Scooters Scoot: Meet the NIU KQi3

Electric scooters are ubiquitous, and have quite the history. The NIU KQi3 is one of several exciting new e-scooter options.
Written by Alex Reale
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Aug 31, 2022
Improperly strewn across sidewalks, unsafely boarded by two people at once, and joyfully ridden in herds, electric scooters are an implacable part of modern city life. 
With a quick scan of a QR code and a hastily agreed-upon set of terms and conditions, riders can enjoy a blast of cool evening air as they whiz to the bar. And the
e-scooter market
grows ever more crowded as new companies try to get people to hop on board.
Jerry
, the
trustworthy insurance comparison app
, takes a look at the NIU KQi3, an electric scooter that builds on a surprisingly long tradition.

Scooters: a history

Scooters may seem like a relatively new phenomenon, but they have been around longer than American women’s right to vote. 
And though you might imagine that scooters from over 100 years ago would be thoroughly analog, in fact it was quite the opposite. Tooling around on a scooter in 1918 was not an undignified kicking affair; rather, riders stood upright on their motorized vehicles on their way to their destinations, exactly the way that AirPoded bro you saw this morning did.
One of the first major scooters, the Autoped, made its debut in 1915, says
Smithsonian Magazine
. This wasn’t the first scooter ever (Smithsonian notes that a German inventor threw out a scooter-esque concept in 1817), but it’s the one that’s closest to our modern Bird and Lime scooters. An Autoped had an engine placed above its front wheel and could handle up to about 20 mph. 
Incredibly, Autopeds claimed as riders the likes of suffragettes, postmen, and none other than Amelia Earheart. Yet despite its diverse clientele, the company struggled to find a wide sales base, reports
Apollo Scooters
, and closed its doors in 1921. But the cat was out of the bag.

The Razor’s edge

Apollo Scooters notes that the ensuing decades saw some tweaks to the scooter idea, but nothing was big enough to capture public imagination. By the time the ‘90s rolled around, a Swiss inventor and businessman named Wim Ouboter was ready to make some more drastic adjustments. 
Seeking a way to improve his commute to a favorite bratwurst shop, so the legend goes, he took the motorized scooter of the suffragettes and turned it into a small, foldable, aluminum number. This non-motorized scooter required some pushing work by the rider, but Ouboter had clearly struck a nerve: this little invention would eventually evolve into the Razor scooter. Ankle bones beware. 
Razor scooters became enormously popular, particularly among kids, and the upside-down evolution of the scooter culminated in huge profits for Ouboter’s firm. But the electric aspect had not been forgotten, says Apollo Scooters. 
An attempt was made by Razor in 2003 to get customers riled up about e-scooters, but the circumstances weren’t right yet.The tipping point came in the late 2010s. The ideal recipe involved ever-present smartphones, improved battery technology, and crowded cities, says Apollo Scooters. E-scooter manufacturers were ready for prime time.

The NIU KQi3

Bird and Lime are probably the most well-known companies in the e-scooter space, but other startups are racing to catch up. 
One scooter that’s causing a stir is the NIU KQi3. NIU is an electric technology company that was founded in 2014 and has focused mostly on two-wheeled seated electric scooters. Recently, however, the firm released the KQI-series, the only set of electric products that doesn’t fall into the two-wheeled seated category.
The KQI-series currently encompasses two scooters: the inaugural KQi2 and the next generation KQi3. The KQi3 improves on nearly all the metrics of the KQi2, clocking in at 31+ miles of range, 20 mph (good for suffragettes), and five hours of charging time. It sports Bluetooth app connectivity and a 48-volt lithium battery.
Perhaps the KQi3’s coolest feature is its regenerative braking, which is a common feature on electric cars. Pressing your heel on the brake means adding more charge to the scooter, so you can add even more miles to your beach path tour. And an e-scooter wouldn’t pay proper homage to Razor without being able to fold up, and the KQi3 does just that.
Who knew that a 1913 hit would need a 100 year delay to find its audience? The NIU KQi3 is a modern wonder with deep historical roots. Your favorite bratwurst shop awaits.
Need to cut
car insurance
costs? Keep the coverage and find the savings with
Jerry
.
icon
Compare Car Insurance Quotes For Free
Jerry automatically shops for your insurance before every renewal. Members save $872/year.
rating primary
4.7/5
Rating on App Store
Start saving money!
12,000+ Reviews
Trusted by 3.5M car owners like you
National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West
National General
Allstate
AAA
Aig
Chubb
ClearCover
CSE
Dairyland
DirectAuto
Elephant Auto Insurance
Kemper
Libertymutual
Gainsco
Mapfre
Mercury Auto
Metromile
Nationwide
Plymouth Rock
Progressive
State Auto
Safeco
Travelers
Metlife
Bristol West

You might also be interested

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free