When choosing an e-scooter, it doesn’t always boil down to what’s sleek and lightweight. Even urbanites can be better served by a more robust, more powerful, and longer-lasting e-scooter, especially those who don’t have the luxury of a reliable or extensive public transportation system.
Prior to testing the TurboAnt V8, I was convinced that unless they’ve got dirt back roads to take, urban commuters are better off with an electric scooter that’s light and easy to carry. After all, most would want something light to take on the train or up to your office.
But, I’m an urban commuter myself, and I live in a city where most people haven’t even used the public transport. I also work from home, like many urbanites these days, so there isn’t an office in which I’d have to drag my e-scooter for storage.
Most of the time, I use my e-scooter to see friends, go to a cafe or my local nursery, and get to a trailhead for a hike. That means that most of the time, I just end up just securing my e-scooter to a bike rack, which in turn means that having something lightweight doesn’t serve me as well as I thought it would.
Of course, it took taking the TurboAnt V8 out for a spin around my neighborhood to realize that I might be better served by one that’s not just a bit more powerful, but also robust and longer-lasting.
This latest addition to the TurboAnt e-scooter family is yet another impressive entry from the brand, but instead of going for the usual lightweight angle, it doubles down on range (thanks to its dual-battery setup), ups its top speed to 20mph, and adds a few finishing touches that none of the commuter e-scooters I’ve tested so far have.
It’s the love child of a commuter e-scooter and an e-scooter designed for adventure, smooth and luxurious enough for the city streets, but just a bit tougher and has a lot more endurance. And, to quote my favorite Avengers couple, “You know what?... It works.”
TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery e-scooter review: price and release date
Launching and available for pre-sale on July 21, 2022, the TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery e-scooter is $799.98 and available through the TurboAnt website. This puts the V8 in the mid-range e-scooter market alongside the Segway Ninebot Max G30LP and the Yadea KS5 Pro – both of which have a shorter range.
Sadly for UK and Australia customers, it won’t be available in those regions until next year, according to TurboAnt. At the moment, it’s only available to US customers, which makes sense as many states and cities in the US are lax about e-scooter laws compared with the rest of the world.
We’ll make sure to update this review as soon as the V8 is available in those regions..
TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery e-scooter review: design
Much like how it expertly straddles that line between urban commutes and adventure, the TurboAnt V8 also manages to pull off that burly, rugged look with an elegant finish and a minimalist interface. This e-scooter might look intimidating with its thick stem due to the fact that it fits a removable battery in there, high ground clearance, and massive deck, but a closer look (and perhaps a 5-minute jaunt) should reveal its sleek finish, smooth ride, and brilliantly simple operation.
The only thing that I did not love about it is its weight, and that might bother you too. At 47.62lb (21.6kg) – almost 10 pounds heavier than my first e-scooter, it’s certainly a hefty one. I had to use both hands and most of my upper body strength to wriggle it out of the box, and it still wasn’t easy. But, take this out for a quick spin, and that will no longer be a factor.
It’s hard to say what I love best about its design. I appreciate the very spacious deck. I’ve found that many e-scooters claim to have a “spacious deck,” but only a handful really live up to that promise. Meanwhile, here’s V8 redefining what it means. I thought that my Segway Ninebot Max G30LP offered a good amount of foot space, but the V8’s is about three inches longer and half an inch thicker, which honestly felt like a luxurious upgrade. And, it offers a bit more hold as well, thanks to its tough rubber texture.
Speaking of toughness, while TurboAnt hasn’t said anything about a rugged build or any military-grade materials used, I’ve found that it’s a lot more rugged than many of the e-scooters I’ve tested or ridden. The plastic bits feel robust and every part of the scooter seems to have been welded or attached well enough that you won’t hear any bits rattling during rides. Even its black finish seems to have some level of scratch resistance – I scraped the elevator door with the back metal bumper while I was repositioning the scooter, and it came out unscathed.
Something I’ve always hated about e-scooters is their low ground clearance. I don’t know about most cities, but LA has some high sidewalks, especially in the hilly parts, so I always end up scratching the bottom of the e-scooter deck I’m testing. I don’t have to worry about that with the TurboAnt V8. It’s got a good 4.1in (10.5cm) clearance, which means those dreadful sidewalk curbs are no hassle.
The V8 carries two batteries, a built-in one inside the deck that you have to charge by plugging in the e-scooter and a removable one located in the stem that you have to charge in the included charging port. The removable battery is very easy to remove and charge, so while you are charging two batteries, it’s not too inconvenient to do. That’s especially because both batteries take only four hours to charge, which is pretty fast since the standard seems to be 6 hours, and the V8 comes with two chargers out of the box, which means you can charge both simultaneously.
The folding lever is also one of the easiest to operate. Located right between the stem and the deck, it’s got an easy-to-release and easy-to-lock latch that basically does half the work for you, whether you’re trying to secure the V8 in its folded position or unfolding it for a ride.
