Cleantech & EV'sNews

Watch out Xiaomi! Electric moped giant NIU launches high-tech standing electric scooter

NIU is famous for its smart electric mopeds, but now the company is adding a new product to its lineup. The just-released NIU Kick Scooter swaps a plush saddle for a stand-up ride – and just happens to be the most affordable electric two-wheeler from NIU yet.

NIU is bringing the same high-tech interface, app-connectivity, and latest lithium-ion battery technology from its electric mopeds to its new standing electric scooters.

While NIU’s electric mopeds are designed for longer urban trips on higher-speed roads, the NIU Kick Scooter is designed to fill the role of a last-mile vehicle, perfect for shorter hops around a city.

The scooters feature NIU’s own in-house lithium-ion batteries, custom motors, and NIU smartphone app.

The new NIU Kick Scooter is actually available in two versions: the NIU Kick Scooter Sport and Kick Scooter Pro.

The new vehicles are designed for the US and European market, and include motors rated for 300W (Sport model) or 350W (Pro model) of nominal and 600W of peak power.

The battery and speed specifications differ based on the markets in which they are sold.

In the US, the Sport model offers a top speed of 18 mph (30 km/h) and a range of 25 miles (40 km) from a 48V and 365Wh battery. In Europe, the Sport model has a more limited 15.5 mph (25 km/h) top speed, but maintains the same range.

The Pro model has a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h) in the US and a range of 31 miles (50 km) from a 48V and 486Wh battery. In Europe, the Pro model is also limited to just 15.5 mph (25 km/h) but carries the larger range rating of 31 miles (50 km) from that bigger battery.

Both models feature dual disc brakes and regenerative braking, large diameter (for a scooter) 9.5 x 2.5-inch tubeless pneumatic tires, and offer two riding modes to change the power level of the scooter.

The scooters are rated for up to 220 lb (100 kg) riders and weigh between 40.7-44 lb (18.5-20 kg).

While the NIU Kick Scooters may sound like any other typical electric scooter at first, they hide a lot of technology under the hood.

The scooters feature Smart Unlocking, offer rider statistics via the included app, include Bluetooth connectivity, and can receive over-the-air (OTA) updates.

NIU also offers the scooters in a wide range of color accents – another advantage over most basic electric scooters that come in a single color.

NIU will begin an online pre-sale for the scooters in June 2021, with delivery in the US and Europe in July 2021. The scooters will start at $599 in the US and €599 in Europe.

In August, NIU will begin selling the scooters at its retail stores in Europe and North America.

As NIU CEO Dr. Yan Li explained:

Part of our vision is to redefine urban mobility, and adding kick scooters to our lineup is our commitment to our customers and fans around the world to provide them with affordable mobility solutions that they can be proud of owning and also rely on for their daily commute. We believe we have created the most comfortable electric kick scooter riding experience for under $1,000, and of course we wanted to provide a superior ride performance, too.

Electrek’s Take

Well, I’m a bit disappointed that the reveal wasn’t the launch of pre-orders for NIU’s electric motorcycle, the RQi-GT unveiled last year. But I still think this is an interesting direction for NIU.

Standing electric scooters are everywhere. They sell like hotcakes.

The problem is that the cheap ones are cheap and the good ones are expensive. But then, even the good ones are often full of cheap parts, and they are just expensive because they have huge motors, batteries, and suspension.

But then here comes NIU, a global leader in electric mopeds with over 1.8 million electric mopeds already on the road. They know a thing or two about manufacturing high-quality, high-tech electric two-wheelers. And with their massive size and resources, they are able to offer a high-quality scooter at a cheap scooter price.

If I was Xiaomi or Ninebot, I’d be worried.

It’s nothing against those brands, I’ve enjoyed their scooters. But no one buys a Xiaomi scooter because they think it’s the best one out there. They buy it because it’s cheap and offers good bang for their buck. Or at least it did, until NIU entered the market today with what looks like a higher-quality, sleeker scooter at the same price point.

I’ll be testing out a NIU Kick Scooter as soon as they become available. But from what I can tell so far just by looking, it seems like they’ve nailed it.

And while I’ve got your attention, can we just talk about the term “scooter” for a minute? I need to have a Festivus-style airing of grievances here. Whoever is in charge of the English language really needs to figure out a better way to differentiate between seated scooters (like a Vespa) and standing scooters (like these scooters NIU just released). Every other language seems to have different words for them, but we just call them both “scooters.” It’s terribly confusing. And it’s only made more confusing by NIU calling this the NIU Kick Scooter, since the term kick scooter has largely been used to differentiate the non-electric standing scooters that you ride by kicking against the ground.

Oof.

OK, rant over.


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Author: Micah Toll
Source: Electrek

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