The Shanghai Bike Expo ended sometime early June and we at sgscooters were there to witness first-hand the rise in popularity of electric scooters. There must have been 10 booths solely dedicated to electric scooter manufacturers! To put things in perspective how much this e-scooter phenomena has grown, 2 years ago, there were only 2 booths touting their electric scooter wares.
The positives we took from the event was that electric scooters are a massive consumer-driven mode of transport and it is here to stay despite regulatory challenges. The designs keep getting better with each new year which means there is more investment into this industry.
However, amongst all the novel and original designs on display was a very stark reminder of what some China companies with more traditional mindsets continue to do: counterfeiting. There were at least 4 booths openly displaying counterfeit electric scooters that are blatant rip-offs of original European or American based scooter models. The most widely ripped off scooter is the MYWAY or Inokim scooter with at least 3 copycat Inokim models on display. Depending on how you read it, this can be both a compliment to the success of the MYWAY but also a headache at the same time.
Following our first article on the rise of counterfeit scooters, we have encountered more cases of lower quality ripoffs hitting the market. Many of them have encountered numerous problems like broken steering handlebars, Li-Ion batteries bursting into flames and many other servicing issues. One such documented case can be found below when one of such Inokim copycat scooter suddenly burst into flames while riding. This is not just an isolated incident. There has been cases of smoke coming out from other clones or copycats like ST.
However, this battery issue is just the tip of the iceberg. The quality and construction of the copycat scooters are also suspect as documented in our previous article.
We have mentioned before the stringent tests and checks that the older model MYWAY has been through. Through the CE certification process to the thorough road testing done in Israel, the Inokim is a tried and tested scooter. As always, know what you are buying into when you purchase a cut-price scooter. Always question why 2 scooters that look so alike can be so different in price.
Ensure that your Inokim is certified original by making sure that your Inokim comes with the factory printed serial no. on the front deck. You can then check with the original factory www.inokim.com to see if your scooter is under original factory warranty. For a list of authorised distributors, you can also consult the list here.
Another issue in this highly unregulated industry is that many unscrupulous retailers of counterfeit inokims are retailing Inokims that have their serial no. deliberately filed off to prevent tracking. Every part especially the motor and battery of every original Inokim has a factory printed serial no. that is tagged to the serial no. of the scooter. By filing off the serial no. of the scooter, it prevents anyone from tracing the origin of the scooter and hence checking if the part components are original to that scooter. The other implication is that you will also not be able to trace if they are factory original parts.
So really question why you are getting what seems like the same escooter for a bargain deal!