Sunday, December 20, 2009
Consumers Shifting Gaze to Electric Scooters
By Richard Wottrich, Blog Editor
The world of scooters already is competitive. It includes well-known manufacturers such as Honda Motor Co. and Piaggio Group that have established dealer networks as well as many smaller, niche manufacturers that import scooters from countries like China and India where two-wheeled transportation is the accepted norm.
Vespa, an Italian line of scooters manufactured by Piaggio, offers eight models from $3,200 to $6,900. Honda sells five scooters from $2,000 to $8,500. Plus, Vespa's and Honda's gasoline engine-powered scooters already make economical sense because they get 70 to 90 m.p.g.
Relatively speaking many of these scooters pollute proportionally more per gallon than environmentally friendly automobiles like the Prius. However changes are coming.
Even Peugeot plans a return to the electric scooter market by 2011 with its E-Vivacity scooter. While green rides are all the rage the past few years, the latest planned foray into electric scooter production is actually the second for the French manufacturer, as it made the first mass-produced electric scoot with its very own Scoot’elec that launched way back in 1996.
Smaller players like Current Motor Co. in Michigan USA aim to capitalize on the surging interest in more efficient electric vehicles with an electric scooter that can go more than 50 miles on a charge. Current Motor has developed two scooters -- the C124 and the C130 -- and plans to sell them for $5,499 to $6,799. The scooters have a range of 50 to 80 miles per charge and a top speed of 60 m.p.h.
Hero Electric (Hero Group) plans to launch new efficient scooter models in India soon, as reported by The Hindu. Perth, Australia, scooter manufacturer Vmoto has aso announced plans to manufacture an electric scooter. Vmoto will link with one of the world's leading electric scooter companies, Germany-based E-Max, to make the scooters at Vmoto's factory in China.
Taizhou Wangpai Automobile Industry Co., Ltd. and Beiyi Electric Bicycle Co., Ltd. are among dozens of Chinese manufacturers supplying the huge Chinese demand for scooters.
Worldwide production of motorcycles and scooters will top 225 million units in 2010, just 3.4% of our global population. There is plenty of room for growth.
Posted by Richard Wottrich at 7:56 AM