A lot of enthusiasm and a startup mentality for the Chinese brand Niu that since 2015 has earned a prominent place in the world of electric mobility thanks to over 380,000 scooters sold in 27 countries. The novelty with which the company tries to make a further leap forward is called NQi GT and was unveiled in Paris. Available immediately in pre-order and in stores from January 2019, the new model is able to reach 70 km / h, a speed not just for two-wheeled vehicles with batteries. As in the best tradition of Silicon Valley, a mentality that the company deliberately draws upon, the NQi GT is built with partners such as Bosch, Panasonic and Vodafone. “We see ourselves as both a mobility company and a technology company” explains Token Hu, co-founder of Niu, “we are able to apply the tech solutions developed by others to a concrete context of mobility.”
The NQi GT’s 3,000 W Bosch electric motor has three operating modes (including Sport for those who love a more aggressive drive) that are easily managed thanks to a button positioned on the handlebar within reach of your thumb.
The scooter boasts two removable batteries that can be recharged in three and a half hours that ensure a range of more than 100 kilometers, as well as a large color display.
The design has geometric lines and a spartan elegance, the big news is instead the integrated and prepaid Vodafone sim that associated with a gps antenna and a dozen other sensors is useful for diagnostics and for a series of services via the app.
Practical relevance aside, with this model, Big Data becomes part of the world of electric two wheels: through a cloud platform every movement is tracked and recorded, in return the user can check the kilometers traveled, the battery status, the diagnostics and contact the service center. This solution brings with it a substantial farewell to privacy even for mobility, “we have made sure that every privacy setting is manageable by the customer via the app, even the deactivation of the GPS antenna”, says Token.
The headlights are LED and there is an energy recovery system during braking, the brakes supplied use CBS technology and not ABS, a standard that the Italian user is now used to. The NQi GT appears more solid and responsive than the electric competitors in circulation, ready to dismantle the stereotypes about this type of transport, although having tried it in limited circumstances, ours is only a first impression.
The model has an excellent starting point and is also suitable for those who during the day cover long distances, from the suburbs to the city or in very large urban centers. The actual effectiveness of the brakes (which did not seem ideal at this first impact) and a drop in power when the rear wheel loses grip should be further investigated.
The other novelty, the MQi + is the redesigned version of the MQi-Series, the younger brother of the NQi GT, much more manageable, powered by a 48V battery and powered by a 1200W Bosch electric motor that allows you to reach a speed maximum speed of 45 km / h. Also in this case, the guaranteed range is over 100 km.
In the face of a truly effective electric scooter, with a solid structure and a range of action capable of covering most of the needs, the price (especially in Italy where there are no government incentives for this type of mobility) is likely to become high: 4,499 euros for the NQi GT (3,999 euros in promotion for the presale) and 2,599 euros for the MQi + (€ 2,299 euros in presale).