There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

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jdh2550_1
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There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

Hi,

I was going to wait a bit before announcing my new venture - but with the rather depressing commentary on It's all made in China! and the same old same old mind-numbing mediocrity over on ZAPINOS I figured I'd post something sooner rather than later...

I'm here to introduce the Hypothetical Electric Scooter Company (HESC). This is part real world business proposal and part social experiment, so forgive me for posting in General Community Discussions rather than Product Marketplace.

At present HESC is concentrating on the US market. In the future we'd love to partner with folks in other markets.

HESC, is a new venture with the express purpose of figuring out how to make a range of electric scooters that can compete for a 25% share of the total US scooter market. The founder (that's me) believes that to achieve this then the EV market must move towards the mainstream expectations of the market rather than trying to persuade the customers to "brave" the current electric scooter market.

HESC believes that we can produce a product to truly compete on the complete package of total cost of ownership, required real world performance, reliability, actual quality and perceived quality. Perhaps most importantly HESC believes that we have the opportunity to improve the current customer experiences surrounding scooter ownership (regardless of motive power).

Rather than designing an entirely new scooter from the ground up, or buying such a design from a low cost manufacturer in China we are taking a fundamentally new approach. Why would one expect to succeed where so many others have failed UNLESS they were to address the difficult problems head on? It's time for a change. There HAS to be a better way and HESC believes that we've got it (details of our key differentiators follow the descriptions of our products).

HESC will introduce a range of five scooter products. The descriptions are brief and concentrate on the functional aspects of the products. HESC will be happy to share the technical specs of each bike with those interested to know more:

HypoA Our entry level model with a customizable performance limiter that can be set by the factory to allow the product to meet required restrictions in US states and allow it to be ridden without a motorcycle endorsement. It will be equivalent in performance, in general terms, to the XM2000, Z20 and Zapino
HypoB The HypoB is essentially the same scooter as the HypoA, but it comes with no factory enforced restrictions. The user is free to tune for performance or for range. Does this sound like a promise you've heard before? Well this time HESC promises to deliver upon all claims or CLEARLY and UNAMBIGUOUSLY explain why the plan has changed.
HypoC This scooter will be equivalent to the performance characteristics of a 150cc gas scooter. Such as the Vespa S 150
HypoD This scooter will be equivalent to the performance characteristics of a 250cc gas scooter such as the Piaggio BV 250 or the Vectrix electric scooter
HypoE This scooter will be equivalent to the performance characteristics of a 600cc gas scooter such as the Honda Silverwing

Each scooter will come in a variety of styles:
1) Modern - think Z-20, XM2K, Vectrix etc.
2) Retro - think R-20, Zapino, Vespa etc.
3) Alternative - think Honda Ruckus, Yamaha Morphous

HESC is currently considering selling body panels as optional extras to allow customers to change the style of their bike to suit their mood.

HESC will succeed where others have failed based on the following key differentiators:
1) Final assembly in the US for increased quality and faster turn around for problem resolution. 80% of product will come pre-assembled from an established low cost EV supplier. The final 20% will be performed by US personnel in a US assembly plant.
2) Batteries broken in at the factory and warrantied for 2 years for SLA or 3 years for LFP. This represents a major breakthrough and a clear commitment from HESC that we believe in our specs.
3) Bike warrantied for 1 year parts and labor (apart from consumables)
4) Bike ONLY available through dealer showrooms if one exists within 100 miles of final customer zip code. Attractive margins and best in class technical and sales support will be offered to attract existing gas scooter dealerships to offer HESC products alongside their existing lineups.
5) Bike available from US factory if no dealer within 100 miles of final customer zip code. Sorry, no drop shipping because we cannot practically overcome sales representative quality control issues.
6) All bikes are ready to ride when delivered having undergone extensive pre-delivery inspection and top up charging. Hardly anyone waits before jumping on their new scoot "just to try it out" - so why try and make them?
7) Bikes will be extensively market via traditional gas scooter marketing channels as well as non-traditional EV enthusiast channels. The mountain never actually comes to us no matter what our egos might like to think.
8 ) Bikes come with a PakTrakr equivalent to closely monitor battery pack performance and provide early warning of battery faults
9) Bikes come with Cycle Analyst equivalent to allow controller override to support user or factory defined limits
10) Bikes come with a tamper proof "black box" data logger. This is to allow HESC to offer our attractive warranty, it is not intended to spy on our customers. If our customers wish to modify their bikes then HESC respects that and will do everything to support those efforts - however, customers will have to accept reduced warranty terms (we will not void all warranties if you modify our bikes but we will reduce key aspects).
11) Prototype bikes will be publicized to verify performance claims.
12) Pre-release (beta) bikes will be placed in the hands of three key independent folks in the EV scooter world. These independent testers will be encouraged to publicly share their findings and they will be expected to produce a detailed report in turn for the load of a bike for 6 months (No I didn't just add this based on usatracy's posts about the Zapino)
13) Bike sales won't start until the beta test is closed and responded to and all production logistic issues are addressed.

HESC's initial research leads us to believe that we can succeed and we can deliver on the majority of all the above statements. However, like any forward looking statement, we cannot guarantee anything. Bear in mind the number of broken promises you've suffered as you watch new ventures come and go. We respect that, and yes, we are aiming our sites high - but we will be keeping those interested fully informed. Transparency is yet another promise that has been broken before - we hope to gain your trust and respect as we attempt to change the model of how electric scooters are produced and sold in the US market.

OK, the "press release" is over now. Sure, talk is cheap, but I've done a fair amount of research over the past six or more months resulting in a big push to start capturing the information. Now, here's the "social experiment" part of the opening paragraph. I'm looking for help from this community. There is a large diversity of folks out there who I'd love to have on board. I wish to run this project a little like Linux was developed. Unlike the commonly held myth the Linux kernel is a tightly controlled piece of software - it is not a free for all, it's not even a democracy. This is business - democracy is not what I'm after. What I'm after is success. Success in a supportive and ethical manner that is ultimately sustainable. People who work with me as we build HESC to a real entity will have a vote in all substantial matters - however, any deviation from the initial plan will only be considered if the person suggesting the change is prepared to provide a simple cost/benefit analysis of the proposed change. This venture is a business proposal not a debate club.

All the workings of HESC will be made public (via a yet to be decided web based mechanism). We will always give people the ability to comment and to criticize. We may choose to ignore anyone who is not part of HESC.

If you do become a member of HESC you get an equal share. There will be a mechanism to provide a formal warning and then an expulsion if a bad apple gets into the barrel. Robust debate will NEVER be considered reason for dismissal. Because there needs to be an ultimate tie breaker I retain the right to have the final say.

Will HESC ever drop the "Hypothetical" moniker? Maybe, maybe not. However, even if it doesn't then perhaps we will have pushed a little closer to the day when an EV makes more sense for the non-technical potential owner. If others "steal our ideas" because we're so open then we will have at least made the market a little better. Quite frankly I expect others will ignore us until it's "too late" much like they did when this young Finnish guy made this quirky operating system.

We won't know unless we try.

Send me a private message or an email if you have any interest in joining. I will gladly share what I have so far with anyone who shows what I consider a legitimate interest no strings attached. Feel free to join HESC, or steal the ideas and compete against HESC it still fulfills my ultimate goal - improving the chances of EVs becoming commonplace.

I do NOT expect to become rich. I do NOT expect that this will become my full time employment (unless I get very lucky). However, I DO THINK that if we share the effort and organize effectively that we CAN achieve GREAT things.

See, I told you I was learning the ART OF CAPS from usatracy.

This is not a joke. Drop me a PM and let's talk.

All the best!

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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

BTW, it's been pointed out to me that "Drop me a PM" seems to go exactly counter to the point of being open. Oops - I wasn't clear. Sorry.

What I mean is please post in the forum and let me know whatever you want to (just like any other forum post).

However, if you're interested in seeing the rest of the stuff I've done so far then drop me a PM or email me - so that I can keep track of who's asked for the information. Again, just asking to see the stuff has absolutely no impact on any perceived commitment.

Thanks.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

You used the Linux example and while that's not a free for all, while Linux is tightly controlled by a core group, others are free to take the design and run with them. By publishing openly do you intend to follow an open source model where anybody can take the design and build their own?

Yes, others will be free to take whatever business plan output HESC creates and run with it. They can fork off in whatever direction they choose. I liken it to folks like Redhat and JBoss - they succeed based on the fact that they offer services based around the open source. They don't attempt to protect that success by lowering the blinds or obscuring the openeness with a cumbersome community development process.

