Ninebot/Segway ES1 and ‘ES3’ Electric Scooter Review 2020
- Optional second battery to increase speed and mileage (ES3)
- Easy to store
- Good smartphone app
- 3-speed modes
- Hard rubber tires
Ninebot by Segway ES1 Overview
Most will recognize the name Segway for their revolutionary self-balancing alternative transportation media that have conquered the world. Naturally, we were very excited to look at their own electric scooter and publish our Ninebot by Segway ES1 review. If you didn’t know in 2015 Segway was bought up by a Chinese company Ninebot and now go by the name Ninebot by Segway. Ninebot is the same company that helped Xioami create Xiaomi Mijia M365, one of the best electric commuter scooters currently on the market.
From a first glance, we can already see how good looking the scooter is. Smooth black color mixed with a few red and grey pieces create an unprovocative but sexy smart electric means of transportation.
It is obvious that Segway ESX models will have similarities to Mijia M365 since Ninebot is involved in the production of both scooters. Knowing the success of M365 we can be sure Segway ES models are worth our attention. Before we get to that though, lets clear up some common misconceptions.
Heard about the ES3 and ES4? They technically don’t exist.
One very special feature of the Ninebot Segway series which sets them apart from other electric scooter brands is that you can purchase an extra battery. Not a replacement battery, but a second battery on your electric scooter that massively boosts your max speed and distance with a full charge, possibly making the Segway ES1 and ES2 models the best lightweight electric scooter for long commutes available in 2020.
When you have the extra battery, some review sites have taken it upon themselves to create a fictional product name, claiming that the extra battery “upgrades” your ES1 to ES3 because of the better performance, likewise, when you purchase the extra battery for the ES2 it is considered an ES4. In actual fact, there are only 2 models produced at the time of writing, the ES1 and the ES2.
Let’s look more in depth at what the Ninebot Segway ES1 electric scooter has to offer and if it can compete with the best lightweight electric scooters in the market.
Speed, Power & Distance
How fast does it go?
Let’s dive straight into the specifications. First and most obvious, low maximum speed it can reach is a little disappointing. 20 km/h (12.4 m/h) is on the low side of max speed on electric scooters available this year. However, on the bright side, there is a fix to this problem. The extra battery. Yes, you can add an additional battery to the mainframe of the scooter for extra power. With the second battery, your scooter could reach 25 km/h (15.5 m/h). The speed is better but not that impressive, but still, we think the upgrade is definitely worth it.
Does it have more than one speed setting?
Segway ES1, being a smart electric scooter, comes equipped with 3 speed modes that you can set on the LED display. The first one is speed limit mode which means you can set your own speed limit through the application on your smart device. A very cool feature by Ninebot/Segway if you want a speed limit for your children or need low speed in traffic for yourself. The second speed mode is the standard mode that gets you up to maximum speed and finally sports mode that gets you to maximum speed just with much faster acceleration.
What age/weight is it suitable for?
These electric scooters are not suitable for the whole population since max rider weight is just 100 kg (220 lbs), so heavier people are left out a little bit, however, during our tests we asked people who weight more (~10-15% more) than the set weight limit and were surprised that the acceleration and speed decreased very little. On the same topic, Ninebot by Segway state that the appropriate age to use Segway ES1.
What is the range/distance?
Segway ES1 electric scooter has a 250W hub motor to take you up to 25 km (15.5 miles) when the battery is charged fully. The distance the scooter can ride is actually quite good, even better than most lightweight electric scooters.
If you choose to purchase the additional battery and upgrade your scooter, the distance you can cover with a full charge increases to a massive 48 km (28 miles)! This makes the Segway ES1 probably the best long distance electric scooter for lengthy commutes with the battery upgrade.
Can it be used off-road?
These smart electric scooters can easily handle small bumps and small rocks on the pavement in the city with 8 inch front and 7.5 inch back hard rubber tires and the help from the shock absorber, but it is not intended to use off-road. They should handle hard earth well but nothing extreme like rocky or soft earth roads.
Battery Life & Charging
The Segway ES1 batteries are 36V 5.2 ah Lithium-Ion batteries that are UL2272 certified. The battery capacity of ES1 is 187 Wh and with the battery, upgrade is 384Wh since it’s the same additional battery.
