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!