My hope is that HESC will succeed because we will offer a real implementation of the business around the open source business plan. Well, that's the lofty goal anyway :)

I'm not sure if it makes sense to use a GPL, an LGPL, Creative Commons or other type of open source license. I ain't no lawyer and I'm not sure how well they'd work for an open source business plan.

I am aware that this type of an "open business plan" venture is not a unique proposition. But I don't know one that's worked yet. Hmmm, maybe there's a reason for that? Nah, we CAN do it!

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

reikiman
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

Hmm, this isn't the first time this idea has come up. On the old V there was talk along this line. BTW on e-motor-assist a couple days ago was a half baked idea that might be vaguely related http://groups.yahoo.com/group/e-motor-assist/message/15162

I like the general idea. I especially am in support of a move to having as broad availability of EV's as possible.

There are several projects underway that are developing vehicles or parts of vehicles in an open source fashion. I posted about a few on my work blog ... Open source green vehicles ... One I just learned about is the Open Source Motor Controller project.

I think that it's not worthwhile to to strive to be purist open source where every single last atom of the vehicle comes from open source intellectual property. To do that you'd have to go back to first principles and design integrated circuits as open source components, and that would be too long of a detour. In a comment on my blog entry (linked above) my friend Dalibor mentioned "cost of production". One way that open source software model works is the cost of production is just people-time to write software, and there's little production cost beyond that. However the cost of production for an integrated circuit is pretty darn high, and the ability to produce integrated circuits is gated by expensive factories owned by chip makers.

I think maybe the model you want to think about is Redhat rather than Linux. Redhat's role is as an aggregator of other peoples stuff. They assemble that stuff into a working whole and their value add is the testing.

There are existing components out there you can gather up and assemble and sell as a working whole.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

I think maybe the model you want to think about is Redhat rather than Linux. Redhat's role is as an aggregator of other peoples stuff. They assemble that stuff into a working whole and their value add is the testing.

There are existing components out there you can gather up and assemble and sell as a working whole.

That's exactly what I plan to do. I have no intention of reinventing or redesigning anything - I thought I stated that but it must not be clear. My premise is that all the bits we need are already there - just not all in one place. The business plan will be open source - not the implementation.

Open source was intended to be a convenient metaphor not a blueprint I expect to slavishly follow. One of the reasons the plan is based on getting an 80% complete bike from an existing supplier is that those are bits that they can do perfectly adequately. It's the last 20% where they fall down. However, there are obviously folks working on fixing that last 20% in different ways (notably by trying to come up with a model where the complete assembly is still done in China). My approach is just different. Time, money and luck will all factor into any chance of success.

Another key difference that might exist between my vision of HESC and the other "group attempts" is that I'm not interested in endless debates. I do want to encourage people to participate and I do want to hear their ideas - but this isn't a democracy it's a business and if I have to I will override decisions. The safety net for folks not liking that is that they can take what we've done so far and fork off in their own direction. My job will be to persuade them to accept the compromise and stay with HESC. I plan on benevolent dictatorship - not like that usatracy guy I mean he's just evil ;-) Actually I shall of course be trying to tempt him to become involved.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

racermike39
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

Hey John!

Amen and AMEN!

I am offering my services for CAD design or engineering drawings. I have almost 20 years in the aircraft and automotive manufacturing industry. I am a welder fabricator with design engineer experience (all that and $2.12 will get you large coffee at the local drive through) :-)

I am not bragging, I just love being involved with things like this, and thrive on such challenges.
My services will be free, and I expect nothing in return.

As far as marketing possibilities, DO NOT OVER LOOK THE ELDERLY IN RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES! If you can supply them with a reliable user freindly scooter, the sales potential is unlimited. The quiet and clean aspects of electric scooters will open doors in retirement communities that gas scooters may not be allowed. Think also of a 3 wheeled version for the "balance challenged".

GO HESC!

Racermike
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

Thanks Mike. I'll be sure to include you when I send out an updated package of info with what I've got so far. With CAD and fabrication skills that might open up the possibility of sourcing the 80% rolling chassis from a gas vendor and making battery tray mods ourselves. However, at present I was considering getting something from an existing EV supplier.

As far as a 3 wheeler goes - that's an interesting possibility but I'd slate it for future expansion of our market. I want to remain focused on getting into the traditional gas scooter marketplace first.

