The silent revolution continues to conquer the cities. The proposals of different manufacturers of electric vehicles do not stop growing and the most recent is that of NIU, the world’s largest producer of scooters of this style that lands in the Spanish market with Motos Bordoy as importer.
In just two years, the Chinese brand has produced more than 380,000 units that circulate in different countries around the world, mainly in their country of origin. In Spain they are already available in 15 points of sale, which will reach thirty before the end of the year, including an exclusive one in Barcelona. And its initial offer consists of two versions, with an excellent relationship between quality and price as the most outstanding quality: 2,499 euros for the MQi Series and 2,899 euros for the MQi Series. Both are competitive amounts against similar mopeds with a combustion engine.
The launch of the brand in Spain was attended by Joseph Constanty, one of its founders and head of strategy and international communication, who defined NIU as “a technology company that downloads its knowledge in the cloud to the motorcycle sector ”. “Our particularity is that we already have extensive experience with these products, which have been conceived from the design table as vehicles without emissions and connected to the network, betting on the quality of components and targeting the individual buyer as a priority. And all with prices that allow electric mobility to be a valid alternative to other polluting options, we believe that this is one of the keys for this type of scooter to become popular, as has already happened in countries like China, where there is a huge community of users very identified with the NIU philosophy”, says Constanty.
Both the access model MQi Series and the superior NQi Series (a third variant will arrive later) have the endorsement of Bosch original motors, removable batteries are provided by Panasonic and connectivity managed through the Vodafone telephone operator. The MQi Series is lighter (less than 60 kilos) and compact, the power of the propeller is 1,200 W, which allows it to reach a speed of 45 km/h (legally limited) and with a maximum theoretical autonomy of 100 kilometers that remains in half under actual use conditions.
The NQi Series is presented as a more ambitious proposal, it can carry two people and its dimensions are somewhat more generous. The power of the motor reaches 1,500 W (with peaks of 2,400 W), while its battery allows it to travel 80 kilometers in ideal conditions (average urban use of 20 km/h), which is again about 50 in real use. In both cases, the battery (which weighs 8 or 10 kilos depending on the version) is removed from the vehicle and easily transported for charging at any domestic outlet, with a maximum time for total recovery of six hours. .
Connectivity is another of NIU’s firm commitments, so that through a specific mobile phone application the user has access to a wide range of possibilities and services: GPS movement control, mechanical diagnosis, access to user manuals, navigation , state of charge, usage statistics… Capabilities also conceived as an essential tool for a shared urban mobility service, a project on which the brand is already working in collaboration with Movo and which should be operational in Madrid before the end of this year, with a fleet of between 500 and 1,000 units in motosharing format.
The MQi Series is the most affordable model.
At the NIU presentation in Madrid it was possible to have a brief contact with the superior model. The NQi Series seems like the most advisable alternative for most users, the 400 euros difference compared to its little brother is clearly compensated in functionality and comfort. They are very compact size scooters and even in the NQi Series, people over 1.70 meters tall may have problems fitting into the driving area.
The quality of the finishes is more than correct, above the average for products of Chinese origin. It mounts brake discs on both axles and all its lighting enjoys the advantages of LED technology, while the blinker is complemented by a sound (customizable through an APP) that can be very practical in terms of safety in a vehicle that does not emit any type of noise pollution.
Engine management is easily done via a push button on the right hand side of the handlebar and there are three levels of power delivery. Better to forget about the first two, because not even in the third can it be said that the performance is spectacular. Its approval as a moped carries these conditions, although it might be advisable to use a somewhat more aggressive software map in terms of performance, even at the cost of limiting autonomy.
The NQi Series is valid for two people.
In any case, its acceleration is enough to move with solvency in urban traffic, in which the NIU moves with great agility thanks to its lightness and low dimensions. It brakes sufficiently (although the test unit suffered from an obvious lack of rolling), while a simple and classic suspension scheme (front telescopic fork and rear hydraulic shock absorbers) comply without fanfare as long as the asphalt does not present too many irregularities, at which point which suffer small bounces.