The Chinese company Xiaomi has an impressive line of affordable products, ranging from consumer electronics to sofas. They are no strangers to personal electric vehicles either, having produced a very popular electric bicycle as well as an equally popular electric scooter.
And now they are doubling down even further on affordability with their newest electric bicycle, the 1,699 yuan ($261) Himo electric bike.
Himo is an impressive looking, if not somewhat diminutive electric bicycle.
Instead of following the standard design for the cheapest electric bicycles that come out of China, which use off the shelf e-bike components bolted onto any free space on the frame, Xiaomi designed Himo from the ground up as an electric bicycle.
The electronics, including the battery and controller, are housed in an IP54 waterproof central casing, which not only elegantly hides the less-than-attractive electric bike bits and pieces, but also allows the e-bike to be ridden in the rain.
For such a little e-bike, Himo includes a full featured LCD display on the handlebars that reports the speed, distance, motor assist level and battery state-of-charge.
Himo comes standard with a headlight and tail light that is powered by the main battery, meaning you never have to worry about replacing those annoying little batteries in your lights. And as another nice feature usually only found on higher end electric bikes, the tail light even communicates with the brake lever to function as a brake light.
The cables and wiring are also integrated directly into the frame for a cleaner look – another feature rarely found on budget e-bikes.
The frame is a custom job too, made from aluminum alloy and built around the central case, which leaves room for a handle to carry the little e-bike with you.
At 16.7 kg (36.7 lb), Himo is not exactly svelte, but is still a lightweight by electric bicycle standards.
A 250 W brushless geared DC motor is housed in the rear wheel, and due to the small 12” wheels, the little motor takes up a surprising amount of the rear wheel. Speaking of the wheels, they are casted and spokeless, meaning you’ll never have to worry about breaking a spoke or truing a wheel. Just don’t expect the small wheels to smooth out the pot holes for you.
The motor pulls power from Himo’s 36V Li-ion battery, which appears to be arranged in a 10s3p configuration using 2 Ah 18650 cells, for a final capacity of 6 Ah at 36V or 220 Wh. (Did I mention that I’m a battery nerd?)
Xiaomi rates Himo as capable of 50 km (31 mi) on a charge, though that is likely in the lowest assist setting. Switching to a mode with higher motor assist will certainly drop the range.
Himo claims a rather lengthy 6.5 hour charge rate, which means it likely comes with a 1A or <50 W charger. Not a quick charger by any means, but sufficient for those that charge at work or overnight.
Ready to grab your own Himo? You can get your hands on one quickly if you’re in China, where it is currently selling out on Xiaomi’s own crowdfunding platform and expected to begin shipments on July 30th.
For the rest of us, we’ll have to wait a bit longer to get Himo outside of China. But in cases like these, direct from China retail sites like Gearbest and AliExpress usually start carrying Chinese-market products within a few months of their release, sometimes sooner.
And don’t be surprised to see Himo popping up on Amazon in the US a few months after that, where you can already pick up Xiaomi’s other super affordable and popular electric bicycle and electric scooter.
This is a cute little e-bike that is meant more for light city use than longer commutes or for recreation. But for something that can drive your butt around town while still tucking under your desk or in the corner of your office, Xiaomi seems to have succeeded quite nicely.
The 6.5 hour charge rate and low power charger are both a little disappointing, but I guess sacrifices have to be made to bring the price as low as ~$261 (though that price could be higher in the US in part due to electric bicycle tariffs proposed by the Trump Administration). And I definitely prefer that sacrifices be made on the power of the included charger than on the quality of bike components. I can wait a little longer to charge, but walking home because the bike fell apart is less than ideal.
For anyone wanting a more serious machine, you can probably keep walking. But for those looking for a cheap way to skip the bus or Uber, you can’t beat a mini e-bike like this on convenience and affordability!