I monetize nothing online: This is all volunteerism. This may also be TLCR. I'm an influencer; however, my goal is to influence people to stop being mindless consumerists and buying everything they're told & sold. I'm an anti-consumerist! I want to influence you to influence yourself; to seek within for original thoughts, and not be a cultural automaton; to master critical thinking and always think outside the box: E.g. Car-free minimalism & simple-living! Earth thanks you!
The 2019 pandemic changed many things for many of us. Prior to that, I used my bicycle or the City Bus to get around town, and Interstate Buses and Amtrak for longer hauls. Then the local buses stopped running. Since I care for others more than myself, I had/have no problem double-masking; I still went out the entire time, but followed all public-health guidelines; no vanity or political occultism here! But I got attached to grocery delivery, and did not want to rely on City Buses. So I researched micromobility options; then I bought in early 2021.
After four months of riding I had to return my G30P because it had a catastrophic structural failure 🎥. In this case, the low quality steel cast was to blame. Here's the data on this multi-branded design defect: Xiaomi-Segway-Ninebot put out a Safety Notice. The design flaw is the mass-produced one-piece cast aluminum units, with a one-piece design, from the back wheel and up to the neck release part that allows the stem to fold into the uni-body; the structural weakness is at this leveraged stem release point: A hard pull back on it and it can break. This design flaw has been quietly redesigned; even still it's a weak point.
I bought the structurally beefier Emove Cruiser, but it lacks one critical feature that is standard on almost all others in this price range; a Smart Battery Management System. That means one has to babysit it or risk compromising battery health and longevity. Otherwise, the Emove Cruiser is superior in most every other way, as units in the same price range. I charge all electronics overnight and unplug in the morning.
I still ride my 15-speed pedal bike (been riding all my life); however, as I'm aging, it's now getting increasingly harder on my butt and back, and so I cannot do the same range as I once did. I've been car-free (and thus micro-mobile dependent) for 2 decades. The e-scooter has been a godsend for me and others, extending my range of 4-5 miles total, now up to the range limits of the e-scooter itself (currently 40). I can stand for long periods.
The danger zone to avoid riding in too much, is a roughly 25 yard dome in every direction of car traffic. Cars not only expel carcinogens from tail pipes, but issues like brake pad shedding, and lubricant losses, all along roadways, explains why human disease is much greater for those in housing built along major road corridors. As cars speed by they kick up dust particles: PM. A good mask is recommended when traversing these corridors outside of an enclosed vehicle. I stick to (off-road) trails, and when I exit those, I stay on residential roads with little traffic and low speeds. Or I mask!
What To Look For In Buying!
This would depend on the individual and their location on Earth, but there's a few things to consider: Will this replace a car? If not, then it's just a toy; you're a weekender; buy whatever you can afford. If you're money, all of these are cheap. However, if you're using it like I do; no car and along with a bicycle and PT options, then it needs to be dependable, weather resistant, long-range, and safe. There are links all over this page for researching these, and because I do get repeat questions, I thought I'd attempt to answer them herein.
If this is your car and you must commute to work with it, think of it like a motorcycle, and most motorcycle riders (esp. in hard winter locales) also have a car, because it sucks going over 30 MPH in a hard rain. Add to that a bitter wind chill and I assume you got the gist of it. With the best riding gloves, hands still get ice cold, and I double glove. But I do ride year-round; one just has to monitor weather, pick the good days, or just live close to work.
It's better to get an e-scooter that has specs greater than your needs (speed & range), and here's why. Battery life is determined by charging cycles; how many times, not (necessarily) how old they are. Therefore, you do not want to have to charge it everyday if you can help it. So, get a unit with great range, even if you ride it infrequently. And get one with good shocks on both wheels, or it will beat you up after an hour!
Get one that goes faster than you're average intended speed (my average speed is 27 MPH). Most units have 3 range settings; slow to medium to fast. Leave it on the fastest, then, like every other motorized vehicle, only accelerate to the speed you want: It's not peddle-to-the-metal all the time; no one does that on any other vehicle. Those 3 settings are not energy savers, they're speed governors, and so, if you go slower in speed, you'll get longer in range. But this can be accomplished by controlling your speed with the throttle; same result. Then if you hit heavy traffic with no other options, you got the muscle to pace the speed of that traffic.
I'd buy from a shop, rather than just a retailer. I bought my first e-scooter from Amazon. When it broke, Segway jerked me around; it was past Amazon's return cycle. I was without a scooter for 2 months because of it, and it was still under factory warranty. They finally gave me a full refund, so I bought the EC from Voro (see links below). Having people who stock them by the many hundreds locally, and unboxing them to run a check list for quality control, after it's been on a cargo ship and the shipping network (before/after) for a month; it's worth the extra money. And they've got parts warehoused!
