“Design in China” e29 – NIU – A High-End E-Scooter Company in China

Electric bikes are common in China, where 90% of the world’s e-bikes are marketed; it is believed that there are more e-bikes than vehicles on the road. Since most rich Chinese prefer cars, e-scooters are targeted at the lower end of the market. NIU Technologies is a Chinese firm with a name that sounds very similar to Tesla’s rival NIO. However, it is more focused on scooters than automobiles. 

NIU is expanding outside of China and boosting its engines. Li Yan, a former chief technology officer of China’s largest internet search business, Baidu, was inspired by Vespa’s design and Tesla’s lithium-ion battery. NIU, a world leader in light electric vehicles, has been able to make scooters with quality on par with the best Segway-Ninebots for less money and with a guarantee that surpasses both of them. According to the company’s blog, the country can cut its carbon emissions by up to 42 million tons annually, or 7 billion trees, thanks to electric scooters.

NIU Technologies has 36 distributors in foreign markets, 46 nations served internationally, and 1,616 franchise stores on the Chinese mainland. The firm expanded its portfolio by 350 franchise locations across the Chinese mainland in 2020. Furthermore, the brand has a robust distribution network that guarantees its products are quickly and easily accessible to numerous people supporting its reach. With close ties to its franchisees, NIU not only provides supplies but also places a significant emphasis on advertising the business’s goods and training. Despite selling millions of scooters globally, through NIU customers feel like they are a part of a transportation revolution and experience a sense of camaraderie. 

With high unit costs and strong gross profit margins, NIU has established itself as a premium brand since introducing the first smart lithium electric scooter in 2015. NIU’s average unit pricing for its three major e-scooter series is the NQi, MQi, and UQi was over 4,000 yuan from 2017 to 2020, as opposed to typical costs of 1,500-2,000 yuan offered by lower-end competitors. By releasing more affordable models, such as the K series scooters, which are priced below 3,000 yuan, and increasing its sales channels in second and third-tier cities, the business began to alter its product line in 2021. NIU e-scooters cost an average of 2,959 yuan in hina in 2021, compared to 2,031 yuan for Aima and 1,265 yuan for Yadea, both of which are the brand’s direct competitors. The vast majority of NIU’s sales come from China, but the country’s two-wheeled electric vehicle market saw cumulative sales of 41 million units in 2021, a 13.9% year-over-year decline. Demand is anticipated to increase slightly to 48 million units in 2022 before peaking at 50.5 million units in 2024.

With just about 150,000 units delivered in the first quarter of this year, NIU has therefore witnessed a significant increase in demand for its electric scooters. As personal transportation within metropolitan environments is flexible and open on a scooter rather than using the bus, the business anticipates this trend to persist long after the epidemic has passed. NIU will have much room to expand into a powerhouse of a firm with this sector expansion, especially in China, where micro-mobility is a fantastic answer to the country’s urban overcrowding. With 39 distributors spanning around 48 countries, NIU’s development outside China appears to be going well.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *