The Inokim brand of electric scooters has long been popular in Europe and Asia. And now Miami-based Fluidfreeride has stepped up to become the first and only Inokim electric scooter source in the US.
To learn more about Inokim’s electric scooters, I visited the company’s headquarters and showroom in Tel Aviv last week to talk to the team and begin testing out the scooters.
Right from the beginning, it was apparent that Inokim wasn’t like most electric scooter companies I’ve seen.
While most companies battle it out in a war of specs, Inokim instead focuses on safety and reliability.
And it’s not just lip service. They actually make important design and fabrication decisions that effectively set their scooters apart and ensure that Inokim scooters are able to safely operate for years.
It’s easy to claim your scooters can stand up to the test of time, but Inokim wanted to prove it. First they let me borrow an Inokim Light 2 electric scooter with 2,000 km (1,200 miles) on it. The well-worn scooter looked like it had been around the block a few times, but it rode for a few days and it functioned almost like new. Then they rolled out a 9 year old Inokim scooter that they actually bought back from a customer as a demonstration scooter. It has over 9,000 km (5,500 mi) on it and still works decently well – even on the original battery.
Suffice it to say that when Inokim says their scooters will safely function for years, they mean it.
And they’ve been doing it for a while too – since way back in 2009. If you look at Inokim scooters and think they’re a clone of Speedway or some other brand, then you’ve got it backwards. Inokim did it first and then the other scooter brands followed suit with their own copies.
As Inokim’s VP of Business Development Yoshi Bluth explained to me, Inokim doesn’t try to build the fanciest and flashiest electric scooters. They want to make scooters that are first and foremost safe and dependable. They want these scooters to be a reliable form of daily transportation that simply works and continues to work, day in and day out.
A big part of that comes down to their construction. You rarely find welds on Inokim scooters, and bolted connections are minimized as much as possible. Instead, Inokim emphasizes CNC fabrication wherever possible. They also employ drum brakes on most of their models, which they began implementing 5 years ago and well ahead of most other brands. While disc brakes are seen as the best type of brakes for many bicycles, the smaller rotors and their location inches about the ground make them less ideal for scooters. They easily get splashed by rain and puddles, reducing their effectiveness when wet, and can get bashed by curbs and other street obstructions, bending rotors. On the other hand, drum brakes are entirely sealed and work effectively for thousands of miles without needing adjustments or changes. They also work in all weather conditions equally well.
Inokim has a number of patents on specific design aspects, such as the oblong steering stem that better resists fore and aft forces and reduces the common steering shake that plagues most electric scooters. The scooters are also designed to place as much of the weight below the axles as possible to increase stability. The Light 2 even has a drop deck to set the battery and frame mass further below the axles, making the scooters safer to ride due to increased stability.
Inokim’s commitment to safety is apparent in many aspects of their operations, from the scooters’ designs to the company’s sales and marketing. In Inokim’s home country of Israel, a national law prohibits sales of electric scooters to anyone under the age of 16. But Inokim goes one step further and won’t sell to customers under 18.
As Yoshi explained to me:
“When we say ‘safety first’, we mean it. If we sold to 16 year olds, we’d make at least 20% more revenue because electric scooters are so popular with teenagers here. But we don’t want to do this, because we care about the safety and responsibility of our riders. We’re talking about values that mean something, it’s more than just a business. We’re trying to advocate for safe transportation alternatives and that means both the safety and responsibility of our riders.”
Inokim is also adamant about getting the right people on the right scooters. Inokim has a wide range of scooter models, and when prospective riders enter their stores in Israel, Inokim doesn’t just try to find the right scooter for the rider’s unique commute. The company will also bluntly tell riders if a scooter is even appropriate for them.
It is apparent that Inokim isn’t just trying to sell scooters, they are trying to promote electric scooters as a responsible form of transportation when and where they make the most sense.
As Yoshi summarized:
“We’re not a gadget company like Xiaomi that makes scooters today and cameras tomorrow. We care about this industry and its future.”
What electric scooters does Inokim offer?
My visit to Inokim’s headquarters was fascinating and I could go on for much longer, but I don’t to bore you too much with the nerdy details. Instead, let’s take a look at the different Inokim electric scooters that Fluidfreeride is bringing to the US.
Inokim Mini 2
The Inokim Mini 2 is the brand’s entry level scooter and is very much a last mile vehicle. Many owners use it as an electric dinghy for their car. They keep it in the trunk and use it to scoot around the city while parking on the outskirts. As more cities close large areas to car traffic, keeping a compact last mile vehicle around makes a lot of sense.
The scooter weighs just 23 lb (10.4 kg) and Fluidfreeride rates its realistic range at 8-10 miles (13-16 km). It can scoot at speeds up to 15 mph (25 km/h) and has rear damper suspension. The front wheel houses a 250W motor (450W peak) and offers electric braking, while the rear wheel has a stomp brake. There are no lights or display on this scooter, it’s just a simple little scoot designed to get you around the city. The Inokim Mini 2 is currently on sale for $799, down from its MSRP of $899.
Inokim Light 2
The Inokim Light 2 is the company’s light to medium duty electric scooter and is on its second generation. It features drum brakes on both wheels that are designed to last thousands of miles without needing adjusting or replacing, and are unaffected by rain or riding through puddles.
It has a 350W motor (650W peak) and can reach a top speed of 21 mph (33 km/h). The 30 lb (13.6 kg) scooter has a realistic range of 15-20 miles (25-32 km). It features no suspension but does have pneumatic tires that help absorb road vibrations.
The Inokim Light 2 is currently on sale for $1,199, marked down from its MSRP of $1,299.
Inokim OX Hero/Super
The Inokim OX is a heavier duty electric scooter with an 800 W continuous (1,300 W peak) motor and dual suspension from a pair of single-sided swingarms. It comes with either a 780 Wh battery (Hero version) or a 1,260 Wh battery (Super version).
The two scooters are rated for real world ranges of 22 miles (35 km) and 33 miles (53 km), respectively. Fluidfreeride indicates that these ranges are at normal cruising speeds, and that slowing down to 15 mph (25 km/h) will yield around 40% more range.
The front wheel gets a drum brake while the rear wheel features a mechanical disc brake.
This is the most heavy duty scooter of the Inokim line and adds a second powerful motor to the Inokim OX, making it all wheel drive. The battery is also boosted all the way up to 1,560 Wh, with a real world range rating of 36 miles (58 km/h).
Both wheels get mechanical disc brakes. Both the OX and OXO are folding scooters featuring a 5-second folding mechanism.
The Inokim OXO is currently on sale for $2,699.
Fluidfreeride is running a limited-time introductory deal offering $100 in free accessories to anyone who snags an Inokim scooter. Check out the line up here.
What are your thoughts on Inokim’s electric scooters? Let us know in the comments section below!
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