The transportation landscape has rapidly changed over the last decade as the industry has been inundated with a host of new services and offerings from electric cars to new public transportation lines to ridesharing services. No longer is the task of getting from A to B primarily carried out in a traditional automobile and with more people residing in dense urban areas than ever before, an ever-growing number of commuters have been opting to utilize busses, trains, and other publicly available means of getting to and from the office. And while this solves the lion’s share of one’s commute, this more sustainable and eco-friendly means of transportation still doesn’t account for the initial or final stretch of one’s daily commute.
Last-mile vehicles directly address this issue, providing a purpose-built solution to the final leg of your commute, simplifying and optimizing your journey to and from the office. As this segment has picked up steam and grown in popularity over the last few years, the LMV sector has been treated to an ever-increasing array of different last-mile vehicle types and sub-types, giving customers more LMV options to chose from than ever before. And while this buyer’s market ensures that the space has something to offer for practically any commuter, it can also make honing in on the model that’s most conducive to your commute somewhat complicated. Recognizing this, we’ve thoroughly scoured the segment to deliver this guide to today’s best last-mile vehicles.
What Exactly Is A Last-Mile Vehicle?
Like the segment’s monicker suggests, last-mile vehicles — or “LMVs” — are small, lightweight machines that have been engineered specifically for short-range — or “last-mile” commuting duties. Unlike regular modern motorcycles or cars, these vehicles tend to offer lower top speeds and shorter ranges, affording the capabilities needed to take on the last stretch of one’s commute and nothing more. By boasting specs that are more limited in these capacities, manufacturers are able to deliver cheaper, more affordably-priced LMVs that are accessible to an enormous range of workers and commuters.
What’s more, many LMVs sport features designed to allow them to specifically lend themselves first and last-mile commuting duties. This includes LMVs with integrated security and tracking devices as well as folding LMVs that can easily be carried on buses or trains — and can easily be stowed away once its rider reaches their office or home. Depending on the length of your commute — and the type of roads that separate your home from your place of work — some LMVs will be capable of taking on entire commutes, too.
Traits For Last-Mile Traversing
The First Things To Consider When Buying A Last-Mile Vehicle
LMV Type: Last-mile vehicles come in many different shapes, styles, and forms, ranging from electric skateboards and mono-wheels to Segway-style machines to scooters — just to name a few. The best way to determine which LMV will be right for you is to examine your specific commute, as this should help determine how fast of a vehicle you’ll need, whether you’ll want a stand-up or sit-down machine, and the minimum range your trip will require.
Speed & Performance: A major part of what distinguishes some LMVs from others is outright speed and overall performance. These figures can hugely vary based on the LMV in question, though if you plan on riding in the road — and not on the sidewalk or in a bike lane — you’ll want to double-check that the LMV is fastest enough to safely keep up with traffic.
Suspension: On top of whether or not a given LMV model is capable of leaning into corners, another major factor that impacts a last-mile vehicle’s performance is its suspension setup — or lack thereof. While they were seldom present in this space only a few years ago, models with full suspension systems — i.e. shocks front and back — have become increasingly commonplace as they make for a markedly smoother ride while also bolstering handling. And while the suspension may not sound like a huge deal considering how little these machines weigh, it’s hard to overstate what a difference the presence of this component makes.
Range: While practically every LMV on the market packs an electric powertrain, the range offered by these machines can also vary pretty significantly. As such, it’s important to check on the length of your commute — and whether or not said commute includes climbing hills as inclines tend to eat up battery life — in order to ensure the LMV you’re looking at will be capable of completing the entire trip. The good news is that unless you plan on taking on some seriously long-range commuting on your LMV, then the autonomy afforded by the vast majority of models on the market should suffice.
Storage & Size: LMVs can massively vary in terms of size, weight, and physical dimensions. If you have limited space in your office or home, or plan on taking your LMV on public transit, you’ll likely want to opt for a more compact LMV or an LMV that folds up or collapses for easy storage. You’ll also want to consider if you’ll be carrying your LMV up flights of stairs, as this will limit your search to models you can comfortably schlep up several stories.
Security: LMVs best lend themselves to use in the city, though unfortunately, part of life in the city means contending with thieves and other ne’er-do-wells that might try to swipe your ride. As a result, a good number of companies have released LMVs with integrated security systems, GPS trackers, or sirens and alarms to help deter would-be thieves. Many of these machines can also be locked up outside, though ultimately nothing beats bringing a vehicle inside your house or apartment in terms of minimizing the chances of theft.
