We reviewed the Zero 9 — an mid-priced electric scooter. Its powerful 600 W motor and 22-miles of real-world range, combined with a portable 40 lb weight, make it a formidable scooter. The Zero 9 has been a popular scooter, but this style of scooter is starting to show its age and is beginning to be superseded by newer models and designs.
|Tested top speed: 28.4 mph*|
|Tested range: 21.7 mi*|
|Weight: 40 lb|
|Max rider weight: 220 lb|
|Water resistance: None|
|Dual suspension + brakes|
|Design being superseded by newer ones|
|No handlebars tend to loosen up|
* Based on our performance tests which may differ from the manufacturer’s claims.
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The Zero 9 consistently comes to the top of electric scooter rankings in a variety of categories and is well-ranked all around. This is for a good reason. The Zero 9 has fantastic build quality, power enough to conquer most hills, and more range than you’ll ever need. All this in a 40 lb package and at a killer price have made the Zero 9 one of our favorite scooters for a long time.
In our own surveys, the Zero brand received the highest rating for post-purchase customer support (4.6/5) and an excellent 4.⅗ for overall brand satisfaction. The Zero 8, a similar model from Zero, received a 4.⅖ score for owner satisfaction.
We think the Zero 9 is an ideal scooter for a buyer who is looking for something that is well-balanced, but light enough to carry occasionally. It has robust safety features, excellent brand reputation, and build quality to make it durable for daily use.
Best Alternatives and Competitors
|Apollo Explore||29.9 mph||28.1 mi||53 lb||$1299|
|Zero 9||28.4 mph||21.7 mi||40 lb||$1099|
|Apollo City||28.6 mph||17.9 mi||40 lb||$999|
|Mercane WideWheel Pro||26.7 mph||19.3 mi||54 lb||$1299|
|Segway Ninebot Max||17.8 mph||28.1 mi||42 lb||$799|
** Based on our independent testing, which may differ from manufacturer’s claims.
Zero 9 Review
Results below are based on our independent performance testing and not data provided by the manufacturer.
|Acceleration (0 to 15 mph)||4.2 seconds|
|Acceleration (0 to 20 mph)||7.1 seconds|
|Acceleration (0 to 25 mph)||11.8 seconds|
|Top speed||28.4 mph|
|Braking distance (15 to 0 mph)||10.2 feet|
|Hill climb||13.6 seconds|
The 600 W rear motor has a peak power of 1200 watts and provides excellent acceleration up to about 18 mph — then creeps up to its top speed. In our acceleration tests, the Zero 9 hit 15 mph in 4.2 seconds, 20 mph in 7.1 seconds, and 25 mph in 11.8 seconds. This is significantly faster than a typical ride-share scooter (6 seconds to 15 mph).
The motor generally quiet, except it’s noisier at lower speeds. Below 10 mph, you’ll have a more noticeable hum. After you accelerate above this, the motor becomes pleasantly quiet.
Compare the tested performance of this scooter with others we’ve tested on our performance data page.
The Zero 9 has solid hill-climbing ability. It scaled our standardized hill climb test (200 ft, 10% grade, 165 lb rider) in 13.6 seconds at an average speed of 10 mph. It will be slower on steeper hills and with heavier riders, but 10% grade is quite steep!
A typical ride-share scooter would go about half the speed and take 20 to 25 seconds on the same hill.
The Zero 9 has an ESG certified top speed of 28.4 mph! This is very fast for an electric scooter. Cruising at 15 to 20 mph feels quick and is enough for most.
A typical ride-share scooter is limited to around 16 mph.
The Zero 9 has a 624 watt-hour battery pack made of LG-branded lithium-ion cells.
The scooter has an excellent 21.7 miles of real-world range, based on our tests. Our range test consists of an urban loop with frequent stops, hill, and rough roads. We test all scooters using the same 165 lb rider with the scooter in its fastest (least energy-conserving) mode.
The Zero 9 comes with front disc and rear drums brakes. Disc brakes are king, and drum brakes are a close second. Combined, the Zero 9 has a reliable and strong braking system. This can save you from serious harm.
During our braking tests, we were able to bring the scooter from 15 mph to a stop in 10.2 feet. The typical stopping distance for scooters ranges from 15 to 25 feet. We consider anything under 20 feet to be excellent.
The scooter has large pneumatic tires that are excellent for overcoming bumps that might down a scooter with smaller tires. They also cushion the ride.
Additionally, the Zero 9 has front and rear spring suspension. The suspension doesn’t offer a ton of travel, but has a balance of stiffness/spring. The suspension is optimal for riding on paved roads, but it is good enough for light off-road use on hard-packed dirt roads.
Combined, the pneumatic tires and suspension make for a very comfortable and safe ride.
Zero 9 Electric Scooter: Features
The Zero 9 features three mechanisms to reduce the size of the scooter, improve portability and compactness for storage.
