Xiaomi M365 is one of the most popular electric scooters on the market today. Since its launch in 2017, it had won numerous awards for the design and has been used by major scooter rental companies as part of their fleet.
We’ve all heard reports about the ridiculously short lifespan of ride-share scooters. I must say that I was stunned to learn that the average rental scooter only lives for about a month. However, after giving it some thought, that time frame is realistic and makes sense to me.
Lets put aside commercial ride-share e-scooters. Today I want to discuss the lifespan of a consumer Xiaomi M365, because there is a tremendous difference in the overall longevity between the commercial and consumer Xiaomi M365s.
I have owned my M365 for almost two years now. I would describe myself as an average intensity user. My scooter doesn’t sit in the garage for weeks, but at the same time I don’t ride it on a regular daily basis. I recently hit a 1,000 km (1,600 mile) mark and must say that the scooter works fine for the most part.
M365: Overall Lifespan
A consumer-grade Xiaomi M365 electric scooter should last at least 2-3 years or a few thousand kilometers.
The Xiaomi M365 has been on the market for about three years now. In my opinion it is still too early to tell, with reasonable confidence, how long they will last on average. I have yet to hear from someone whose M365 broke beyond reasonable repair. None of my friends who own one, nor I have had any major issues with it so far.
While I am proud to have traveled over 1,000 km on my Xiaomi M365, there are individuals who have clocked more than 10,000 km on their M365’s. That is a huge distance for a device with such a small motor!
I consider myself a fairly cautious and reasonable rider. I mostly ride on designated paths, flat surfaces and avoid riding in the rain. This is not to say that I have never ridden in the rain, across puddles or off-road areas. I did, but in general I try to be careful where I ride.
I try to take a proper care of my M365, but I am far from sticking to the recommended maintenance schedule. Take for example tire inflation, the manufacturer recommends checking your tire pressure once a week. I usually do that once every 3 or 4 weeks. At about the same time I try to tighten the various nuts and bolts, but that’s about all that I do regularly.
At this point, after nearly 2 years of use and 1,000 kilometers traveled, I feel that my M365 works fairly well. However, I did notice that in the recent months the battery has gotten weaker and the overall power of the scooter is not as good as it used to be a year ago. What I mean by that is that the battery holds less charge (needs to be charged more often) and the scooter has a more difficult time riding uphill. I can still climb the same heights, but I can feel that the scooter is riding slower and has a more difficult time climbing uphill.
These issues can most likely be taken care of by replacing an old battery with a new one. There is a good chance that this will fix the problem and I would do that, but I am planning to replace my old M365 with M365 Pro, which has a more powerful battery and motor. Had the M365 Pro not been on the market, I would simply get a new battery which would most likely fix my problems.
M365: Common Problems
It is generally estimated that an average Li-ion scooter battery should last 500-1,000 charge cycles. The battery on my M365 has had only 133 complete charge cycles and I must say that it had gotten considerably weaker. I rarely, if ever, completely drain the battery, but in case of Li-ion batteries this should not be an issue because Li-ion batteries do not have the “memory effect”. I never left the battery in temperature extremes, such as summer hot or freezing temps. I did leave the charger plugged in overnight, but that should have no impact as the charger simply shuts off when the battery is completely charged. Having said that, I can’t figure out what exactly I have done, or have not done in terms of battery maintenance to end up with a battery that essentially needs a replacement.
The Xiaomi M365 battery lasts for 100-200 charge cycles, after that it will start losing its charge capacity.
By saying that a battery should last 500-1,000 charge cycles, I mean that it should come as no surprise that past the 500 cycle mark the battery may simply stop working completely. It will be dead and you won’t be able to charge it at all. In case of my battery, it has had “only” 133 charge cycles and it already had lost about 40-50% of it’s charge capacity, giving me a range of travel of about 12-15 kilometers, down from the original 30 kilometers. I am surprised by this finding. I would expect the battery to keep its charge near the original capacity until about 300 or 400 charge cycles.
Read my post on Xiaomi M365 Battery Specifications
A broken rear mudguard is a common finding on the Xiaomi M365. Most people think that this is due to riders inadvertently stepping on the mudguard and breaking it. It’s probably true in some cases, but I think that the main reason lays in the design. When you fold the scooter, the steering column attaches to a hook located on the mudguard. This results in a situation where considerable weight is being placed on the plastic mudguard as you are carrying your folded scooter.
There are plastic supports available on the market that are supposed to help prevent these issues. However, by the way they are designed, they only help protect the mudguard when accidentally stepped on. They provide no solution for the forces acting on the mudguard while the scooter is folded and being carried. Overall, this is not a major problem, it is rather just a nuisance that you should expect to run into at some point.
Another issue that I would describe as a nuisance, rather than a problem, is with the folding mechanism that ultimately leads to slack of the steering column. What I mean by that is that with time the steering column will become less rigid. It will move back a forth by a few millimeters. It is very annoying to some, I personally don’t care much about it.
Most users report this issue within weeks or months of using the M365. I can’t really say when it first occurred in my case, because the problem developed gradually and I barely noticed it.
Fortunately there are two things you can do to fix it. 1) adjust a hex nut located within the latching mechanism. This usually does the trick early on. 2) For more severe looseness of the steering column, you can buy tiny plastic spacers that you put inside the latching mechanism and that usually does the trick. These spacers, however, may get lost if you happen to be folding your scooter often.
Electric scooters come with either inflatable or solid rubber tires. Some models have one of each. The Xiaomi M365 has been equipped with two 8.5” inflatable tires. As good as it sounds, the inflatable tires on the M365 do get punctures forcing the user to walk back home instead of riding. Replacing the tires is also not an overtly simple task. Besides having to remove a few screws, which is simple, you will also have to force the tire onto the rim, which in some cases may take some time and energy. But it is doable, and anyone who feels comfortable around tools should be able to replace the tires themselves.
Despite the fact that inflatable tires are prone to punctures (I’ve had two punctures so far), I am a big fan because they do provide for a more comfortable ride. You can prevent flat tires on your M365 by keeping the tires fully inflated and getting certain anti-puncture products. There is slime that can be pumped into the tube, which will prevent punctures. However, the product that I found the most useful is an anti-puncture tape (tyre liner) designed for bicycles. It is a very strong and durable tape that is placed on the inside of the tire.
Overall, for the average user, the Xiaomi M365 will turn out to be a very good choice of an electric scooter. It is a great choice as an entry product for adults looking to buy their first electric scooter. I personally think that it is one of the best things that I’ve ever purchased.
It has some flaws, the main one being the longevity of the battery, but for the price you will get a fairly well-built product that is very popular throughout the world. You will find plenty of support forums, custom add-ons and modifications.
Watch this video for a more detailed description of the issues that my M365 currently has: