Chinese scooters ready to make debut in U.S.

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Chinese scooters ready to make debut in U.S.

Chinese scooters ready to make debut in U.S.
Atlanta Business Chronicle - August 11, 2006
by Steve Wilhelm
Special to Atlanta Business Chronicle

A pair of companies in Atlanta and Washington state are getting together to bring a Chinese-made electric scooter to the United States.

Evader Inc. of Bellevue, Wash., announced it has reached an agreement with dealers in Michigan and New Hampshire to sell its Chinese-built electric motor scooters.

The scooters will be distributed by Motomojo Inc., an Atlanta company that specializes in importing inexpensive niche recreational vehicles from Chinese manufacturers.

"This is going to be the first electric that really works as an electric moped," said Motomojo CEO Paul Kerns, adding that the Evader has a 30 percent to 40 percent price advantage over competing machines from Germany and Italy.

Two containers with about 100 of the scooter's first production run arrived recently in Atlanta, and are being sent to distributors across the country for early sales and evaluation.

The Evader electric scooter is being manufactured by the Qianjiang Group of Wenling, China.

Kerns said he hopes to import 1,000 to 2,000 of the machines this year, and up to 6,000 next year.

The Evader scooters will enter a fast-growing but competitive market for fuel-efficient, two-wheeled transportation equipment -- a market pushed by consumers trying to avoid paying high gasoline prices. Sales of motor scooters jumped 20 percent in the past year, according to data released by the Motorcycle Industry Council of Irvine, Calif. Sales of full-sized motorcycles climbed 11 percent.

The Evader scooter tops out at about 30 miles per hour and can go only 40 miles between charges, so its use will be limited to relatively short commutes or errands about town.

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