The handlebars have a solid folding screw-type mechanism. This allows them to fold but feel very solid and strong when unfolded. We note that on our test model, the right side would loosen up slightly after long rides. We’ve seen this before on other scooters with this mechanism.
The whole scooter collapses easily via an anodized metallic tab and hinges mounted onto the scooter deck.
Finally, the adjustable stem also collapses. This allows the scooter to provide good ergonomics to taller or shorter riders without sacrificing compactness.
Coming in at 40 lbs, the Zero 9 isn’t the lightest scooter for commuting. However, for an average adult, it shouldn’t be a problem to occasionally carry it up a flight of stairs. It is compact enough when folded (43-inches by 7-inches by 14-inches), to fit into the trunk of a small car.
If the weight is going to be a problem, consider a Xiaomi Mi M365 or Gotrax GXL Commuter, both top-rated and lighter scooters (and the kings of the Best Electric Scooter Under $600 or our picks for best cheap scooters).
The cockpit display LED is simple, providing speed, “gear,” odometer, and battery readout.
Brakes are operated by hand levers. The LCD speed display (right) has power and mode buttons, as well as an index finger throttle trigger. From this display, different “P-settings” can be adjusted to control regenerative braking strength and acceleration settings.
The hand position on the scooter is ample and excellent for balance. Furthermore, the folding handlebars help keep this design compact for storing and portability.
Zero 9 P-settings
The Zero 9 uses a QS-S4 style throttle with many adjustable P-settings.How To Enter P-Settings
- 1. Power on scooter.
2. Hold Mode + Power buttons.
3. Use Power button to toggle through P-settings.
4. Use Mode button to adjust values.
1: mph 2: kph
0: zero start
1: kick to start
Automatic scooter voltage shut-down
|P1||LCD brightness||1: low 2: mid 3: high||3|
|P2||Speedometer units||1: mph 2: kph|
|P8||Power level||1: slowest 100: fastest||100|
|P9||Start mode||0: zero start 1: kick to start||0|
|P15||Automatic scooter voltage shut-down|
|P17||Cruise control||0: off 1: on||0|
The scooter has both front and rear lighting.
The Zero also has a ridiculous amount of swag lighting. Running up the stem is a bright LED strip. On either side of the deck are LED strips, so-called “ground effects,” that light up the road Tron-style.
The lighting is sufficient for providing visibility to others on the road at night. However, both the headlight and tail lights are mounted low and don’t project very far.
As always, we recommend extra lighting for safety, but this scooter is equipped for night riding if you forget additional lights or it’s out of charge. We also recommend adding a rear, clip-on light placed high (e.g., on a backpack, jacket, or helmet).
Read more about riding safely at night.
The Zero 9 features 8.5-inch pneumatic innertube (air-filled) front and rear tires. In addition to cushioning the ride, these improve safety by making it easier to roll over bumps and potholes.
Some people complain about flats associated with pneumatic tires. The risk of flats is substantially outweighed by the significant benefits to safety and performance.
You can also dramatically reduce your risk of flats or even repair them using tire slime.
One of our favorite features of this scooter is the generous 20.5-inch by 7.7-inch deck that is spacious and contributes to a pleasant ride. Even riders with large feet won’t have a problem with this scooter.
As a bonus, there is nothing attached to the rear of the deck, so your feet can actually hang over the edge, giving you even more space.
The deck has 4-inches of ground clearance, which is enough to drop off most curbs without bottoming-out.
Overall, the Zero 9 is a solid, well-built scooter with a clean design. Zero has been around long enough that this scooter has gone through several iterations. The scooter just keeps getting better with time. One of the most significant recent additions was moving to brand-name LG batteries.
The heavy bolts and abundant stamped metal parts ensure durability. Altogether the excellent build quality ends up making this scooter one of quietest — no annoying rattling, ultra-loud motor, or loosely coupled components.
The thing to note on the model we tested was one of the folding handlebars would loosen up slightly on long rides. We had to periodically re-tighten this, but it wasn’t a safety issue.
Zero 9: Review Conclusions
The Zero 9 is one of the best electric scooters you can buy. Its balanced nature makes this scooter the right one for a lot of people. Its most significant drawback is its 220 lb weight limit, which will exclude some buyers.
However, if this limitation isn’t a problem, for under $1,200, you get a portable 40 lb scooter with a respectable range and rich feature set. It is a solid scooter built to be both enjoyable enough and durable enough for daily use.
If the Zero isn’t the right scooter for you, see our alternative suggestions. You can also check out our Editor’s pick of best electric scooters.
Zero 9 Specifications
Note: These specification are provided by the manufacturer and may differ from our real-world testing.
|Folded dimensions||43 by 7 by 14 in|
|Motor power, continuous||600 W|
|Top speed||24 mph|
|Battery capacity||624 Wh|
|Battery recharge time||hrs|
|Max rider weight||220 lb|
|Brake type||Disc + Drum|
|Tire type||8.5 in Pneumatic (Inner Tube) + Pneumatic (Inner Tube)|
|Built-in lights||Front + Rear|