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Flywheel | January 31, 2023
Exploring average mileages of used escooters and featuring the top 5 vehicles of the week
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of the used side of owned micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight an observation of trends emerging in the industry and feature five of the most interesting used vehicles being sold in the secondary market.
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The observation of the week explores the average mileages of used escooters. This week’s featured vehicles are a scrambler ebike, a road/sport ebike, a recumbent tadpole etrike, a premium commuter escooter, and a hybrid eboard.
Observation of the Week
Exploring average mileages of used escooters
Mileage is a critical metric for vehicles and is one of the leading factors determining a vehicle’s residual value. Despite that, only 9.3% of used escooter listings on Craigslist across major US markets report vehicle mileage. For context, 30% of used ebike listings report mileage. When you look at used escooter listing descriptions, it feels like many people are using their scooter more like a consumer electronics product than a vehicle. Some phrases commonly used in these descriptions include “getting down the street,” “got it for my children,” or “riding for fun.” Even the categories that used escooters are listed in are most quite frequently “electronics” or “sporting goods.” From the way people seem to use escooters and the way they describe them when reselling them, it’s clear that the perception of escooters as vehicles and practical mobility options still has a long way to go.
Across major US markets on Craigslist, used escooters have an average mileage 113.3 miles, which is ~3 times lower than the average mileage of used ebikes (349.7 miles). While the smaller battery packs, ranges, and frames of escooters certainly contribute to their lower average mileage, the way that people seem to perceive and use escooters (as described above) likely plays a significant role as well.
A breakdown of average used escooter mileage by region:
Unsurprisingly, NYC has the highest average mileage for escooters (and ebikes). It’s yet another testament to how that region is the furthest along in regards to using micro-vehicles for their transportation utility and not just recreation.
The top 5 escooter OEMs in terms of average mileage:
Dualtron and Apollo’s high mileages can largely be attributed to their faster speeds, while the leading utilization rates of GoTrax, Segway Ninebot, and Xiaomi are likely a result of the brands being first movers in the market for affordable escooters with significant, dominant volumes sold.
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Top 5 Vehicles of the Week
The Super73 Z-Miami is a class-2/class-3 hybrid scrambler and an upgrade to the popular Z1 model that addresses some of the the main complaints riders had with the Z1. The Z-Miami’s powertrain features a larger 750W (~35Nm) rear hub motor and a 615Wh swappable battery pack, giving riders twice the range of the Z1 and a faster top speed. This improved powertrain is actually the same as that of the top-of-the line ZX model, but is made available to riders for a ~$400 lower MSRP. Many riders found the Z1 underpowered and the S and R series vehicles overkill for urban riding, so the Z-Miami hits a performance and price sweet spot. Its 4” fat street tires make for a cushioned ride, while the smart display with built-in navigation is a useful addition for getting around a city. This listing is still in its original packaging and hasn’t even been registered yet, meaning that riders can get their hands on a brand-new Z-Miami with full warranty while saving ~$500 in taxes and shipping. Listing can be found here.
The Unagi Model One is a beautifully designed, high-end electric scooter. Often referred to as the iPhone, Tesla, or VanMoof of escooters, the Model One has a sleek design composed of premium quality parts and advanced materials. The magnesium alloy handlebar serves as a command center with controls and a smartphone-esque display directly integrated into it, and the stem is made of a Japanese carbon fiber (TORAY) that is primarily used in the aerospace sector. These parts bring the Model One’s weight down to an ultra light 28.5lbs, making it an extremely portable escooter. The powertrain is a dual wheel drive with regenerative braking, featuring two 26Nm motors and a 260Wh battery pack. This gives riders a range of 8.5 miles at a top speed of 20mph and a max climbing grade of 10%. Although its powertrain provides plenty of speed and acceleration, the Model One doesn’t handle as well on rougher roads and is better suited for riders doing frequent trips on shorter, paved routes. Its lightweight frame is not as supportive and makes the vehicle feel less sturdy, and the vehicle’s lack of suspension further exacerbates the problem. This listing has only been used a few times (likely <10 miles) and is therefore selling for $175 more than this model’s average resale price. While this would normally be a relatively reasonable price, the more economical option is to buy a new Model One because Unagi recently dropped its MSRP to only $550. Listing can be found here.
The Yamaha Civante is a class-3 road ebike and Yamaha’s first class-3 vehicle sold in the US. Its powertrain features a 70Nm Yamaha PWSeries SE mid-drive motor and a 500Wh battery pack. While Yamaha powertrains aren’t as common as those from Bosch or Bafang, they are highly sought after because of their unique triple sensor pedal assist system. This triple sensor system fuses together a torque sensor, a cadence sensor, and a custom speed-sensor (measures the speed of the vehicle itself) to provide arguably the smoothest delivery of pedal assistance of any powertrain in the market. As its ultra-lightweight of 43.4lbs and aggressive rider positioning would suggest, the Civante is fundamentally a bike designed for sport riders and experienced cyclists. However, given that it’s significantly cheaper than competing sport/road ebikes from the likes of Giant, it’s a compelling option for riders looking for a reliable and high-performance commuter. This listing has only been ridden twice and has 32 miles of usage. Listing can be found here.
The Cycleboard Rover is a three-wheeled escooter/eboard hybrid. Although it looks like a scooter, riders actually need to lean to steer like they would on an eboard. The handlebars don’t turn and are actually there to give riders improved and easier steering and braking control. The high-performance powertrain features a 41Nm (1800W) rear hub motor and a 1150Wh battery pack, and sits on top of a full suspension system and pneumatic tires. This allows riders to comfortably hit a max speed of 27mph at a max grade of 30%. It also gives the Rover an impressive 275lb payload capacity, allowing riders to ride with a child (on top of the extra large 10” by 26” deck), tow a trailer via the custom Cycleboard trailer mount, or haul cargo on a set of front and rear cargo racks. While the motor and its benefits are certainly impressive, it’s a bit difficult to bring the Rover to a stop because the braking system (combination of regenerative and hydraulic braking) is only on the rear wheel. Combined with the heavy 83lb frame and a new type of steering that takes a while to get used to (i.e. avoiding bump steer), the Rover isn’t necessarily the most practical option for high-utility commuting. That being said, it’s an amazingly fun vehicle for casual cruising. This listing only has 17 miles of usage and is being sold because the original owner is moving. Listing can be found here.
This listing is a Sun Seeker Eco-Tad SX recumbent pedal bike converted into a class-2/class-3 hybdrid tadpole etrike. Sun Seeker is a leading recumbent trike maker, and the Eco-Tad SX is their budget offering. The ebike conversion kit used in this listing is made by E-BikeKit (well-known in the DIY etrike community) and features a 45Nm geared hub motor and a 500Wh battery pack. This combination of the Eco-Tad SX and an E-BikeKit powertrain is actually a popular one given its smooth handling (from the long wheel base) and ability to climb steep inclines. While recumbent trikes are obviously hard to maneuver and have a challenging geometry for urban riding, this listing for a lightly used (~350 miles) electrified Eco-Tad SX is an excellent option for those looking for a novel recreational vehicle. Listing can be found here.
That’s it for this edition. Thanks again for joining, see you next week!
- Puneeth Meruva
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