Leading electric scooter manufacturer NIU has taken to the EICMA 2021 Milan Motorcycle Show to showcase several new models of electric two-wheelers, including some big new firsts for the company.
Among the new models on display today at the show are the new MQi GT EVO, RQi Sport, NQi GTS, YQi, and BQi KQi.
The MQi GT EVO pushes NIU into faster e-scooter territory than ever before for the brand, touting a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
The scooter features NIU’s highest power hub motor to date with 5 kW (6.7 hp) on tap. Power gets supplied by a pair of 72V 26Ah batteries touting up to 85 km (53 miles) of range. Those new batteries also push NIU into higher voltages than we’ve seen on the company’s previous electric scooters.
The MQi GT EVO has been redesigned inside and out compared to the previous MQi models, as chief innovation officer Token Hu explained:
“When we sat down to build the EVO, we had one goal in mind – this bike has got to be fun from the moment you pull the throttle.”
It sounds like NIU has achieved that, touting 0-60 km/h track times at under six seconds and claiming to outstrip its gas-powered rivals.
More than just extra power, NIU has included a number of new features in the scooter such as keyless start, electric anti-theft steering column lock, and app-enabled sharing profiles to let riders share the scooter with family without requiring a key, and an all new TFT color display.
The MQi GT EVO will be priced at €4,999 in Europe, including three years of connectivity and app services.
Some countries include incentives that will bring the price down to around €4K, well under the price of gas-powered competition like Vespa in the 125cc class.
NIU is also showing off the latest version of its RQi Sport electric motorcycle. First unveiled at CES 2020, the project was delayed by the pandemic but appears to be getting closer to production. The original RQi was claimed to reach a top speed of 160 km/h (100 mph), but that version is now expected to follow behind the Sport, which will be released with a 110 km/h (68 mph) top speed. The RQi Sport is more of a city-oriented electric motorcycle with enough speed to take it on larger urban highways as well as typical city streets.
Power is provided by a 5 kW mid-mounted motor and chain drive. A pair of removable 72V 36Ah batteries offers nearly 5.2 kWh of stored energy, and can be charged from NIU’s fast charger in under four hours from a typical home wall outlet.
A “Launch Mode” will also be available to provide extra power upon acceleration to help riders blow ahead of cars when the light turns green. As Token explained, “We wanted to give riders an insane amount of torque without jeopardizing the range for normal commuting, and Launch Mode is our answer.”
Pricing for the RQi Sport will start at €6,999 in Europe.
NIU is also updating its NQi GTS electric scooter with a new motor known as the V-MOTOR that now propels the scooter to “over 80 km/h” (or 50 mph for us Americans).
NIU says that despite the new higher power, the scooter has maintained a range of 70 km (43 miles) per charge.
The scooter also gets updated to a color TFT screen similar to the one found on the MQi GT EVO and the RQi Sport. The NQi GTS will be priced at €3,999.
I’ve got a particular affinity for the NQi, though I might be biased as it happens to be my daily driver.
NIU is also showing off new electric kickscooters that expand upon the KQi3 launched earlier this summer.
The KQi2 offers a more portable version of the scooter that reduces the weight for riders who typically carry the scooter up stairs or onto the train.
On the other end of the spectrum, NIU is launching the KQi3 MAX with higher performance and a faster top speed of 35 km/h (22 mph).
NIU’s electric bicycle lineup is expanding as well as NIU shared its latest BQi electric bike.
The e-bike sports a single-speed belt drive setup and a 250W Bafang hub motor (500W in North America). A pair of NIU’s removable batteries form a V-shape in the step-through frame. A rear rack and included fenders add to the bike’s utility.
The BQi will integrate with NIU’s smartphone app and help the bike take advantage of NIU’s security features and smart tech as well.
The e-bike will debut for under €1,500, which should help it become one of the more affordable belt-driven e-bikes in that price range.
In addition to its all-electric lineup, NIU is also showing off its YQi concept scooter that adds a gas-powered engine to the electric drivetrain to create a hybrid intended to help ween gas-powered scooter enthusiasts off of fossil fuels.
The company has confirmed that it will include a “150cc liquid cooled engine and 2400W mid-mounted electric motor to achieve top speeds and acceleration times that can be found in 250cc+ motorbikes.”
A total of 14.5 kW of power would be available between the gas motor and electric engine, offering speeds of up to 110 km/h (68 mph).
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Author: Micah Toll