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Test Achats calls electric scooters ‘unsafe’, advises against using them

18:06 08/10/2020

The braking function on most electric scooters sold in the EU is “abominable” and they also “cannot be used in the rain”. That is the conclusion of a thorough investigation by Belgian consumer organisation Test Achats, which bought and tested 11 models of electric scooters.

One of the 11 had to be eliminated immediately because it was capable of speeds faster than 25kph – illegal to sell in the EU. The rest were put through rigorous laboratory testing for acceleration, steering, braking, suspension and battery quality.

The goal of such inspections by Test Achats is to create a list of brands and models that it recommends, putting the Best of the Test at the top of the list. While they did that, the organisation’s Jens Van Herp said that none of them were good enough to really recommend.

“Of all of the scooters, only one is splash resistant,” Van Herp told Radio 2, “which means the others cannot be used in the rain. Your battery will fail almost immediately.”

Rattle and hum

He was most concerned, however, with braking distance. “It’s abominable,” he said. “You simply cannot brake safely in the rain. Some of these scooters also rattle when you ride them, and the suspension is abysmal. The cost of these scooters is really out of proportion to the quality.”

The highest-rated scooter of the batch got a 70 out of 100 points, which Test Achats does call ‘good quality’. It must said, however, that some of that is down to the one criteria in which it was awarded 100 points – the instruction booklet.

“On the basis of our results, we recommend that no one buy an electric scooter,” said Van Herp. “If you want to invest in sustainable mobility, we suggest a bicycle or a folding bike.”

Test Achats is a subscription service, so in order to see all of the results of the scooter test, you have to become a registered user of the site.

Photo ©ViewApart/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Written by Lisa Bradshaw