkie, who gets a buzz from a quick take-off and a well-taken corner? Choose your scooter carefully, to avoid one that is too much, or too little, for you.
7. How portable do you need your scooter to be. Looking at pictures its hard to get a sense of size, but a lightweight 300w scooter weighs about 11kg, folds easily, and fits easily in almost any car boot, or under a bus seat. A 1000w scooter will weigh upwards of 27kg, and be scaled accordingly. It might just fit across the back seats at a push!.
These are just some of the factors at play, and the reason that we urge you wherever possible to visit our store and test ride the scooters before committing to one. We repeatedly get customers who come for one model but leave with another, and its often a cheaper one than they first considered, when they come to fully understand what it is they want it to be able to do.
Lime Scooters burst onto the scene last year with a rush of media attention and made a whole lot of fanfare about a 'new' mode of transport. New Zealanders rushed to embrace them, race them, and find creative ways to destroy them. Pedestrians feared them, short-hop commuters loved them, and with good reason. They are fun, accessible, and 'cheap'. Well, 2 out of 3 ain't bad (as Meatloaf once said). They ain't cheap. They (currently) cost $1 to 'open' them, and 30 cents a minute to use it. It's $18 / hour. If you had the exclusive use of it for 24 hours, or used it an hour a day for 24 days (roughly a working month, doing a daily commute), that's $432! If you used one long-term, say for year, at 24 days a month, only an hour a day, that's $5,184....
WIll prices drop? Doubtfull. Rumour is, Lime, Bird, and Uber (with their Jump brand of rideshare scooter) are losing money rapidly as it is. How come, when they are so popular? Because research has shown the average scooter lasts just 28 days. It's a hard life, being a rental scooter. Estimates are that each scooter costs around $550 (USD), and actually loses the company $285 over its lifespan. So why are they even here? Floods of Venture Capital money has poured into the rideshare industry (Lime has a market value over $1Bn), but nobody seems to be worrying if they will ever see that back! You can read more about that here . In summary then, rideshare scooters need to charge more to stay around.
What's a scooter fanatic to do? well, lets look at the numbers for buying your own. Lets say you have no cash, and you finance the lot through a consumer finance agreement with no deposit. Lets say you go for a top-end scooter like the Inokim OX Super, and even chuck in a good helmet for another $100. Total spend $3000. That will cost you $35.10 a week over 2 years (at 16.95% interest), almost exactly 2 hours A WEEK of riding a Lime scooter (costs 2 x $18 = $36 for 2 hours)! That scooter you have bought will always be ready when you are, nobody will ride off on it leaving you stranded, and it is a better scooter in every single way than a rental. Better brakes, proper tyres, 3 times as powerful, actual suspension, and looks the business. 2 years later you own it outright. Charge it for free at work. You might have spent another $100 on some new tyres after a couple of years. No contest.
OK. So you have tried a Lime scooter, or maybe a Bird scooter, and you have looked at all the electric scooters for sale. You've seen one for kids, like the original Razor, but you want the best electric scooter for adults. Maybe not the coolest electric scooter, but the best e scooter for your own situation. But where to start?
There is a lot of information and dis-information around, however if you are thinking of taking the plunge and wondering where to buy electric scooters, this article is for you.
If you have been asking 'Is there an electric scooter shop near me', the chances are not, as the field is quite specialized. Some bike shops stock a couple of models, but for the full range and advice you need to consult an electric scooter store, and there are only a handful around.
Some questions you might want to think about are:
- Do you need a portable electric scooter?
- What range do you need from your electric scooter battery?
- Do you need an easily foldable electric scooter?
- Is hill climbing important, or do you just want the fastest electric scooter?
- Are you looking specifically at an electric scooter for seniors, where stability and easy riding are important?
- Do you just want the best electric scooter, or an affordable electric scooter?
I'll be straight up from the start. A cheap electric scooter will do the job at a basic level. You can buy a Xiaomi scooter from an electronics store where the staff can tell you its a battery powered scooter and little else, and it will roll you along. But cheap scooters lack range, power, and climbing ability. If you are a heavy rider, you want a powerful electric scooter or you will be pushing it up even moderately steep hills. Where's the fun in that??
An adult scooter, in our opinion, isn't just adult-sized, it is adult-powered, and adult-braked as well (heavier objects exert greater inertia and require greater stopping force). Look for twin brakes, with levers, and preferably drum or disc brakes.