Appearance & Style: LMVs are an incredibly practical and efficient means of transportation, though they aren’t always the most visually pleasing of machines. In fact, there are a great many LMVs on the market that we’d have some serious reservations about being seen on. Fortunately, there are more than enough legitimately good-looking LMV models on the market that you should be able to find a practical machine that you’re proud to ride.
The Fun Factor: While they might lack the power of full-size machines, LMVs can still be incredibly fun machines to pilot, capable of injecting some thrills and excitement into your daily commute. For this reason, we believe it’s well worth factoring this element into your purchase. The more fun and thrilling offerings in this space can also be taken out for extracurricular rides, giving them more valuable and making for a more enjoyable ownership experience.
MEEPO Mini 2 ER
The Extended Range-spec of the MEEPO Mini 2 is a compact 30” electric skateboard comprised of an eight-ply Canadian maple deck paired with a set of 540-watt hub motors and premium Shredder trucks. Capable of climbing gradients as steep as 30%, the board also packs a 300lb weight limit, a two-hour recharge time, a hand-operated remote, and a nearly 30mph top speed.
Top Speed: 28MPH
Made by Italian motorcycle brand Aprilia, the eSR2 is a cutting-edge kick scooter that’s powered by a 350-watt brushless motor that draws from a 288Wh battery. Relaying info to its rider via a 3.5” LED display, the eSR2 also sports tube-equipped 10” tires, LED lighting all around, disc brakes fore and aft, and a full suspension system front and back.
Top Speed: 15.5MPH
Segway Ninebot Air T15 KickScooter
Arguably the most state-of-the-art kick scooter currently in production, Segway’s Ninebot Air T15 is a purpose-built LMV, boasting an IPX4 rating, a sub-25lb curb weight, the ability to fold up and have its handlers retract, and just enough speed and range to competently take on almost any urban commute. Other high-tech highlights on this scooter include a cruise control function, a bezel-less dash, connectivity to the Segway-Ninebot smartphone app, and four separate riding modes, just to name a few.
Top Speed: 12.4MPH
Moving on from the world’s most advanced kick scooter to the world’s most advanced mono-wheel, we have the Onewheel XR. Affording 30-degrees of lean angle and a nearly 20mph top speed, the XR is made up of African mahogany deck pieces with sensor-equipped footpads, an 11.5” Italian-made racing tire, and a cutting-edge powertrain with a 750W Hypercore hub motor, an NMC battery, and a solid-state MEMS 6-DOF sensor. Capable of being recharged in one hour, the battery also affords up to an 18-mile range.
Top Speed: 19MPH
Monday Motorbikes ANZA
Straddling the line between moped and motorcycle, Monday Motorbikes’ ANZA is a lightweight two-wheeler that’s constructed around a custom aluminum alloy frame. Good for accommodating a passenger for two-up riding, this Class 1 ebike is kicked along by a 500W Bafang hub motor, and despite its affordable price, comes loaded with some surprisingly high-end equipment including Artek forged aluminum caliper and a 3.6″ LCD segment display. The ANZA is also offered in a 750W version with a 40-mile range and 28ph top speed.
Top Speed: 20MPH
Gotway MSX Pro 100V
With a 35mph top speed and almost 30-degrees of lean angle, the Gotway MSX Pro 100V is part LMV and part thrill machine. The mono-wheel features a 2500W motor paired with a 100V, 1,800WH 21700 LG battery that offers 70-miles of autonomy on a single charge. It doesn’t end there, however, as the MSX Pro 100V also packs a built-in alarm system, dual projector-style T6 headlights, a retractable trolley handle, customizable RGB lighting, and a pair of integrated 35-watt Bluetooth speakers — all set in a carbon fiber housing.
Top Speed: 35MPH
Voro Motors Wolf King
Voro Motors’ Wolf King scooter is a lightweight LMV that’s capable of professional race-grade performance abilities, with a mind-blowing 60mph top speed and a 0-50mph time of less than five seconds. These freeway speeds are made possible thanks to a dual 1500 nominal watt VM motor setup that pulls juice from a set of Samsung batteries. Other noteworthy elements on the Wolf King include a hydraulic inverted fork and hydraulic disc brakes, an EY3 LCD display, deck-embedded LED lights, and an ultra-rugged 6082 aluminum frame.
Top Speed: 60MPH
With a top speed just shy of 70mph, the NGV Nextboard is unequivocally the fastest commercially available electric longboard. Measuring 40.5”, the e-board is constructed around a carbon fiber chassis that’s linked to a set of trucks that accommodate four in-wheel motors — all of which are controlled by the brand’s own proprietary software. It is worth noting that because of its insanely fast speeds and wildly quick acceleration, the NGV Nextboard is not intended for new or novice riders.
