First impression: Electric scooters are usually not very attractive. They are rarely distinguished successfully. The Niu scooter from China is an exception. They have a visually unmistakable front, a bright LED circle on the headlights, and Niu portholes.
What the manufacturer said: Small scooters are one of the positive phenomena in traffic in big cities, and they take up very little space. Unfortunately, they are extremely dangerous. According to the law, the maximum speed of most scooters is limited to 45 km/h, thus becoming a traffic obstacle. Slightly faster, they will swim along the main traffic axis—a typical commute route. Frequent risky car overtaking operations will be reduced to a minimum.
Chinese electric scooter manufacturer Niu’s answer to this question is called MQi GT. The top speed of electric scooters is 70 km/h, so they belong to the class of light motorcycles. “Designed for the discerning commuter,” Niu wrote. “With MQi GT, we provide the performance you need to master the route.”
The offer seems to be welcomed by buyers. As early as 2019, Chinastromer ranked third in the 125 light power class in Germany, with about 900 registrations, second only to two combustion Vespas. At the same time, electric scooters with “large” license plates have broken the threshold of 1,000 registrations.
The reason for this is also the attractive price: although competitors such as E-Schwalbe or Vespa Elettrica are priced close to 7,000 euros, the Niu MQi GT is relatively cheap at 3399 euros. But the Chinese scooter is really a mature road user. Is its speed 70 kilometers per hour?
This is what we noticed: MQi GT is luxuriously equipped. There is a practical, in-depth step; the bench is enough for two people to sit down. The vehicle looks valuable and stable. The digital cockpit with almost all the necessary information is located under a large plastic panel; unfortunately, the number of kilometers per day is not displayed. The selectable sound and additional LED light bar indicate that the turn signal is active. Light strips are a profitable idea. Unfortunately, their visibility in the sun is much lower.
Niu also provides Keyless Ride as a standard configuration; the key is only used to open the seat and lock the steering wheel. To start in three stages, all you have to do is activate the scooter with the red button on the remote control, press the neon green switch on the right instrument panel and select the driving mode.
Niu offers three driving modes: Eco, Dynamic and Sport. Eco locks the scooter at a maximum of 25 km/h, and Dynamic throttles it to 55 km/h. According to Niu, sports is a model with a top speed of 70 km/h-the main selling point.
In MQi GT, Niu has a hub motor from Bosch Install 3 kW (3.1 kW peak power). With a total weight of 115 kg, the power should actually be enough to accelerate the scooter quickly and keep it steady.
but it is not the truth. In city traffic-especially two people-it is difficult to move around. Even in sports mode, the seemingly endless free distance between two traffic lights is rarely enough to quickly reach the top speed. Over 65 years old? Yes, I did it once or twice. However, the MQi GT did not reach 70 km/h in the two-week test.
Therefore, Niu should still adjust the mode and vivid electronic design, because the built-in technology can tolerate a more agile driving style. Also because the disc brakes (220mm front; 180mm rear) and the cow chassis with 14-inch small wheels respond very well, you will feel safe at any time, even if there is more impact and advancement. However, in current electronic tuning, MQi Gt feels weak and tired.
Niu has done a clean job of charging electronic equipment: two battery packs, each weighing 11 kg, can be charged directly in the car at the same time, or can be charged from the outside using the provided splitter; 10% to 90% charging The cycle only took less than three hours. In urban operations, a range of 65 to 75 kilometers can be achieved on a single charge—completely enough for commuters or shopping trips.
How far the MQi GT can travel is not only shown on the vehicle’s display. Range, charging status and other status reports are also reported via the Niu app on the smartphone, as well as driving statistics, current location or motion alerts.
You must know: Niu offers the MQi GT in white, red, blue, gray, black and black and red at a price of 3399 euros. Electric scooters are sold through nearly 200 dealers nationwide; including about 20 premium and flagship stores, covering the entire Niu series.
The last obstacle is the license to drive a scooter: its classification as a light motorcycle means you need an A1 motorcycle driver’s license or the “key number B196” introduced in early 2020.
Small scooters with a speed of only 45 km/h may require a separate AM scooter license or car driver’s license (currently Class B and earlier). Only 25 years of age or older, a B-level driver’s license for five years, four theoretical lessons and five practical driving lessons can drive a faster scooter school like MQi GT with a “125” optical power license and fail the exam . If these requirements are met, you can enter “code number B196” in the driver’s license at the local driver’s license office.
We will not forget: In addition to the charger, charging cable, splitter and two battery blocks, the helmet storage space under the seat also has up to a piece of paper space. This is annoying, this space is actually a big advantage of the scooter. So the electric scooter actually needs a top box to operate normally. But this will completely destroy the elegant lines.