Finding NextDrive was too simple — and that’s why I had trouble finding it. I didn’t apply Occam’s Razor. There’s the NextDrive name and the country of China. So duh! NextDrivedotcn! I’ve been away from China websites for too long.
So here’s their website!
And I’ve grabbed Google-translated screensnaps (click any to enlarge).
It can be had in colors:
The hype specs:
I need to call out some of the text in that above snap:
Do you complain about the inconvenience caused by the old heavy scooter?
Oh hell yes! Especially the heavy new eScooters!
I had no idea what a COB headlamp meant. Here is what COB means.
And yes —
— it does have an app! More about this later.
About the NextDrive team:
The app hype:
And let’s cut away from the eScooter to talk about the app.
I downloaded it directly from that page. It’s not in the Google Play Store(!).
As others have stated — and unlike the above screensnap! — it’s in Chinese:
I think what this prompt means is that it must be connected via Bluetooth to the eScooter:
The second screen is not helpful, either:
And touching that button again brings up a prompt:
Touching any field on either screen brings up a keyboard:
I don’t think its usefulness can be grasped until it’s connected to the eScooter. But hey, it exists! And maybe NextDrive actually has it in English. I will investigate this further as my research continues. If it has an odometer and tallies total miles, I will be happy.
It also mentions the app and notes it requires registration:
What I’ve found is that the QR Codes are reversed. The one on the right is Android — and goes to the NextDrive direct download fileserver in China for the all-Chinese version of the app that I already have. The Code on the left has an iTunes link that I can’t use. Here is a link via a desktop Google search.
While the listing claims the app is in English, the screensnaps show otherwise:
If there’s a reader with an iPhone who can download it and try it, leave a Comment and let everyone know if it’s in English or Chinese. And if in Chinese, please let the App Store know that! It’s beyond me how they can have the name of the company and product in English and not bother with anything else! Those aren’t difficult words to put into English.
Before I go on to the really big news, I’ve found a NextDrive promo video that I’ve ripped and uploaded to YouTube.
I really wish these videos didn’t include someone doing a jump or any other stunt. This gives the wrong impression.
I have no idea what that CBD graphic means.
Climbing a slope:
— which, as you’ll see, isn’t fixed. This eScooter has many options!
Another damn stunt:
Showing the app has remotely locked the eScooter:
Now the big news.
They sell directly from their own store via Tmall!
And as the above screensnap peek shows, they have a NextDrive Pro eScooter. Which doesn’t interest me at all. It’s similar to the Xiaomi M365 but weighs a whopping 15kg — or 33lbs!
It’s probably a good product. Just too big and too heavy for me.
Now to the main event, the NextDrive 2.0 — or NextDrive Air. Of the things listed at the splash page, I chose this one:
Here is its primary listing:
A price range of US$153.43 to US$437.61. What’s up with that?
Options! So many options that it’s not clear via the desktop website what’s going on. So I had to turn to viewing it via Chrome on the borrowed Asus craptab, which displayed all of the options:
So here are the options:
- Aluminum or carbon fiber body
- Front-wheel springs or no springs
- Battery capacity for range of 15km (9 miles), 30km (18 miles), or 40km (24 miles)
Those options affect the weight.
Options don’t include colors. That’s a different category altogether at the store:
And they start at a higher base price too and have fewer options: No front-wheel springs, no aluminum, no 40km battery capacity.
If I was satisfied that my eScooter research was at an end and I was going to buy today, it would be this:
Carbon fiber, front-wheel springs, and 40km battery capacity. With the options I’ve chosen, the weight goes from 6.4kg (14lbs) to 7.6kg (16.7lbs). The slightly extra weight would be worth it for that extended travel range. The options bring the price up to ~US$437, but worth it for a carbon fiber eScooter that isn’t junk.
But my research isn’t over. Because, for one, I wonder about those front wheel springs.
Would they put any stress on the single wire that connects to that wheel with the motor? What possible problems could they also introduce?
Could they also make removing the front wheel a more complex operation?
The NextDrive specs, while in Chinese, still contain an intriguing bit of info:
They claim to have UL certification. The only other eScooters I can recall claiming that are the two from Swagtron.
Spare/replacement parts and accessories are also available at their Tmall store. Two accessories I like are a carrybag …
… and a stand (it’s unclear whether or not one is included):
One thing about buying goods originating and sold primarily in China: Beware of counterfeits!
The only way to try to avoid them is to buy direct from the brand or from a trusted brick-and-mortar dealer who has been in business for a while.
Also take with a fat grain of salt reviews on Tmall (and other such sites). Many people get the product for free, in exchange for writing some words to drum up buyer interest.
Finally, here’s another video with the LeTV variant of this scooter, the Viper (or Viper-A):
I now believe this was a custom order to NextDrive from LeTV (now LeEco) and not a clone. If it was a clone, enough time has passed that we’d have a flood of cheap clones from China. That hasn’t happened.
So the NextDrive 2.0/Air stands alone with its revolutionary build, relegating all other carbon fiber eScooters to the category of utter junk.