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NIU N1S: A SMART MOBILITY

Petroleum has a wicked leash on the whole world. It can make the fortunate rich, and start wars among the unfortunate. It can either make or break an economy. More so, the price of everything is dependent on this fossil fuel. As bad as it is, it has got us a long way. There’s almost nothing we can’t do without petroleum. Now, we said “almost”, and by definition, it is not the ultimate, there is some wriggle room there, and coming to today’s day and age, it is comforting to see that it’s being occupied by alternate power; like electricity.

As of recent, electric vehicles have been in the buzz due to its minimal carbon foot print, and it’s all good news. The better news is that they have been trying to up their game by the day. One such name who has been striving for this is NIU. A recent introduction in the Nepalese auto market, they have been manufacturing electric scooters in China, and have just introduced the N1S. Here’s what we think about it

STYLING AND FEATURES

Design brings stories to life and the minimal aesthetics of the N1S surely grabs your attention. The industrial design of the N1S clearly identifies with its aesthetics, ergonomics and functionality. When you begin to look closely at the N1S you can see a symmetry and a repetition of shape and form across a variety of elements in the scooter – from the saddle mounts, to the passenger foot rests, to the body panels, all work in unison with one another.

Another iconic style quotient of the scooter is the unibody LED lamp which integrates a daytime running light and standard light in a unique 360 degree CCFL structure combined with LED ‘ bead’ lamps.

The rear gets a TechnoLED lamp structure that integrates a rear light, turning indicators, brake light, and a plate lamp.

Coming to the dashboard, the scooter gets a slab-type instrumentation panel which displays speed, remaining battery capacity, riding modes and real-time amperage. An insane attention to detail is evident from the fact that the N1S patented body design employs over 200 sets of molds and two years of development.

There’s also a NIU app which provides real-time visibility on the status of your N1S. It comes loaded with features like GPS, anti-theft, remote tracking, scooter diagnostics and help center.

POWER & PERFORMANCE

At the core of the N1S sits the BOSCH developed 2400W* motor. Couple this with a 120NM of torque at disposal; the N1S can easily reach a top cruising speed of 45 kmph. Powering the motor is a 60V 29Ah Lithium ion battery pack. The 29Ah battery pack which comes with a 2 year guarantee is fully re-charged in six hours, providing an 80km range, or about three to four typical days of urban commuting. The battery pack is removable to reduce weight (by about 10 kg) and that you can charge it on or off the scooter.

Turn on the key and you get to choose between three riding modes; Mode 1: an energy saving mode to extend driving range, Mode 2: an optimized mode for speed and driving range and Mode 3: a mode for those who seek speed over range. Did it pull our combined weight of 152kgs? Did it climb the road to Bhaisepati town planning with that weight? Of course, Yes! The N1S surprisingly has decent performance for an electric vehicle. It provides plenty of pop and an equally smooth ride.

Extending the ride and the performance is the NIU proprietary Field Oriented Control which delivers the ultimate riding experience. The FOC recognizes the conditions you’re riding under and instantly calls on the motor to perform as optimally as possible. The brakes on the N1S strictly provided a good bite. The Electronic Braking System (EBS) which consists of dual hydraulic disc brakes not only makes your ride safe but also recycles energy back into the system. As per NIU, on average the EBS is providing an additional 6% of battery power, or in other words about 4km of riding range.

NIU claims a range of 80kms per charge. We rode it for about 25 kms juggling between the three modes and we managed to drain the battery power from 85% to just 69%.

ERGONOMICS:

Just like a typical bicycle frame, the N1S maintains a triangle frame architecture to create three points of balance for an enhanced riding comfort. The lower seat height of 740 mm combines with relatively oversized 12-inch wheels to create a low centre of gravity. This eases in steering and driving in tight city streets.

Similarly, the wheelbase of 1280mm creates a perfect balance between comfort and maneuverability for both a single and double rider experience. The scooter also gets underseat storage of 18.9 litres to stow your helmet, small bags, and basic items. Talking about the suspension setup, it comes with front and rear dual hydraulic shock-absorbers. Combine this with an Aluminum-Titanium swing arm, and you get a pleasant riding experience on our roads.

VERDICT:

The N1S is a lot of fun to ride. It delivers a set of well-thought out high-tech features not seen on conventional scooters. If distance rather than speed is your choice, the N1S is one of the best scooters out there for achieving it. It is a very practical and a worthy candidate if you wish it to use for limited range commutes.

Buying an e-scooter is a serious commitment, but with the introduction of a world-class brand like NIU, hopefully it will be easier to skim down your choices. Although the pricing falls on the heavier side of the spectrum, theN1S just seals the deal with its overall geometry.

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