This week, I took delivery of a new NIU KQi2 Pro electric kick scooter for adults to try my hand around Chicago commuting on a different type of scooter (my love of old, weird Vespa-style scooters and mopeds has been well-documented, at this point). How’s it going? So far so good— but those are spoilers. As ever, I like to start at the beginning.
Welcome to the unboxing.
And what a box it is! The NIU arrived via UPS, wearing a number of flashy warning stockers talking about fire hazards and “cargo plane only” shipping, which I should have saved but didn’t. These, of course, are referring to the li-ion NIU Energy battery pack in the scooter’s “board,” which is reportedly good for nearly 25 miles of riding and/or a top speed more than 17 mph. Regardless, it is a stout piece of box, and I had every confidence that the scooter inside would be intact when I opened it.
I’m not sure what I expected upon opening the NIU’s box. For some reason, though, I was genuinely surprised to be confronted with quite this much Styrofoam (Yes, capitalized. It’s a brand name copyrighted by Dow Chemical. —Ed.).
I suspect my discomfort is partly because I see these electric scooters as environmental tech that’s taking commuter cars off the roads two wheels at a time, fighting congestion, urban over-development, elitism, and carbon emissions all at the same time.
Instead, they’re— well, “just” electric scooters for most people. They’re a relatively inexpensive and fun way to get from point A to point B, and they probably won’t give the foam blocks a second thought. Me? I’d prefer something a little more biodegradable.
That said, the little scooter was very, very safe. No worries there.
That Can’t Be Right
I found getting the scooter out of the box incredibly awkward. This one’s on me, though— it looks as if I opened the box from the wrong end. That said, everything the box said would be in there is there, and the feeling is very high end …
… even the plastic bags (which are recyclable and degradable) feel high-end, and re-seal well enough. Instead of a janky, IKEA-like “Allen key”, you get a proper, t-handle Allen wrench to bolt in 6 bolts, which come coated in blue Loctite. You even get a spare one …
As I type this, the NIU electric scooter is plugged into the wall and charging away. I’m getting familiar with the app, filling up tires, and generally getting ready to enjoy the KQi2 Pro (in super-bougie white, of course). Check back in a few days for a full review. In the meantime, though, I had to promise one of CleanTechnica’s smallest test drivers I’d post their picture online.
Original content from CleanTechnica.