Taking a step into the English Electric Motor Co. I was greeted with my steed for the day a NIU NGT, a rather funky looking electric scooter sporting an amazing EEMC full vinyl wrap!
I had never ridden an electric scooter before, so I was slightly apprehensive with how this silent scooter would be, could I be converted to enjoy life on an electric scooter?
NIU NGT Styling
Honestly, I quite like the minimal yet slightly sporty looks of the NIU NGT – I appreciate it might not be for everyone, but I was quite impressed. The large circular LED light at the front is probably the biggest controversial point when it comes to the looks of the NGT, but I think it fits in well with the futuristic and sleek body shape of this scooter.
The small yet sporty windscreen (if you can call it that) looks great along with those exposed front forks. When it comes to available colourways, you have your three options… white & red, black & red and black & white – me though, I had the black and purple livery of the English Electric Motor Co, which we all loved, shame such a livery isn’t available as standard!
NIU NGT Dash & Controls
When it comes to dashboards on small scooters, the NIU NGT is right up there for me. Packing a full colour smart display, the NGT dash is great and matches in perfectly with the aesthetics of the NGT.
The display gives a lot of information but is shown nice and clearly, so reading it on the go is easy - even for first time riders. Displaying speed, rider mode, battery life, clock, power output and the normal dashboard symbols this dash really does give you all the information you need.
Though we didn’t test it at the time due to restraints, the NIU also connects to its own app, where you can check riding history, power stats, previously locations, vehicle diagnostics, anti-thefts alerts and much more!
Onto the switch gear and all is nice and solid with no concerns when I was testing it. Few nice little features here, the indicators are auto-off, there is a USB charging port and the NGT also has cruise control! Not bad spec for a little electric scooter is it!
NIU NGT Brakes, Suspension & Comfort
Onto braking and the NGT has 220mm front dual piston disc brakes and 180mm dual piston disc on the rear, as you’d expect for this category bike it uses a combined braking system. The brakes give decent enough stopping power and I had no concerns here, would have been great to have ABS, but this really isn’t common on 125cc (and equivalent) bikes. The NGT even has EBS Energy Recovery System so it converts energy from braking into battery power!
Suspension is provided by hydraulic shocks at the front and rear. Clearly, this scooter is more designed with inner cities and towns in mind, than the rough rural lanes of the Norfolk and Suffolk countryside that we used for testing.
The suspension though did a respectable job considering the abuse it took from us. With relatively small wheels and on bumpy roads you expect the journey to be a bit rough at times and it is (though quite good fun too if you are that way inclined), get onto the smoother roads you’d expect to see the NGT scoot about on and you have a pleasant smooth journey, typical scooter seat comfort too.
NIU NGT Motor & Batteries
When it comes to the batteries and the motor, NIU pack some big names in the technology market, so some major reassurances in what they have to offer.
Power is supplied from two removable 60v high performance Panasonic batteries, with a charge time of just three and a half hours. The stated range is up to 60 miles, and I believe that to be accurate if used in the more reserved modes. Do expect this figure to drop slightly if you have the NGT in sport mode (mode three) for most of the time, though I would still expect around 40ish miles in mode three! I don’t think many 125cc or equivalent machines do regular 40+ mile journeys in one day.
The NIU NGT is powered by an in rear wheel 3000w Bosch motor, which offers pretty decent acceleration! Packing three modes, E-save for those slow in traffic journeys around towns and cities sees you restricted to 15mph, Dynamic for those times you don’t want to go above 30mph, then there is the mode I used for 98% of the time - Sport.
Sport is the go-to mode, and the one I’d probably just keep it in all the time if I had one. Max speed and acceleration Sport mode is a lot of fun, giving spritely acceleration, mode three will see you comfortably hit 45mph. Sadly, though there isn’t really much beyond 45mph, but then again, the NGT is really designed for that.
It is an urban scooter at heart, and it offers pretty good performance for that. From a standing start it does pick up well, and to 40mph you definitely won’t have too much hassle keeping up with other vehicles on the road.
On the Road
Sitting on this electrical beast, you do notice it is a small little thing even for me at a mighty 5’ 6” tall (or should that be small?). Surprisingly though, there was ample leg room, even Alex at 6’ 4” got on fine during a jolly buzz around the local roads, though not sure if it would manage being a daily ride for him, knees were still pretty high and near handlebars, so could potentially start to get uncomfortable.
The stance of the NGT is slightly sporty, and that windshield helps give that impression when you are sitting on the bike. Switch gear all felt good and it takes a mere few seconds to familiarise yourself with the NGT before you are confident enough to get going.
Tell the scooter you are ready with a simple button push; the awesome colour screen then indicates this with the code word ‘ready’ appearing on screen and you are good to launch almost silently into motion.
For such a ride you instantly expect to hear that typical pea shooter scooter exhaust sound but there was only a very small whine omitting from the electric components of the NIU NGT.
I started off in mode one, but within a few yards of starting my journey soon rifled my way to mode three to enjoy the benefits of that 3000w motor, plus I didn’t fancy doing 15/30mph on national speed limit country lanes!
Take the whole ‘electric power’ out of the equation and the NGT gives a typical scooter ride; very easy to throw around bends, small and easy to filter and just good general scooter feeling to it.
Acceleration as already mentioned is pretty dandy to around 40mph and will surprise a few people with just how quick it is. Slightly gutting that it max’s out as 45mph though. Being capable of just 45mph restricts this one to being purely an urban scooter for me. Maybe one day soon we’ll see a version capable of 60-65mph with a decent battery life to match the increased performance.
If you are looking at a scooter, you’d be expecting a twist n go transmission anyway, so the jump to electric with be far less of a change than that of a combustion motorcycle to an electric one.
Manual handling of the scooter feels slightly different, with one battery in the foot pan and another just below the seat, you do notice the weight is spread differently to a normal scooter. Nothing to worry about, it is still a very light machine at 105kgs, but for me with the battery just below the seat makes it feel slightly more top heavy than usual.
NIU NGT Summary
Riding the NIU NGT was a fun experience for me, I was concerned about the lack of noise, which admittedly I still have apprehensions about (I like people to hear where I am), but apart from that the NGT gives a fun and enjoyable ride primed for urban commutes.
Packing decent spec, respectable charge time and a motor that offers quick acceleration I expect to see the NGT do well, it still provides a typical fun scooter ride while being extremely economical. Shame you hit a wall at 45mph, but then again, the NGT isn’t for faster roads.
Throw in the current UK Government grant and a new NGT could be yours for £3196. It is not cheap but remember servicing should be quite minimal as far less parts and it will cost about 1p a mile on electricity, oh and don’t forget it will be zero annual road tax too! Overall there is money to be saved over time with the NGT.
|Model Name||Niu NGT|
|Battery||2 x 60v Panasonic lithium batteries|
|Max Speed||45 MPH|
|Front Brake||220mm - dual piston disk|
|Rear Brake||180mm - dual piston disk|
|Front Suspension||Hydraulic shocks|
|Rear Suspension||Hydraulic shocks|
|Stand||Centre and Side Stand|
|Warranty||2 Year Motorcycle Warranty & 3 Year (20,000 mile) Battery Warranty|
|Price (correct at time of article)||£3,196 (including grant)|
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