The idea of paying over $1,000 for a motorized plank of composite wood might naturally put people off. That’s why some manufacturers are making a race for the bottom in the electric rideables space with less than stellar products like the $299 SwagBoard. Luckily, Yuneec — a Chinese firm known for its Typhoon line of drones — opted to shoot for the middle with its latest electric skateboard, the E-Go2.
The most important thing to know about the E-Go2 is that it’s not a performance board like the Boosted Board or the Inboard M1. Where the Boosted Board and the M1 offer adrenaline-inducing joy rides, the E-Go2 is a reliable performer with high endurance. Its single 400-watt motor and max speed of 12 mph make it the family minivan of electric skateboards.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Just like the automotive industry, some people need vehicles for running errands or delivering products instead of pure unadulterated speed. The E-Go2 might not get your heart pumping, but it makes up for that with a top range of 18 miles (depending on rider weight and how many hills you climb). Compare that to the seven-mile range of the Boosted Board and the M1, and you’re looking at entirely different use cases. The E-Go2 will take you all over the city and the suburbs pretty well. You might even be able to leave your charger at home, which is not a realistic option with the Boosted Board.
But what truly differentiates the E-Go2 from its competitors is its broad availability and price. You can pick one up for $699 — a whopping $300 less than Boosted Board’s lowest-end model, and $700 less than the M1. They’re easier to buy, too: you can actually find the E-Go2 today at major retailers like Best Buy, Walmart, and Amazon. The M1 has a five-week wait time, and the Boosted Board is currently only available to reserve as the company emerges from a battery recall.
The E-Go2 might be good for people looking to ride right away, but its low price does come with a number of compromises. The E-Go2’s small 400-watt motor makes it feel sluggish, and it struggles with steep hills. The remote that you use to control the speed and settings of the board is also considerably less responsive and dramatically lower quality than that of other boards. This becomes a safety concern if you need to nimbly avoid a cyclist or make a quick evasive maneuver on the street. Plus, the E-Go2’s remote can’t compare to the comfort of the rounded Boosted Board remote. And it doesn’t provide as much information at a glance, further taking your eyes off the road. There are other, smaller niceties that the E-Go2 eschews, like the quick charge time of its competitors. Charging the board takes more than three hours in many cases, and the battery isn’t swappable like the one on the Inboard M1.
Considering the difference in price between the Yuneec E-Go2 and its competitors, its concessions, on the whole, are reasonable. If your interest in an electric skateboard centers around utility — running errands, visiting friends, and cutting your commute time — it’s a serviceable option. If you’re looking for something you can ride next week, the E-Go2 is really your only option.
But I’ll leave you with this warning: if you drive a minivan every day and get a chance to drive a friend’s Tesla, there will be a hole in your heart. The same will be true if you ride a friend’s Boosted Board or M1. The E-Go2 might serve some really practical needs, and its mid-market pricing will be appealing to some, but it’s no replacement for the thrill that the competition affords.
Photography by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge