Bikes > Alternative

The Fiido Q1 is the little e-scooter that could

A personal mobility device worth P31,999

The Fiido Q1 is an electric scooter, not an electric bicycle. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

Mobility comes in many shapes and sizes. And the Fiido Q1 shows that you don’t need the biggest and fastest ride for urban commuting. The cute little thing doesn’t pretend to be a motorcycle or a bicycle. So, what is it, you ask? It is, unabashedly, a personal mobility device: something to get you from point A to B as efficiently as possible.

The brake rotors are almost as large as the rim. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
The motor power is proportionate to the EV's weight and handling. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
A stubby kickstand keeps the Q1 upright. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
The integrated front light is helpful when riding at night. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

I used to wonder why anyone would choose this e-scooter over an electric bicycle. I found my answer the moment I lifted the Q1. It weighs 17kg. Yet, it doesn’t feel heavy because it doesn’t have two big wheels sticking out, which make it unwieldy. Because carrying the Fiido isn’t a pain in the back, it is easier to use—especially since I have to go through stairs to bring it out of my house.

A physical key would have been more convenient. PHOTOS BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

The cockpit of the Q1 is rather rudimentary. Unlike a bicycle, the saddle is attached to the frame so you can’t adjust the seat height. In place of pedals, the rider only has a pair of pegs to rest his or her feet.

The stem can fold, but the handlebar height is fixed, and you probably won’t be allowed to bring this indoors, unlike a folding bike. The stock bars have a pronounced rise for an upright riding position.

The controls consist of a twist throttle, brake levers, a button on the right for cruise control, another on the left for an electronic horn, and a switch for the front light. Strangely, there’s no power switch as the e-scooter is turned on remotely via a key fob only.

Shorter riders will fit better. PHOTO FROM LEANDRO MANGUBAT

When riding the e-scooter, you’ll first notice some lag before the 250W motor kicks in. The acceleration isn’t instant but packs enough punch once it gets moving. And next thing you know, you’re leisurely cruising around the city.

The top speed is 25km/h. Realistically, that’s more of a cut-off speed since the motor doesn’t always reach it—even at full throttle. Speaking of the throttle, there is some degree of modulation so it isn’t all-or-nothing.

With small wheels and a short wheelbase, the e-scooter is lively and nimble. This is helpful when avoiding obstacles and navigating tight streets. The 12.5-inch by 2.25-inch tires aren’t the most supple, but they provide a more comfortable ride than a road bike.

Since the weight is centered more toward the rear, the front might lift if you don’t slow down for humps. The mechanical disc brakes do a decent job of stopping the e-scooter. Although it would be better if they were hydraulic.

Despite the lack of pedals, the Fiido Q1 is safe to use on the bike lane. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

Since the Fiido Q1 is no faster nor heavier than a bicycle, you should treat it like one—riding in the bike lane when practicable. When the roads are too packed, you can easily lift the e-scooter over the gutter, onto the sidewalk, and walk with the pedestrians. Upon reaching your destination, it has to be locked to a rack since anyone can pick it up and steal it.

This small ride is good for exploring the big city. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

Going from the store of Popcycle in Venice Grand Canal, Taguig, to Kapitolyo, Pasig, I was unsure if the Fiido could handle the steep climbs. But the light EV managed with my 60kg self. It wasn’t moving with haste, but at least I didn’t have to frantically kick the ground like the Flintstones to keep moving.

With the Q1, I left bikers in the dust while climbing Ultra (or St. Martin). However, the e-scooter is limited on flats and descents since it can’t be pedaled. Ultimately, that won’t matter when everyone stops at the traffic light. The best part about riding it is that I didn’t get tired and look sweaty.

The battery isn't easily accessible. PHOTOS BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

After doing two round trips between Kapitolyo and Eastwood totaling 27km, I was pleasantly surprised to find the battery at three out of four bars—although the battery life was closer to 50% than 75%.

Still, that’s not bad considering that the rated range is up to 40km. Thankfully, there’s cruise control so there’s no need to hold down the throttle for long, continuous stretches of road.

The maximum charging time is said to be as long as seven hours. The Q1’s 36V, 10.4Ah battery can be topped up at any ordinary wall socket, with the charging port located on the seat tube below the saddle.

It would be nice if the battery were removable so it could be charged indoors such as when dining in a restaurant or having coffee at a café.

There's no shortage of storage options. PHOTOS BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

Despite its limitations, this little scoot excels at what it’s designed for: short-range urban commutes. For example, if you have to go somewhere 10km away and back, it’s hard to beat the simplicity and the efficiency of the Q1.

It empowers you to get around the city without being tied down by a lack of physical fitness, unreliable public transit, traffic congestion, fuel expenses, or limited parking space.

One advantage this e-scooter has over a conventional motorcycle is accessibility. As observed on social media, many riders of light electric vehicles (colloquially known as e-bikes) include the most vulnerable road users such as women, PWDs, and the elderly.

Not everyone has access to a high-power motor vehicle, and they shouldn’t need one for essential movement. That’s why e-scooters like the Fiido Q1 are crucial in meeting the mobility needs of all sorts of people.

This light EV is easier to ride than a motorcycle. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
The e-scooter has sufficient ground clearance for humps. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
The Q1 is even smaller than a bicycle. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
There's a difference between an e-scooter and an electric kick scooter. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

The Fiido Q1 is available from Popcycle for P31,999. It’s cheaper than mid-level electric folding bicycles. But if you need something capable of going farther with heavier cargo, then a pedal-assist bike will serve you better.

I mentioned before that your mobility on the road depends on the size and the weight of your vehicle. With the Sundiro Honda MS01, its bulk, heft, and price prevent me from recommending it for the same purpose as the Q1.

On the other hand, Hatasu’s Kumi and Nero could have been decent and more affordable alternatives—if only the former weren’t underpowered, and the latter didn’t break down on me.

The Fiido Q1 sits nicely in between with the right balance of lightness, build quality, and power. If you need more performance, you can customize the e-scooter, like what some enthusiasts do, and transform it into a full-fledged electric motorcycle.

In its stock form, the Q1 is a fine personal mobility device—nothing more, nothing less. And that’s why I highly recommend the little e-scooter that could.

Leandro Mangubat

Leandro is our staff writer. Although having a background in mechanical engineering, he enjoys photography and writing more.