Xiaomi’s head honcho Lei Jun’s just taken the wraps off a new PEV. That stands for personal electric vehicle for those not in the know.
It isn’t exactly a surprise given that the Xiaomi backed-Ninebot acquired Segway just this year. Unless they were just planning to wipe that monstrosity off the face of the earth, a self-balancing scooter shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Called the Ninebot Mini, it’s a steal at RMB1999 (RM1330) in a market where PEVs typically average RM3000. This little thing detects which direction you want it to go in via that awkwardly positioned steering stick in the middle, goes up to 16kph, and conquers inclines up to 15 degrees. A companion app allows you to control its movements, to what degree we do not know yet, and acts as an alarm if someone shifts your Ninebot Mini while it's in "locked" mode.
On a single charge, it will take you up to a distance of 22km before it needs a drink of electricity, but worry not, it only weighs 12.8kg and you can excuse yourself from chest day at the gym. Win-win.
We’re not sure how steep the learning curve is but should you fear for your life, a Ninebot/Segway labelled safety gear kit is available for RMB169 (RM115). Or cocooning yourself in bubble wrap works too.
We’ve yet to see anyone look look less than stupid riding a PEV in real life, so you’ve still got some time to master the art of cool (this might help) before the Ninebot Mini lands in Malaysia - if it ever does...