If you’re like me, you’ve been salivating over every Rion model, since you heard about the brand eons ago. I recently came across this Rion Thrust review video on YT, where some French electric scooter experts (Electric Club) do a teardown on the Rion Thrust.
They are super complimentary about the incredible build … carbon fiber, beautiful hand-machined machined internals, etc etc. They just gush over the construction. You can tell they really like the scooter.
However, once they take out the handful of machine screws and open up the deck, the story goes from a wonderful fairytale that is meeting all of my expectations and dreams ,,, and turns into some kind of twisted alien autopsy.
The battery is this horrendous (partially empty) mass of cells poorly wrapped in heatshrink. It basically looks like a giant dehydrated garbage bag. They pull that out like some electronic abortion and detach it from what looks like tidy cabling. The BMS is just floating around inside the deck not attached to anything.
I’m no expert but the carbon fiber construction inside looks okay to me once the garbage is removed. They delve deeper into the Thrust’s guts to get to the controllers in a special ventilated compartment ,,, and surprise surprise .. MORE GARBAGE. The controllers looked like they came straight from Aliexpress and were hacked to bits so they could stuff them under there.
They do a partial battery disassembly and things get even uglier when the trash bag comes off. The battery mass is wrapped in some weird green cardboard + random packing tape + what looks like red kapton tape (or more heat. shrink). The cells inside? Molicell 21700 P42A INR. Never heard of them, but I think they are pretty heavy hitters: https://www.18650batterystore.com/products/molicel-p42a
The hosts conclude that it’s a prototype , but good for the track and seem satisfied with the quality/price!?!?
Some have compared Rion with Apple, but disappointingly I’m still searching for the Apple version of a scooter. I’ll leave everyone with a quote from Apple’s founder and I think you’ll get it:
“When you’re a carpenter making a beautiful chest of drawers, you’re not going to use a piece of plywood on the back, even though it faces the wall and nobody will ever see it. You’ll know it’s there, so you’re going to use a beautiful piece of wood on the back. For you to sleep well at night, the aesthetic, the quality, has to be carried all the way through” – Steve Jobs
I’m not saying I wouldn’t take one. I still want to ride one. But it is not a refined product. Its a beautiful chassis full of Alibaba.