We’ve talked about NIU before, a Chinese e-mobility startup that has begun making waves in Europe thanks to its stylish runabouts. Its most notable machine for us motorcycle enthusiasts is the RQi, a sporty naked bike with a top speed of 60 miles per hour. With a price tag equivalent to $8,000, it’s out of reach of the majority of folks looking for a simple commuter. That said, NIU also has a range of lightweight electric two-wheelers available.
Some of NIU’s other product offerings include lightweight electric kick scooters, bicycles, and scooters. The brand has a total of ten series of models, including four electric scooters namely the NQi, MQi, UQi, and Gova. As mentioned, the RQi electric motorcycle is also available, along with the TQi urban commuter. A bunch of electric bicycle and kick-scooter options are available, too. With such an extensive portfolio of products, NIU is certainly on the right track when it comes to accelerating the shift to electric mobility.
In its home country of China, as well as in Europe, NIU has posted remarkable sales for the first quarter of 2022, despite the challenges being brought about by the volatile global situation. From January to March, 2022, NIU sold a staggering 163,659 units. This represents a 9.4-percent year-on-year growth versus the first quarter of 2021. Unsurprisingly, NIU’s biggest market is still its home country of China, with a total of 148,987 units sold.
In China alone, the brand registered a three-percent growth rate versus the same period last year. More importantly, NIU managed to increase its footprint in the international market by a huge margin—193.7 percent. For the first quarter of 2022, it sold 14,672 units, mainly in the European market. NIU’s improved traction in the international market was driven mainly by a strong demand for kick scooters. As many of you are aware, several key cities in Europe are strongly encouraging the shift to electric mobility, with plans of banning cars and motorbikes in city centers in the near future.
As such, in the international market, a total of 9,833 kick scooters, and 4,839 e-motorcycles and mopeds were sold from January to March, 2022. This data is interesting, not just for NIU’s sake, but for the LEV industry as a whole. Granted, high-capacity electric motorcycles are still a ways away from hitting the mainstream. However, small-displacement scooters are rapidly being replaced by lightweight electric two-wheelers, and it looks like now’s the best time for new players to enter the game.