All hoverboards and self balancing scooters were banned by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after a spate of self balancing scooter fires reported through 2015 were reported. These fires were due to the low cost lithium batteries having an unacceptable rate of fires and explosions due to overheating. Per the CPSC announcement in early 2016, no major brand of hoverboards was found to be safe. There was a separate ban on the import of foreign hoverboards in the spring of 2016 because many self-balancing scooters infringed on Segway’s patents.
Amazon initially banned all but seven brands of hoverboards, subsequently taking all brands of hoverboards off its site due to safety concerns.
Consumers after that point found it almost impossible to find a 2 wheel self balancing scooter. However, due to sheer demand, Swagtron re-engineered its scooters to meet the highest safety standards. Swagways’ Swagtron 2 wheel hoverboard models T1 and T3 meet UL 2722 safety regulations. Swagtron is the first hoverboard brand to meet this Underwriter’s Laboratories standard for electrical and fire safety of hoverboards.
Swagtron T1 Hoverboard
The Swagtron T1 is the cheaper Swagway 2 wheel self balancing scooter. This is the first low cost scooter that meets the UL 2272 safety standards; it met all government regulated safety tests that rolled out after Christmas 2015 was marked by people riding their new scooters only to have it catch fire. The Swagtron’s scooter shelf is fire proof while the battery management system prevents the overheating that caused those fires in the first place.
It costs around $400. It comes in six different colors. Its top speed is over eight miles per our (if you aren’t going up hills), and its range is up to thirteen miles. However, the actual range is determined by the battery charge and temperature; it shuts off if it starts to overheat. It has large wheels that prevent debris catching in the wheels. The unit is easy to learn how to ride.
The lithium ion battery pack charges in two to three hours, which is actually better than some cheaper older models that took eight hours to charge.
Swagtron T3 Hoverboard
The Swagtron T3 hoverboard by Swagway costs around $500. It features a smart battery that won’t overheat or malfunction. The outer shell is fireproof, in the unusual case of an electrical problem or wheels rubbing against something and catching fire. (This model meets UL 2272 safety standards for hoverboards.) The open wheel well almost eliminates this risk. One of the benefits of the T3 is its one hour charge time, versus two hours for the T1.
It comes with some of the functions of other high end hoverboards like built in Bluetooth speakers to play songs off your cell phone. It has two separate riding speeds and three riding modes, so you can choose a slow safe mode for a beginner or fast speed for an expert and anything in between. In contrast, the T1 has only two riding modes. The motor and gear stabilization makes this model very easy to stay on top of. The wider foot pads and non-slip covering make it almost impossible to fall off of. The product promises easy maintenance, but finding spare parts for it beyond decals is not easy.
Swagtron has an app to let you check your battery status, location information, history and details. It comes with a carry band, though the manufacturer sells a separate bag to carry it for around $20. The T1 doesn’t have a carry strap.