The electric bike was launched in August 2022, and two versions were made available: the entry-level SQi Urban Edition and the SQi Power Edition, the latter boasting a larger battery for an extended range. It was the first product in the light electric scooter class available on the Chinese market that managed to emulate the riding experience of a motorbike.
The NIU Design Team's aim with this e-moped was to redefine the standard classification in e-mobility and challenge the traditional layout of motorbikes. That's exactly what the jury at the Red Dot Award praised the SQi for. They were impressed by the model's "futuristic two-wheeler" design, which has the potential to set a new trend in the urban mobility industry. The judging panel also appreciated the e-bike's modern details and exceptional quality in design technology.
What makes the SQi stand out from the crowd is its eye-catching design, with the industrial exoskeleton-style frame crafted from ultra-light magnesium alloy and the signature halo headlight that seems to float in front of the handlebars and adjusts automatically based on detected light levels.
Though classified as an e-bike, it includes various components that are normally used in motorcycles, such as large brake discs (220mm at the front, 180mm at the rear), rear swingarm with monoshock suspension, and telescopic suspension at the front.
While the electric vehicle may have the menacing appearance of a motorbike with the bulky frame and elongated rider seat, the aggressiveness doesn't go skin deep, as the specs are more befitting of an electric bicycle.
The SQi is powered by a rear hub motor listed as a modest 400W and said to provide an assisted speed of up to 16 mph (25 kph). The side-opening battery compartment houses a 48V detachable lithium unit that is available in either a 20Ah (960 Wh) or 24Ah (1,152 Wh) option, providing 40 and 47 miles (65 and 75 km) of range, respectively. This range can be extended if the rider puts in some effort, as the model also has pedals.
Other notable features of the electric moped include smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth and NFC unlocking, a built-in display that shows the speed and battery charge level, and a USB charging port.
The NIU SQi was only made available for purchase in China, starting from RMB 8,999 (~US$1,243).