To be honest, this was a move I did not expect to happen at CES 2020 but in November 2019 at the EICMA in Milan.
But it all fits, because NIU did not only show two brand new, totally different and very exciting models but also officially entered the US market. So all in all this make absolute sense to me and I’d like to take the chance to officially welcome all the readers from the USA increasingly visiting MyNIU.org: Howdy fellow NIU riders!
On to new marktes!
So it’s not only entering the USA as a new sales territory but also offering products which are beyond the former scooter/moped segment.
After rounding the NIU offering at the “bottom” with their eBike/pedelec called EB-01 the next expansion of the product palette is a ‘real’ Motorcycle – meet the RQi-GT
Featuring the known, what I call “NIU angled design language”, this is a classic motorbike design. Chain driven (like the rather flimsy Model UM) the RQi-GT features serious specs e.g. a top speed of ~160km/h (100 mph) and a range of up to 130km (~80 miles) – but that was measured at model N1 speed, i.e. 45+km/h. So we have to wait for more realistic data here.
As said, the NIU RQi-GT uses a belt-driven first stage reduction and chain-drives the wheel – so instead the usual hub-motor we’ll have a mid-mounted 30 kW motor “custom designed and built by NIU”. I interpret this as “not a BOSCH motor this time”.
Batteries are as usual with NIU removable and there are two of them (located inside the “tank”) offering a combined capacity of 7 kWh and they’re still using quality Panasonic battery cells.
But it does not stop here this time. While we’re already used to quite some connectivity features throughout the whole NIU range of vehicles, NIU went a bit further this time: Complete 5G/Bluetooth/GPS connectivity.
Beyond the known features like alarm/tracking and battery level even the new tire pressure sensors are constantly reporting their status into your NIU app then. On top of this, there are some new ‘driving enhancements’ like
- Adaptive Front-Light
- Traction Control System
Everything under one roof
The second new model which NIU unveiled at CES 2020 is the TQi-GT. This hit me totally unexpected: A Three-Wheeler with a roof. What a bold concept!
It’s not a genuinely new concept. Think of an electric crossbreed of a BMW C1 and a Piaggio MP3 – but given that the first was discontinued because of lacking interest and the letter is seen as at least awkward, I’d say that was a bold step.
The TQi-GT features a Bosch hub motor like we know it and is rated for a top speed of 80km/h (50mph) which somewhat reads like N-GTs (Or NQi-GT as the new nomenclature goes) to me. The max. range is given with 240km or 150 miles, which again is much more than an NQi-GT offers. Battery location and model is yet unknown. NIU calls it an all-weather vehicle (Doors and wipers are definitely a aftermarket thing) and thus you’ll be able to charge it at regular EV charging stations. That said it’s not clear what kind of connector they’ll support (Type 1/2/3a,c)…
But then the ‘Tesla-fication‘ starts: The TQi is supposed to be self-balancing and also offers autonomous driving features such as
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- Pre-Collision System
- Self-Parking System
- Traction Control System
- SRS Airbag
This is way beyond what we’ve seen from NIU or any other (electric) scooter manufacturer yet. I’m very keen to see all this a) happen at all (Project-X anyone?) and b) live.
When and how much?!?
There are no prices given for the NIU RQi-GT or NIU TQi-GT. NIU communicates production will start second half of 2020 and “will be made available to consumers a few months later”.
We will update this most important section as news are tickling down onto us… stay tuned.