BTW, my "back of the envelope" financial calculations suggest that it might be better to start with a bigger bike and work "down the food chain" rather than starting at the relatively crowded entry level floor and working up (i.e. a Vectrix competitor (Hypo D or Hypo E) for $8K to $9K rather than an XM2K/Z/R20/Zapino for $2K - $4K (Hypo A & Hypo B). However, the trouble with a bigger bike for bigger bucks is that the consumer is naturally going to demand more of a "pedigree" before parting with that much cash. Lot's of questions, lots of options and lots of OPPORTUNITY.

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement and look for some info from me in the next couple of days.

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

reikiman
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

DO NOT OVER LOOK THE ELDERLY IN RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES!

There are already electric scooters targeted to elderly folk. I live a block from a retirement home and there are several living in that building who ride those scooters. There are dozens of companies supplying them. The most astonishing thing is that these scooters cannot be ridden on the sidewalk, only on the street. So we're putting our elderly people in unprotected scooters to navigate the streets? Is this a modern form of leaving a sick person out on the tundra for the wolves?

Anyway.. back to John's suggestion...

I had a thought this morning - the simplest way to look at it is...

John, as a potential purveyor of vehicles, is intending to openly document the construction and components of his scooters. That's the first level, that the purveyor openly document their source material.

The second level is whether there can be an across-the-board agreement between other purveyors of vehicles to use the same construction methods.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
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racermike39
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

I agree Dave. My familiarity with the retirement sector is in south Florida. It seems the older folks are buying electric scooters that are "cute" and are more like a kids toy. They are buying them from the local flea market. You can find them at local yard sales a year later for $50 because something silly went wrong with it.

Here is what I really had in mind:

I had and interesting conversation with a gentleman that is undergoing reconstructive knee surgery. He is trying to convince the insurance underwriters to help him purchase an electric ATV instead of a mobility scooter. He is NOT working this angle as a scam, he is going to be having both knees replaced, and lives on a small goat farm with challenging terrain. The insurance company will be more than happy to purchase (and is obligated to) a mobility scooter, which would be useless. I think there may be tremendous potential here, in the rural elderly living senario.

Also, dealer network and customer support and "twist and go" (all things John has set as priotities) will be the key to gaining market share in this sector.

John: Overall I think starting with the larger frame scooter is the way to go. I don't think the increased weight or size will be a detriment. I see it as "reserve capacity" and "growth potential". However, I do understand the trouble with having too much of both (overkill).
I agree that there is no need to re-invent the wheel. A good 125cc platform will provide an excellent foundation. A careful look at the 250cc platform can determine "how much is too much".

Gotta get back to my day job.

Mike K.

Racermike
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

I know that we are thinking about HESC because we are so familiar with scooters. But to make a bigger difference, we need to appeal to the mainstream driver who wants some weather protection and crash protection. Therefore, I propose HNEVC and HTWCC (Hypothetical Neighborhood Electric Vehicle Co. and Hypo. Three Wheel Commuter Co.)

The parts that make the NEV/3 wheeler go is no more complicated than a scooter...it's just bigger.
If you take a look at the off-road buggys retailing for only $2500-3000, it's got amazing amount of technology for the price.
It has 150-250cc liquid cooled engine with CVT (basically a 250cc scooter setup), electric start, 4 disc brakes, shaft drive, radiator w/ electric fan, 2 speed hi-lo gear w/ reverse. If the ICE drivetrain is replaced with electric drive, it actually saves a lot on the parts count.
And we know it's durable because it's made for off-road:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uhd6TAyi55M
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9JfUKRAJDXM

The buggys are lightweight between 750-1000 lbs in ICE trim. So power steering/brakes are still not needed (The GEM is 1500 lbs and you really need to get used to the brakes!) The only real tooling cost are the molds for the body panel/doors...the frame is essentially hand built on simple jigs.

The main differentiator is the cabin, which should be fully enclosed and have doors. Without fully enclosed doors, it's just another electric golf cart like the GEM, and China's got plenty of these. The fully enclosed cabin actually will be hard to do cheaply while achieving good quality...requiring innovative design to achieve good door articulation/sealing without requiring high tolerances.

Basically, compared to HESC, HNEVC will have an extra hurdle to do coachwork design/manufacture, but that's about it.
But the profit margin on NEV's are much higher than scooters (ZENN's are selling for $12k-$17k), and the market also bigger, so the chances of success is better. So that's my vote. Anyone else voting for HNEVC? Anyone see potential issues?

