- A portable, adjustable height, folding electric kickscooter capable of 20mph top speeds and 10 to 20 mile range, runflat tires make it very durable and the narrower deck and compact size make it portable
- EcoReco sells wider pneumatic tires that improve traction and comfort but could get flats, front and rear suspension features minimal travel but does dampen vibration over rough terrain and cracks in the sidewalk, wide handlebar provides stability
- Scooter must be moving before trigger throttle will function, strong acceleration can feel abrupt at first but once you get used to it is very smooth, one year warranty on frame and fork, 6 month (upgradeable to 9) warranty on battery with good customer service
- Smaller deck can feel a bit crowded at times but helps to keep the overall size and weight down, no grip tape on the deck but it worked alright for me, adjustable-height handlebar locks into place for strength and provides good fit options
EcoReco’s slogan is Personal Mobility Redefined, they launched their first product on Kickstarter in 2013. They are based in the San Francisco California Bay Area and have a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and stewardship. They started out with the successful M3 scooter and then the M5 scooter. Their line up now (as of January 2019) includes 4 models including the ultra-lightweight XS, the S-series, the M-series, and the performance oriented L-series.
EcoReco’s goal is to provide eco-friendly alternatives to today’s energy-depleting, environment-threatening norms. EcoReco includes the following on their website: “A national household travel survey shows 50% of American car drivers’ daily trips are 3 miles or less, but most still choose to drive alone for them (even in an SUV!!). We propose an eco-friendly, efficient, and compact solution in the e-scooter. Not only can it do the job in these situations but also it’s much cheaper, faster and more fun for you, and less traffic congestion, pollution and CO2 emissions for all. With the energy, time, parking fee savings and its low price tag, the scooter practically pays for itself with just few months’ usage.” Additionally, EcoReco advocates the use of e-scooters, whether one of their models or one from a competitor. They have this philosophy because in their words “we’ve realized—and we hope you will, too—that along with saving a lot of green (both for the environment and for your wallet), riding an e-scooter will bring smiles to your face and to those of future generations.”
We reviewed two predecessor models (M3 and M5). The M5 is still available for purchase for $1,199. The S5 has an MSRP of $1,099 and is an update to the M5, being 2 inches shorter, 7 pounds lighter, using lithium-ion vs. lithium iron phosphate batteries, and it includes a few other updated features. The scooter reviewed here was purchased using EcoReco’s Reverse Auction Deal (RAD), which uses dynamic pricing that drops every 12 hours until sold. RAD offers a unique way to get a discount on lightly used or refurbished scooters, which is pretty neat. EcoReco values environmental sustainability and they offer good customer service. In my experience, they were fairly responsive to questions and appear to be an easy company to work with.
In my opinion, electric kick scooters are one of the most convenient ways to solve the “last mile” challenge that many commuters face (how to get from home to the train or bus station). I weighed the S5 at 28.6 pounds (slightly more than listed on the EcoReco website), which is light enough to be portable but still difficult to carry over long distances. The folding mechanism is solid and folds relatively quickly and easily.
The EcoReco S5 is powered by a 600 watt peak output (nominal output was not listed by EcoReco, presumed 250 watts) direct drive rear hub motor. The motor is nearly silent with strong acceleration, even while ascending moderate hills. Maximum rider weight is listed at 250 pounds (lbs) and depending on rider weight, the unit may not reach the 20 miles per hour (mph) listed top speed. I topped out at a maximum speed of approximately 17mph during my tests and I weigh 175lbs. I like the throttle responsiveness but when kicking off, the front wheel would sometimes come off of the ground because of the powerful rear motor. Achieving smooth takeoffs is easy with practice.
The battery powering the EcoReco S5 Electric Scooter offers 36 volts of power with 8 amp hours of capacity for 288 watt hours of total energy storage capacity. The lithium ion Panasonic or LG cells have a high power to weight ratio and should last over 1,000 cycles before they significantly decrease in range. The EcoReco S5 comes pre-charged to 50 percent. I recommend keeping the battery between 20 and 80 percent charge and topping it off every few months if you haven’t ridden it. Also, storing the scooter at neutral temperatures (avoiding extreme heat and cold) will help it to perform optimally. EcoReco advertises a range of between 10 and 20 miles on flat terrain with a 170lb rider, I performed a full range test and made it 11.6 miles before exhausting the battery.
