MANILA - The Lenovo M2 is a fun personal mobility gadget that’s also easy on the wallet. While it does not have the range of other electric kick scooters (EKS), its under-P20K price tag is sure to attract people who are curious about what this relatively new class of vehicles is all about.
When public utility vehicles and mass transit systems were ordered to limit their capacity last year at the start of the COVID-19 lockdowns, many commuters were left out in the cold.
Many commuters turned to bicycles, which saw explosive growth in sales. Many others turned to EKSs, which cost a bit more than entry-level bikes, but don’t require as much physical exertion.
From being a casual curiosity on the road, people riding EKS became familiar scenes on even some of the most traffic chokes thoroughfares.
And Lenovo is hoping to cash in on this trend with the M2.
While it does require some assembly, getting it up and ready was relatively easy. Folding and unfolding it is also a no-brainer.
Lenovo's scooter features a 7.5Ah battery paired to a 350w motor, which can push it to a top speed of 25 kilometers per hour. But it also has a pedestrian setting which slows it to a walking pace for use on sidewalks or areas where there are many pedestrians.
It has a grey rubber foot mat and grips, 8.5-inch wheels and honeycomb tires.
It features a digital instrument panel that displays speed, gear, trip length and battery life.
A single button on the right side, under the handlebars, is all you need to turn this thing on, switch gears, and activate the LED headlight and tail lights for nighttime commuting.
There is a brake lever, and bell on the left of the handlebar, and a thumb-operated throttle on the right for controlling power delivery and speed.
While its top speed of around 25 kilometers per hour doesn’t sound very fast, consider that the average pre-pandemic speed on EDSA was 7-9 kph.
At 25 kph speed, you can travel from Quezon City Hall to Ayala Avenue Makati in roughly 34 minutes if you choose to ride along EDSA. But you probably shouldn’t do that if you’re on an EKS. That top speed is also almost twice as fast as I am on my bicycle when I’m commuting.
The 30-kilometer range does seem a bit limited though considering that Xiaomi, another Chinese gadget maker, sells EKS in the Philippines that have a claimed range of 45 kilometers.
However, the Xiaomi scooter is around P5-K more expensive than the Lenovo M2. A cheaper version of the Xiaomi meanwhile retails for around P15-K, but its range is just 20 kilometers.
As someone who rides both bicycles and motorcycles, I was a bit skeptical about the practicality of EKS.
But after using the M2 for a week, I finally understood the appeal. This is a pretty fun way to get around the city. Electric kick scooters can be a lot of fun to ride.
If you need to travel 10 to 15 kilometers away, this thing will get you there without making you break a sweat like a bicycle. It’s also pretty easy to maneuver around traffic and carry it up to the sidewalk.
Lenovo said the shock absorbers on the M2 guarantee a smooth ride, but I actually felt every bump and road imperfection while riding this thing. Carrying it up on a bus or train though may be a bit challenging as the M2 weighs around 15 kilos.
It takes roughly 3-4 hours to get the M2 fully charged, but charging it was relatively easy.
I’ve seen a lot of enthusiasts upgrade their EKS with better shock absorbers, bigger batteries and even better tires. The M2, with its relatively affordable price tag, might be a good base for a custom EKS that can go faster, farther and carry a rider more comfortably. But as is, it’s already a pretty good deal for an electric vehicle that costs about as much as a mid-range smartphone.
The Lenovo M2 retails for a promo price of P16,995 on Lenovo's Lazada store. Its post-promo SRP will be P19,995.
Lenovo M2, electric kick scooter, EKS, personal mobility gadget, scooter, electric vehicle