Dan

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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

NEV - largely impractical in my mind. Okay, obviously a lot of people disagree with me because there's quite a lot of them out there. But NEV's in my mind are extremely limited because they can only go in local neighborhoods. Plus they reinforce the negative stereotype that EV's can only be golf carts.

Three wheeler - Look up the Xebra. There are flaws in the execution but the general idea is pretty good. Also look up the BugE.. now that's one nice looking vehicle but the guy designed it for 48 volts. The BugE is especially interesting as an example business model because the guy intends to only be a kit maker and to have a chain of local assemblers do the sales and support.

Beyond NEV or three wheels you run into a huge cost, namely meeting the DOT safety testing requirements. The flip side is that NEV's and three wheelers do not meet DOT safety standards and are potentially unsafe vehicles. In any case the DOT also acts as a huge threshold which a new car company must meet to get anywhere in the market, and perhaps the incumbent car companies are in cahoots with the DOT to keep the threshold high so that new car companies can't form. Oh, wait, we've already proved that I like to make up dark stories out of thin air.

The Xebra is probably the best example of what you're saying. There is a Yahoo!Group for the Xebra and they've discussed it at long and detailed and exhaustive length, so please consult that group for details.

At the Standford EV rally last fall I was talking with a couple people about the Xebra. Ah, the amusing part is I was just hanging out looking at the thing, and these people had some questions, and no sales droid was nearby, so I answered the questions so thoroughly the people thought I was the sales droid. Anyway, one of the people was from India and claimed the Xebra looked 'dorky'. Hurm.. In his home country there are many three wheelers on the road, and those (the autorickshaws) do look dorky. I'm not sure I agree with him about the Xebra, and perhaps his eyes are predisposed to think any three wheeler looks dorky. Dunno. The customer is always right though.

There are other makers of three wheelers.. and some people have been importing three wheeler EV's to the U.S. Dunno if these others are making a better quality vehicle than the Xebra. But it's the Xebra that has more visibility in the market and there's been quite a few of the Xebra's sold (maybe 1000?).

It seems the Xebra's main flaw is the speed and range isn't quite up to snuff. ZAP claims 45/40 but according to Xebra_EV members it does more like 35 miles/hr and 15-20 mile range. If it delivered it's specified speed/range it would be very interesting and fit with quite a few peoples lifes. Some have modified the Xebra for higher voltage and bigger battery packs and lately for Li-ION packs. They're getting faster speeds and longer ranges.

One avenue to explore is there are lots of vehicle makers overseas who are more willing to make a glider than are the U.S. car makers. If you can buy a good quality 'glider' (a vehicle with no engine or other gas junk) then EV parts could be assembled onto it rather easily.

For example when the 'new Bug' was still new ZAP had this idea they could ride the coattails of VW's marketing by buying old-style Bug's from Mexico -- VW has a plant in Mexico where they make the old style bugs for sale all through Latin America -- they supposedly could get those as a glider, and then they would convert it to electric, and sell them. But that didn't work out too well, and they were only able to get NEV speeds out of them.

In any case ZAP is an example of what I'm saying. They've been selling various four-wheelers who have NEV speed, the body is imported from China.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
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evDreamer
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

What if NEV are allowed to go 35mph like in Montana and Washington?
What if a medium speed vehicle regulation is created for 45mph with less expensive crash testing?
Yes, these higher speed regulations may not happen, that's why I mentioned HTWCC (3 wheeler).
What if the 3 wheeler is not dorky and is in a tadpole configuration that even looks sporty or cool?
I think the main issues with available NEVs and Xebra is they are still too large and heavy. In the sci-fi movies, aren't the personal transport vehicles all small and efficient? If technology advances to give the same safety and functionality, there's no need for a personal transport to be big. Isn't smallness of size one of the advantages of the scooter. Perhaps we should consider an enclosed scooter design...

If its philosophy is kept pure to be a short trip, errand runner, and not loaded up with "automotive" thinking, then won't it have a shot? If it is not trying to replace the ICE car, but keep its intent clear to be a 2nd/3rd car in a household, similar to a scooter, but with more comfort and safety, won't it appeal to a greater audience than a scooter?

