Moving Past E-bikes

George S.

Well-Known Member
Mahindra is a very interesting company. They import a tractor. They make an interesting small SUV for the Indian and some export markets.

The Genze is definitely not a bike, but it sells for about what many mid range ebikes sell for. It seems more substantial than some other electric scooters.

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland...ires-6-in-portland-to-kickstart.html?page=all

Mahindra makes ebikes, which they seem to market broadly, in the US. The Genze is restricted to a few states. One of the problems is that they don't want to have it classified as a motorcycle, and it's clearly not an ebike. So they are going into states with Moped categories, and that generally limits the top speed to 30 mph.

Anyone trying to do anything different in transport runs into the state laws. Elf had their LEV in Utah, showing it to UDOT. Not sure why, but Utah law makes it hard to sell the Elf and the Genze except on the same terms as a Harley. Elio has tried to change all the state laws so his vehicle does not require a helmet, even though he benefits by having the Elio classed as a motorcycle for safety equipment.

The Genze is pretty interesting, and they have used a very long intro campaign with lots of social media to sell it. But it does not seem to be all marketing. I think people will move beyond ebikes if they are willing to have a street vehicle. Depends on how much speed you need. But then they have to contend with motorcycle rules, like insurance, registrations, and licenses. Genze probably can't avoid being classed as a motorcycle (in a lot of states) unless the electric vehicle industry changes a lot of state laws. It would be great to have some room to develop new products.

There are a lot of high powered ebikes out there. Will they ever market them to be street legal? What would it take? Does it matter?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Correction: They make and export tractors.
By volume, they are the largest tractor manufacturer in the world.

In India, we pay $5 /gallon of gas. People in US don't know how lucky they are. So, anyway, I think there is a niche for these kind scooters. [SF, Portland, NY, DC...]

PS: I used to work as a Materials R&D person for about an year (2005-2006) with Mahindra's competitor.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
Well, bad phrasing, but they import the tractor into the US. They export a tractor from India. If you want to get really technical, they do final assembly in Texas:).

 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Its a cute e-scooter, but $3000 and only 30mph? With DOT type scooters, you're not allowed in bike lanes and other than neighborhood streets, 30mph is not going to let you match traffic. A similar, high quality scooter, the EVT, imported by Bravo EV, did well when gas prices were at $4/gallon, but once the economy tanked in 2008, they just sat in Bravo's warehouse. A lot of money for a little more than 35mph and a realistic 30mile range. Other companies, like EMax have run into similar issues bc. of price and range and in their early days, controller failures. Add to that, in some states (like Texas) the moped license has been eliminated and all DOT scooters/motorcycles require the motorcycle endorsement on a driver's license and a $200 course. With the old moped license all you did was take the written test to be legal. Quite a damper on choosing the mopeds or have a rental business including them.

The removable lithium battery pack is a plus--finding a spot to charge was a common complaint for other e scooter types. And the touch screen interface looks interesting Genze Console.jpg , especially how good you're gonna feel knowing how much CO2 you aren't emitting :cool:. Note however, that this designed to be a one person scooter, no room for your best friend, a feature that many of my e-scooter customers wanted for that amount of money.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
There are people who will throw small fortunes at electric vehicles, or even a concept like charging:

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/gogoro-battery-swapping/

It's probably more of an Asian market, scooters, anyway. But people are going to end up needing transport that fits in the budget. It is discouraging that Texas pushes the rules in the other direction. Gas scooters have always been a tough sell.

I looked at the Bravo. One of the specs is 4 50AH SLA batteries? I guess I wouldn't want to carry those up to a second floor apartment at the end of the day.

Here's another 'in development':

http://www.terra-motors.com/scooter/a4000i/specs/

They must need a couple of kwh to go 30 miles. At least they are generally lithium now.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Correction: They make and export tractors.
By volume, they are the largest tractor manufacturer in the world.

In India, we pay $5 /gallon of gas. People in US don't know how lucky they are. So, anyway, I think there is a niche for these kind scooters. [SF, Portland, NY, DC...]

PS: I used to work as a Materials R&D person for about an year (2005-2006) with Mahindra's competitor.
''

I am trying to understand why electric bikes are so popular in China but gas scooters are more popular in India.. Or am I misinformed?
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Interesting observation Joe. You're right. Gas powered motorcycles are big in India. KTM just launched their lineup and they are selling like hot cakes.
China is expanding 5 times the rate of India and until last year, only SLA based bikes were available and there is a huge market for Ebikes. Up till now , no major industrial automaker has stepped up to marketing these.
I recently took an EBike with me when I visited India and everyone was so amazed to see and experience it.
Cost is still a major prohibitive factor. You can get a really nice motorcycle for 1/3rd the cost of an ebike and the insurance costs in India are very less ($200/ year for cars and $80/year for motorcycles). Unless the costs of battery comes down, I don't see many people moving that direction.
 

George S.

Well-Known Member
http://www.bikedekho.com/scooters.html

So I guess basic scooters in India cost $700, if my Rupee to Dollar conversion is right.

I've seen numbers all over the lot for Chinese ebikes, average prices of $200 -300. They are still lead acid. Gas scooters are banned in parts of China.

I don't think we know much about Asia, but we get so much stuff out of Asia, and their incomes are rising. It's confusing when European companies market ebike products made in Asia, but claim their oversight makes them meet Western standards. Look at Chinese smartphones, or Lenovo computers. They figure this stuff out.

This review of a basic scooter makes some interesting points:

Hero MotoCorp Maestro OverView
It has been about a year and a half since Hero and Honda ended their glorious partnership that had given India the most splendid line-up of bikes that it has today – the Hero Honda motorcycles. But now, that the Indian partner, or rather the Indian ex-partner, is desperate about making a new and better position for itself in the Indian two-wheeler market, it is trying all it can to introduce some really attractive products. And what better field would there be for Hero at the moment than a segment that is itself under a major transition these days?


The scooter market is changing drastically. Coming from a time when scooters were considered as an elderly ride, not to mention boring and lifeless, these mature rides are now being transformed into safe and stylish rides for the vibrant youth that believes in speed but not in rashness. And that is what Hero MotoCorp Maestro is all about. Earlier it was the peppy Pleasure that won away the hearts of girls in a wink, and now it is the manly Maestro that is carved to work the same magic over boys. Bold curves stretched over a sophisticated but advanced body frame that adorn the Maestro speak of a silent yet strong manhood. Plus, the powerful engine which is proficient at its work consumes as minimal fuel as possible making the ride not only smart but also sensible.