Finally, there’s minimal fuss in terms of operation. Turn the e-scooter on/off by holding the power button on the throttle on the right, press it once to turn the head and rear lights on/off, and double press it to change to one of the three riding modes. The small dashboard in the middle of the handlebar displays all of that info, as well as your current speed and the battery levels for both batteries. That’s it! No apps, no special tricks you need to figure out. It’s simple and intuitive and just what every rider wants.
TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery e-scooter review: features
Unlike other kitted-out e-scooters at this price point, the TurboAnt V8 has chosen to focus on one main feature – its dual-battery setup. This might not be the slimmest e-scooter on the market, but it’s slimmed down on features, opting for longevity instead.
With one removable battery in its stem and another non-removable battery inside its deck, you’re getting a whopping 50-mile range on full. Having two batteries may have had a big impact on its design being bulky – although there are some dual-powered e-scooters out there that are slimmer – but it's worth it. While some riders might get turned off by the bulky design, I don’t mind it at all because it means that I can either ride all the way from downtown LA to Santa Monica and back then do it all again the next day on a single charge. Or, more realistically, I don’t have to charge as often as I do with my other e-scooters.
I don’t mind the trimmed-down feature set either. Let’s face it; most of us don’t even use all the special features our fancy e-scooters have. Heck, I hardly open the app for my Segway Ninebot Max G30LP. Would I have preferred the V8 to come with an anti-theft system, even a rudimentary one? Sure. But, I don’t even use the one on my G30LP, especially because I rely on the good ol’ U-lock to keep it safe from thieves.
TurboAnt V8 Commuting e-scooter review: performance
TurboAnt has this knack for impressing users with its e-scooters at first ride. I wasn’t on the TurboAnt V8 for five minutes, and already, I wanted to keep it. Its bulkier build isn’t a deterrent, even when you’re not factoring in the benefits in longevity you’re getting.
Unlike the TurboAnt M10 I tested a few months prior, which only had a 350W motor, this powerful model boasts a 450W front hub motor, which helps distribute the weight and spread the weight forward and allows it some “peel out” prowess. If you’re a beginner, you might want to be careful with that, especially because the throttle on this is on the high-medium side of sensitive.
If you’re an experienced rider, however, it’s a welcome upgrade. This e-scooter requires so little kick-start effort, I’m not even sure it actually needs it, despite what the manual says.
It’s beneficial as well to hill dwellers like me. The problem with my short street is that it starts off with a 15% hill grade that suddenly goes up to 20% (and 25% after that). And, the bottom of this street has a weirdly-designed four-way intersection with four stop signs, which means that I could never get enough momentum from most e-scooters to get to my building. That isn’t the case with the TurboAnt V8. It gets me up to its 20mph top speed so fast, I’m able to climb that 20% slope at a speed fast enough I don’t look like an idiot going at 4mph.
Meanwhile, the 9.3-inch pneumatic tires have admirable traction, which is great when you’re climbing a steep hill. It will also do a decent job taking you across trails with compact soil, but it isn’t good for very loose dirt paths. The shock absorption could be better as well. Riding it on a pot-hole peppered street was not as pleasant as other e-scooters I’ve tested. Although the fact that it’s so well-made saved me from embarrassingly rattling loudly past hikers.
Still, those aren’t deal-breakers for me. Nor will they be for my fellow urban commuters who mostly deal with well-paved roads.
TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery e-scooter review: verdict
Let’s just say, I’m a convert. The TurboAnt V8 is proof that commuting e-scooters don’t often need to be lightweight and compact. In fact, in this new hybrid working world we’re living in where many people are now working from home and a lot more are splitting their time between the office and home, lightweight and compact are no longer the only requirements.
It may be heavier and bigger than other urban e-scooters, but it might just be what some green commuters need — a robust and minimalist e-scooter that’s easy to operate, has a lot of power, and comes with plenty of juice. The super spacious deck and high ground clearance are just cherries on top.
TurboAnt V8 Dual-Battery e-scooter review: also consider
The Segway Ninebot Max G30LP ($880) has long enjoyed a lofty spot as the best e-scooter on our list if you’re willing to shell out for a mid-range model. It’s a great balance of being compact yet spacious, decently lightweight yet powerful, comfortable yet great-looking. It also tops out at 18.6mph, has a range of 25 miles, and comes with security features. Go for it instead if you want something that’s easier to carry and has a lot of power.
Need something cheaper? The GoTrax XR Elite ($399) is a great budget choice. There are some rattling bits and the shock absorption is not the best, but it’s got a decent uphill performance, an 18.6-mile range, and a top speed of 15.5mph, which is really all you need for most cities.
If you want one that’s built like a rocket and runs like one too, the Apollo City 2022 ($1,499) might be your dream electric scooter. So long as you’ve got the budget for it. Its price may be steep, but you’re getting a top speed of 27mph and a range of up to 30 miles in return.