Razor E300 Review
Pros: Smooth ride, powerful single brake
Cons: Slow, does not fold, limited range
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This electric scooter has several features that are unique in the class. First, it uses a sealed lead acid battery which is interesting considering that lithium ion batteries have become the standard. The E300 also uses a chain driven motor to transfer power to the rear-wheel; meaning that there is no electronic hub brake. Finally, the frame and fork are constructed of steel. Given the design and the target consumer (primarily children), it's no wonder that this product failed to meet the standards set by the other scooters here reviewed. It also didn't help that our E300 broke during testing and had to be returned.
In our dogged search for the best electric scooters on the market we scoured the web, reading manufacturer specs, analyzing design features and, combing through customer reviews. In the end, we purchased the most promising scooters for head-to-head testing. We then devised several tests to weigh all the elements contributing to a quality product. These elements or metrics as we call them, are power, ride, range, portability, and braking. These metrics, and how we evaluated them, are discussed in detail below.
This metric is a measure of hill climbing ability and flat ground top speed. To assess the prior, we picked two hills (3.5% and 10.5% grade) and ran the scooter up them - if they could. On the shallower of the two, the E300's max speed was reduced by 5-7 mph. However, one tester noted that he was skeptical that the scooter would have continued were the hill any longer. The steeper grade was not attempted for fear of breaking the product before further tests could be completed. (note: the E300 eventually did break during testing).
To assess speed we took the Razor out with a fully charged battery and cranked the throttle taking it to its maximum cruising speed and timed how long it took to go 100 feet. This trial was run three times and the results were averaged. At 11.95 mph, the E300 is at the bottom of the class.
This metric is simply an assessment of how aware our testers were of rough road surfaces and unexpected cracks. This was one of the categories in which the E300 actually excelled; mainly due to its 9" pneumatic tires.
To get a grasp on a scooter's braking power we looked at two critical conditions; namely, hill braking and flat ground stopping. The first is an evaluation of the machine's ability to regulate speed when descending a steep hill. The second evaluates the stopping distance on flat ground. Despite having only one (disk) brake, the Razor did quite well in both of these tests. However, the lack of redundancy in the brake system raises safety concerns.
The range metric is an evaluation of travel radius and battery charging time. When we started testing for ranger we quickly realized that we needed to subdivide travel radius into two parts to accurately describe the performance of the scooters being tested. The first part is the effective range, which is the number of miles traversed at full speed on flat ground. The second part is the maximum range, which is the distance the scooter will go at any speed. Here the E300 shows the problematic nature of its sealed lead acid battery. There is a big gap between the maximum miles (5.9) and the effective miles (4.7) delivered on a charge, and both were well below those delivered by the lithium-ion counterparts. Additionally, the battery was slow to charge taking about 6 ½ hours. The manufacturer notes in the manual that it can take up to 24 hours to fully charge.
The Razor's lack of a folding mechanism for the steering column, it's heavy steel frame construction, and it's generally bulky design suggest that its designers did not have portability in mind. As such, the scooter received the lowest marks in the class in this category.
Given the general lack of performance delivered, and that our E300 broke within a few days of purchase. We can not say that this product is a good value.
We would recommend that a potential consumer look elsewhere for an electric scooter. Even if you're looking pick up one of these machines for the kids to play around on in the driveway, there are better options for the cost.
— Nick Miley and Austin Palmer