If you are thinking to buy electric scooter online, we would advise against it, at least not before you have test-ridden a selection of scooters for sale. You first thought should be 'Where can I buy an electric scooter where I can test ride a range', and that is where somewhere like Electric Scooter Shop comes in. We have all available models on the shop floor to demonstrate, and you can compare models within a range and across ranges. For example we stock 2 top-end scooters, the Inokim Ox and the Dualtron MX, which are at a similiar price point, but have very different characters. They sell in roughly equal numbers, but some people see one as one of the best e scooters for sale, and the other they hate, and vice versa! So you really need to test ride until you are certain.
Cheap electric scooters will try to be all things to everyone, but a specialist can guide you. Perhaps you want a very stable scooter? We would recommend an Inokim Quick 3 . The name says 'Quick' but the top speed is modest, however with the low and wide deck the stability is excellent, plus the gearing is low for excellent hill climbing. This is the sort of information you will only get from a specialist. Do you want a very portable electric scooter? We would look at the Mini 4, but only if you didn't have a hilly ride, if you were a heaver rider...... I could go on, but you probably get the picture by now.
We are always happy to talk electric scooter deals, especially for company purchases, and we have set up electric scooter fleets and one-offs for notable corporate clients. Just call up or call in. Thank you for reading!
There is a very wide span of prices in the current scooter market, and a big difference in what you get for your money. You can buy a scooter for $600, or $5500. What's the difference, and what do you get for your $5500 (OK, you have to be pretty keen to spend $5500, but the option is there if you want to!), and what do you get for your $600?
It starts with looking at who you are buying from. As in all markets, what is the brand you are buying? Is it a scooter from a long-term scooter manufacturer who has been conducting R&D for years, continuously developing new models and supporting older ones with part and service, or is it a 'bandwagon' product from a recent entrant to the market, who has figured that scooters are 'so hot right now', and has bashed out a quick line of very mass-produced products? What do they make as well as scooters? Are they a specialist, or do they make mass-market electronic products, with scooters stacked in there alongside big TV's and wireless toasters?
What advice and service do you receive from the vendor? Can you receive friendly and impartial advice, test rides, knowledgeable recommendations for your situation? Or does it extend to 'Pay for it over there at one of those tills'?!
And let's look at the products themselves. Before buying, I would suggest doing a search on Alibaba / AliExpress, the giant Asian online marketplace, and see if you can spot your scooter being sold by numerous vendors under different names and guises. If you can, you are looking at a generic product being pumped out as copycat technology loaded with cheap parts and probably from several different factories. Someone will stick their badge on it, and sell it to you as theirs, but it hasn't come from a company with a vested interest in developing scooters, and good luck if anything fails on it! But, it will be cheap(er) than a brand name product.
So now you have decided on the established brand you will buy, and you have found a retailer who knows what they are talking about (well done, there aren't many), which scooter should you invest your hard-earned cash in, and what does it buy?
The biggest cost of an e-scooter is the battery. Batteries are expensive, especially good quality ones. The stabilising element (usually Cobalt) costs, and this is reflected in the price of those batteries. More powerful motors naturally require more battery power, hence as your scooter increases in power, so does the battery to sustain a reasonable range, and therefore the cost increases. If you are buying a cheap scooter, I can guarantee you a poor range and a weak battery that fades fast. The economics make it so.
Motors are the next in the cost line. Power comes at a cost, and the biggest scooters, such as the Dualtron , now run dual motors, one in each wheel. The engineering of those motors is also a variance, and as always, buy a branded product and you are buying longevity. There is also the question of front-wheel or rear (or two) wheel drive. Front-drive is the cheapest system. You'll find it on Lime, Xiomi, and other scooters built to a price. It also has the least traction as your weight is positioned more over the back wheel, and easily loses traction, especially in damp conditions.
Next, look at the tyres. Again, cheaper tyres are solid, polythene-derived numbers. No chance of a puncture, but also a harsh ride and limited traction. Does anyone make solid car tyres? No? There's a good reason for that!
And finally move on to the components. Brakes? Actual levers, preferably with discs or drums, or those silly switches that send the current around the other way to hopefully slow you up a bit? Frame? Rigid? Or bendy like an over-ripe banana? Does it lock solidly in place when you unfold it, with a satisfying clunk, or does the locking lever it feel like it might just come off in the hand of an enthusiastic 4-year-old?
There's a lot to think about, and all of these elements will have a bearing on the final cost of the scooter. Ultimately, perhaps the depth of your own pockets will determine which way you go, but hopefully I have given you something to think about. Personally, I think you are better off with a mid-range offering from a top brand than a top-range scooter from a knock-off brand, but I am probably biased, because at Electric Scooter Shop, we only stock the top brands!