On Wednesday, Li Yinan, founder of Niu Technologies, a China-based, US-listed maker of electric scooters, announced a new brand under the company’s name: NIUTRON. The new brand’s first model will be launched in the first half of 2022 with deliveries starting in September of the same year.
Li Yinan said at a press conference that NIUTRON had begun its research and development in November 2018. At present, the production plant is located in Changzhou City, and the R&D and manufacturing base in the city covers an area of 770,000 square meters, which is able to achieve an annual production capacity of 180,000 units. The company is headquartered in Beijing and has nearly 1,000 R&D personnel.
According to Li Yinan, NIUTRON’s new car is a medium- to large-sized SUV and is currently being tested. The vehicle is planned to be put into trial production in small batches in March next year and will officially go on sale in September next year. The company has developed its own software for the vehicles, called Gemini Twin Platform, and will provide users with two kinds of powertrain to choose from, either the pure electric or extended range.and extended range, to meet the different needs of users for intercity long distance and daily transportation.
An automobile blogger named ‘@Brother Wexiyu’ posted on December 15, saying that he has seen a sample car in the factory, but was not allowed to take pictures for confidentiality reasons. The design is different from the current style of SUVs on the market as it highlights the rougher, off-road style of vehicle. The blogger likened the vehicle to be a cross between a GWM Tank 300 and a Ford Bronco.
At the same time, NIUTRON announced the completion of a round A financing totaling $500 million, and has received investment from IDG, Coatue and other institutions.
Li Yinan founded Niu Technologies in 2015 and soon became a “dark horse” in the two-wheeled electric bicycle industry. Niu Technologies was listed in the US in 2019 and is now worth about $1.3 billion.