Let’s face it, with the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) extended once again in the NCR Plus bubble for who knows how long, there aren’t a lot of places you can go to around the city. Driving a car or motorcycle for essential errands can honestly feel bitin these days.
Lenovo, a technology company best known for their PCs and laptops, recently launched its first electric scooter. The brand-new M2 Electric Scooter offers daily commuters a smarter, safer, and more stylish means to get around.
While many people have turned to bicycles as a form of exercise in the city and for their personal mobility, not everyone knows how to ride a bike or wants to exert physical effort every time they need to go out. For those who just want an easy way to get around quickly without breaking a sweat, electric scooters offer a smart and fun alternative.
With the limited travel options brought about by the pandemic, the M2 aims to provide a fun, compact and affordable two-wheeled option for Pinoy commuters.
I had a chance to test out a review unit of this nifty two-wheeler right before the second ECQ lockdown was declared and here’s what I can share.
Electric scooters are still a bit of a novelty compared to more mainstream bicycles and this gadget is a head-turner on the road. The M2 was designed to match the premium look and enhanced durability found in Lenovo PCs.
The M2 e-scooter comes in either black or white variants. The review unit I got was the former, with a matte black exterior and minimalist aesthetic with a few bright red accents that make the otherwise standard design stand out. I can imagine the white version would be even more eye-catching.
The M2 comes with a grey rubber foot mat and grips, along with 8.5-inch wheels and honeycomb tires, which add a bit of a rugged feel.
The scooter’s magnesium and aluminum alloy-made frame feels pretty sturdy and offers stronger impact resistance for user safety. While it’s a bit heavy to haul and carry around, it’s stable enough to support a load of up to 120kg.
The e-scooter also comes with a dustproof and waterproof IP54 rating, making it suitable for riding under light rain or dusty terrain, though you probably wouldn’t want to drive through puddles just to keep it looking clean.
Measuring 1115mm x 1115mm x 515mm, the M2 is compact enough to breeze through sidewalks and bike lanes. The two-wheeler becomes even more compact at 1130mm x 503mm x 515mm when folded with its three-second one-step folding system, making it easy to bring and stash almost anywhere.
Technology & Safety
The M2 features a simple digital instrument panel that displays the speed, gear used, mileage, and battery life. It also comes with mobile app control and Bluetooth support, so riders can connect their scooter to other devices or accessories to track and map their rides for easy sharing on social media.
To get started, all you need to do is switch a single button on the middle bar beneath the handlebars. The same button is also used to activate LED headlights and tail lights for night commuting.
With a little push off the road to get it started to 3 kmh, you just press down on the thumb-operated throttle on the right handlebar and you’re off. The left side of the handlebar has a brake lever and a bell to alert people in front of you.
The M2 comes with a cruise control function that automatically maintains and controls constant speed while moving, so you don’t have to keep pressing down on the throttle to move forward.
Lenovo’s electric scooter boasts of a 350-watt motor and 7.5Ah high-capacity battery, which can achieve a top speed of 25 km/h. While this doesn’t sound like much, it’s pretty speedy for essential city rides, and is twice as fast as cycling with minimal effort. On the M2, you can travel up to 30 km in one full charge.
Theoretically, at full speed with no traffic and stoplights, that’s roughly the distance between Kilometer Zero in Roxas Boulevard to Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City and back in an hour.
In terms of safety, Lenovo has installed an intelligent battery management system that protects the electric scooter’s power unit against common issues like short-circuiting, overcurrent, overcharge, over-discharge, and extreme temperatures.
Lenovo’s e-scooter also has an innovative triple-brake system. Apart from the electronic brake, the scooter is also equipped with a disc and pedal brake for added protection against sudden accidents.
Driving & Handling
The compact size of the M2 makes it ideal for condo dwellers living in urban settings who may not have space for larger vehicles like bicycles at home. You can easily wheel this up ramps to enter buildings and bring it inside elevators. For those who commute to work, bringing it inside an office and stashing it under your desk during the day shouldn’t be a problem.
According to the specs, the electric scooter comes with a triple-damping system composed of a hidden shock absorption, spring shock absorption, and honeycomb tire shock absorption to ensure stability and comfort while on the road.
However, I noticed that while it glides very smoothly on flat and well-paved roads, there’s really a tendency to feel all the bumps, potholes, and imperfections on roads that aren’t well-maintained, so you have to look out carefully to avoid these. It’s easy enough to dismount and wheel it if needed.
I normally use a motorcycle or bicycle for essential errands around our neighborhood, but I found that the e-scooter offered a pretty fun way to get around.
If you just need to pick-up food, deliver goods, or go for a quick coffee ride, just 10 to 15 kilometers away, this nifty gadget will get you where you need to go without you having to exert too much of an effort. It’s pretty easy to maneuver and you can easily carry it up sidewalks or short distances.
However, carrying it up flights of stairs (like up on flyovers or buildings with no elevators) can feel like a bit of a workout, as the M2 weighs a hefty 15 kilos.
E-scooters are one of the allowable forms of private transport during the ECQ. For those who don’t want to drive a motorcycle or don’t know how to ride bicycles, the M2 could be a good option for personal mobility.
The M2 offers a few smart advantages over other types of vehicles. First of all, learning to ride on an e-scooter is much easier than learning to ride a bike as an adult. Unlike bicycles, which are size-specific to riders, everyone in the family can use this for both errands and leisure rides.
It’s designed to be smaller, lighter and easier to manage than e-bikes. Since e-scooters are lower to the ground in a standing position, riders are able to easily hop on and off, which can be easier than dismounting bicycles.
I’d say that e-scooters are a good option for those living 5-10 kilometers from their workplace who want something to use for daily commuting. E-scooters are also an option for car owners who want to use it within areas where parking is far from their destination. You could easily stash this in a car’s trunk and ride the e-scooter the rest of the way.
An added appeal, especially for women and office workers, is that you can wear pretty much anything while riding an e-scooter since you’re in a standing position. Girls can wear dresses or even office attire while on this and not really break a sweat (at least compared to biking), making it a good choice for entrepreneurs who don’t want to worry whether their ride will still be in the parking lot when they return.
Riding an e-scooter to nearby destinations where you can get some fresh air and outdoor exercise, go urban sightseeing, or do essential errands can inject a bit of fun and adventure in your everyday routine amid the pandemic.
The affordable price, low maintenance cost, great portability and storage, and the fact that you don’t need a license and registration to own an e-scooter makes it a good mobility option for Pinoys looking for an alternative to biking, walking, and public transportation.
The Lenovo M2 electric scooter is officially priced at P19,995 and is available from official resellers and exclusive stores nationwide starting March 27, 2021. Lenovo is currently offering the M2 at a discounted launch promo price of just P16,995 through the Lenovo Mobile Flagship Store via the Lazada app.