Operating the EcoReco S5 is very straightforward, press the on/off button on the display pad for 2 seconds and the LCD lights up to show speed graphically, 5-bar battery level, trip distance, odometer, numerical speed, and charge cycles (rotating through as you press the mode button). My scooter arrived with the display angled down, it was simple to rotate the display to a better position using an hex wrench. Also the cabling was pointing inside of the handlebar rubbing against my body, I moved the cables to the front of the bars while adjusting the display. The LCD display may be small to read for some, but the back-lighting is nice and is not too bright when riding at night. The brake lever includes a motor inhibitor, which means it will cut power to the motor when activated for safety. The EcoReco S5 has a drum brake located in the rear wheel with 3-stage regenerative braking. I had some issues getting the brake adjustment dialed-in, alternating between very little brake response (I never really felt the regenerative braking engage) and the rear brake locking up, customer service wasn’t able to help me with brake adjustment beyond these extremes. The tires are replaceable and have a wide flat contact patch which is best suited to smooth surfaces but can feel unstable when cornering aggressively or going across non-paved surfaces. You can choose from red or black wheel plates and springs to customize your ride. Additionally, EcoReco has a large number of available accessories including a cargo trailer and air filled tires. You’ll likely experience a smoother ride with pneumatic tires but risk getting flats along the way, and this is a unique upgrade that really sets EcoReco apart from the competition which either has solid wheels or pneumatic, but not both.
The S5 suspension has limited travel which frequently bottomed out during my testing, it does however smooth most minor street imperfections. With a few adjustments to the suspension, improvement of braking performance, and reduced weight, the S5 scooter would be an even better commuting tool. As always, we welcome your feedback, additional input, and corrections in the comment section below. We’ve done our best to be complete with the stats for this light electric scooter to help you make an informed buying decision :)
- Strong acceleration, a smooth throttle, and a nearly silent motor enables reaching the top speed quickly (configurable at 7.5, 12, and 20mph). Maximum rider weight is 250lbs, speed and range will decrease for heavier riders.
- Solid rubber tire are durable, replaceable, and do not get flats. You can even upgrade to air filled tires for comfort if you’d like.
- A large selection of modular replacement parts are available to customize your scooter, as well as accessories including a wheeled carry bag and a cargo trailer that you can pull with the EcoReco.
- Front and rear spring suspension helps to smooth out the ride.
- Very bright rear LED brake light is always on and gets brighter when the hand brake is applied.
- The scooter has an open section for using a chain, cable, or u-lock to securely lock the frame. Many competing scooters can be difficult to lockup but EcoReco has innovated a solution.
- Integrated kickstand is not intrusive when riding and is opposite the battery charging port, so you won’t kick the sensitive part of the scooter accidentally.
- Wide handlebars (21 inches) enhance stability and the handlebar turning radius is limited to 50 degrees each direction which can increase safety especially for new riders.
- Sturdy and adjustable folding mechanism doesn’t feel loose or jittery.
- Adjustable telescoping stem with 3 preset heights (34, 37, and 40 inches from the deck to handlebar) makes the scooter easy to handle for short or tall individuals.
- LCD display is backlit, easy to read, and provides multiple readouts from graphical and numerical speed, battery level, trip distance, overall distance, and charge cycles.
- If you register your scooter EcoReco will provide a discount code to share with your friends and award you a referral credit for buying accessories or another scooter through their website.
- Firm puncture-proof rubber tires coupled with stiff spring suspension (that is not adjustable) feels more jarring than some other kick scooters.
- In my experience, the narrow wheels decrease stability, especially while cornering or traversing slippery surfaces.
- There is no way to lock the scooter’s electronics, so people could tamper with them at a bike rack or if you leave the scooter in a semi-public place where young family members might be curious about it.
- The drum brake has drag at all times and it can be difficult to adjust properly, there’s also some magnetic drag from the gearless hub motor so the scooter could be tiring to ride if you ran out of batteries.
- The deck is 18.5 inches long by 5.5 inches wide giving room to move average sized feet but not enough width to stand with feet together in my experience.
- The 6” deck height has 2.5” of ground clearance which makes it difficult to manually kick this scooter if you run out of battery or if you prefer to kick in low speed situations.
- The deck does not have grip tape on the surface, however the aluminum deck did seem to provide sufficient traction in my tests.
- Even though this scooter is considered “portable” and is lighter than the M5, it felt awkward and heavy to carry long distances for me.
- The S5 folding and handlebar tightening mechanisms are slower to use compared to some competing scooters.