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Safety concerns over electric scooters, says Test Achats

© Kristoffer Troller/Wikimedia

The consumer protection organisation Test Achats has advised consumers to stay away from electric scooters, because of concerns over their safety.

The organisation tested 11 of the best-selling scooters in Belgium in two phases: a laboratory test and a road test.

In the lab, a specially extended treadmill was brought in, and the scooters put through their paces. Tests included acceleration, duration of battery at different speeds and on different inclines.

The scooters were then taken out on the road over a designated route, ridden by experts who noted a number of performance details.

The results show a wide disparity among the models, with one model excluded entirely, one receiving a score of only 24 out of 100, while the best scored 70/100.

We saw tyres that were very difficult to inflate, battery holders that were broken, displays that were missing or illegible, control systems that were totally unstable, folding mechanisms that were not manageable in practice and many other defects,” said Test Achats.

The excluded model, the Kugoo S1 Pro, does not meet the legal requirements of the EU in terms of maximum speed. The manufacturer has been informed.

On the whole, the results were not impressive.

A lot of models can best be described as junk,” said Simon November, spokesperson for Test Achats.

Some state that they are splash-proof, but with the exception of one device, the others all state in the accompanying manual that it is forbidden to use the scooter in the rain,” he said.

In a braking test on a wet surface in the lab, two models failed completely, and three more managed to brake, but the effort led to situations the organisation described as “downright dangerous”.

Of all the devices we tested, only one is splash-resistant,” said Jens Van Herp of Test Achats.

That means that all those other scooters are not usable when it is raining. Your battery will fail quite quickly. The braking distances of many of these scooters are also abominable. When it rains you will have to lose a safe braking distance. Some also just rattle when you drive around and often the suspension is also missing. The high cost of these steps is really not in proportion to the quality you are getting.”

Unusually, Test Achats this time has declined to nominate a ‘best of the test’ for the best performing scooter.
“Based on our results, we advise against bringing an electric scooter into your home,” Van Herp said.

If you really want to invest in a mobility solution, we recommend buying a bicycle or a folding bike.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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