Longest name in the world aside, this Chinese E-Scoot is comfortable, nimble, handles beautifully, has a top speed of 100km/h and has batteries you can swap out, making it a winner in Geoff’s book
NIU MQi GT EVO
I could say that the atmosphere at the launch of this e-scooter was electric, or that the background music at the tech presentation was AC/DC, or even that it has the potential to take the charge to a green future.
But obviously I won’t.
Instead, I’ll talk about wheels. There was a time when scooter wheels were the size of pound coins, which combined with the fact that the motor’s weight was over the rear wheel, gave them the handling of an insane pudding, only less precise.
Since then, machines like the Yamaha TMax, with 15-inch wheels, a mid-engine and a separate swingarm, ride like motorcycles, and Superscoots like the Suzuki Burgman can laugh at highway speeds with gleeful abandon.
So I was as happy as a dog with a tennis ball when I went to the Chinese made NIU MQi GT EVO and found out the wheels were 14 inches using my incredible super powers. And also by asking Andy, the PR guy.
Even better, the beefy batteries are in the middle, centralizing the bulk, and can be lifted out and swapped out for new ones rather than charging them for five hours.
So far so good, and it got even better when I climbed on board, put the seat through the standard mirror bounce test and found it to be delightfully plush with enough front legroom for any standard 6ft 7in – had scooter riders.
The mirrors are quite good, and the simple dashboard tells you everything you need to know – speed, battery life and which of the three modes you’re in, E-Save, Dynamic or Sport.
Mind you, with only 7 horsepower on tap I suspected Sport might be able to push it a bit.
Driving off is just as easy. Push the red button on the keyless ignition, put it in your pocket, twist the throttle and off you go.
I only started E-Save out of interest, as eco mode on electric scooters can mean polar bears will line your route to applaud you, but it also means they have plenty of time to applaud, as that’s usually acceleration as sluggish as a cremated slug.
E-Save mode limits top speed, however, so acceleration is surprisingly nimble up to 30km/h. At this point, that’s your lot, which at least gives the polar bears down the road plenty of time to get out their smartphones.
Dynamic is a bit more nimble, with a top speed of 70km/h, and Sport is best of all, sending me zooming to a surprising 68km/h on the speedometer, at which point I’m dying due to G-forces and lack of oxygen passed out.
It’s even more surprising as the manufacturer claims that the top speed is only 62mph.
Handling with those 14-inch wheels, batteries in the middle and a total weight of just 128kg is delightfully agile, although perhaps not quite so much when you and your significant other have the impressive maximum load of 275kg rider and passenger testing.
With connected brakes, slowing down is nice and quick and stable, and the firm but pliable suspension is perfect for today’s road conditions.
Charge time is five hours, or just swap out the batteries and if you snag one on a PCP deal it’s a very affordable deposit of £250 and £88.13 a month.
There’s actually something quite glorious about zipping along on a scooter, especially an electric scooter — zipping along in blissful silence, not caring what gear to put in, when to disengage, or even what brake to use, since they’re linked.
Your only slight concern is how much battery life you have left, but just as the manufacturer is modest with the top speed, I think it’s also modest with a claimed 46-mile range, given that after about 30 miles of spirited driving in Sport mode my battery still showed 58%.
All in all, I’m happy to give a plug to what is currently the best e-scooter I’ve ridden.
oops sorry I knew there was some electrical pun creeping in there somewhere.
NIU MQi GT EVO
Motor: 72 volt 5000 watt electric motor
Power: 7 HP continuously / 9 HP for max. 30 minutes
Colours: white; Black; Gray; orange
https://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/motoring/niu-mqi-gt-evo-review-26697926 NIU MQi GT EVO review: the best electric scooter out there right now - Geoff Hill