The electric scooter craze has well and truly hit New Zealand.

Within just hours of Chinese electronics giant Xiaomi, or "Mi" as many know it as, opening the doors to its first New Zealand store yesterday, the retailer sold more than $250,000 worth of electric scooters.

In just seven hours it had clocked $257,750 in sales from the e-scooters, which are similar to the popular rentable Lime-branded ones sweeping Auckland and Christchurch.

About 200 of the scooters priced at $599 were sold online in 30 minutes yesterday, causing the retailer's website to crash.


Meanwhile, at Sylvia Park in Mount Wellington, where Mi opened its store, about 1500 people queued - from one side of the mall to the other - waiting in line for a glimpse of the scooter. More than 400 Mi electric scooters were sold in-store.

The scooters are said to now be sold out.

The Mi e-scooter is popular overseas. Mi New Zealand spokesman Eric Chang said he believed the popularity of rentable electric scooters had driven significant demand and interest in consumers wanting their own.

Chang said Mi scooters were safer than Lime alternatives, as they had built-in safety features such as headlights, dual-brake systems and had to be manually pushed at a speed of 5km/h to start.

The scooters have a range of 29km and can travel up to 25km/h.

"Safety is a key consideration in the design and operation of the scooters," Chang said.

"The front anti-lock braking system prevents the wheels from locking even under hard braking or on surfaces with low friction like wet roads."

Lime scooters were introduced to Auckland and Christchurch streets last month and have proven popular and been in the headlines since.

Mi electric scooters have a range can travel up to 25km per hour. Photo / Supplied
Mi electric scooters have a range can travel up to 25km per hour. Photo / Supplied

Some riders have left a trail of mayhem, and injury claims from electric scooter-induced injuries have soared. Between October 14 and 31 there were 69 electric scooter claims lodged with ACC.

Fractures, lacerations and abrasions, broken teeth, head injuries and collapsed lungs are some of the injuries seen by nurses and doctors.

Overseas there have been bans of the scooters and one recorded death. As of today, there has been a global recall of models made by Chinese manufacturer Okai.

In a statement to the Herald, a spokeswoman for Lime said the company was working with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and other international agencies following reports the scooters made by Okai could break apart while in use.

Xiaomi sold $250,000 worth of electric scooters yesterday on the first day its store opened. Photo / Supplied
Xiaomi sold $250,000 worth of electric scooters yesterday on the first day its store opened. Photo / Supplied

"Safety is Lime's highest priority and as a precaution we are immediately decommissioning all Okai scooters in the global fleet," the spokeswoman said.

"The vast majority of Lime's fleet is manufactured by other companies and decommissioned Okai scooters are being replaced with newer, more advanced scooters."


Lime said it did not anticipate any disruptions to its service after the recall.

Lime currently operates in a string of cities across the world, offering e-scooters and bikes for hire, including in Switzerland, Germany, France, Poland, Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Canada, Austria and United States.

Chang said Mi strongly believed helmets should be worn when using electric scooters.

"Helmets are one of the few non-Mi branded products we will sell, but it is important to us that the public are better equipped and educated about the need for safety on our roads. We believe everyone using an electric scooter should be wearing a helmet," he said.

Aside from scooters, Mi sells smartphones, laptops and other electronics. It is the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world.