2017 could finally be the year when people, especially in Europe, start embracing electric scooters.
Let’s face it, so far the market for electric scooters has mostly been B to B (business to business), except for China. Electric scooter sharing networks have developed in several European and Asian cities, as well as in San Francisco. Electric scooters have found some success with their cargo models, from pizza home-deliveries to postal services across Europe. The only real success in the European consumer market has been the high-end BMW C-Evolution.
At best a few thousand electric scooters were sold in Europe and the USA in 2016. The market is dominated by the German firm GOVECS, which was one of the first manufacturer in this market. The competition is however becoming intense, with new manufacturers appearing across the world.
Other German manufacturers, like Unu, Kumpan, Emco and Scrooser are also trying to find a market. So are manufacturers from Switzerland (VR bikes), from France (Artelec), from the Netherlands (Bolt), from Italy (Askoll, ME), from Spain (Scutum, Quazzar, Rieju, Xkuty), from Australia (Vmoto /E-Max), from India (Ather), from Taiwan (Gogoro), from China (Niu), from Japan (Terra), from Canada (Daymak) and from the USA (GenZe, ZEV).
The big news for 2017 is the first electric scooter from the iconic scooter brand Vespa. Presented at the last EICMA show, the Vespa Elettrica should be marketed in the second half of 2017. Parent company Piaggio hasn’t released any more information, but in terms of public awareness, it is like Harley Davidson showing its first electric motorcycle.
Among other new models for 2017 is the Muvi, from Spanish manufacturer Torrot. Powered by a 3 kW and 35 Nm brushless motor, this smart scooter has a removable lithium battery and will be available across Europe. Price: €4,495.
KRC Motors, from Italy, presented a trio of models based on a steel frame with an 11 kW motor and a 72 V – 50 ah battery. The maxi-scooter version is the Easy, which starts at €8,530. The city version is the Fox, which starts at €7,450, and the sport version is the Faster, at €7,450. All three have a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph).
Another Italian firm, Nito, presented its NES model, which comes with a 4 kW hub motor. Available next summer, it is priced at €4,750.
GOVECS finally released the production version of the Schwalbe, which should be available in the spring. It will come with a 4 kW motor, and have a 100 km (62 miles) range. Schwalbe will be an independent division of the the GOVECS Group.
Finally, the GenZe 2.0 is coming to Europe via Peugeot Scooters. The French firm was bought by Mahindra last year, and it thus makes sense that Peugeot Scooters becomes the European distributor for Mahindra’s US produced GenZe.
With the two largest European manufacturers of scooters, Piaggio and Peugeot, launching electric scooters, with the arrival of affordable Asian smart scooters like Niu, and with the multiplication of models from different countries, the electric scooter market seems to be ready to take off.