Designed as a “stylish” companion around the city, the T15 is compact, lightweight and energy-efficient. It’s also quite a looker and you wouldn’t be wrong to describe it hipster-cute, so it should appeal to the younger generation. Safety is also another aspect where it delivers, though performance is where some form of compromise happens.
The T15 is now raising funds on KickStarter, with pledgers able to get a discount on the final $750 MRSP when deliveries start in July 2020. For this kind of money, you can get yourself a lower-end electric bicycle, so let’s see what makes this scooter worth it.
With a splash-proof, corrosion-resistant and eco-friendly aluminum-magnesium alloy L-shape frame, the T15 is incredibly lightweight, at just 10.5 kg (23 pounds). This means that you can easily carry it with you up the stairs, on public transport or even into your office. Further driving up desirability as a commuter solution, the T15 has an optional trolley mode, where, once folded, you can drag it behind you on the rear wheel as you would a piece of luggage. This will make its weight feel even lighter.
It is incredibly compact once folded. Folding it down takes just one press of a button and one second: the handlebars fold down automatically, as does the stem, and the incorporated sensor cuts off the power. When you’re ready to ride again, you deploy it just as easily and turn the power back on with a single tap of the foot on the rear mudflap.
There is no throttle on the T15, so it’s operated almost like a traditional scooter: the kick-and-go system that gives it its name. Whenever you need more speed, you need to kick the ground and the scooter will maintain that speed for as long as you want. Ninebot put regenerative braking into the wheels, so you get a bit more juice going, and the 250 watt motor is good enough to take you up 15% inclines.
Rolling on puncture-proof, foam-filled tires that aim to improve comfort and stability, the T15 can reach top speeds of 20 kph (12.4 mph) in Sport Mode. It also has Pedestrian Mode (limited at 6 kph / 3.7 mph), Energy-saving Mode (10 kph / 6.2 mph) and Standard Mode (15 kph / 9.3 mph). A bezel-less display allows you to choose between them, while keeping an eye on other vital stats. Bluetooth connectivity allows further monitoring of rides and road conditions through a dedicated app.
Integrated front and brake lights render the rider and the T15 fully visible in traffic, with the former customizable depending on a variety of scenarios (Emergency Lights, Monochromatic, Full Color), through the same app.
And now for the downside: the T15 comes with a 144Wh lithium-ion battery that can deliver only a maximum range of 12 km (7.5 miles), which renders it unsuitable as a full urban mobility solution and better adapted as a first- and last-mile one. A full charge takes four hours.
For storing and easy charging, the T15 comes with two different stands, with the vertical one adding to the overall “futuristic” design. The maximum payload is of 100 kg (220 pounds).
Advertised in absolute terms as an “electric scooter with robust functions and an exquisite craftsmanship” and “the most compact, lightweight, and energy-efficient KickScooter ever designed,” the T15 surely stands out. It’s compact and lightweight alright, and is bound to catch the eye. But at that range, it’s at best a fun (and pricey) gadget to play around on, than a viable solution to the issue of daily commutes in crowded cities.