Range: 10 – 20-Miles
Top Speed: 70MPH
Weight: 15.4LBS + Battery
Dualtron Man EX+
Undoubtedly one of the most unique, aggressive, and futuristic LMVs on the market, the Dualtron Man EX+ is in a league of its own, featuring a pair of hubless wheels that the rider sticks their feet through and then rides similarly to a skateboard. On top of its idiosyncratic appearance, the Dualtron Man EX+ also boasts some impressive performance capabilities with the roughly 73lb LMV offering a top speed of over 40mph and a nearly 70-mile range.
Top Speed: 40.4MPH
ZOOZ Bikes Urban Ultralight 1100
Taking ample inspiration from old-school BMX bikes, ZOOZ Bikes’ Urban Ultralight 1100 is a stylish and minimalistic two-wheeler that looks like your average 24” BMX, albeit with a banana-inspired seat — which is big enough to accommodate a passenger — that conceals the LMV’s battery pack and controller. Constructed around a top-shelf 4130 Chromoly steel frame, the Ultralight 11100 rides on double-wall rims with reinforced spoke eyelets and Maxxis Hookworm tires. This model is also offered in smaller 250 and 750W variants.
Top Speed: 20MPH
Appropriately referred to as a “Hyperscooter,” Dragonfly’s D4 is a fully electric, leaning skateboard with a full suspension setup, a tilting grab-handle, and a construction comprised of carbon fiber and aerospace-grade 7065 series aluminum. With an MSRP of around $3,500, it’s by no means cheap, however, your money gets you a slew of thoroughly top-shelf features such as automotive-grade headlights, four ride modes, geofencing capabilities, a built-in tracker, a four-digit PIN to unlock the LMV, and Bluetooth connectivity and pairing with a smartphone app that allows the D4’s 3.5” digital color display to relay turn-by-turn GPS directions, or select music to be played through the hyperscooter’s built-in speakers.
Top Speed: 25MPH
Heavily influenced by old-school scramblers and cafe racers, SUPER73’s RX features an aircraft-grade 6065/7071 aluminum alloy frame that’s mated to a USD fork with air assist up front and a rear piggyback mono-shock out back. Like the rest of the brand’s R Series range, the RX is propelled by a brushless DC hub motor that’s good for a peak 2,000 watts of power and draws from a 960Wh battery that offers a range of up to 75 miles. Additional highlights on the RX include a 600-lumen Roxim Z4E LED headlight, internally routed cables, forged aluminum Tektro quad-piston calipers, and all-new BDGR tires.
Range: 40+ Miles
Top Speed: 28MPH
The second generation of the Motochimp is an ultra-compact folding scooter that’s reminiscent of a modern-day Honda Motocompo. Powered by a 750W hub motor with a trio of ride modes, the Motochimp 2.0 features chassis, swing-arm, and steering column that have been extruded from 6061 aluminum. In addition to its nearly 40-mile range and nearly 30mph top speed, the second-gen Motochimp also sports disc brakes, a push-to-start button, a full suit of street legal lighting, a steering head lock, oversized tires, the ability to climb a 20-degree slope, and a USB port for charging mobile devices.
Top Speed: 28MPH
Serial 1 MOSH/CTY
The first new model from Harley-Davidson’s new ebike offshoot, the MOSH/CTY is a pedal-assist eBicycle with traditional styling and a 20mph top speed. At the heart of the bike is a brushless motor with a whopping 66ft-lbs of torque that’s been paired with a single-speed freewheel hub, a Gates carbon fiber belt-drive, and a 529Wh lithium-ion battery pack that offers an assisted range of up to 105-miles. Available in two color options, the MOSH/CTY also gets LED lighting, multiple ride modes, disc brakes, and stainless steel spoked wheels shod in Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires.
Range: Up To 105-Miles
Top Speed: 20MPH
Cake Makka Flex
Cake’s newly-released Makka Flex was engineered from the ground up to be the ultimate utilitarian LMV. Built around an extruded, forged, machined, and welded 6061 aluminum step-through frame, the Makka sports custom forged and CNC-machined wheels, polycarbonate and ABS bodywork, and disc brakes and full suspension front and aft. Designed specifically with modularity in mind, the Makka can also be outfitted with a host of bolt-on accessories to further its utilitarian nature including bicycle bags, top cases, passenger seats, luggage racks, and surfboard carriers, just to name a few.
Top Speed: 30MPH
The 12 Best Small Displacement Motorcycles of 2021
Interested in checking out a wider selection of lightweight transportation solutions? Then be sure to cruise on over to our guide to the best small displacement motorcycles for a dozen of the finest small-bore scoots currently in production.
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