Although brakes in a vehicle might seem very straightforward, they actually generate a lot of kinetic energy in the process of slowing down. In the past, this energy would typically be wasted. More recently, with the advent of electric vehicles, technology has been improved to reuse this wasted energy towards charging the vehicle battery.

This process is called regenerative braking, and it helps electric vehicle riders regain some valuable battery - which means more range per charge.

Regenerative braking (for example, on a NIU electric scooter) can help you regain valuable range as you ride, but what is regenerative braking? Let's take a look at regenerative braking and how it works.


What is regenerative braking?

Electric kick scooters –  like our “SUV of scooters”, the KQi3 – and other electric vehicles use an efficient system called regenerative braking. Regenerative braking is a method of storing kinetic energy in the battery during deceleration, so it can be reused to power the electric motor. The energy that was being wasted before can instead be converted to electricity. The brake acts like a generator to recharge the vehicle’s batteries.

With our KQi3 kick scooter, it couldn’t get more efficient: you can recharge your scooter battery as you ride and regain up to 8%! If you commute 5 miles (8km) to work each day, that will help you get up to 104 miles (167km) extra range per year!


How does regenerative braking work?

The motor in an electric scooter operates to both drive the vehicle forward, and also to recharge the battery. When you lift your foot off of the accelerator and onto the brake, the motor reverses directions, adding energy back into the battery.

Once that happens, you’ll feel it: it’s a distinct sensation that can be tailored to your personal preferences. The KQi3 lets you control the sensitivity of your ride, including how fast or slow you brake, through the NIU mobile app. You can adjust this setting at any time in the NIU app by visiting Me > My Device > Energy Recovery.

On the Strong setting, your kick scooter will brake much more quickly as you let off the accelerator. Of course, you can adjust this regenerative braking setting to Weak as well, if you prefer to slowly roll to a stop. This may be helpful for riders who plan to cruise at a higher speed, as the deceleration will feel more natural. That's why it's so helpful to have options in the app!

While you still need to plug in an electric scooter to charge, regenerative braking provides a nice top up to get the maximum out of your scooter. But there's another hidden benefit: owners of e-scooters need new brakes much less frequently than those in vehicles that aren’t electric.

The KQi3 was built as an efficient, rider-friendly kick scooter, designed by the NIU team's analysis of more than 10 billion km of riding data. The new braking system allows riders to travel 31 miles on a single charge, meaning you can go farther, with less time needed for charging.


Contemporary electric vehicles are revolutionizing how we drive. New models of e-scooters and other electric vehicles are showing us new ways to navigate our cities, including to the braking system so familiar to us. Get in on the action by getting a kick scooter for yourself or a loved one today!