NIU Electrical Scooters – How do They Stack As much as the Relaxation?
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 wanting into them. I’d assumed they have been yet one more vaporware scooter firm. Or, at greatest, some south Asian off-brand providing low build-quality mechanical clones of Hondas and Yamahas and that NIU’s bikes actually weren’t price taking significantly — and that was my loss. Once I lastly did have a look, what I discovered was a for-real firm with a whole bunch of 1000’s of models bought and 1000’s of related, “good scooters” already on the street. I additionally discovered NIU’s individuals to be remarkably accessible, particularly Joe Continually.
“We’re the market chief in Europe,” defined Continually, Director of Worldwide (?) for NIU scooters within the Huangpu District of Shanghai, China, in a web-based chat. “Our battery and powertrain expertise is outpacing the competitors due to our scale … (in comparison with the Vespa Elettrica), I believe our NQI GTS is a far superior bike by way of efficiency and vary.”
“Honest sufficient,” I believed. 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 selection for greatest electrical scooter on this yr’s annual “Greatest Bikes” listing (annual at Gas2, anyway). It made sense then that Continually’s response would name out the Vespa particularly. Taking a look at each bikes’ claimed efficiency figures, each NIU’s NQI GTS and the Vespa Elettrica every have a 43 MPH (70 km/h) high pace 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 implies that my “greatest” scooter decisions are actually down to simply 2, you realize?
Continually, although, didn’t agree with me. “The UQi GT,” he says, “is a superb, entry-level moped that gives wonderful 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 kind of vibe to it. With only one NIU battery pack as an alternative of the NQI GTS’ two, the little bike presents a 30-35 MPH high pace and almost 50 miles of vary. That’s not going to set the world on hearth, clearly, however its efficiency is correct in keeping 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 motive to consider 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 possibly can 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 lightweight, could also be too moped-y for consumers who, at that value, could also be buying it towards an e-bike. Once more, Continually has one thing for me. “NIU will provide the EUB-01 electrical bike that can hit the market in November. It (will likely 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’ll come totally related with an app, and will likely be priced between $2000-$3000 within the USA (remaining costs will likely 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 related to the corporate, and one another, by an app. That’s fairly a bit extra electrical scooters than Vespa has bought. And that by an order of magnitude. As such, I believe they’re most likely price taking significantly, if not price a severe look by anybody searching for an e-scooter.
What do you guys assume? Is NIU a giant participant that’s managed to remain below the radar, or will it at all times play second fiddle to the likes of Honda and Vespa within the West? Scroll on all the way down to the feedback part and tell us what you assume.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, wish to promote, or wish to counsel a visitor for our CleanTech Speak podcast? Contact us here.
Newest Cleantech Speak Episode