Razor EcoSmart Cargo Electric Utility Scooter Review: 2 Seats, No Pedals – CNET

Electric scooters are here to stay, and as the user base grows, so do the riders’ needs. Enter the $999 Razor EcoSmart Cargo Electric Utility Scooter. (Yes, that’s a mouthful.) The EcoSmart is a versatile, seated scooter that can carry cargo, as the name suggests, or an extra person, as the swappable backseat allows.

For hauling your belongings, the EcoSmart comes with a rear basket. The basket can easily be swapped out for a rear seat, though, and there are foldable foot pegs so your passenger doesn’t need to worry about keeping their feet off the ground. For extra protection, the rear wheel is enclosed by a protective cover. 

Design and features

rear-wheel

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>Rear wheel with protective cover and chain drive.&nbsp;</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Joseph Kaminski/CNET</span>

The EcoSmart weighs 75 pounds — so it isn’t an ideal scooter for people who live in a walk-up — but it can carry a total load of 300 pounds. The scooter is powered by a 48-volt battery and a 1,000-watt motor that’s located toward the scooter’s center. This is nice for weight distribution, but it drives the rear wheel with a chain, which can be loud compared with a more typical hub motor. Some noise is helpful to alert cars and pedestrians, but if you want a quieter ride, this isn’t it. 

The scooter’s frame is steel, and the deck is plastic with a bamboo inlay, and it’s definitely an interesting-looking design. Most people I showed it to — who weren’t scooter fans — actually did like the EcoSmart. However, others jokingly compared it to a Rascal mobility scooter.

The scooter rests on a center stand, making loading and unloading more secure. The main seat has a quick release and can be height adjusted. Front and rear fenders help keep any puddle or dirt you roll through off of you. There’s also a small storage compartment under the rear passenger seat that’s useful for storing its charger. (It takes about eight hours to fully charge from empty.) 

second-passenger

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>A person seated on the rear of the scooter.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Joseph Kaminski/CNET</span>

The wide, 16-inch spoked pneumatic tires can handle typical bumps in the road well. There’s no front or rear suspension, though — something to keep in mind if you want to use this off road. Five speed levels are available to you, with a maximum speed of 20 mph. The scooter uses a twist throttle that’s responsive yet simple, and the handgrips are comfortable, too. 

The scooter has both front and rear LED lights. The display is visible in sunlight and shows the battery level, speed level in dashes and current speed traveling. 

display

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall"></p> <p>The scooter&#8217;s display.</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Joseph Kaminski/CNET</span>

What it’s like to ride 

Overall, the ride, chain noise aside, is comfortable. I was very impressed with the scooter’s low-end torque. Takeoffs weren’t aggressive, and on inclines, they were steady. The EcoSmart is only rated to travel 16 miles on a charge, which is… not a lot. When riding alone, you might be able to hit that distance, but with a second passenger, that dramatically changes. When I was riding with my 9-year-old daughter, who’s around 60 pounds, I noticed a significant performance drop. 

There were also a couple of things that had me scratching my head about the design. Stopping power is done with a single rear disc brake. This seems dicey for a scooter designed for hauling up to 300 pounds, and I’d feel more comfortable with a front and rear brake or some combination of mechanical brake/regenerative, especially when carrying a second passenger. In addition, though the chain is free-flowing when pushing the scooter forward, this setup has some motor resistance when backing the scooter up, whether it’s on or off. 

seat-storage

<span class="c-shortcodeImage_caption g-inner-spacing-right-small g-text-xxsmall" readability="27"></p> <p>The rear seat storage compartment with charger in it.&nbsp;</p> <p></span> <span class="c-shortcodeImage_credit g-inner-spacing-right-small g-outer-spacing-top-xsmall g-color-text-meta g-text-xxxsmall">Joseph Kaminski/CNET</span>

Overall, the Razor EcoSmart Cargo Electric Utility Scooter is a fun ride, and if you don’t live in a walk-up and your commute is short (or you can charge easily on the other end), it’s great for running errands or picking up a friend. There’s enough here to like for the price, though next time around a second brake, signal lights and a hub motor would make some nice additions. 

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