V olkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is completely turning Europe's largest car manufacturer inside out. The wide-ranging electric offensive will start in Wolfsburg in 2019 with the first models based on the MEB architecture. At the same time, VW will not only sell wallboxes to its future ID customers, but will also supply the electricity for them under the Elli brand.
Neither new paths nor new cooperation approaches are taboo. A new partner for Lower Saxony is the Chinese electric scooter manufacturer Niu. Incidentally, it should not be confused with the almost identical supplier of electric cars, Nio.
With the publication of the business figures for the past year 2018, Niu has made its cooperation with VW public. According to the annual report, both companies intend to jointly bring solutions for micromobility onto the road as part of a development agreement.
Mobility for the first and last mile
This means that there are above all offers for the first and the last mile, for example to understand the way from the front door to the commuter parking lot or a local transport stop or from there to the workplace. The Spanish VW subsidiary Seat is also active in this area and has implemented an electrically powered scooter under the name eXS in cooperation with Segway.
Niu is a shooting star in the field of electrically powered scooters. The company, which is headquartered in the Chinese capital Beijing, only started production of its two-wheelers in 2014. Just two years later, the first models were exported to Europe. Distribution takes place both via stationary branches and via the Internet. In the summer of 2018, Niu claims to have cracked 430,000 scooters sold worldwide. Together with VW, they want to build the “Streetmate” scooter.
In addition to the drive, one of the features of the e-scooter is the networking with the self-developed Niu Cloud. This is exactly where VW's incentive to work together could lie. In the future, cars will not only be sold in classic sales, financing and leasing scenarios, but will also become part of multi-layered mobility concepts with car sharing and other rental models.
Cross-platform networking could therefore be from scooter for the first and last mile via scooter for urban routes through to cars and shared taxis from the VW subsidiary Moia cover the entire mobility needs of customers.