Personal Mobility

Apollo City Electric Scooter Hands-On: Ready for Launch

The new Apollo City is fully redesigned to get you where you need to be safely and in style.

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Richard Peterson/CNET

The Apollo City electric scooter falls between an ultraportable and a full-fledged, heavyweight, car-replacement rideable. Starting at $1,499 (roughly £1,135 or AU$2,000), the City scooter comes in two configurations, with either a single motor, the Apollo City, or dual motors, the Apollo City Pro, for $1,699. I tested a prerelease version of the City, which is available for preorder now and starts shipping in May. Apollo is offering $200 off the list price on preorders for both models. 

The scooters use a 500-watt motor and are powered by a 48-volt battery. The City can hit a top speed of 27 mph while the City Pro can reach 32 mph. The rated travel distance is approximately 25 miles, and I got fairly close to that on the City, at about 18 miles on a single charge. But like always, these are estimates and your mileage will vary due to terrain, travel speed, wind and rider size. In short, the larger the rider and the faster they go, the shorter the travel distance. 

The model I tested was the single-motor Apollo City. The scooter arrived securely packaged and setup only required a single cable to be connected, with two screws for the handlebars. 

It's a beautiful scooter. The body is comprised of aircraft-grade aluminum with a gorgeous gray finish and touches of orange. The brake cables run cleanly through the frame and are only visible at the exit points to the levers and drum brakes. 

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View of the rear wheel along with dual suspension.

Joseph Kaminski/CNET

The steering shaft is stable and high, over 41 inches, making maneuvering the scooter effortless. So many scooters I've tested have low steering shafts, which forces you to hunch over, putting a lot of pressure on your palms. It also makes quick stops more dangerous by having all your weight forward, which can result in flipping over the scooter.

When you're done riding, the handlebars fold and lock simply and securely. The back of the deck curves upwards. You can rest your foot or use it to run a chain through to lock it up. 

The City supports riders up to 220 pounds and although I'm over that, it handled fine. However, it might be best to go with the City Pro instead, which supports riders up to 265 pounds. The scooter's deck is covered in rubber instead of grip tape, which I find a welcome addition; it's much easier to clean. Thanks to a single spring shock in the front and dual springs in the rear, the ride is smooth even on bumpy city streets. The shocks, along with 10-inch tubeless self-healing tires, make this a great scooter for everyday commutes. 

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The City weighs 57 pounds (26 kg), the City Pro 65 pounds (29.5 kg).

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The City has three riding modes: Eco with a top speed of 9 mph, Comfort with a top speed of 18 mph and Sport mode with a top speed of 27 mph. Acceleration is smooth, making the City great for novices but still with a top speed to appeal to veterans. Being able to hit 27 mph makes sharing the road with cars less intimidating. The scooter can be charged in under five hours and has an ingress protection rating of IP56 so you don't have to worry about riding on wet streets. 

The City is equipped with both front and rear drum brakes and a regenerative throttle brake. The benefit of a setup like this is you won't have to worry about the brakes locking up and throwing you from the scooter, and they require less maintenance than discs. They can also be adjusted by hand if need be. There's an integrated headlight, taillight, self-canceling rear signal lights and a bell to let them know you're coming.  

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The display could be a bit brighter.

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A display on the handlebars gives you at-a-glance info including battery level, speed, distance and ride mode. It's visible in direct light but could be a little brighter. The scooter has built-in Bluetooth, too, for connecting to the Apollo app, available for iOS and Android. The app lets you adjust settings from the scooter's top speed to putting it in Park mode so it can't be ridden. You can also order parts through the app, along with the ability to run a diagnostic test on the scooter for tech support. And, coming soon, you'll be able to use the app to meet up with other Apollo scooter owners. The scooter's firmware can also be updated via the app. 

The City offers so much more than a simple last-mile scooter. It might not deliver the power of the Apollo Pro, but you do get a comfortable ride, app integration, tech support and a sleek design. It also costs a lot less. Also, if you live in New York City, Apollo will have its first US-based service center in Brooklyn.