Test Ninebot by Segway D18E: an electric scooter for short trips

A regular will quickly spot the commonalities between the Ninebot D18E and its cousins ​​like the Xiaomi Mi Electric Scooter 3. However, the D18e offers a slightly less austere and more colorful look than its compatriot. The level of finish is generally good and the plastics appear to be of decent quality overall.

The column that supports the handlebar is in one piece and its height is not adjustable. If you can’t choose the ideal position based on your size, users between 1.60m and 1.90m will find a good compromise. The 48 x 17 cm platform offers a large foot surface. This makes finding a comfortable position quite easy. The Ninebot D18E has an IPX5 certification which ensures that you can ride in rainy weather without any problem. The fenders are wide enough to do their job properly.

The 48cm wide handlebar makes it just right for support. Stability is good, although the latter is largely due to the large 10-inch wheels for an electric scooter. The rubber that covers the grips allows a good grip on the handlebar. The brake lever is on the left and the throttle is operated with the thumb of the right hand. The latter offers satisfactory reactivity and is quite precise.

Its shape is certainly different, but the Ninebot D18E screen located on the stem is identical to the one Xiaomi offers on its electric scooters. It shows the usual information: current speed, driving mode, battery level and headlight position. A single button is used to start the machine and control the display. A short press of this button when the scooter is on the road activates the headlights and taillights. Lighting that is sufficient to be seen, but does not adequately illuminate the road ahead.

The few features present directly on the Chinese scooter are also found on the Segway-Ninebot app. They are complemented by interesting information such as the exact level of battery charge, the distance traveled and the distance that can still be covered. The app also allows you to adjust the strength of the energy recovery and thus the power of the magnetic braking.

The Ninebot by Segway D18E may be visually more forgiving than its Xiaomi counterparts, but it’s nonetheless just as restrictive in terms of folding. The column folds towards the deck thanks to a double safety mechanism that is very easy to use. The bell then acts as a hook to attach the handlebars to the rear fender. Ultimately, the assembly remains cumbersome once folded, the handles do not fold, and the machine retains a certain height. It’s not the most efficient scooter model at this point, that’s for sure.

At 14.8kg on the scale, the Ninebot D18E is heavier than most electric scooters in its class. This is still a weight that an adult can carry without too much trouble when crossing a few steps, or even going up 2 or 3 floors. Note that the 10-inch wheels give the Ninebot D series a huge advantage over its Xiaomi cousins, as it’s possible to roll on the front wheel when folded, while holding it by the handlebars. Public transport users will find it of interest.

French law requires electric scooters to have a speed that cannot exceed 25 km/h. The Ninebot D18E obviously delivers on this, especially since its 250W motor wouldn’t let it go much faster if it wanted to. The Chinese machine offers three driving modes, one of which limits the speed to that of a pedestrian, which allows you to circulate with ease in pedestrian areas where it is authorized.

Without being anemic, the D18E is not the fastest electric scooter. Its acceleration lacks a bit of fishing to be really interesting in the city. It still takes him 7 seconds to reach his maximum speed from a standing position on the ground. Times are a bit soft, again the engine lacks juice.

On the other hand, we were pleasantly surprised by how well the Ninebot D18E performed from the first to the last kilometer. It also costs your stamina, as we’ll see below. It is true that the torque developed by the Chinese scooter engine is not monstrous and shows its limits on steep hills where the speed drops to around 15 to 17 km/h, for a 65 kg rider. But it does not deteriorate with the kilometers. Fortunately, let’s say.

It is not the most lively, but the Ninebot-Segway D18E is quite comfortable and precise in its trajectories. The choice of 10-inch inflatable wheels is very interesting in the absence of suspensions that absorb the roughness of the road as much as possible. Road behavior is also excellent. The large wheels also make it easy to get over curbs without having to raise the front end all the way. The engine, being precisely positioned at the front, facilitates these passages. On the other hand, starts on wet or gravel ground can cause a slight skid. This is still rare given the low power of the engine.

Unlike the Xiaomi team, the Ninebot D-series opted for drum brakes. A choice that is probably explained by a matter of cost. Braking lacks a bit of precision and grip compared to well-made disc brakes. It takes 5 meters to completely stop the D18E launched at full speed.

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