Apollo Pro scooter: A fast ride, once you can go outside
This new-for-2020 electric scooter can hit 40mph.
Joseph KaminskiSenior Associate Technology Editor / Reviews
When not juggling the dual demands of parenthood and playing basketball, Joseph is a life-long Manhattanite who can be found testing the latest tech in the CNET Labs and developing new benchmarks and testing methodologies.
Not all electric scooters are created equal. There are short-distance ones for last-mile commutes, and then heftier models that could even replace a car for local travel. The Apollo Pro scooter falls into the later category. It starts at $1,849 (about £1,505 or $3,080) and it's much more than a last-mile scooter.
This isn't something you carry around, but something that brings you places. It has a top speed of 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers an hour), though my personal best was 35mph. The high speed is possible due to its dual 1,000-watt motors. The ride is exceptionally smooth, too, with 10-inch, air-filled tires and dual-spring shock suspension, and wide handlebars that absorbs shocks from the ground.
The Apollo Pro is rated to travel just under 50 miles on a full charge -- far past the average 10- to 15-mile range of those last-mile models. Hitting that range depends on your riding methods, terrain, wind and, of course, rider weight. My preferred riding mode is single-motor. But when I need that additional power to get up a hill or to pass someone on the street, I relive the Knight Rider days when Michael would activate KITT's Turbo boost, hitting the button for its second motor, and the Apollo takes off.
Being able to engage and disengage the second motor on the fly is great. In addition, there's an Eco button that caps your top speed for extending battery life during longer rides. I topped out around 17mph in dual-motor Eco mode, and the acceleration feels smoother. I prefer the single motor with Eco off, which enables me to hit approximately 30mph. This scooter has a lot of torque in dual-motor mode, and you'll be using its back footplate to avoid being jerked around. It has three gears to choose from: first gear has a top speed of 15mph, second gear hits 28mph and third can go up to 40mph. Out of the box, the scooter can go from a full top to 15mph in 2.8 seconds.
The scooter also has cruise control, which can be toggled on and off. You'll need the manual to access and navigate other settings, but riders can also adjust LCD brightness, shut-off time (by default the scooter will shut off if you're inactive for 5 minutes) and electronic braking strength. It can also switch from kilometers to miles and even reset the odometer.
I've already put more than 300 miles on the Apollo Pro, lately, traveling exclusively on it to avoid New York's mass transit during the coronavirus lockdown. In doing so, I was caught in the rain quite a few times, and the scooter handled beautifully with one setback. The rear fender doesn't come around the wheel quite enough to prevent water from spraying you. I ended up wearing rain pants for when the roads were wet, but the scooter is otherwise safe to ride in the rain and has an IP54 rating.
The rear lights blink when the brakes are applied. For city use, I would suggest adding your own light on the handlebars along with a good horn. And of course you'll need a helmet and gloves for protection at the very least.
The scooter's charge time is 10 hours with a standard charger and 5 hours with the fast charger or two standard ones. (Yes, there are two charge ports on the scooter deck.) It is powered by a 52V 22.5aH LG battery and has a dedicated display that shows battery voltage for riders to keep track of battery health. It also has a key-start ignition, making it at least slightly secure in terms of deterring theft. But I would still keep an eye on it. It weighs 80 pounds, but someone could still haul it off if they really wanted to.
From wheel to wheel, the scooter measures 51 inches and with handlebars up 52 inches high or 21 inches with them folded. The standing deck is 19 inches long and 9 inches wide. Having a large standing board makes it easy to place your feet side by side or staggered. It supports riders weighing up to 330 pounds.
I would like to see a wider steering tube on the next model for stability. The broad base supports the large battery, and at times you find yourself lifting the scooter on and off curbs by the handlebars.
The model I tested came with dual disc hydraulic brakes, which is an upgraded feature. Other upgrade options include the fast charger that cuts charge time in half, and winter or honeycomb airless tires. The base price for the Apollo Pro is $1,849 with free shipping to the US and Canada. As of this writing it will start shipping on April 15.
Using the Apollo Pro for my commuting has made my rare supply runs around town (almost) fun. The scooter is fast, responsive, and ideal for bumpy New York streets. It handles turns nicely, with no fear of loss of traction.
Racing home from work one evening (before we were all working from home), I got pulled over by a police car. He told me he was trying to catch me for about a half-mile. It turned out he just wanted to ask me for the name of the scooter -- the way it smoothly handled bumps as I flew down the street caught his eye.
The Apollo Pro is available for preorder now. If you're not feeling the Pro, though, Apollo makes three other scooters -- the Light, City and Explore -- available through the company's site.