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Ninebot by Segway D18E test: an electric scooter for short trips

A regular customer will quickly spot the similarities between the Ninebot D18E and its cousins ​​like the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3. Still, the D18e offers a slightly less sleek and more colorful look than its compatriot. The level of finish is generally good and the plastics generally appear to be of decent quality.

The column supporting the handlebars is made in one piece and cannot be adjusted in height. If you cannot choose the ideal position based on its size, users with a height between 1.60 m and 1.90 m will find a good compromise. The 48 x 17 cm deck offers a large surface for the feet. This makes finding a comfortable position quite easy. The Ninebot D18E has an IPX5 certification that guarantees that you can drive through rainy weather without any problems. The fenders are wide enough to do their job well.

The 48 cm wide handlebar makes it correct in terms of support. The stability is good, although the latter is largely due to the large wheels – for an electric scooter – of 10 inches. The rubber covering the handles ensures a good grip on the handlebars. The brake lever is on the left and the accelerator is operated with the thumb of the right hand. The latter offers satisfactory reactivity and is quite accurate.

The shape is certainly different, but the screen of the Ninebot D18E on the stem is identical to that of Xiaomi on its electric scooters. It displays the usual information: current speed, driving mode, battery level and position of the headlights. A single button is used to start the machine and operate the screen. A short press of this button when the scooter is on the move activates the front and rear headlights. Lighting sufficient to be seen, but not sufficiently illuminating the road ahead.

The few features that are directly present on the Chinese scooter can also be found in the Segway-Ninebot application. They are supplemented with interesting information such as the exact charge level of the battery, the distance traveled and the distance to be driven. The app also allows you to adjust the power of the energy recovery and thus the power of the magnetic braking.

Segway D18E’s Ninebot may be visually more likable than its Xiaomi counterparts, but it’s nonetheless just as restrictive in terms of folding. The column folds down towards the deck thanks to a double safety mechanism that is very easy to operate. The bell then acts as a hook to connect the handlebars to the rear fender. The set ultimately remains cumbersome once folded, the handles do not fold down and the machine maintains a certain height. It’s not the most efficient scooter model at this point, that’s for sure.

At 14.8kg on the scale, the Ninebot D18E is heavier than most electric scooters in its class. This remains a weight that an adult can carry without too much effort in the time to cross a few steps, or even climb 2 or 3 floors. Note that the 10-inch wheels give the Ninebot D series a great advantage over their Xiaomi cousins, as it is possible to roll them on the front wheel when folded, while holding them on the handlebars. Public transport users will find it interesting.

French law requires electric scooters to have a speed of no more than 25 km/h. The Ninebot D18E clearly lives up to this, especially since the 250W motor wouldn’t make it go much faster if it wanted to. The Chinese machine offers three driving modes, one of which limits the speed to that of a pedestrian, allowing you to drive calmly in pedestrian areas where it is allowed.

Without being anemic, the D18E is not the fastest electric scooter. The acceleration lacks a bit of fishing to be really interesting in the city. It still takes him 7 seconds to reach his top speed from a standing start on the flat. Times are a bit soft, again the engine lacks juice.

On the other hand, we were pleasantly surprised by the good performance of the Ninebot D18E from the first to the last kilometer. It also costs him his stamina, as we’ll see below. Admittedly, the torque developed by the engine of the Chinese scooter is not monstrous and shows its limits on steep hills where the speed drops to about 15 to 17 km/h, for a 65 kg rider. But it doesn’t deteriorate over the miles. Lucky, shall we say.

It’s not the most lively, but the Ninebot-Segway D18E is quite comfortable and accurate in its trajectories. The choice for 10-inch inflatable wheels is very interesting due to the lack of suspension to absorb the unevenness of the roadway as much as possible. The handling is also excellent. The large wheels also make it easier to get over curbs without having to lift the front completely. Because the engine is placed exactly at the front, this facilitates these passages. On the other hand, starting on wet or gravelly ground can cause slight skidding. This remains rare given the low power of the engine.

Unlike Xiaomi’s equipment, Ninebot’s D series opted for drum brakes. A choice that is probably explained by a cost issue. Braking lacks a bit of precision and bite compared to well-made disc brakes. It takes 5 meters to completely stop the D18E launched at full speed.

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