In Pakistan, Xiaomi is probably best known for its range of cell phones and other handheld electronics. But the company has made significant progress in the electric bicycle market as well. Xiaomi’s latest offering is a foldable electric bike. The model is the most portable model that has been launched so far.
Xiaomi’s journey as am electric bike manufacturer
Chinese electronics company, Xiaomi is no stranger to the electric bicycle market. The company unveiled its first electric folding bike model in 2016, the Mi Qicycle. It then revealed Himo V1, in 2018. This was a pint-sized folding e-bike that Xiaomi offered for just $261.
— urbancycling (@urbancycling_it) June 25, 2016
The company then followed up with a larger folding e-bike, the Himo C20. This model featured larger wheels and higher capacity battery, yet still retained a low price of $375. Later, they released their first electric moped: The Himo T1. And true to form, Xiaomi has again kept the price surprisingly low at around $450.
In November 2018, Xiaomi launched its newest electric bike, ‘Himo H1’. Designed to be the ultimate portable EV, it retails no more than its predecessor, ‘Himo T1’.
Xiaomi introduces new Himo H1
If Xiaomi’s Himo H1 electric bike looks a bit strange to you, that’s because it is. Weighing only 13 kgs, it’s an extreme folding e-bike designed with an emphasis on portability. It folds down like the tiniest transformer you’ve ever seen. Some are even shown with Transformers logos and trademarks, though whether or not those are properly licensed is another question.
For context of its size, it is smaller than an A3 size sheet of paper, which is equivalent to roughly two 8.5 x 11-inch sheets of standard printer paper. But any which way you slice it, Xiaomi’s new Himo H1 electric bike is pretty darn small.
Electric bikes should be small, light and, to an extent, portable. No, we are not saying this but #Xiaomi certainly is. You see, that Transformers logo is there for a reason because its new #Himo H1 can be folded and tucked away in a bag. https://t.co/BRst24k1gT pic.twitter.com/PmVS7NQHEM
— ZigWheels (@Zigwheels) November 27, 2019
Xiaomi is offering the Himo H1 in China for 2,999 yuan (approximately US $425). Other Xiaomi e-bikes and scooters have taken longer to reach international audiences, but the Himo H1 is now being offered worldwide. And Xiaomi even managed to keep the price fairly close to the original domestic deal. Early customers can grab a Himo H1 e-bike for $469, not including shipping. And while shipping will add to the price, it is actually reasonable.
The whole thing weighs just 13 kg (28.6 lb) and looks like it could fit in a briefcase. In fact, the Himo H1 e-bike even comes with its own carrying case. It’d be perfect for commuting in parks or university campuses.
Limitations of the Himo H1
As intriguing as this portable cheap bike seem, it has quite a few limitations. The Himo H1 reaches a top speed of just 18 km/h. That means this isn’t designed to be a long-distance commuter, but more likely a quick trip bike.
The Himo H1 likely won’t fit larger riders though, it has a weight limit of 100 kg. Ultimately, this might not be the e-bike that gets masses of people onto two wheels. But the fact that Xiaomi is getting quicker about pushing its domestic e-bikes to an international audience could be a good sign of things to come.
The rear hub motor isn’t overly powerful (or even powerful at all) at a mere 180 W, though this isn’t a high-speed e-bike either at just 18 km/h (12 mph). And it might not even be an e-bike at all, based on the lack of functional pedals. In the place of pedals, it has fold-up footrests, making it more of a seated scooter.