I tested the VMAX Easy Scooter T20 for one week. My conclusion: It’s not for me. However, I did meet individuals that loved it. But they’re not allowed to drive it.
E-mobility has become part of everyday life. Buzzing, whirring and whooshing is all around. Some devices blur the lines: Is it a toy? Is it for real? The VMAX Easy Scooter T20 is for real, even though its name is a bit of a joke or presumptuous to say the least. After all, Vmax stands for top speeds. Yamaha produces a 200-horsepower motorbike with this name, for example. And so does VMAX E-mobility. But their products, like this wee scooter, hit 20 km/h max. Not even its lime green sports design is going to change that. The scooter is classified as a light motor vehicle and may therefore be driven from the age of 14 with a scooter licence and from the age of 16 without a licence. What’s more, it’s OK to drive it on streets and bike lanes and that’s where it’s different to many other electric rides. Find out more about road approval here.
The tech specs
Power: 300 W
Battery: Samsung Li-Ion 48V
Range: 25 to 30 kilometres
Charging time: two hours
Weight: 22 kilos
Max. driver weight: 150 kilos (I'll believe it when I see it!)
First impressions: small and weird
«This is a bit small» is my first thought when Category Marketing Specialist Daniel Feucht rolls through the office on the Easy Scooter. It’s great for navigating around our office swivel chairs, mind you. But on the road? I’m sceptical. At least you can collapse it and take it on a tram with you. But I don’t want to do that. I want to drive it. So I start by getting to know how it works.
Battery status, speed, covered distance, light – there’s not much more being displayed.
There are three buttons in total: Power and light on the right, the signal-horn on the left.
You can even connect your mobile and there’s a speaker hiding in the handlebar.
Push the red button, release the brakes and off you go! There’s no key, so there's no danger of losing it. However, I will have to remember to bring a lock if I plan to park the Easy Scooter in public. Things become a bit absurd when I try to switch on the light. Even though there’s a button for it that also illuminates the corresponding light symbol on the display, I still have to manually switch on the front and rear light. So I press the front lamp, push the LED strip under my seat. Ta-dah! Let there be light!
What else is important when you’re zipping round the houses at 20km/h? That’s right, the horn! This model sounds like it stepped out of a cartoon. Should the horn fail to make people jump out of the way, I can always use my bike bell to beef up the sound. The handlebar is height-adjustable with the quick release. Unfortunately, the saddle is not. So, I cruise about in low-slung style.
My first ride: Take me home, Easy Scooter!
I hit the road for the first time and drive home from the office. Normally, I would use my bike but today, I choose to crawl up the hill at snail’s pace – overtaking slow cyclists and being overtaken by fast ones. I feel their eyes on me and feel ashamed. This is how low I’ve stooped. Cowering just above the concrete on a mini scooter, riding at full throttle but barely making tracks.
The road flattens out and I do the speed test: From 0 to 19.8 km/h in 7.15 seconds. That’s it. But uphill I nowhere nearly reach the magic 20 mark. As I approach my destination, there’s another steep bit. The speedometer sinks below 8 km/h, the scooter starts to stutter and I resort to my legs to get my electric dandy horse home. At least I now understand why the saddle’s so low.
Electric dandy horse (2018)
Dandy horse or draisine (1817)
The Easy Scooter is not made for steep hills.
Those tiny wheels are merciless and pass on every bump to your vertebrae.
The display is hard to read in the sunlight. But worry not. It’s not like you will be doing dangerous speeds.
The disc brakes have good grip. And that’s a good thing, as the scooter really picks up speed going downhill without the brakes on. However, the fun is spoilt somewhat by the lack of shock absorbers.
Need for a different environment
I take the scooter up the road to do my shopping and walk-drive it back up the hill on the way home in true dandy horse fashion. This is when I ask myself: When does this scooter come into its own? I drive it to a school picnic. No sooner did I reach the spot than I was surrounded by ten to twelve-year old boys.
«Mister, mister! Awesome! Does it go fast?»
«No, only 20 km/h.»
«Mister!!!! Can I drive it?»
«No, sorry. You need a licence for it.»
«Can you drive it down stairs?»
King of the playground
They mocked me on the road but now I’m the king of the playground. Again and again, I have to explain what the Easy Scooter does, who can drive it and where and why all that begging of a pack of 12-year olds will change nothing. I had a feeling it would be a good idea to bring the lock. Later that day, when none of the kids wanted to go home, I discover a further feature: The scooter has a forward-facing loudspeaker just below the display. I connect my mobile via Bluetooth, search for a police siren on YouTube and break up the party. I can’t believe how effective it is as I herd a group of giggling kids across the sports ground towards the exit.
Folded and packed
After its big performance, I give the Easy Scooter a chance to prove itself as a weekend companion. In its collapsed state, it easily fits in the boot of a car. With its foldable footpegs and without a chain or other greasy parts, it’s also quick and clean. So I whisk the scooter away for the weekend and take it to… the mountains of all places.
...and the Easy Scooter is collapsed.
On the one hand, the scooter really doesn’t belong here. On the other hand, it could be a handy, zero-emission luggage shuttle. Loaded with bags and rucksacks, I cover the last hundred metres leading up to the cabin little by little – the beautiful landscape slowly rolling by. It’s a bit weird but still quite helpful. And the cows aren’t too bothered.
Overall, I drove the VMAX Easy Scooter T20 for just under 10 kilometres. In the city, in the country, on flat roads and up hills. The reason why I didn’t cover more ground? Firstly, driving for longer distances is no fun. Secondly, the scooter already struggled uphill with my 70 kilos. What’s more, the vehicle’s biggest fans are all too young to use it. However, if you’re a proud owner of a 200-metre long warehouse or want to drive from a campsite to get a few bread rolls in the morning, the Easy Scooter could be for you. The narrower the space, the more fun this highly manoeuvrable mini scooter is. However, I could do without the road approval. Frankly, I could do without the whole Easy Scooter. It just doesn’t suit my lifestyle.
Luck is fleeting, so I keep moving. On my bike, on the ball (size and colour are unimportant) and with everything stemming from two kids’ imagination. I love to give into play and give coincidences a chance. After all, if the journey is the reward, we should make it a nice one.