Ninebot by Segway D18E in the test: An e-scooter for short trips

A regular user will quickly see the similarities between the Ninebot D18E and its cousins ​​like the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3. Still, the D18e offers a slightly less austere and more colorful look than its compatriot. The level of finishes is good overall and the plastics seem to be of decent quality overall.

The column that supports the handlebar is in one piece and cannot be adjusted in height. If your height does not allow you to choose the ideal position, users measuring between 1.60 m and 1.90 m will find a good compromise. The 48 x 17 cm deck offers a large platform for your feet. This makes it easy to find a comfortable position. The Ninebot D18E has an IPX5 certification, which guarantees that you can drive in rainy weather without any problems. The fenders are wide enough to do their job properly.

The 48 cm wide handlebar does the right thing in terms of support. Stability is good, thanks largely to the 10-inch wheels, which are large for an electric scooter. The rubber that covers the grips allows a good grip on the handlebars. The brake lever is on the left side and the accelerator pedal is operated with the thumb of the right hand. The latter offers satisfactory reactivity and is fairly accurate.

Its shape is certainly different, but the Ninebot D18E’s screen, located on the stem, is identical to the one Xiaomi offers 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 control the screen. A quick press of this button when the scooter is on the road activates the front and rear headlights. Lighting that is sufficient to be seen but does not adequately illuminate the road ahead.

The few features that are present directly on the Chinese scooter are also found in the Segway Ninebot application. They are supplemented by interesting information such as the exact state of charge of the battery, the route driven and the route that can still be driven. The app also allows you to set the strength of the energy recovery and therefore the strength of the magnetic braking.

The Ninebot by Segway D18E is visually more likeable than its Xiaomi counterparts, but it is just as restrictive when it is folded. The column can be folded down towards the deck thanks to a very easy-to-use double lock. The bell then acts as a hook to connect the handlebar to the rear fender. After all, the set remains unwieldy once folded, the handles do not fold down and the machine maintains a certain height. It’s not the most efficient scooter model on this point, that’s for sure.

At 14.8 kg on the scales, the Ninebot D18E is heavier than most electric scooters in its class. This remains a weight that an adult can carry without too much trouble to traverse a few steps or even climb 2 or 3 floors. Note that the 10-inch wheels of the Ninebot D series offer a major advantage over their Xiaomi cousins, as they can roll on the front wheel when folded while being held on the handlebars. Public transport users will find it interesting.

French law stipulates a maximum speed of 25 km/h for electric scooters. The Ninebot D18E obviously lives up to that, especially since its 250-watt motor wouldn’t let 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, which allows you to drive calmly in approved pedestrian zones.

Without being anemic, the D18E isn’t the fastest electric scooter. Its acceleration lacks a bit of angling to be really interesting around town. It still takes him 7 seconds to reach his top speed from a standing start on flat ground. The times are a bit soft, again the engine lacks juice.

On the other hand, we were positively surprised by the good performance of the Ninebot D18E from the first to the last kilometer. It also costs him his stamina, as we will see below. Admittedly, the torque developed by the China Scooter’s engine is not outrageous and shows its limits on steep hills where speed drops to around 15-17 km/h for a 65kg rider. But it doesn’t deteriorate over the kilometers. Luckily, we say.

It’s not the liveliest, but the Ninebot Segway D18E is quite comfortable and precise in its trajectories. The choice of 10-inch inflatable wheels is very interesting since there are no suspensions to absorb the bumps of the road as much as possible. The road holding is also excellent. The large wheels also make it easier to negotiate curbs without having to raise the front completely. The engine placed right in front makes these passages easier. On the other hand, slight skidding can occur when starting off on wet or gravel surfaces. This remains rare given the low power of the engine.

Unlike Xiaomi’s gear, Ninebot’s D series has opted for drum brakes. A choice that is probably explained by a question of cost. 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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