Urb-E, the urban electric scooter, has been the darling of CES. It has won Best in Show multiple times, Best Rideable in 2017 from The Verge, and many other accolades. When they debuted at CES in 2014 they didn’t have any ready for purchase though. Now they have a few models available. Does the Urb-E live up to the hype though? We took a look at the Urb-E Black Label to see if we could find out.
Urb-E debuted their unique foldable electric scooter design at CES 2014. It took them about another year before the first production model was available. Since then, they’ve come out with a few different models.
Urb-E are definitely on the higher end of electric scooters, with prices ranging from ~$900-$2000. They’re designed for “last mile” transportation, particularly commuters and others who would take public transportation somewhere but still want an easy way to get around.
Urb-E (the company) is based in California. The scooters are actually all designed and manufactured in California as well.
Hardware and Construction
The Urb-E are all made mostly from carbon fiber and aircraft grade aluminum. The black label model is covered in a jet black powder coating finish. It is definitely designed to be as light as possible, but with the hefty batter it still comes in at around 35 pounds.
A key feature of the Urb-E is that it is easily foldable. In just a second, you can fold it up. If you’ve ever used a foldable bicycle, you’ll know this is a big deal. (Most foldable bicycles are pretty difficult to fold and unfold quickly). Once folded, it is really easy to drag like a piece of luggage. It is even small enough to throw in the trunk or backseat of car too.
The Urb-E has a seat and suspension like a BMX bike. The Black Label has a max speed of 15 miles per hour, can get 20 miles on a fully charged battery, and takes about 4 hours to charge.
How it Rides
While the Black Label only has a top speed of 15 miles per hour, it feels like you’re moving even faster. You sit relatively low to the ground with a super low center of gravity. This makes it a little awkward to get used to. You’ll probably spend the first hour or so figuring out the most comfortable way to keep your feet from dragging on the ground. (There are foot rests, but they can be a little weird to use depending on how tall you are).
The other thing sitting so low to the ground does is make it feel super nimble and agile. You’ll be comfortable darting in and out of traffic really quick. Just be sure to stay aware of you’re surroundings – you’re low enough that some drivers might not see you!
You control the breaking and acceleration of the Urb-E with the controls on the right handlebar. You’ll turn with the handlebars, of course, but you’ll also have to lean into it a bit.
Unlike an electric skateboard or a standing electric scooter, there isn’t really a way to ride the Urb-E once the battery drains. Still, with a range of about 20 miles this shouldn’t be a problem. Overall, the Urb-E is great at what it is designed for – to be the ultimate last mile vehicle.
Best Electric Scooter Available?
The Urb-E is definitely one of the more expensive and higher quality electric scooters available, but is it worth it? The Black Label we reviewed is in the middle of the price range for Urb-E electric scooters, which can range from around $900 to over twice that. It is definitely has the highest production value and build quality of any electric scooter we’ve seen.
It is a lot of fun to ride and has some extra features you won’t find anywhere else. Urb-E makes tons of accessories. From the basics to lights and bells, to trailers and baskets to help you transport more stuff, to specialized mounts for phones, iPads, etc., you can really customize your Urb-E to meet your needs. Besides the accessories, you can also use the massive battery to charge your phone or anything else that just needs a USB port.
We think the Urb-E is a great option, but you can’t really compare it to the other electric scooters available today. It is more comparable to a high end electric skateboard, like those from Boosted or Evolved. If you are in the market to spend a grand or more for a really top quality last mile vehicle, the Urb-E Black Label is definitely worth checking out.