Due to customer support and servicing, I can no longer recommend products by EcoReco.
The Last Mile
The term “last mile” hails from the telecommunications industry as a way to define solutions to best distribute their products from the switches and into the home. The term is now becoming more synonymous with the last leg of travel from a bedroom community to an urban core for work. While this was my particular circumstance, this discussion should also be helpful for individuals who have commutes of 5 miles or less that could typically be considered walkable or bikeable.
Last Mile Options
The task of getting from your front door to a transportation hub can sometimes be difficult. Many factors can often get in the way, inclement weather, bus schedules, cost of fare, wait lists for spots, parking fees, etc. Below I will lay out a few options and explain how I came to make my decision to forgo the most common solutions and purchase an EcoReco electric scooter.
Option 1 – Vehicle
In my community, there is a wait list to get a parking spot in the garage by the train station. Not only that, the parking exceeds $1200/year. Many families in my area go this route. This means they have a second car with all of the related expenses to travel the average of 1 mile to then park the car and take public transit the rest of the way. This is stupid, lazy, and a waste of money in most circumstances. This was clearly not an option for us. Ride-sharing and re-urbanization are gradually making the two+ car family obsolete. If you hack your living circumstances, most young families should only need one vehicle.
Option 2 – Bus/Shuttle Service
If your city provides a bus transit service and you can make it work as your only need, do it! Walk to the bus, take the bus, walk to work. Excellent! Now, some of you may live too far from a bus route to walk. In this circumstance if you are still looking to cut costs by taking public transit but think the bus is just a stretch too far to walk, keep reading.
Some luxury apartment complexes will offer shuttle buses to transit hubs. If you have never seen one of these, they operate similar to the free hotel airport shuttles. These are great options for the last mile solution and if your apartment building includes the service, be sure to take advantage of it! Although we should likely discuss why you live in a luxury apartment complex.
Option 3 – Bicycle
Using a bike to commute to a transportation hub is an excellent choice and one many do in fact make. In a previous life I commuted by bike 24 miles round trip by bike. This option would not work for me in our current circumstance. I lived in New York long enough to see far too many seats, wheels, and full bikes get stolen that I was not ready to deploy this option as a leg of my commute. Portability was key for me.
Option 4 – Walking
Walking is an excellent solution! Healthy and free yields no complaints from me. I could however see this being difficult to do day-after-day if your “last mile” is on the longer stretch of the ‘last mile’ spectrum I used above. If you only need to travel 0.5-1.0 miles to get to a transit hub or a bus, by all means walking could be your go-to option. Extend that out to 1.5-2.0 miles and it could become more difficult.
Option 5 – Personal Electric Vehicle*
Lastly, there is the option for a personal electric vehicle (EV). By personal, I mean something portable collapsible, and easily stowable on public transit. These are great for short trips or long, depending on battery life, as they give you additional flexibility. Once you own one, you’ll be surprised what kind of range you can get and how much less you need to use a car or even local public transit for that matter.
*Electric vehicles are not legal in every state/local jurisdiction. You need to do your research to make sure you are allowed to use such a vehicle where you live.
EcoReco Electric Vehicles
There are many personal electric vehicles on the market but I selected EcoReco. In my opinion, they appear to be far ahead of their competition in terms of design, development, and deliveries of their products. EcoReco also has several models available that allow quite a bit of flexibility in finding a personal electric vehicle that matches your specific needs. As with any product, there are pro’s and con’s to all of the models.
For example, if you plan to commute to work only by personal electric vehicle, the Model M’s or Model R could be right for you. If you are planning to take your scooter on public transit, the XS, or Model S’s would likely be your best bet.
- The XS is ultra-portable, but I would not recommend it for a rider over 5’10” as the handlebar cannot extend due to the location of the battery.
- I highly suggest avoiding the air tires and replacing with a never-flats where available. Never-flats are available for the XS, S, & M models. If you choose to use the air tires, please save yourself any headache and order 1 or 2 spare air tubes to avoid disruption to your commute.
Why I Chose The S5
When I purchased my EcoReco, there were only three options available: S3, S5, and M5.
For me, this made my decision pretty easy as I wanted the full suspension and lower weight. The S5 fit the bill perfectly. I also use the S5 like our second car. Besides using it for my commute to the train station, I use it to get to the grocery store, post office, dentist, meetings I may have, etc. I can get anywhere in my community on it and my range is typically 10-15 miles depending on the terrain and throttle usage.
So far I have been quite happy with my decision to purchase an electric vehicle. In less than a year, it has already paid the difference in additional transit fare that would’ve been required if I took the bus.
My only gripe so far has been EcoReco seems to have had some supply chain issues in the past. It is partly why I explicitly recommend the never-flat tires. The S5 comes equipped with an air front tire and I was using this just fine until it went flat. Since the tube/nipple is a custom design, you can only buy them from EcoReco. When I went to buy an extra, they did not have any and the delay was over a month. I opted to get the solid front wheel and have been perfectly happy with that decision.
Future of Electric Vehicles
These types of devices are becoming increasingly more common. I have actually seen a few more pop up in my neighborhood since we moved here. They turn a lot of heads so you’ll have to get used to people staring at you drop-jawed as you cruise by at 15-20mph.
Also, be careful out there! These are new and people hate new things… I’ve had 2 or 3 run-ins with some aggressive drivers trying to force me off the road, blasting horns at me, etc. Just follow your local cycling laws, be alert, wear adequate protection, and you should be fine.
If you have any additional questions about my experiences using an EcoReco electric vehicle, feel free to leave a comment below or send an email. I hope this review has been helpful in making your decision to purchase an electric vehicle.
- The Planet Bike Blaze 1W Light Set is a cost-effective option for additional visibility
- Always wear safety gear
- Wear highly visible or reflective clothing when riding