You can always check how much battery life you have on the handlebar LED screen or your smartphone application for more detailed information on battery life.
It is also important to mention that Ninebot by Segway have implemented energy regeneration in their scooters which means you can return some energy back into the battery when using brakes. To turn this feature on or modify it you need to use the Ninebot smartphone app. Adding to that, we have seen information that regenerative braking may be harmful when the battery is 100% full. So far there is no real research done on this topic, but just to be safe, when having a full battery try not to use the regenerative braking to increase your battery lifespan.
How long does it take to charge?
The Segway ES1 will charge 0-100% in just 3.5 hours which is really short and one of the fastest charging batteries for electric scooters in 2020. For the Segway ES1 with battery upgrade, it will take 7 hours for a full charge because of the double battery.
Battery protection & safety
Ninebot by Segway has implemented a number of features to protect your product and most importantly your own safety when using and charging your electric scooter. The Segway ES1 has 4 battery protections:
- Over-heating protection
- Short circuit protection
- Over-current protection
- Over-charge protection
How long will the battery last for?
As most high-quality Lithium-ion batteries ES1 batteries should last at least 500-1000 charge cycles, which should be enough for at least 2-3 years depending on your usage.
Design and Ergonomics
From first glance, everybody sees that the Segway ES1 electric scooter is a gorgeous looking scooter with smooth black color and small gray and red details. Ninebot by Segway currently don’t offer any other color combinations but the original fits most any age or gender.
You may ask how does the ES1 look with the battery upgrade? Won’t the additional battery take too much space and make the scooter look bulky? We had the same questions and were pleasantly surprised when we saw the Segway ES1 with the extra battery.
The extra battery is oblong with rounded corners so when you mount it on the mainframe it does not get in the way of your knees or sticks out too much to the sides. Definitely not ruining the look of the scooter and its aesthetics.
Not only it looks good but the design is very thoughtful with comfortable handlebars, easy LED control and speed/brake pedals, non-slip foot surface, and easy folding mechanism. The whole build looks and feels like it is made with care.
Is it foldable?
This smart electric scooter folds very easily by stepping on a small pedal in the front so you can fold the mainframe to the back wheel mudguard and lock it. What we like about Segway ES1 folding mechanism is that the folded scooter is shorter than other folded scooters, which makes it easier to store in your car, under the bed, or even in your locker. Folded dimensions are 113 × 43 × 40 cm and unfolded 102 × 43 × 113 cm.
What material is it made from?
Made from aluminum alloy Segway ES1 weighs 11.3 kg (25 lbs) and is one of the lighter electric scooters currently on the market, which is an advantage for people who look for an alternative mean of transportation but from time to time will need to carry it between public transportation, car, or over rough surfaces. Remember if you opt for Segway with the extra battery upgrade, it will add 2.3 kg (5 lbs) of weight and your scooter will be a bit heavier.
The handlebar on the Segway ES1 is well made and looks minimalistic with a small LED screen that shows your current battery state, speed, and speed modes.
Acceleration and brakes are easily controlled with pedals on both sides.
The handlebar grips are foam and allow for a comfortable grip absorbing some of the bumps and vibration, however, we feel that the foam grips might wear off fast and will be harder to clean than rubber ones. Additionally, the ends of handlebar grips have plastic ends that feel a bit loose.
Does it connect to your smartphone via app or Bluetooth?
Ninebot by Segway is known for their great smartphone features so of course The ES1 has Bluetooth connectivity for the Ninebot smart app. The Ninebot application is wonderful and can show your current mileage, remaining mileage, battery use and speed history. You can also set cruise mode speed, put a custom speed limit on speed limit mode, and manage battery recharge settings. You can use the application with both Android and iOS devices.
Does it have suspension?
Unlike many other lightweight electric scooters, Segway ES1 has implemented shock absorption above the front wheel. This allows to absorb some of the bumps during your ride and take a little stress off your hands and body. Obviously it is not absorbing everything but definitely helps.