Currently all e-scooters are made in China (or SE Asia); the largest market for them is still all of SE Asia. But the growing Western market is spurring greater interest in their design. They're still garage toys for most Westerners. They are analogous to what the bikes and the bike trail systems are, in a car centered culture; it's all for entertainment purposes, with the car the main transportation player.
However, as more people rely on them for their main transportation option, the quality and longevity of them will need to increase. Then us full timers will have to contend with the car-cultists (once again) in the bike-space. Currently rated as 3-year devices, if one replaced batteries and controllers -- alongside the parts that wear on all machines like tires and brakes -- one could get more years out of a good one, even on a 300-day annual use cycle.
Riding them safely just requires a bit of common sense, and a fair understanding of the physics (or Law) of motion or inertia and gravity. Since I played outside always as a kid, I learned it, real-world style, whereas nowadays learning is mostly virtual or two dimensional (screens). One can witness this fact, and repeatedly, by watching fail factory & army, and others. That's why I prefer those that like Skater Parks 🎥: Go!
I do not ride in severe weather and I always wear a regular bike helmet; not opposed to a full-head one. I'm in riding gloves and fully dressed for riding, at minimum. If I need to brake suddenly, I squeeze only the back brakes, and also lean back and squat some to shift my weight to that wheel, but also to reduce the tendency to tip over via forward momentum. I also know well, the extreme dangers of cars, so I avoid certain roadways with painted in-street bike lanes, unless car traffic is slow and sparse.
I stick to 30 MPH posted (or less) side roads without painted bike lanes, but there are plenty of bike trails, and roads with wide pedestrian ways to ride upon safely. I get everything delivered to my door, so I'm not packing anything riding. And I can still walk, with a grocer 5 blocks away. And there's always ride-shares in emergencies! (More pics of the City and my ride at ImgBB).
While researching these devices I read from a page (in 2019, and at a good shop too: fluidfreeride.com) Some e-scooters today can go very far, actually further than you need them to. After all, who needs to travel 60 miles on an electric kick scooter? The Emove from Voro Motors will do that. So some of them can achieve very long distances.
The answer to this likely car-dependent person's thinking? There are many people, myself included, that would like to go further than 60 miles in range. But the Cruiser will not go 60 miles in range, as claimed, under the best of settings, and yet it still has a range of about 15 miles more than what the G30P ever achieved. I'm 170# and live in the flat plains of Polk County IA! I regularly make 28-mile (+) round trips: But I would not risk a 40 mile RT.
Still, the only way for anyone, ever, to take any of these e-scooters seriously, beyond being garage toys, is when their range can be substantially increased. And I'm talking a worst-case scenario of 100 miles in range; something like 100 to 140 miles range, at 25 MPH average speed, and if not included, have affordable attachable seat options, which I don't use b/c I sit enough at home.
Imagine buying a car (say, circa 2022) that on a full tank of gasoline only has a range of (say) 70 miles before one must get more gas. Yea, that car would not be taken seriously, and few would buy it, except some who might if the price was cheap enough as they'd use it as a local range vehicle: Like, a brand new car for $4000! Read: How to say goodbye to EV range anxiety!
The Possible Future Of E-Scooters!
What e-scooter designers are currently designing for the western market, is a type of self-sabotage; they are so focused on speed for the emotional thrill of it that they're sentencing these devices to the realm of a dangerous toy. With greater speed the following things are 100% going to happen; indeed they are already happening! Read also: As E-Bikes Speed Up, a Policy Dilemma Looms.
Because designers are focusing on making ever-faster stand-up e-scooters, they will eventually be classified as motor vehicles, and require all the same things that motorcycles now require: A drivers license, insurance, tags, taxes, possible tickets, and so on. They will no longer be the same as a bicycle. Then they will lose their appeal. One might as well just buy an unrestricted e-motorcycle.
E-bikes too, will eventually suffer the same fate as/if they get faster, but at least they have larger diameter wheels; hitting a pothole or just a chunk out of the trail pavement, with a ten-inch diameter wheel going 40 miles per hour, rarely results in a positive outcome. At best it will only damage the tire and/or rim of larger wheeled vehicles.
Right now, bicycle groups (and I am an old-fashioned bicyclist as well) are now vocally opposing, allowing e-scooters on designated bike trails, simply because they go too fast, imposing a risk to both walkers, kids, and bicyclists. And to be honest, it's mostly a few young men who are blazing these bike trials at 40+ miles per hour. It freaks everyone out; even me when I'm cycling there, so I get it!
However, I do not want to lose my current access to these designated trails on my e-scooter, because they are my main roads. By choice, I do not own a car. I made this decision in 2005 for environmental (and personal safety) reasons; I sold my last vehicle the next year and have not owned one since; I've been on State ID's. From that point forward, all my life-choices centered around Not owning/operating a car.
I'm hopeful that by being the change I want to see in the world, others will follow that example. I bicycle for short distances but an e-scooter is a range-extending mobility assistant for many. If I were rural I'd have a Fat Tire Electric Scooter. But for those urban potholes the 15" wheeled Dualtron City 🎥 is it! It's my next unit.
