The stories are sprinkled with topics such as mobility, e-mobility and even micro-mobility. What the hell happened to get out and ride?
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It’s hard to keep up with the changes, but in the United States and around the world, we’re becoming a more urban society with more young people and older people living near major city centers. With this move, an automobile is often cumbersome to drive and expensive to park. That’s pretty good news for those who love motorcycles, isn’t it? Yes! Motorcycle dealerships have the opportunity not only to be a transport solution, but also to be recognized for putting “fun” into urban “mobility”. But it doesn’t have to stop at motorcycles.
In cities across the country, big and small, two- and four-wheeled e-leisures are becoming more visible, more accessible, and more fun. The world loves outdoor recreation these days, and because of that, protecting the planet has taken on even greater importance. Electric mobility is part of this trend.
What does it mean? Cyclists love their bikes and more and more people are joining them with e-bikes. That kid on the street with his skateboard has plenty of other people around him — some on electric skateboards — who use them to get to work or shred trails. The neighbor who was frustrated with renting scooters just bought her own scooter, and now she has reliable and fun transportation for getting around town. Power supply products open the door to possibilities for recreation and transportation that we never had before.
If you’re wondering if this e-mobility movement is real, guess who owns Spin electric scooters? It’s the same company that built your F-150 pickup. Electric scooters are great fun, but the movement is real business.
For powersports dealers, this is an opportunity. “Dealers looking for additional revenue should embrace a world that has motorcycles, as well as bicycles and a whole range of electric vehicles, as these are the products in our customers’ garages,” says Marc McAllister of Tucker Powersports.
Major powersports distributors in the United States have e-bikes in their product lines, but that’s only the tip of the spear when it comes to opportunities. With increased use of e-power products nationwide and more choices in what to buy, customers are looking for the right retailer to help them find the perfect products for their needs.
Early resellers find new customers in the store – from young teenagers to adults of all ages. This is a well researched customer looking for high end products, not a mail order unit from China. With the right product presentation and a well-trained sales staff, a dealership is the best place to buy a high-value electric vehicle.
So what’s going on in the world of electric motorsports? Crazy innovation and exceptional growth, especially in the United States The United States accounts for 30% of the global electric skateboard market. E-scooter sales are growing at a rate of over 13% per year and will be a $30 billion market by 2026. And the e-bike market is expected to grow 78% by 2026.
How to have fun? There are many ways for consumers and resellers to participate.
Electric bikes open the door to a lot of people discovering that steep hills and long distances are no problem with the right e-bike. Products range from high-end mountain bikes to rider-friendly commuter bikes. E-bike customers are looking for high quality components and range (distance on a single charge) that meets their needs.
The next step in e-bikes is electric adventure vehicles (EAV), which provide greater load capacity and faster speeds for adventure and utility use. These workhorse units are perfect for the farmer or rancher who needs easy, fun transportation and the ability to haul tools and equipment over a variety of terrain. For the adventurer, hunter-gatherer or ecotourist, there are on-road and off-road models that allow the rider to attach camping gear, fishing gear or a surfboard, so the fun does not stop when arriving at a destination. Since these units are workhorses for many users, some of the most requested features are an easily removable battery (for quick changes) and two-wheel drive.
Electric scooters are fun and smile-inducing with serious performance. Retail models in concessions are much more feature-rich than those that consumers rent around the corner. These are the Lamborghinis of the scooter world and are available in on-road and off-road versions. Some models are equipped with full suspension, integrated LED lights and a high-performance electric motor. There are many options for consumers here, and the value of a well-trained dealership staff is immense. Customers should look for solid construction and LED lighting, plus wheels and suspension to match where and how they’ll ride. Larger customers will want to make sure they choose a scooter build to handle a plus size rider.
Electric Skateboards deliver high performance and strong sensations for the pilot. With carbon fiber decks for on- and off-road performance and bamboo decks for responsive handling, these long deck-style units do everything a regular skateboard can, but when you add power via the handheld remote, they make every road and surface a fun place to ride. Customers will likely want a test drive, so dealers should consider having a demo unit or two in store.
Our advice to consumers: Check out these great products at a dealership where you can connect with well-trained staff and service experts. Take a test ride and see which product and what level of performance is right for you. And get ready to meet new friends, as the world of e-fun is growing rapidly with users of all ages.
And for dealers: it’s time to consider getting in on the game. Find the right products for your market and commit to being the best place to go for this new kind of electric entertainment. Train your employees, find a dedicated sales space and give it a try.
Steve Piehl spent 35 years at Harley-Davidson, where he held positions in customer experience, communications and business development. He founded the Harley Owners Group and in 2012 was inducted into the Sturgis Museum Hall of Fame. After retiring from Harley-Davidson in 2015, Piehl started his own marketing consultancy, Authentic CX, which works with several companies in the industry, including Tucker Powersports, Vance & Hines, KIRSH Helmets, Monimoto and several others. He is currently a national ambassador for the All Kids Bike program and a former board member of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.