Build quality and ease of use
Having a nice design is good but it is important to look at the quality as well. Being made from aluminum alloy Segway ES1 feels very solid. If you take the scooter and firmly shake it you won’t hear any unnecessary clattering or lose parts.
Ninebot by Segway ES1 has 8-inch front and 7.5 inch back hard rubber tires so you won’t need worry to about having flat tires. We think that air tires usually absorb more bumps during the ride, but worrying about getting a flat is much worse. Lucky for us, Ninebot by Segway thought of that and implemented a shock absorber for a smoother ride.
Ninebot by Segway ES1 electric scooters are easy to use from the moment you turn them on. The LED display will show you how much battery you have left, your current speed, and current speed mode. Select your speed mode and use right lever for acceleration and left for braking.
After your ride, you can easily fold the scooter by stepping on the small pedal at the front to fold the mainframe to the back of mudguard and lock it.
Safety and usability on the road
It is very important to have not only a high-quality product but also a safe product, especially when talking about transportation vehicles. We always put a lot of attention to safety details in electric scooters and are happy that Ninebot by Segway does as well.
The anti-slip rubber on the base allows for comfortable and safe standing while riding even if your feet are wet. Another comfortable part of the scooter is foam grips. They are comfortable to hold the scooter and won’t get your hands tired so fast.
The Segway ES1 has a temperature sensor in the scooter that will tell on the LED screen when the temperature is getting too high and the scooter will slow down so it wouldn’t overheat.
We are happy with the two brakes implemented in the scooter. The front wheel has an electrical brake with an anti-lock system. We would like to see a mechanical brake, but thankfully the back has a manual brake just in case front brake fails, you run out of battery, or just want to use the scooter as a regular kick-scooter.
Additionally, the front LED light, back and sides reflectors allow for a safe trip during the night.
Is the Segway ES1 waterproof?
It has an IP54 waterproof rating meaning it can withstand splashes but can’t be underwater or water streams. It is also not recommended to use the scooter under heavy rain.
Does it have cruise control?
Being a smart electric scooter, of course, ES1 comes with cruise control. When riding for a longer distance during your commute cruise control is a savior, just set the speed on your app and you won’t need to keep your finger on the acceleration pedal.
We feel the Segway ES1 will do great as an alternative electric means of transportation for the city population. Good size hard rubber tires are well suited for pavements and public roads, comfortable grips, speed and brake controls along with cruise control allows for easy commute in the city.
The small handlebar and easy turning wheel allow to easily maneuver between cars and pedestrians in the city.
If you are living in a city with big hills then think twice about this scooter since its hill climbing capacity is just 10 degrees. An additional battery on the ES3 will provide better acceleration to climb 15 degrees hills.
Restrictions and availability
Ninebot by Segway is a huge international company and provide shipping to most of the world so there should not be much trouble finding a dealer near you.
As we do on all our reviews of electric vehicles we strongly advise our readers to look up their local laws before doing a purchase to make sure they are up to date with current laws.
Some countries have light electric vehicles not legal on public roads and pavement since they are not registered other have no such laws. It is your own responsibility to know your local law and then make a decision.
Segway ES1 Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals 2020
If you’re looking to get the best price, we think its worth waiting to see if Segway Es1 Black Friday deals or Cyber Monday deals are released as we approach Thanksgiving and deals week in 2020. Our analysts have been monitoring price movements, and expect some Segway ES1 Black Friday deals around this period. We’ll be listing any further information, news and price changes on this page, and you can check the latest price here. Alternatively, discover our list of possible Black Friday electric scooter deals this 2020!
We believe the Segway ES1 and ES3 are one of, if not the best electric scooters in 2020. They're a trustworthy, established company, now operated by the electronics giant, Xiaomi, who also make one of the best electric scooters on the market. Not only are the scooters stylish and lightweight, they also have one of the best ranges (almost 50km with the extra battery), of any scooter available in 2020.
- Optional second battery to increase speed and mileage (ES3)
- Easy to store
- Good smartphone app
- 3-speed modes
- Hard rubber tires
- Low max weight
- Low climbing angle (ES1)
- Low max speed (ES1)
- Foam handle grips might wear off fast
- Expensive with additional battery (ES3)