When we unboxed the NIU KQi2 Pro electric kick-scooter a few weeks ago, we expected it to be a capable, short-distance little A-to-B commuter that we’d have some fun with, then put aside and get back to Our usual routine of walking short distances and driving anything past a half a mile or so. Turns out: the little NIU e-scooter can change your life.
Under the right circumstances, anyway. Here’s what those seem to be.
The Right Neighborhood
The assumption we had going is that was that riding the KQi2 Pro would be pretty much the same as riding a rental Bird or the neighbor kids’ hard-wheel electric Razor scooters– and that’s just not the case.
With the NIU smartphone app installed, connection secured, and the little white scooter’s settings all the way we wanted them (max speed, medium regen, etc.), it was time to take off.
The first thing we noticed was that the KQi2’s throttle was much more linear than what we were used to. Instead of a very distinct “off” to a very sudden and jerky “on,” the NIU’s throttle has plenty of– not sure if “mid-range torque” applies here, but you can modulate the throttle very nicely here. Beyond that, the pneumatic tires are a claimed 15% bigger than competitive scooters (they even have TPMS), and they soak up the bumps and sidewalk seams.
The whole scooter feels solid. The handlebars and deck are wider than the rentals we were used to. And the brakes, too, add to the feeling of mass, solidity, and the comfort that comes from the confidence of knowing the scooter isn’t going to snap or catch on uneven pavement and send you flying. On most rental scooters, 15-20 mph is a thrill ride. On the NIU? All in a day’s work… and I think that’s why we’ve taken to it so completely.
Who We Is.
You might have noticed by now that I’m writing this as “we,” instead of the usual “I.” That’s because I’m not the only member of the family who’s been smitten by the little NIU e-scooter. My wife has been shuttling herself all across the neighborhood on quick errands, scooting to neighborhood block parties, and following the littlest little ones on their bikes when pulling hers out of the garage is too much of a hassle. She even likes the app (shown, above) which helps alleviate range anxiety when unexpected detours come up (we have never gone more than 2-3 miles “out,” if that).
The KQi2 Pro has even replaced her Volvo on a few errands that are usually car rides. A trip to the market here, a visit to the brother-in-law there, and– all of a sudden– the car hasn’t moved in two or three days. And, after all, isn’t that the point of e-mobility solutions like this?
It is. And, unlike all the heavy e-bikes and “lesser” e-scooters we’ve ridden over the years, this is the one that finally seems to have replaced our car. Around our neighborhood, at least … and maybe yours? There’s only one way to find out.
The NIU KQi2 Pro is available for $599 US, and offers a 17-ish mph top speed, nearly 25 miles of range, a smart connected app, and the ability to power 100 kg of rider up a 15% grade. Full disclaimer: NIU provided the KQi2 Pro for the purposes of this review… and they’re not getting it back!
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