REVIEW OF THE NINEBOT-SEGWAY E22E ELECTRIC KICKSCOOTER
Written by Ed Wiles, Scootered Founder
The original Ninebot-Segway ES2 Kickscooter came to prominence in North America and then Europe when electric scooter hire company Lime (along with others) put 1000s of them on our streets. It fared less well in the private ownership market due to the success of the cheaper Xiaomi M365, but Ninebot has now released two new versions of the ES2 - without apparently really telling anyone. The new models are the E22E and the E25E, and, yes, they are stupid names. In China, they are called simply the E22 and E25 so one can only assume the second, annoying "E" refers to Europe. However, if you can get past the nomenclature, is it worth buying an E22E? Perhaps most importantly, should you go for the E22E over Xiaomi's cheaper equivalent, the Essential?
The Ninebot-Segway E22E is a foldable electric scooter designed by Segway, the well-known American company that was bought by Chinese firm Ninebot (hence the double-barreled name) in 2015. It is based on the original ES2 and looks almost identical, though is slightly bigger. Interestingly, Ninebot actually manufactures the scooters for Xiaomi too. Although Segway had a head start on both Ninebot and Xiaomi, and had claimed copyright infringement against Ninebot before Ninebot settled the dispute by buying Segway, it now feels like Segway is little more than a brand name that Ninebot will eventually ditch once its own name is well enough known in the West.
The E22E has a simple folding design, 22 km (14 mile) range, 20 km/h (13 mph) top-speed, 13.5 kg weight. An extra battery (fitted to the handlebar stem) extends the range to 45 km (28 miles) and the top speed to 25 km/h (16 mph) - and would rightly be called an E42E. It also boasts cruise control, lights, electronic and foot brake, speedometer and a dedicated phone app (seen in the image below). The app for the Ninebot-Segway is definitely better than the app for the Xiaomi, providing journey information.
The E22E's Li-ion battery is located in the handlebar stem (whereas the Xiaomi batteries are located in the base). This means that a second battery can be added to E22E, extending its range and speed, which is perhaps the main advantage to the E22E over the Xiaomi Essential. The frame itself is built from aluminum (or an alloy thereof). It feels very strong and the folding mechanism means it can be folded or unfolded in about three seconds. At 13.5 kg, the E22E is a one kilogram heavier than the ES2, and 1.5 kilograms heavier than the Xiaomi Essential. Although the tyres are slightly larger than both these e-scooters, it is hard to justify the extra weight.
Heaviness is of course relative and subjective, and it depends on how you want to use your scooter, but I feel the extra kilogram makes a difference. The 12.5 kg ES2 was already reaching the limit of what I would want to carry for more than a short distance. Having said that, the folding system on the E22E is the same as the ES2, so you can pull it along like this gentleman is pulling the ES2.
The display on the ES2 used to be what set it apart from Xiaomi's M365. However, a speedometer is now standard on e-scooters and the display on the E22E (with the speedometer, battery power, mode etc) is no better or worse than the standard. The accelerator (throttle) is a green button/switch on the right-hand handlebar, while there is a red brake button/switch on the left-hand side (see picture below). I have to admit I feel a bit safer with the more familiar bike-like brake on the Xiaomi scooters, but the E22E brake works well. The E22E has a headlight (seen below) and a rear light (whereas the ES2 only had a rear reflector). It also has side reflectors elsewhere (it seems some territories have a yellow reflector screwed on while others do not - presumably to meet local requirements).
Riding The E22E
The E22E is well-balanced despite the battery being in the stem (perhaps helped by the extra weight). My inclination is that the base is a better place for the battery but having the second battery option necessitates the E22E battery be housed in the stem. I only ever use the front electronic brake on the handlebar (rather than the back foot brake) and have not tested the braking distances supplied by Ninebot-Segway but other testers have corroborated them. By the way, if you are not used to riding scooters or skateboards, the first time you ride any electric scooter will likely be a little nerve-wracking. I always recommend wearing a helmet when you ride an e-scooter.
The E22E wheels are 9 inches in diameter, making them larger than the ES2 and Xiaomi range. They are described as "flat-free" but not solid. Ninebot claim that these provide a smooth ride but, without the suspension found in the ES2, I would argue that some of the smoothness has been lost. In other words, the smoothness of the ride is somewhat dependent on the ground. Most scooter injuries seem to happen when a pothole (or similar) is encountered and the smallish wheels are indeed susceptible to such obstacles.
The E22E has a 184 Wh (5100 mAh) battery, which produces 300 Watts of motor power. This is slightly less than the ES2 and allows for a lower top-speed of 20 km/h (12 mph) and a range of 22 km (13 miles). As noted above and below, the extra battery extends both these. These specs are the equivalent of the Xiaomi Essential. The efficiency of the E22E's battery means it has a relatively short charging time of 3 hours (though this is doubled if you are also charging a second battery).
The E22E is without doubt a very good electric scooter but I detract half a star for two reasons: the extra weight the lack of shock absorption (read my review of the E25E for more on this). But perhaps the biggest question is whether or not it is worth spending the extra money on an E22E or buying the cheaper Xiaomi Essential instead (or a more expensive Xiaomi 1S). The benefits of the E22E over the Essential are mostly the superior app and the ability to extend its speed and range with an extra battery. However, you could just buy the E25E or Xiaomi 1S (for less than the battery cost) to extend the top speed (though not the range by so much). So, really, the main benefit is the app. On the other hand, there are few disadvantages to buying the E22E compared with the Essential: only the extra weight and price in truth. In the end, both are quality entry-level scooters and it may just come down to which you prefer the look of.
|Size (Unfolded)||111 x 42 x 112 cm|
|Size (Folded)||114 x 42 x 36 cm|
|Output||300 Watts (700W max)|
|Max Speed||20 km/h (13 mph)
(25 km/h with extra battery)
22 km (14 miles)
|Max Climbing Angle||15 %|
|Shock Absorbers||Front & Back|
|Front Brake||Electric (Regenerative)|
|Braking Distance (20 km/h)||3-4 metres|
|Waterproof||IPX4: water resistant|
|Lights||Headlight & Rear Light|