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Elka Model-T Electric Scooter Review

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The new Elka Model-T Electric Scooter – A real alternative to the Xiaomi M365?

The lovely people at UK-based company Elka were kind enough to lend me their new Model-T Electric Scooter, so I could give it a thorough review.

I’m currently compiling a list of the best electric scooters for commuting, and with all the noise being made about e-scooters in the UK at the moment, I think it’s only a matter of time before the British Government brings in some form of legislation to make these great little scooters fully legal.

To legislate against, what is an environmentally friendly form of personal transport, at a time when pollution levels in big cities are of grave concern is madness!

Elka Model-T Scooter First Impressions

Anyway on to the Elka Model-T Electric Scooter. What are my first impressions? Well, when I  opened the box, the first thing that struck me was the overall finish of the scooter. It is finished in a lovely satin powder coated black.

elka model t electric scooter

The whole scooter has an air of quality about it. In fact, I would say at the very least it is on a par with the Xiaomi M365 Pro, which costs around £60 more.

Another thing worthy of note, delivery was incredibly fast. All of their scooters ordered within the UK are shipped next day delivery. Elka also ship the Model-T throughout Europe and Globally.

Visit Elka Here!

ABS Braking technology

The Elka uses cutting-edge regenerative anti-lock braking technology, that kicks in every time you brake, converting a large proportion of your kinetic energy (speed) back into chemical energy (battery power). This maximises your riding efficiency and keeps you on the road for longer.

elka model t rear disc brake

A rear mechanical disc brake complements the front braking system perfectly, making for safe and swift braking – very important when negotiating busy city streets.

Tubeless Tyres

There’s nothing worse than having to deal with punctures. Thankfully the team at Elka thought this one through, and decided on tough vacuum sealed tubeless tyres. Most e-scooters including the Xiaomi still use inner tubes, increasing the risk of punctures.

Portability and Weight

The Model-T is one of the lighter electric scooters I have tested recently. This is in part, due to the lower capacity battery pack and also the tough 6061 alloy chassis.

the elka model t is one of the lighter electric scooters in its class

When compared with the Xiaomi M365, they weigh in at about the same (12.5kg), but the Elka is nearly 2kg lighter than the M365 Pro – this will be mainly due to the Xiaomi’s higher capacity lithium battery.

Still, 12.5kg probably isn’t particularly light, if you’ve got to carry it anywhere for any length of time. I personally didn’t think it felt that heavy, but the weight will be subjective.

The steering tube folds down quickly and neatly, making it easy to take on public transport, if required. You can even bring it into the office and store it under your desk (if you have room).

Automatic Cruise Control

When you have a nice and clear path unfold in front of you, the automatic cruise control is an excellent feature.

After just five seconds at a constant speed, the Elka transitions into cruise control, taking you effortlessly to your destination.

Powerful Brushless Motor

Another important area that the Elka beats the Xiaomi is power output. The high-torque brushless front hub motor is rated at 700w but limited to a safe 350w, when compared with the M365 pro’s 600w limited to 300w.

Those extra 50 watts make all the difference, especially when negotiating hills. The top speed is limited to a respectable 15mph (25km/h). The motor also provides braking when coasting down hills, preventing you from going too fast, and getting you to your destination safely.

Battery

One thing that sets the Elka apart from the Xiaomi M365 is the fact that the battery is neatly concealed in the main steering shaft. This has numerous benefits, the main one being the battery can be easily removed and replaced by a spare (if you happen to be carrying one in a rucksack). Spare batteries are available when you purchase the Elka, effectively doubling the potential range.

 

 

 

elka model t e scooter with removable battery

The battery itself has a lower energy capacity than the Xiaomi’s – 36v 6.4Ah vs 36v 12.8Ah (for Xiaomi Pro). Still, this is enough to get you across London on a single charge. The lower capacity battery also means less overall weight, making the Elka easier to carry.

The Elka Model-T battery uses Panasonic 18650 Lithium Cells which are widely regarded as the highest quality cells in the industry

Average charge time for the battery is just 3 hours, plus you can remove the battery and charge it at your desk – something you can’t do with the Xiaomi.

A quick calculation will give you a rough idea of the range of the battery: 36v x 6.4Ah = 230.4Wh (watt hours). If you are on a low/medium power setting and riding on flat city streets, then you should get a range of around 11 miles (consuming a constant 20Wh per mile). That’s respectable enough for a city commute.

Display and Controls

The display is neatly integrated into the top of the steering shaft, and provides clear and easy to read information. Speed, battery level and power mode are all displayed. Unfortunately there is no Bluetooth connectivity like on the Xiaomi, but to be honest with you, it doesn’t really need it.

elka model t electric scooter display panel

The controls are all easy to use. The throttle and power selection buttons are on the right hand side.

The Model-T also has a decent set or front and rear LED lights, very useful for cruising around at night.

Customer Support

Another great aspect to owning an Elka is the excellent customer support. There is a 12 month warranty, plus access to on demand repairs.

Elka have a team dedicated to after sales service, so you can be confident if an issue does arise, it will be resolved in a timely manner.

The Ride

The testing ground for this scooter has been a little unorthodox to say the least! Here we have a scooter designed for urban commuting, and I live in Cornwall, which is very hilly and rural.

elka electric scooter ride

I took the Elka on a ride of around 5 miles, which included some steep hills (they’re everywhere in Cornwall!). The weather was not particularly great either. Moderate winds, and intermittent showers.

