I’ll grant you the LAOTIE N7S 300W 36V 10.4Ah 3 Mode Foldable Electric Scooter is a little out of the ordinary for this blog – but when Banggood asked what I thought about the idea, I simply could not help myself as I’ve never owned an electric bike/scooter of ANY kind before, despite driving cars for around half a century (no, really).
Let me first use a stock photo to give you the general idea. See above. Oh and that seat and steering column are easily adjustable without tools and no they do not seem to stay up of their own accord, as soon as you let go they fold up.
Specs: I’ll leave the boring ones for you to look up in the link – here are the (IMHO) interesting specs: 32Km/h, 18-26Km range, weight 19Kg, 3-4 hour charging, unfolded 1180x550x1175mm, packaged 119x28x49cm, modes 6km/h, 20km/h, 32km/h. Claimed certification: CE，ROHS，MSDS,UN38.3
As I know you’re dying to ask, at least in Spain (and most likely elsewhere) this bike (link above) comes in at around 335 Euros with free shipping from Banggood. Delivery time was just a few days. I’ve seen one guy (in Italy I think) trying for 639 Euros and 40 Euros shipping .
Background time: As a kid in the UK, I was a whiz on normal pushbikes, especially the small wheel variety. At one point in my very early teens I was hit -and-run smashed up by a car while riding my large-wheel bike and ended up in hospital at which point the insurance bought me a new bike with short, fat wheels – just like this one but not electric (obviously – such things didn’t exist back in the dark ages) and my mother would never entertain the idea of me having a motorbike.
In my late teens I started driving cars everywhere and have never looked back. As our home in Spain is at the top of a steep hill just outside of our local village, some kind of electric bike, at first glance, makes great sense, so when an inexpensive scooter opportunity came along, my impulses got the better of me.
The Scooter: So, first things first, the (apparently NEXTDRIVE brand – a search for which got me no-where) scooter looks good – I’m a 15-stone 6ft adult (sorry, I DO use metric for everything except my own weight and height for reasons beyond me).
The scooter arrived more or less assembled, complete with mains charger, multi-tool, 4 spare bolt and nut combos and a simple instruction manual, not to mention occasional (utterly minor) scratches to the seat column but that’s what acrylic paint spray cans are for (that and spraying 3D resin models).
The very first thing I did on un-boxing the scooter was to sit on it to make sure it is big enough for me – it is. Next I pressed the ON button (I like living dangerously). The indicator light came on showing power level and gear.
Why does an all-electric scooter have gears? One good reason might be to comply with speeds limits in certain countries – another might be for torque – for example 1st gear has a top speed of 6Km/h – but I heard no motor noise, saw no movement.
I simply assumed I’d missed something, so I turned the scooter off and plugged in the charger for a couple of hours (and noted the re-assuring bright green indicator) and then tried turning on the scooter again.
This time, the display came on for a fraction of a second and went off again. Next, I tried charging overnight at the end of which I got all of one second (a pair of ZERO digits – no bar as in the photo above) before the display went blank. I checked the charger, sure enough, the output was delivering 42v or thereabouts but I don’t think that output is actually reaching its target.
At this point I have two problems – the first being that despite a secure-looking connection to the charger, it seems the scooter simply will not charge no matter how long it is given. The manual does not offer help here.
Also: The manual states that this electric-only scooter is not a vehicle but is a sporting and recreational tool. It clearly states that once you use the vehicle on public roads or other public places, you face a risk of “unauthorised driving”. The manual also states that you should avoid side-sweeping perdestrians – but avoids being more specific. For example in at least some European countries (I can only be specific about Spain) you are no longer allowed to ride these electric-only scooters on pavements – which brings us back to the issues of riding on public roads.
For similar-looking models, Halfords in the UK states at the bottom of their ads: “With acceleration up to 15.5mph, this scooter is great fun to ride solo or with your friends on private land. If you’re looking for a smart, durable electric scooter that you can use every day, then this is the one for you.”
The Laotie has a top speed of about 25km/h i.e around 15 mph and riding requirements of age 16-50 – SO, not only can I not legally use this scooter on any other than private tracks, but also I’m too old – apparently 🙂
As a reviewer (or indeed as a customer) it is not my job to dismantle a faulty new product – but in the spirit of goodwill I have been trying to narrow down why I can’t charge the (apparently flat) battery.
Getting the battery out is a big job which involves removing 10 VERY TIGHT Allen bolts, four of which also hold the seat section in place. I’m 60% through that. The cover for the charging point has four TINY Allen bolts and I am still waiting to borrow a small enough Allen key top open that up, meanwhile I contacted someone in Banggood Customer Service who until now was unaware of my long history of reviewing their products as they just replied to ask for a VIDEO – for what good that will do in determining why a battery doesn’t charge. The response appeared automated – I could be wrong.
How do you video anything relevant about a non-charging battery pack? Answer – you don’t.