ON TEST: YOUR BATTERYPOWERED COMMUTE
These will add a bit of fun to the weekday grind…
SEGWAY NINEBOT KICKSCOOTER ES2
It’s hard to say exactly why, but there’s just something horribly conspicuous about a grown man on an electric scooter. Even in Bristol, where we’ve seen people going to work on unicycles and penny-farthings. But if you can put your vanity to one side, the Ninebot by Segway is actually a fine way to get around.
The motor kicks in after a push and manages a reasonable top speed of 25km/h (15.5mph). Large wheels and shock absorbers help the Ninebot skip over most surfaces, and the LED headlight makes it visible enough to ride at night. It’s a brilliant piece of kit, albeit one that’s perhaps, like other Segways before it, just a little ahead of its time.
From £549, segway.com
The designers of the new Brompton Electric have retained the classic Brompton geometry here, but added a motor to the front hub and a battery pack over the front wheel. That battery pack tips the scales at 2.9kg and needs to be removed when you’re carrying the bike – even without it, the bike weighs 13.4kg.
Still, the Brompton is a lot of fun. When accelerating, the motor kicked in with gusto, sending us flying along the flat with very little effort. On hills, the initial acceleration was great, but it wasn’t as powerful as we’d have liked on longer climbs. That said, the bike still folds and stores easily, so if your commute mixes in trains or buses, it’s a great option.
From £2,595, brompton.com