With the shortest braking distance on the market, Äike goes above and beyond to ensure rider safety.
Here we go full speed ahead (or at 25 km/h as required by the local regulations – on the Parisian pavements. In spite of the significant bumps in the road, our balance and foundation rest unshaken as the large wheels and generous tyres take all the hits for us. Suddenly, a bike cuts us off! With a simple push on the brake lever, we come to a stop almost instantly, despite the roughness of the road. We had no idea how fast we were going, yet the manoeuvre was masterfully executed. The cyclist did not even realise we were there – that is how swift the braking was…
Recently, we tested the Äike electric scooter, from the Estonian brand of the same name. Although previously specialised in software and IoT devices for B2B micromobility brands, the small Tallinn-based team launched its own electric vehicle and has now arrived in France to further develop its products and mission. Our country (France) is home to some of the most dynamic development of infrastructure for bikes and scooters and is therefore also crowned with the title of Europe’s biggest market for privately owned e-scooters. Äike is a high-end product and hosts some of the best technology currently available. The scooter itself weighs 27.5kg, has a 50 cm wide standing deck and a low centre of gravity. This combination gives it exemplary stability which comes in handy for anyone who rides it – particularly larger, heavier or clumsier people. The motor runs incredibly smooth, with not a single vibration. We love that while riding this e-scooter, it is possible to stand on the vehicle with your feet side by side, both in the direction of riding. To further enhance this feeling of comfort, Äike has two large wheels with 10-inch puncture-proof rubber tyres.
Finally, when we take into consideration the double drum brakes operated by an ABS system at the rear, we can easily conclude this is indeed the safest electric scooter on the market. To find out for sure, we decided to measure our braking distance by coming to a stop after riding full speed on a tarmac road. It took us less than 4 metres to smoothly stop the machine.
This was done without being thrown forward or providing any other discomfort as the sturdy weight and low centre of gravity of the machine excels in its engineering. It is difficult to know for sure whether this is a world record, but it likely might be. In any case, it is extremely reassuring!
Effective anti-theft measures
It should be clarified, that all settings and commands (lock, unlock, Eco-Mode, speed tracking, theft alert, location management, etc.) are carried out from your smartphone via the Äike app. In fact, here is what happened while we were trying out this e-scooter: after parking the e-scooter in front of a shop to make a few purchases (in Paris), we received a notification on our phones of unauthorised movement of the e-scooter. When we went to check the situation, indeed, the scooter had disappeared! A quick look at the map allowed us to locate the e-scooter sitting in the adjacent street (Äike has a GPS and a mini-battery hidden in the frame). Looks like the thieves had abandoned it when the anti-theft alarm was triggered and the wheels self-locked. And perhaps our speedy arrival…
The system is very efficient, but it begs the question of what happens when you don’t have your mobile phone with you or it runs out of battery. Without a phone, it is impossible to ride this scooter! Concerning the autonomy, our tests did not allow us to go beyond 30 km. This is average but sufficient for urban use. If necessary, the Eco-mode, which limits the maximum speed to 20 km/h, allows you to save a little power and get that last push to make it home to a charger. Last but not least, Äike is built to be sustainable and durable. To achieve this, it uses 100% clean energy during its manufacturing and 42% recycled components. At the end of its life, 92% of the e-scooter can be further recycled. It is also the only e-scooter that currently is manufactured in Europe, favouring short circuits and delivery distances. Sold at a price of 1890€, with 1-year insurance against theft and a 5-year warranty on the battery, it is fair to say that Äike is not a cheap scooter.
But, provided you don’ have to carry it up and down the stairs, it should appeal to urban riders, particularly in their forties and fifties looking for a comfortable and safe way to get to work.