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Unagi Model One (E500) Review

An average-performing scooter that looks cool but lacks performance proportional to its high price tag
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Unagi Model One (E500) Review
Credit: Unagi
Price:  $990 List
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Manufacturer:   Unagi
By Nick Miley and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Dec 19, 2022
  • Range - 25% 5.5
  • Power - 25% 5.5
  • Ride Comfort - 20% 4.0
  • Portability - 15% 7.8
  • Braking - 15% 8.5

Our Verdict

The Unagi Model One has several cool features, such as an electronic horn, paddle brake and accelerator, as well as an easy folding mechanism. However, its performance lags considerably behind its price. Notable weak points are the scooter's power and comfort. To find the best scooter for you and your budget, check out our comprehensive scooter review.
Easy to fold
Relatively rough ride
Weird fender brake

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Unagi Model One (E500) is a space-age-looking scooter that is easy to use, break down, and store. It's also relatively light, making it realistic to carry if needed. All told, the unit received an average appraisal. However, we were not impressed with the performance in light of its price tag.

Performance Comparison

unagi model one (e500) - the unagi has a sleek look and average performance. however, its...
The Unagi has a sleek look and average performance. However, its performance does not keep pace with its high price.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


The range metric is the first thing most consumers consider when considering a scooter. The Unagi Model One does pretty well in this metric though there are areas that can use improvement. Our range assessment looks at a variety of factors. First, we want to know how far the scooter goes and if the scooter can do those miles at a consistent rate. The Model One can run at around 13 mph for 12.5 miles with just a little power fall-off at the end of the battery charge. The result is a scooter that can run near full tilt for about 60 minutes. Unfortunately, the Model One takes four hours and 10 minutes to recharge — not what we'd call a great run time to recharge ratio.

unagi model one (e500) - the unagi has a decent range, but not the best.
The Unagi has a decent range, but not the best.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


If you didn't think about range first when considering buying a scooter, then you probably thought about power. Unfortunately, the Unagi Model One doesn't have a lot of power, though it's certainly not at the bottom of the class. We look at two factors when assessing power. Hill climbing is the first and most demanding portion of our assessment. The Model One ascended the second most challenging hill in our test (10.5% at its steepest), but just barely. However, the Model One reached nearly 14 mph—about 1 mph below the class average.

unagi model one (e500)
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ride Comfort

For those planning on making longer rides on their scooter, the ride comfort metric will be one to pay attention to as it covers the overall feel of the vehicle with a particular focus on rough surfaces. Simply put, the Model One was one of the least comfortable scooters to ride in the class. This appraisal is largely the result of its sold rubber “never flat” tires. Adding to this effect is the scooter's lightness, which offers little dampening on rough surfaces. All told, the ride on the Model One was rather rough compared to the other scooters in the class.


Portability is an important metric for those needing to carry their scooter or store it in a tight space. This metric looks at the scooter's folded dimensions, weight, and how it is transported. The Model One does pretty well in this metric on account of its relatively light 28.6 pounds and slick folding mechanism. Once the unit is folded, it is easy to carry using the steering column as the handle. It's too bad that the handlebar on the Model One does not collapse as well. Yet, the unit easily fits in the trunk of a compact car.

unagi model one (e500) - simply press down on the button and this lightweight scooter folds...
Simply press down on the button and this lightweight scooter folds down.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Braking may not be high on your desirable specs list, but experience has tough us that it is a critical aspect of scooter design. The Model One garnered good scores in our braking evaluation by going from 12 mph to a complete stop in just 15 feet — just under the average for the class. This is a pretty impressive result, considering the scooter is only equipped with an electric brake and a fender brake. That said, testers noted that the brake feels a bit harder to use and that it took a bit longer to feel comfortable on steep hills.

Should You Buy the Unagi Model One?

While the Unagi Model One is a decent quality, simplistic scooter, it is fairly expensive for what you get. As such, we recommend you look at other models in our review before settling on the Model One.

What Other Electric Scooters You Consider?

We would suggest a few models over the Model One. If you'd like decent performance but would also like to keep the cost to a minimum, check out the Gotrax GXL V2. Its performance is slightly lower than the Model One, but its price is significantly less. If you want to ramp up the performance, check out the Hiboy S2. The S2 has all-around better performance though the ride comfort isn't much improved.

unagi model one (e500) - the unagi's slick folding mechanism and chic looks go a long way...
The Unagi's slick folding mechanism and chic looks go a long way, but the machine's average performance and hefty price tag did not match up.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Nick Miley and Austin Palmer