But back to the buggy based NEV...I still can't think of technical reasons why it won't have superior performance to the NEV's being sold today. It should have advantages in price, weight/performance, and durability. And I can't think of large economic, technical, or legal barriers that a small to medium sized company like HNEVC cannot overcome.

cycle9
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

John,
I think this is an excellent venture/idea.

It would be great to participate, except I'm more into bicycles than scooters (I owned a Honda Reflex for a while, and it was great, but I like my bicycles better }:) ).

I wish you all the best of luck in this venture, perhaps if successful, it might be a model for e-bicycles too.

Morgan

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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

What if NEV are allowed to go 35mph like in Montana and Washington?

That might help - depends on what the law says about where the medium-speed vehicle can go. If it's still prevented from traveling outside a neighborhood then its still just as useless.

What if the 3 wheeler is not dorky and is in a tadpole configuration that even looks sporty or cool?

When I wrote that I was thinking of all the three wheel motorcycles and the various vehicle designs at rqriley.com or the T-Rex or various others... but BugE in particular has my eye.

If technology advances to give the same safety and functionality, there's no need for a personal transport to be big. Isn't smallness of size one of the advantages of the scooter. Perhaps we should consider an enclosed scooter design...

Well, I think the defining characteristic of 'scooter' is a step through design. The Vectrix is called a scooter and it's definitely not small. But you have a good point despite my nit-picking.

Take a look at "How they got 470 MPG" ... the idea there is that it's possible to do more with less if you use proper design. What you say about an enclosed scooter is right on, because scooters and motorcycles have horrible aerodynamics, it's difficult to get someone to ride a scooter or motorcycle in bad weather, etc. Having a cabin on the scooter or motorcycle will help get people to use that option more often.

- David Herron, The Long Tail Pipe, davidherron.com, 7gen.com, What is Reiki
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

Well...I agree totally about the NEVs not being a serious consideration in such a venture. I think you primarily have two major E markets. The e-bike/scooter/motorcycle riders...and the regular auto drivers. NEVS I think will remain a novelty.

This is what I believe...
We have the technology to make a totally electric, perfectly acceptable and practical auto for the masses. But, it won't happen until gasoline and other factors force (by public demand for alternative) the major automobile manufacturers to go full out in that direction....and of course with investment direct or indirect by the oil companies who must transition away from oil as well.

Therefore, one is only left generally with the e-bike/scooter/motorcycle market...so John's initiative is viable in that regard.

My only other thought with John's plan is why even consider several models at the outset? What about "keep it simple" and concentrate on just 2-3. Perhaps...an ebike like my XB600...a road speed capable scooter...and a motorcycle. That way you have something for those 3 markets...and not all of these intermediate scooters

My .02

Gushar

Gus

evDreamer
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

Gushar,

I agree that NEV is not an alternative to a car...but that's what I mentioned at the outset...it should be a 2nd or 3rd car in the household.

But I think a 35-45mph NEV or 3 wheeler is an potential alternative to a scooter
The only issue is cost...will people pay more for a little more weather/crash protecion that only does what a scooter does in terms of speed and range?

The answer seems to be: some people will pay $10k+ for a NEV.
I think it's because 4 wheels give the idea of a car, and people are willing to pay more for a car.

With 3 or 2 wheels, people start to think motorcycle and won't pay as much.
So if similiar R&D and manufacture is needed for a NEV cabin vs. Enclosed Scooter Cabin, I think the NEV has a better business argument.

evDreamer
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

How do I delete an accidental post? It seems I can only edit.

gushar
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Re: There HAS to be a better way - a new business model...

I have to disagree. However, I do agree that folks make certain assumptions based on the number of wheels, style, etc. And the problem there is that when they see something that looks "like a car" they expect it to perform like a "traditional (ICE) car." And certainly we can make electric vehicles not only as good and practical...but far better. But NEVs don't do that. As well, they are not practical for many, many communities across this country. If I tried to go to the grocery store here (fair size FL town..grocery trip by car about 4 miles) in a NEV I'd be blasted off the road, or shot...unless I took every possible side street (the longest possible way to try and get there) and would as well end up driving four times the distance to get there. There's nothing practical about that.

I could drive it to my workplace since I live very near it and there are side roads and shortcuts through parking lots I can take. But I can do that now with my XB600...a much less expensive ($799) and reasonable option.

Gushar

Gus

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