Evolv Terra review: A fun little 31 mph full-suspension electric scooter

I’ll just come out and say it: I love full-suspension electric scooters. They take a fairly small and compact EV form factor and make it possible to travel at faster speeds over rougher terrain without shaking your teeth out, and the Evolv Terra electric scooter from Urban Machina is another great addition to this rapidly growing market. While the scooter isn’t perfect, it packs in a lot of great features for a fair price.

Evolv Terra tech specs

  • Motors: Dual motors for 2.2 kW peak power
  • Battery: 48 V 15.6 Ah (750 Wh)
  • Top speed: 31 mph (50 km/h)
  • Range: Up to 34 miles (55 km)
  • Weight: 53 lb (24 kg)
  • Load capacity: 265 lb (120 kg)
  • Suspension: Front and rear swingarm suspension
  • Brakes: Maintenance-free front and rear drum brakes
  • Tires: 8.5″ solid tires
  • Extras: Front and rear LED lights with side tube lighting, bell, LED display with built-in trigger throttle, tripmeter, odometer, rear kick plate with built-in carry handle, kickstand

Evolv Terra electric scooter video review

Scootin’ for performance

This isn’t the first time we’ve taken a look at an Evolv electric scooter from Urban Machina. The Evolv Tour 2.0 was a great start, but the Evolv Terra ratchets up the performance even further.

Any scooter that can exceed 30 mph (48 km/h) is already “high performance” in my book. Sure, it’s not a Dualtron, but it’s fast enough to keep up with traffic in most city centers and crowded urban areas.

For areas without good bike lanes, being able to ride with cars instead of being passed on the side of the road is a big improvement in safety.

If you are sticking to the bike lane though (and congrats on having nice cycling infrastructure where you live!), then 30 mph is definitely too fast for your fellow riders around you. Be sure to ride responsibly and slow it down to speeds that play well with others that are sharing the bike line. But for wide open roads, that 30 mph of speed is awesome for both fun and safety!

It’s made possible by a pair of motors that put out 600W of continuous power and 1,100W of peak power. With 2.2 kW on tap, you get up to speed quickly and can take on bigger hills than on a budget scooter.

The tires are solid instead of being air-filled, which would normally be a downside in my book (despite offering the huge advantage of never getting a flat tire). But in this case, the dual suspension removes the disadvantage of solid tires since the harsher ride is compensated for by the suspension.

This isn’t really an off-road scooter, though I did a bit of grassy riding with it. The suspension is more optimized for slight right imperfections in the road and not big divots in a grassy field, plus the tires aren’t very sticky when tarmac turns to wet grass.

But back on the road, the scooter shines brightly. You can make small excursions onto hard packed dirt or even lightly graveled roads, but don’t expect to fly very fast off-road or you could be hurting.

This is an on-road commuter scooter, through and through.

As such, the inclusion of parts like good lighting, good fenders and good brakes are important. I’m a big fan of drum brakes and I love seeing them on scooters instead of the more common disc brakes. A lot of people think disc brakes are the end all and be all of scooter brakes, but that’s simply not true.

They have good stopping power, but they suffer from weak performance in wet conditions, tend to require more maintenance (especially cable-pull disc brakes), and if you ever smack the disc rotor on a curb then you’ll perpetually have pulsing brakes from a slightly out of true disc. Disc rotors are more protected on tall bicycle wheels, but short scooter wheels tend to leave them exposed to curbs and other hazards that can ding and dent them.

Drum brakes, on the other hand, are entirely sealed, so you basically never have to perform maintenance or worry about reduced performance after hitting a puddle.

They also aren’t damaged as easily as disc brakes and generally tend to be a no-muss, no-fuss braking solution.

evolv terra electric scooter review

Not quite as portable

As nicely as the scooter rides, it’s not exactly great for carrying. At 53 pounds (24 kg), this sucker is heavy.

An infrequent lift into a car trunk or up a flight of stairs is doable. But if you have to carry it for any extended length of time, it’s going to weigh on you… literally. That’s what you get with dual motors and a big 750 Wh battery though – a heavy scooter.

That won’t affect many people that are fortunate enough to ride to wherever they’re headed on ground level. But if you’ve got one or more flights of stairs as part of your commute, consider whether or not you want to carry 53 pounds of an unwieldy scooter up and down each day.

The good news here is that the folding mechanism is nice and sturdy. It uses a big safety switch to ensure it can’t fold on your while you’re riding, and that it stays folded when you do need to pick it up to carry it around. The handlebars also fold in to make it extra narrow. That’s perfect for putting on the floor in the backseat of a car or tucking into the bottom of a narrow closet.

evolv terra electric scooter review
evolv terra electric scooter review

Room for improvement

One area I wish I’d see upgraded is the throttle. They still use the trigger style throttle where your right index finger pulls a trigger-style lever to accelerate.

These are common with electric scooters, but I never liked them. They’re located right above the brake lever, which can be confusing for newer riders (or anyone in an emergency situation). It just doesn’t seem like a smart move to have the accelerator and brake be a similar style lever actuated in a similar style way. You generally want those two functions to be fairly distinct.

I’d also love to see the company offer adjustable shocks, since a 100 pound rider and a 250 pound rider are going to enjoy different suspension settings.

But based on the $1,245 price, the scooter still feels like a fair deal. There are cheaper ways to hit this speed, but for a well-built scooter that is powerful, fast, and comfortable on a range of surfaces, this isn’t an astronomical price. I’d feel comfortable recommending the Evolv Terra to friends and family who wanted a powerful electric scooter for everyday commuting. But for those that just want an every now and again scooter, there are cheaper options out there that likely better fit the bill.

evolv terra electric scooter review

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Author

Avatar for Micah Toll Micah Toll

Micah Toll is a personal electric vehicle enthusiast, battery nerd, and author of the Amazon #1 bestselling books DIY Lithium Batteries, DIY Solar Power, The Ultimate DIY Ebike Guide and The Electric Bike Manifesto.

The e-bikes that make up Micah’s current daily drivers are the $999 Lectric XP 2.0, the $1,095 Ride1Up Roadster V2, the $1,199 Rad Power Bikes RadMission, and the $3,299 Priority Current. But it’s a pretty evolving list these days.

You can send Micah tips at Micah@electrek.co, or find him on Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.