A couple of years ago I tested out the Mi Electric Scooter and it was a convenient way to complete the two shorts ends of my long train commute. However, I had to walk it up the steep hill into my neighborhood, so it wasn't quite as functional as I had hoped.
For the past several weeks, I've been riding around the neighborhood and on my commute route with the EcoReco L5 Plus electric scooter that is now available for $999, regularly priced at $1,399. EcoReco currently has all of its scooters available at sale prices as part of its campaign to get scooters into individual hands rather than commuters needed to rent shared scooters.
The EcoReco L5 Plus is double the price of entry-level scooters, but it is also built well and has features designed to propel bigger riders over various road conditions. I am over six feet tall and weigh 250 pounds, so electric scooters and bikes I've tested in the past provide less speed, less range, and lower performance up inclined surfaces. Thankfully, the EcoReco L5 Plus propelled me faster than I wanted to and was able to move me up steep hills with ease.
During this time of coronavirus with increased remote work opportunities and limited public transportation, you may not think an electric scooter makes much sense. However, it is perfect for taking you further when the bus or train service is limited, and when you need to get around town to complete essential tasks. With an electric scooter, you can get places with a reasonable long-term cost and have fun as well.
EcoReco L5 Plus specifications
- Motor power and torque: 700W peak output
- Max load: 280 pounds
- Battery: 48V Li-ion battery cells under the foot deck. Two hours of charging to 60% capacity, 4.5 hours from empty to full.
- Lights: Omni-direction red LED taillight, the front light is optional
- Folded dimensions: 12 inches wide x 40 inches long x 7.5 inches high
- Extended dimensions: 22 inches wide (handlebar width) x 41 inches long x 46 inches high
- Weight: 38 pounds
- Max speed: 20 mph (dependent on rider weight and road conditions)
- Range: Up to 25 miles at top speed and 40 miles at 12 MPH (170-pound rider on a flat surface)
Walk around the L5 Plus
The EcoReco L5 Plus arrived in the cardboard box in the folded condition. One major improvement I saw in this scooter over other scooters was the ability to fold the T-bar handlebars down against the stem of the scooter. This significantly reduces the overall footprint of the folded scooter so you can more easily pack it on a bus, train, car, or in your home.
Starting at the top we see the brake lever on the far left with the dashboard and throttle on the far right. The handlebars are covered in tiny silicone dots that provide excellent grip when riding the scooter. A simple slide of each handlebar sleeve lets you rotate the handlebars down along the stem.
The T-bar that supports the two handlebars can be raised and lowered through xx positions to optimize the handlebar height for each specific rider. As a fairly tall rider, it was awesome to have handlebars perfect for safe riding.
A locking lever is pulled back toward the foot deck and then a small knob is moved to release the stem and lay it down onto the foot deck. With the two devices holding the stem in place, I felt very secure riding the EcoReco L5 Plus at high speeds. Unlike some other scooters, there was no play in the stem or handlebars.
The foot deck is particularly wide, measuring 7.5 inches along most of its length. My size 12 shoes fit well on the foot deck and it was a pleasure to ride the scooter with such comfort and available space.
A metal kickstand is available on the left side under the foot deck, just aft of the charging port on the scooter. Along the top of the rear fender, we also find a red rear LED taillight that lights up when you pull the braking lever.
There are front shocks along each side of the front wheel and two shocks on either side of the read wheel. The front-wheel shocks are orientated up and down while the rear wheel shocks run for and aft. This suspension system provides a comfortable ride over rough roads and is very well constructed and assembled.
The Mi Electric Scooter I tested had two small tires with inner tubes that both went flat after several months of use. I changed the inner tubes twice and after that strenuous battle and continued flats, I replace those tires with solid rubber so flats were no longer an issue. Thankfully, the EcoReco L5 Plus has a solid rubber eight-inch rear tire and polyurethane filled eight-inch front tire so you never have to worry about flat tires. If you have ever had to change out a tire this small you will greatly appreciate this EcoReco design feature.
Matte black fenders are also mounted over both wheels so that rocks, rain, and other objects will not fly up while riding.
The charging socket and included A/C charging brick charge up the 48V battery pack located under the foot deck.
Dashboard and throttle unit
Like most electric scooters, you have to roll the scooter forward before the throttle is activated. Slowly squeeze the throttle to go faster. While the top speed is rated at 22mph, you can open up the foot deck to access three pairs of connectors and adjust the top speed limit. Options include top speeds of 12.5mph or 7.5mph. Another connector lets you enable kick-start mode that will disable the safe-start feature. This means you won't need to get the scooter rolling before moving forward so take extra precaution if you make this connection.
Push and hold the green power button for about two seconds to power on the scooter and for about a second to power it off. The mode selection button is used to switch between the following:
- Trip: Distance traveled since last resetting the display
- Odometer: Shows total distance traveled on the scooter
- Speedometer: Shows you the speed in mph or kph (press and hold the mode button on cycle counter to change units)
- Charging cycle counter: Provides you with the cycle counter stats. EcoReco states that when used normally the battery should maintain significant capacity after hundreds of charge cycles.
The battery status indicator on the dashboard shows a total of five bars with each representing about 16% of battery capacity. It will flash and show zero bars with the level is low with 16% or less remaining. When you get below 3% the dashboard unit will shut down.
Riding the EcoReco L5 Plus
After opening up the cardboard box containing the EcoReco L5 Plus, I was immediately excited to see the wide foot deck and adjustable height stem. With a couple quick movements I had the scooter unfolded and ready to ride. It has been a sheer pleasure riding the scooter around the neighborhood and through the city to and from work.
By default, the top speed is set to 20mph and it was quite a thrill to stand up on a scooter and move along at that speed. Definitely wear a helmet and use a bit of caution riding this scooter until you are comfortable with its sheer power.
The major factor about this scooter that propels it to the top of my scooter list is the torque capability, rated to provide enough power to get you up 20% to 25% inclines. Even the electric bikes I have tested have trouble getting my heavy body up inclines in my neighborhood, but the EcoReco L5 Plus scoots me right along with ease and the smile on my face was apparent to everyone.
Three-stage braking is provided, and while you won't stop instantly, it was impressive to see how fast the scooter stopped even when trucking along at high speed. It would be dangerous for a scooter to stop instantly, but you do need to use caution when riding a scooter in congested areas.
There is no front light included by default, but you can choose this as an optional accessory. For riding in low-light conditions, I prefer to have a headlamp mounted to see where I am going and appear visible to others.
The EcoReco L5 Plus is available now for $999 and is perfect for larger riders and those looking for a powerful scooter to get them to and from work or around town for errands.