Last year, Chinese electric mobility company NIU unveiled its interpretation of a performance-oriented electric motorcycle. Dubbed the RQi, the electric motorcycle was initially slated for global debut in the second quarter of 2020. However, we're all well aware of the surprise that 2020 brought into the world, which basically threw a gigantic spanner into literally all of our lives.
That said, the release of the RQi was shelved until further notice. However, recently, news has come to surface that the RQi is in fact nearing launch, in the Chinese market at least. A report from Electrek states that the company held a product launch event for a lineup of electric kick-scooters and a couple of electric mopeds. During the said event, the RQi made a surprise appearance, hinting that the performance-oriented electric motorcycle could soon be hitting showroom floors. Interestingly, the actual bike looks just like the concept bike unveiled in 2020, and is in fact expected to launch in the latter half of this year.
That said, the NIU RQi bears quite an uncanny resemblance with the Husqvarna Vitpilen, with its retro-modern styling accentuated by streamlined, yet aggressive curves. Incidentally, the NIU RQi also looks like another electric motorcycle currently being developed by Nepalese electric startup, the Yatri Project Zero. On the tech front, however, the NIU RQi sets itself apart thanks to its premium features, and most of all, impressive performance.
At the heart of this electric motorcycle lies a mid-mounted 30kW electric motor which pumps out around 40 horsepower. It transfers all this energy to the back wheel via a belt-drive system, with a claimed top speed of 100 miles per hour, and an impressive 80 miles of range from a single charge. On top of this, the RQi gets built-in 5G connectivity, which unlocks a whole host of IOT features such as anti-theft systems, GPS navigation, OTA updates, and many more.
Now, given the fact that NIU has a strong presence across Asia and Europe, chances are, after a few months of being available locally in the Chinese market, the new RQi will begin trickling into Europe as well as other Asian markets, before making its way into the North American market.