How To Build Water-Proof E-Scooters!
This is such a no-brainier for me that if someone told me there were no waterproof e-scooters at all, I would not initially believe that. It is so hard to believe still (circa 2022) that I thought I'd demonstrate how it can (and will) be done, in the hopes of those who actually design them will read this. E-scooters should be as waterproof as electric motorcycles that already are.
Without too many details, it would have a waterproof battery box (box example); the access door would have a rubber O-ring, typical of many other such applications. All the ports that connect the inside of the box to the outside components, would simply be waterproof plugs, like you find on submersible equipment; the externals components would be analogous to waterproof action cameras.
Unlike how the monkey see monkey do copycats mimic current bad designs, in mine, there would be no wrapped wire harnesses running through drilled holes into the box that are then basically caulk sealed; that design gets an "F" from this Designer. All the components needed already exist; they'd just have to be slightly redesigned for e-scooter application.
The Future Of You!
Born in 1958, I might not be around when the ecological crap-show hits the proverbial fan, starting in a few decades from now. So why did I make this decision? For future generations; for you; to be a model to the youth around me. And yet, most of them merely find my lifestyle choices humorous; an outlier; a curiosity! Still, the truly concerned will take the important time to read and understand why, at a philosophical and resource-rich site titled Car-Cult.
For any electric scooter (or e-bike) to be taken seriously, especially as a replacement to a car, two things must take priority; range is number one, and the second is the durability and dependability of the device itself. Once these are built with serious intention, that reality will reflect itself in the factory warranties, just like it happened with the automobile industry.
For most of my life, all automobile warranties were 1 year, sometimes with 2 years on the main power train only. With quality improvements, some auto-makers have a factory 5 year warranty, as opposed to an insurance addendum which can be bought for almost anything nowadays. That is because they build them better, and can confidently offer it.
A factory warranty is the open testimony of a manufactures confidence in their products; every company will claim their brand is the best, so that's expected. But a 1 year warranty on anything is humorous, but it is also telling; it's the manufacturer accepting that they make low quality items and thus cannot afford to put their money where their mouth is.
And once the Automobile Industry and Big Oil in the West, begins to feel threatened by more efficient forms of Micro-Mobility, they will, once again, covertly invest heavily in exposing their flaws (including those mentioned herein) as viable replacements to their resource-gluttonous SUVs & other urban tanks: And I'd wager the $ value of those Industries on that.
Simply put, smaller lighter vehicles would not need all the current, carbon-centered and expensive Heavy Infrastructure. But the explanation for why it will not happen is simple; those in the micromobility industry, in the West and at least so far, are more interested in short-term profits than being agents of change, as a long-term solution to the current ravages of the car culture.
Everyone whose read the page dedicated to the Car-Cult, knows that those ravages go far beyond the 3 billion internal combustion engines, from the smallest to the largest of them, billowing countless megatons of carcinogens into the biosphere. Obviously we cannot all be homeless, but we can all be carless; just refer to your ancestors!
The greatest advantage of moving away from the huge machines like cars & trucks is also in the stunningly massive Heavy Infrastructure needed to support them. From roads and bridges, to parking lots and structures, and the concrete and asphalt that is now choking the surface of Earth; this is causing a host of secondary problems that now outnumbers the initial car-cult catastrophe itself. Heavy Infrastructure is also a resource-intensive maintenance leviathan (e.g. snow removal).
Heavy Infrastructure is the need for a system that supports vehicles over a 1/4 ton. In the US, it's designed for supporting vehicles in the 40 ton range. Consequently, the need for a multi-trillion dollar system, is to me, absolutely insane. My plan is to ban personal cars on the US Interstate system, and modify those corridors to build a fleet of cargo + passenger light rail systems (each one on opposite sides) that are powered by a perpetual solar array, all along those corridors. Replace the diesel powered generators that power the electric motors, with a direct from source system.
Personal Vehicles (or PV's) would have speed limits and range limits. The ridiculously spoiled humans would have to adapt to a slower lifestyle. That, or we just allow them to continue on this path until Earth can no longer sustain mammals. Obviously, at peak oil, if there's not a better plan in place, humans will not be able to produce even a tenth of current food production. Guess what happens then? Eschaton!
We must reassess how neighborhoods are designed; think of the US West and its wildfires and subsequent mudslides, or urban flooding everywhere. Try imagining an entirely different infrastructural paradigm, without big cars in mind. Start thinking along the lines of what the German innovators at Ono are envisioning, as one idea among many, for areas already blithed by poorly planned urbanization.
Ponder a designed living that is car free; also some of the ideas proposed at City Lab. Plan out how you are going to live, minus a personal car. That will determine where you work, live, and how you live. Show your kids, by your lifestyle choices, how much you care for their future on Earth. Otherwise, armageddon is as assured as will be the denial of it, until it's too late to reverse!