So, how did it go? Well, considering I weigh in at 105kg and the surface of the lanes I used for the test are far from perfect, I thought the Model-T performed exceptionally well.

 

elka electric scooter

On the flat, it felt very lively and had no trouble maintaining the 15mph (25km/h) top speed. Acceleration was brisk, and the scooter inspired confidence. The tubeless tyres provided decent traction on the wet country lanes and the brakes slowed me down very quickly without any skidding.

As I expected, it did struggle on a couple of the steeper hills, but we are talking about a 105kg 6ft male riding a 350w e-scooter up a 10% gradient.  Remember, this scooter is designed with the urban commuter in mind.

By the end of the ride the battery was flickering between 1 and 2 bars, and the performance had also dropped off (due to the drop in battery voltage). I think considering my weight and the hills, it didn’t do too bad. With a 75kg rider, riding on flat city streets, this battery should give you at least 10 miles out of a single charge.

All said and done, I think it performed excellently, especially when you take into account the rider weight, the awful weather and road conditions.

Full Specification

Weight limit 120kg
Maximum speed 25kmph (15.5mph)
Maximum distance 15-25km, depending on rider weight, speed and riding terrain
Lights Ultrabright LED front facing, Red LED rear facing
Charging time 3 hours
Charger parameters DC42V/2A
Motor Power 350W
Battery Capacity 6.4Ah
Tire Size 8.5inch Vacuum Tires
Climb Angle Up to 15 degrees
Frame Material Aviation Aluminium Alloy
Net Weight 12.5kg
Folded Dimensions 1056*420*450mm
Unfolded Dimensions 1056*420*1166mm
Waterproofing Certificate IP54

The Elka Model-T & Rider Plan

One of the most unique aspects of the Elka Model-T is the excellent rider plan.  You can actually own the Model-T electric scooter for as little as £1.65 per day!

No more having to deal with overcrowded public transport and delays on your daily commute. You can enjoy a hassle-free cruise to work.

Find out More Here

Parking in most major cities can be a major problem (especially in London),  the Model-T can be quickly folded and stored in small spaces.

At £1.65 per day, the Elka Model-T Rider plan can actually save money, when compared with the average cost of commuting in London.

Elka Model-T vs Xiaomi M365 Side by Side Comparison

elka model t vs xiaomi m365 pro side by side comparison

Seeing as Xiaomi M365 has set the standard in electric scooters for commuting, I thought it only fair I did a quick side by side comparison with the Elka Model-T.

I have ridden both scooters, and there are pros and cons to each:

The Xiaomi does have a larger capacity battery, making it ideal for longer journey’s, but this does incur a weight penalty. According to a recent survey, e-scooter users in the UK travel on average 2.7 miles to and from work. So maybe the larger battery is overkill.

Check out my full review of the Xiaomi M365

Unlike the Elka, the battery on the Xiaomi cannot be removed. Elka also offer the option of an additional battery, so if you are planning on a longer journey you can swap the empty battery for a fully charged one, thus doubling your range to over 20 miles.

The Elka does not have bluetooth and a companion app like the Xiaomi, but I personally feel with any e-scooter, simplicity should be the key. I don’t necessarily feel an app is needed.

The Model-T feels a little livelier than the Xiaomi, particularly on acceleration and inclines, this is down to the slightly more powerful motor.

The Elka Model-T also uses vacuum sealed tubeless tyres, which not only provide a comfortable ride, but drastically reduce the chances of getting a puncture.

Part

Model-T

Xiaomi m365

Xiaomi m365 Pro

Battery

6.4aH, removable

7.8aH, non-removable

12.8aH, non-removable

Range (at top gear)

20km when carrying a 75kg rider (15km/h)

30km when carrying a 75kg rider (15km/h)

45km when carrying a 75kg rider (15km/h)

Motor

700W (capped at 350W)

500W (capped at 250W)

600W (capped at 300W)

Charge time

3 hours

5.5hrs

8.5hrs

Tires

Tubeless

tubed

tubed

Price

£445.00

£399.00

£505.00 – £550.00

I personally think both scooters are great, but if we are talking about what is the best electric scooter for commuting, I would have to say the Elka Model-T just pips the Xiaomi M365 pro to the post.

Conclusion

I think Elka have nailed it with the Model-T. It’s not just the scooter, the build quality or the attention to detail. The company have obviously worked really hard to bring a great electric commuter scooter to the market. The addition of an easy payment plan, will further increase its future popularity.

What I particularly like about the Model-T is the functional, no nonsense approach to urban mobility. You do not get any fancy gimmicks, just a really strong, robust and reliable form of transport.

After sales support is also an important factor to consider when buying an electric scooter. Anything that is powered by electricity is going to be prone to gremlins from time to time, and it is comforting to know that if an issue does arise, it will be sorted out quickly.

elka has good customer service

The customer service at Elka is second to none, and they offer a decent warranty and on demand repairs. Something you would not get if you purchased an e-scooter direct from China.

It’s true, that the Xiaomi M365 Pro has a more powerful battery and a companion app. I have ridden both these scooters and if it was my money, I would go with the Elka.

Visit the Elka Model-T Website for more information
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Elka Model-T Electric Scooter

£445
8.7

Value for Money

10.0/10

Performance

10.0/10

Battery Range

6.0/10

Pros

  • Excellent Value for Money
  • Removable Battery
  • Great Performance

Cons

  • May be a little heavy for some

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