On April 1, 2022, we published an article about Segway’s new 69 km/h scooter, which for all the weirdness about that clutch, wasn’t an April Fools’ Day joke. The first comment I got was, “I was just thinking about what I’d like without teeth.” That’s exactly why I’ve avoided any open-air electric transportation and why my family and I ride Razor’s lightweight, kid-friendly, colorful kick scooters everywhere—half a mile to school, 2 miles to art class, and even 5 miles to our favorite ice cream spot.
And here I am, three weeks later, to tell you I’ve changed my mind. Razor’s E Prime III is a reliable, inexpensive(er) electric scooter option if you’re not 2 Fast 2 Furious and need to go no further than about 7 miles. And based on the head turns I’ve been lugging it around for weeks, the design is just as timeless as the OG scooters the brand is known for. I felt extremely safe riding this thing, safer than I’ve touched on a Lime or a Bird, which is admittedly the extent of my experience riding an electric scooter. I was pleasantly surprised that since it’s a cheaper scooter (~$600), no handlebars vibrated or deck rattled, a problem I always have with footpath rentals.
The E Prime III has a few important caveats. First, you must consider the elements, especially wind and hilly terrain. The drag caused by wind and hills eats up the battery and affects speed significantly. Second, this scooter is for a short commute, which follows the strictest definition of fast. Razor clams the E Prime III will last about 50 minutes and up to 15 miles. That time limit is similar to my testing, although I could only drive 14km before hitting an extremely low battery. Once the battery reaches about half capacity, the scooter slows significantly from 29 km/h to 19 km/h peaks.
Is Razor’s Electric Scooter Safe?
I first got on an electric scooter in Santa Monica in 2018. It was a bird, and like many people, riding was my first experience riding an electric scooter. I thought it was fun. I thought it was dangerous.
I wove among tourists. The wobbling of the steering wheel was terrifying. It felt like anything could happen if I hit a bump the wrong way. The jingle of the deck going over bumps was a constant reminder that I, too, could hit the sidewalk. I kept thinking, “When was this last serviced?”
I didn’t feel that fear when I got on the E Prime III. It all felt very familiar as a proud adult owner and active rider of Razor’s regular kick scooters. I felt almost as safe on the E Prime III as on the kick scooter. Weighing in at 11kg, the aluminum housing is light enough that I could toss it aside (if necessary) if I were in real danger. I could easily lift the E Prime III up and over the curbs.
Razor offers two options for slowing down, a thumb-activated steering brake and a foot brake on the rear wheel. Acceleration on the Razor Prime III is activated with the thumb and is a “slow and steady wins the race” experience. The foot brake, in particular, is great for coming to a gradual stop at high speeds.
Two options for braking are better than one. (Photo: Fall Noel Kelly)
The 8-inch pneumatic front tire is a good shock absorber and is big enough to know it can get over bigger cracks in the road. Small bumps didn’t affect my grip on the handlebars. While I’m still cautious and hesitant to ride at night, the LED light on the front of the scooter, the reflective decal on the back, and the brake-activated taillight helped me feel as safe as I am. I could drive near cars at night.
There is a gap to lock this scooter with a bike lock or chain, although I didn’t feel comfortable locking it up in a public place to test it out.
What are the speed and battery of the E Prime III?
It gets tricky to decide whether to buy the E Prime III. This isn’t it if you’re looking for a scooter for long commutes. If you want to go hard for extended periods, this isn’t it. Here are more battery details if you’re still reading this after hearing that.
Short disclaimer, I wish I could be more precise, but unfortunately, the E Prime III doesn’t have a visual interface showing speed. I used a speedometer app on my phone to calculate the rates I mentioned below. This isn’t a deal breaker for me, as I don’t want to break any scooting records, but it’s good to keep in mind if you’re comparing the E Prime III against another budget scooter range from TurboAnt, GoTrax, or Segway.
When the battery is fully charged, all lights are on. As the lights go out, the top speed decreases. (Photo: Fall Noel Kelly)
The E Prime III has a 5-stage LED battery indicator; at full charge, three lights are blue, one orange, and one red. The battery takes 6 hours to charge. An overnight order was necessary as I used it daily.
I drove 11 km on urban terrain during my first test drive, including footpaths, poorly paved streets, and a few stretches of gentle slopes. The scooter blinked until only one red light left as I climbed the stairs to my apartment. The journey took me about 40 minutes, so this matched Razor’s claim that the device has up to 50 minutes of riding time.
It was quite windy during my second test ride, so I chose a flat bike path for half the ride. When not on the bike path, I navigated city trails and waited at traffic lights. I covered 13 km, which took me about 40 minutes. The battery dropped to the last red light about 3 minutes before I got home. I drove until the battery ran out, so I went a mile round trip to the post office. The storm was empty when I got home. I took the opportunity to test out the E Prime III as a regular kick scooter. It was a hell of a workout on my knees, and running it without power isn’t a realistic option if you get stuck somewhere.
Accelerator left brake right. That’s the LED light for night rides in the middle. (Photo: Fall Noel Kelly)
On both sides, the scooter reached its top speed of 29 km/h when the first two blue lights were on. As the battery decreased, so did the maximum speed. When the battery indicators were red, the scooter reached a top speed of 19 km/h.
Setting up and dismantling
The E Prime III is a two-screw installation. The handlebars attach to the frame with a clamp that requires two screws, and an Allen key to secure them is included. It was very easy. You also had to connect two wires for the accelerator and the brake, an extremely intuitive process. Altogether, it took me less than 5 minutes to assemble the scooter. Please note that you should ensure the tire is filled to 50 PSI before using it. I did this every time I rode for the sake of accurate testing.
It takes some practice to fold the E Prime III with ease. (Photo: Fall Noel Kelly)
The scooter is solidly built, so folding it takes some force. I’ve only folded it to tuck it away in a corner in places with limited space, such as the dental office. To fold the scooter, turn the knob on the underside of the frame to the left and pull the knob up while pulling the handlebars down. The process is smoothest when you pull the knob up simultaneously with one hand and the other hand on the steering wheel. It’s hard and frustrating when your two hands don’t work together, a challenge I’ve had with Razor’s non-electric kick scooters. That said, I will prioritize sturdiness over convenience regarding portability.
Should You Buy Razor’s E Prime III?
I don’t have a car, so it was a great time to drive this scooter to the supermarket, coffee shop, or food truck a few blocks down the street. It’s so easy to maneuver, and I felt 100 percent in control driving over and around obstacles on the road. I even tried to convince my mom to ride it, though she didn’t oblige (or appreciate) the request.
Many cheaper electric scooters in the E Prime III price range are either heavier or have a maximum speed of 12-24 km/h. For example, Segway’s Ninebot Kickscooter ES1L has a top speed of 19 km/h. GoTrax’s XR Ultra has a top speed of 24 km/h. Turbo Ant’s M10 weighs only about 14kg. HiBoy’s S2 weighs only about 15 kg.
This is an excellent option if you’re looking for a light, relatively fast scooter to sprint 2-3 miles at 29 km/h. This was a reassuring starting point for someone afraid to get on the electric scooter cart just a few weeks ago. Short commutes are best for this budget; I recommend an 11km round trip. Spend a few hundred dollars more on a scooter that can last longer if you have a lot of commutes.