Bikes > Alternative

We wanted to like the Hatasu Nero, but…

The e-scooter suffered from an electrical issue

The test unit broke down before the author could have a proper photo shoot with it. PHOTO FROM HATASU

Within the lineup of Hatasu Philippines, the Nero is the more premium e-scooter model with a 400W motor and an advertised top speed of up to 35km/h.

The day the distributor sent over four test units for review, there was just one thing I wanted to know about these electric vehicles: Can they get me from point A to B?

Apparently, that wasn’t the case for most of them. The Kumi was underpowered; the Haru was a wild ride; and the Hero felt like tipping over.

In the end, the Nero was the only one I felt confident enough to ride outside my neighborhood. Though heavier, it was compact and nimble like the Kumi. More important, the motor had enough power for hills and riding in traffic.

The compact size made parking the Hatasu Nero easy. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
The author stored his belongings in the front basket. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
The digital display glitched once the e-scooter broke down. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT
The shipping fee was a hefty P584 for a delivery less than 3km away. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

So, last Christmas Eve, I decided to take the Nero for my Sunday commute to Libis in Quezon City. Everything was fine until I went down St. Martin (or Ultra). As I descended, I saw my speed increase on the digital display. And once it went north of 30km/h, things got screwy.

For a moment, I felt a yank from what seemed to be the electronic brake. The vehicle didn’t freewheel, and my hands weren’t pressing the levers of the mechanical brakes. Thinking this was just a minor hiccup, I proceeded with my commute.

However, after crossing Julia Vargas on Lanuza, the same thing happened. But this time, the e-scooter came to a complete stop—and never got moving again. In the words of my colleague: “The Hatasu committed seppuku.”

I pulled over to the side and tried restarting the Nero with the key. That didn’t work, so I called it quits and booked a Lalamove truck to return the deadweight to my place. I notified Hatasu Philippines, and the e-scooter was picked up on December 28, putting the review on hold.

The author hasn't heard back from Hatasu ever since the Nero was picked up. PHOTO BY LEANDRO MANGUBAT

To be fair to our team, we waited until after the holidays to give Hatasu time to troubleshoot the unit. But we’re more than two weeks into the new year, and we still have not been updated—despite several follow-ups.

We understand that the people of Hatasu Philippines must be busy with work and all, but shouldn’t reliability be an urgent concern? If we’re left hanging, then how can we properly evaluate the product?

With an SRP of P28,990, the Hatasu Nero looked like it could have scored a passing mark in my book. If only it didn’t break down, that is.

Leandro Mangubat

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