The folks at Apollo Scooters reached out to us about their new line of premium electric scooters. So many electric scooters these days are built as cheaply as possible and if they break, are doomed to be thrown away. Apollo Scooters are being billed as more durable, higher quality builds, thanks to their vertical integration of manufacturing, service, and sales.
The Apollo Light
They sent us the Apollo Light ($683 USD) to play with for a few weeks, and as a 205 pound dude, I was a bit leery about trusting the future health and wellbeing of my body to it at first. When it arrived, it was clear this was not one of the disposable scooters I’ve come to fear for their low build quality and loathe for their disposability, but rather, a well-built scooter with full suspension, 20 miles (35 kilometers) of range, a top speed of 20 mph (35kph), and a Canadian service team standing behind its 24-month warranty. The warranty is impressive as it also covers the Dynavolt-powered battery rated for 2,600 charging cycles, or the equivalent of 6 years of daily charging.
Right out of the gate, the Apollo Light was a blast to ride. Its large tires and full suspension made for a stable, comfortable ride, while the handlebars provide a stable grip. The wide forged aluminum frame features a deck with an eclectic mixture of graphics and grip tape that is both fun and functional. I found myself wanting to carve around on the street, onto the sidewalk, jumping, and bumping my way to the coffee shop (pre-quarantine, mind you).
I grew up on scooters and rode them recreationally through high school. The Apollo Light dusted off these ancient memories inside me, transforming my routine commute from a mere trip to the cafe to an enjoyable downhill session, thanks to the integrated battery and 350-watt rear hub motor (500-watt max). A tap of the throttle in one of the three available gears transforms any surface flat or hilly into an adrenaline-filled downhill blast.
- Gear 1: 15 KM/H max. speed (8 MPH)
- Gear 2: 25 KM/H max. speed (15 MPH)
- Gear 3: 35 KM/H max. speed (20 MPH)
In testing the range of the Light, I blasted down a few miles of steep downhill carving and then turned around and abused the board with a painful trek back up the hill. As with all electric vehicles, the peak power to the motor drops off as the state of charge of the battery goes down, so peak power died off as I headed back up the hill. Just the same, the scooter managed an impressive 17 kilometers of travel and still had 2 bars of battery capacity remaining. Granted, the remaining battery power wouldn’t support much travel at normal speeds, but I was impressed at what this ‘light’ scooter was capable of from day one.
Impressive Functionality in a Compact Package
The Apollo Light consolidates all communication to the pilot in a single display that’s bundled with the accelerator. The full color round display make sit easy to see the current speed, “gear,” odometer, and state of charge. It also displays the status of the Light’s LED lights, which can be activated by holding down on the Mode button for a few seconds. When engaged, a front headlight kicks in as well, along with a set of bright red LED tail lights that flash when the brakes are applied. That’s clutch for additional visibility and represents a meaningful improvement in what’s offered to the rider.
Integrated into the display is a throttle lever that controls just how much juice the motor lays down. The pilot can select from one of three “gears” that unlock higher top speeds and more rapid acceleration. Having the throttle lever fixed to the display forces a compromise as the entire module can ultimately either be adjusted for throttle position comfort or display visibility. Apollo offers an aftermarket thumb throttle for purchase, though it would be nice if this were addressed as part of the design vs as an additional purchase.
The display is packed with settings that can be accessed with a little help from the user manual to customize it to your preferences. Basic settings like screen brightness and switching the default measure from kilometers to miles and back can be tweaked. The Light also features cruise control which takes the edge off longer rides with more consistent speeds.
At 17 kilograms (37.4 lbs), the Apollo Light isn’t a featherweight, but is easy to fold down and carry for short distances. It’s perfect for bringing it into a crowded garage, into work, a coffee shop, or an upstairs apartment. Perhaps one of the most exciting use cases of this fun yet functional build is as a last mile solution. Ride it to the bus or train stop, fold it up, and use it to get from the nearest station to your destination.
Further extending the functionality of the scooter, it’s also possible to simply plug it in at your destination to cram even more scooter time into your travel. With the included standard charger, a full charge will take 4-5 hours, or you can upgrade to the fast charger ($108) to recharge in just 2 hours.
The Apollo Light is rated for riders up to 220 pounds, and over the course of numerous trips around town, circuits around the neighborhood, and even a few quick jaunts off road, it feels solid in nearly all aspects. The Light features full suspension, with shocks on all four corners and a center shock on the stem to absorb bumps in the road for a more comfortable ride. An inflatable front tire also takes some of the edge off bumps in the road, while a solid rubber tire in the back ensures all the power from the motor is transferred to the ground. They are stiff enough not to feel bouncy, but have enough cushion to make the ride noticeably more comfortable.
The Light is a great option for people looking for a mode of transit that’s more fun and portable than an electric bike, and at a more palatable price point. The Light brings features like LED lights and suspension to the party to make the ride safer and more comfortable than competitive scooters. Apollo also offers three other scooter models if the Light doesn’t quite suit your fancy – the City ($899), the Explore ($1,295), and the Pro ($1,871).
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