Having a look at the NIU homepage, they call themselves ‘Niu Technologies Group Ltd.’ and you can read all about the team behind that company – but who is NIU, really?
Looking around, you get a sort of Apple’ish feeling about it, a cool start-up lead by young entrepreneurs and a bunch of hipsters. They’ve built a cool product buy carefully picking the right components and a clever design.
Well, there’s a bit more to it.
When you got your COC to register your NIU in the EU, there’s no NIU mentioned on it. Instead it goes by the name of Jiangsu Niu Electric Technology Co., Ltd. – not sure if there’s a difference to the NIU Technologies Group Ltd or if the latter is just a holding.
Put on their trousers one leg at a time…
NIU started as a crowd-funded project launching the largest crowd funding pre-sale in China history; selling nearly $11,000,000 USD of the N-Series eScooter in fifteen days. But they did not reinvent the wheel…
They’re never hesitate to mention the BOSCH motor they use and the aura of German engineering and quality that comes with this name.
But looking closely and going back in time into 2012, there was an announcement of a joint venture of BOSCH (Germany) and Ningbo Polaris Technology (China). Both announced their partnership in creating DC motors and controllers for… electric scooters. And very soon, the same year, Ningbo somehow got assimilated into ‘Bosch smart eScooter solutions’, a company based in China (Update March 2018 – which again seems to be brought back into the BOSCH mothership).
Basically you can buy a complete eScooter drive-system from them: A hub motor and a corresponding FOC. All you need then is a battery and it’s BMS (from Panasonic in this case). Well, and a frame and a nice design and and and… but you got the gist: The heart of our NIU is off-the-shelf technology. That’s no secret, just slightly different communicated 😉
That said, I do not want to belittle NIUs achievements here – they did a great job in picking the components and putting them together into a nice overall package.
- Yinan Li, ex-Baidu CTO, now CEO of NIU was convicted for insider trading in 2015 (not directly related to NIU)