September seventh, 2020 by Jo Borrás
Have you ever heard of NIU electrical scooters but? I’ll be sincere in saying that whereas I’d heard of NIU, I hadn’t spent a lot time trying into them. I’d assumed they have been yet one more vaporware scooter firm. Or, at finest, some south Asian off-brand providing low build-quality mechanical clones of Hondas and Yamahas and that NIU’s bikes actually weren’t value taking severely — and that was my loss. Once I lastly did have a look, what I discovered was a for-real firm with tons of of 1000’s of models offered and 1000’s of linked, “good scooters” already on the street. I additionally discovered NIU’s folks to be remarkably accessible, particularly Joe Consistently.
“We’re the market chief in Europe,” defined Consistently, Director of Worldwide (?) for NIU scooters within the Huangpu District of Shanghai, China, in an internet chat. “Our battery and powertrain expertise is outpacing the competitors due to our scale … (in comparison with the Vespa Elettrica), I feel our NQI GTS is a far superior bike when it comes to efficiency and vary.”
“Truthful sufficient,” I assumed. I’d particularly reached out to NIU to get extra details about how its bikes in comparison with the Vespa, as I hoped somebody on the market was constructing electrical scooters that would “un-seat” it as my alternative for finest electrical scooter on this yr’s annual “Finest Bikes” record (annual at Gas2, anyway). It made sense then that Consistently’s response would name out the Vespa particularly. each bikes’ claimed efficiency figures, each NIU’s NQI GTS and the Vespa Elettrica every have a 43 MPH (70 km/h) high velocity and 62 miles (100 km) of vary, however the place the Vespa carries a $7499 price ticket, the NIU is simply $3799 within the US.
That’s proper, children: the NIU is simply half the value of the Vespa it most straight competes with — and there’s nothing else electrical coming to the US from Honda, Yamaha, Kymco, or Real any time quickly. The BMW C Evolution nonetheless isn’t obtainable Stateside, both, which signifies that my “finest” scooter decisions are actually down to only 2, you realize?
Consistently, although, didn’t agree with me. “The UQi GT,” he says, “is a superb, entry-level moped that gives glorious vary, and that’s energy purpose-built for cruising across the metropolis.”
To my eye, the UQi GT is probably the most moped-y of the fashionable scooters, however positively has an upright, Honda Ruckus/Real Rattler sort of vibe to it. With only one NIU battery pack as a substitute of the NQI GTS’ two, the little bike affords a 30-35 MPH high velocity and almost 50 miles of vary. That’s not going to set the world on fireplace, clearly, however its efficiency is correct consistent with its 50cc Ruckus/Rattler competitors … even when the Rattler’s 2 stroke engine and CVT drive prepare do give it a slight acceleration edge (and, regardless of electrical motors’ excessive TQ off the road, there’s no cause to imagine the Rattler doesn’t have the sting from 0-30 MPH).
Even on this group, the NIU is price-competitive, buying and selling for about $2000 in Europe. You’ll be able to count on one thing like a $2499 price ticket when it does arrive within the US, too, in comparison with $2749 from Honda’s heavier Ruckus and $2399 from the Rattler (which was discontinued after the 2019 mannequin yr, anyway).
The NIU UQi, whereas enjoyable and light-weight, could also be too moped-y for patrons who, at that value, could also be purchasing it towards an e-bike. Once more, Consistently has one thing for me. “NIU will supply the EUB-01 electrical bike that can hit the market in November. It (can be) an electrical bike re-imagined, with a 1kwh battery pack, 250watt and 500watt motor choices obtainable for sophistication 1 and sophistication 3 within the US. It should come totally linked with an app, and can be priced between $2000-$3000 within the USA (remaining costs can be introduced in October, 2020).”
So, it looks as if NIU is for actual. In a 2018 SEC submitting, the company reported having more than 430,000 electric scooters already on the road — every of them linked to the corporate, and one another, by means of an app. That’s fairly a bit extra electrical scooters than Vespa has offered. And that by an order of magnitude. As such, I feel they’re in all probability value taking severely, if not value a severe look by anybody purchasing for an e-scooter.
What do you guys suppose? Is NIU a giant participant that’s managed to remain below the radar, or will it all the time play second fiddle to the likes of Honda and Vespa within the West? Scroll on right down to the feedback part and tell us what you suppose.
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