[Update: They are here!]
NIU is known as one of the world leaders in urban electric scooters. The company’s technology-packed electric scooters have made waves across Asia and Europe, and now they are headed to the US.
NIU actually already has electric scooters in the US, but they are part of a scooter sharing program in NYC.
Revel imported 1,000 of the N-Sharing model that are now in use across Brooklyn and Queens.
If you’re in the US and want to experience one of NIU’s electric scooters, the Revel program has been pretty much your only option. But that will be changing in just a few short months.
NIU has already received DOT approval for four models of its scooters and will have them available for sale in the US by the end of Q3 this year.
NIU’s CEO and co-founder thinks the US is more than ready for an influx of electric scooters:
“The United States doesn’t have a ‘scooter’ culture like you will find in Europe, but we believe this is all about to change as more millennials living in cities look for new smart, convenient, and electric forms of personal transportation.”
Multiple NIU electric scooters coming to the US
While Revel is using NIU’s N-Sharing model, the company will be bringing the NGT, Nsport, M+sport and U+ scooters to the US for consumer sales.
The NGT is the company’s fastest and longest range scooter. It can reach speeds of 70 km/h (43 mph) and cover distances as far as 100 km (60 mi) thanks to its dual high capacity batteries. It is currently priced at around $4,100 to $5,000 in various international markets. The expected US price is not yet known.
The Nsport and M+sport models are more affordable alternatives that have slightly more muted performance. The M+ model currently retails for around $2,900 in Europe. The U+ model, which hasn’t yet been officially released, is a smaller and lighter naked-frame moped. The similar UPro is currently available for just over $2,100, though it is too soon to tell if the European prices will translate into similar US prices.
NIU’s official distribution partner for the United States is Chicago-based Genuine Scooters. NIU and Genuine will be targeting retail sales in key urban markets with a high density of millennials and universities. According to NIU, such cities include NYC, Chicago, Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, and Boston.
While customers can of course test and purchase scooters at local dealers, NIU will also be launching an online-to-offline e-commerce strategy. The company will team up with local retail partners so that customers can shop for their scooter online and then pick it up at a local dealer. Such dealers will be able to help riders with their state registrations as well as after-sales services.
It is hard for me to overstate my excitement for this news! We’ve known that NIU was headed to the US for a while now, but it was always sort of a “yea, it’s going to happen soon, but we’re not sure when” kind of thing. Now we’ve got hard details including dates, models and sales strategy. This is finally happening!
And it’s not a second too soon, either. It’s high time that the US start adopting two-wheeled electric transportation at greater rates. It just makes so much sense! Why spend an hour stuck crawling along in your 4,000 lb steel cage when you could cut your commute time in half while actually having a fun time getting to work!?! To me, electric mopeds and scooters are simply a no-brainer. Sure, they require more vigilance and responsible riding, but shouldn’t we all be paying better attention to the road anyways?
I had the opportunity to check out most of NIU’s line multiple times, including last year at the EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show as well as last month at the Barcelona Automotive Show. The scooters are definitely leaps and bounds above the standard Chinese electric scooters and can compete with anything coming out of Europe right now. Sure, they don’t look quite as sexy as the Vespa Elettrica, but I like their modern styling and find it refreshing. Apparently I’m not the only one that likes NIU’s designs either, as other companies are ripping off NIU right and left.
What do you think? Could you see yourself riding around US cities on a NIU scooter? Let us know in the comments below!
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