In a sign of just how much times have changed on the mobility front, the recent New York Auto Show (NYAS) in April was chock full of new electric vehicle (EVs) launches, EV delivery concepts, utility company exhibitors such as Con Edison, and the first-ever Micro Mobility Expo & Test Track. There were so few traditional gasoline-powered cars that the event seemed more like an e-mobility show than a car show.
“Even just the presence of these types of products at this event makes people pause and say, ‘Wow, this is really big,’” says Ryan McNamara, vice president of sales at Jetson, which was exhibiting its line of affordable eScooters that start at $399 and are sold at big-box retailers such as Walmart and Target. “Not everyone who comes here has the money to buy a car, but they might have the money to buy something in the e-mobility space.” Jetson had a 66-percent-per-unit market share in the mass retail space for 2021, according to McNamara, but this is the first bonafide car show the company has attended. The company usually goes to CES and to Outdoor Retailer in the summer.
The places where e-scooter and eBike companies show up will likely expand, too, since the global market is expected to grow from $40.16 billion this year to $92.19 billion by the end of the decade, according to Fortune Business Insights. “We have riders from the age of 12 to over 65 – kids, moms, dads, grandparents – it’s a much wider, mass-appeal audience than people think,” says McNamara. “And this period of fast growth came over the past couple of years, when almost no one was traveling to work.” Indeed, Julian Fernau, who runs the eScooter e-tailer Fluidfreeride and is the subject of our Retail on the Run Q&A, says that his predominant consumer is among thirty-something males.
And the use cases for e-bikes and eScooters go beyond what we might typically consider. The fold-up category is hot in both e-scooters and e-bikes. One of the exhibitors at the Micro Mobility Expo was Jupiter Bike, which makes folding e-bikes exclusively. This is not the first automotive event for the company, however; it regularly attends exotic car shows such as the Festival of Speed, and even RV and pilot shows. “Exotic car owners just love the next cool thing, but yacht owners also love this – the carry bags are PVC-coated nylon, which protects the bikes from saltwater air,” says Jupiter Bike President Rob Daniels. “They’re extremely lightweight, so you just pull up to the dock, pull these out, and ride around the island. The Discovery X5 is only 40 pounds, which makes it popular with pilots, since weight is a big issue with flying.”
On a final note, this is my last day as Editor in Chief of Dealerscope. It’s been a lot of fun to cover the CE and appliance retail space over the past 14 months and 15 issues of the magazine, not to mention the website and podcasts, but I’m also excited to move on to the next big thing, which you can find out all about by connecting with me on LinkedIn. All that said, I will likely continue as an occasional contributor to Dealerscope, and there will be a few more articles from me trickling out in the near term and in upcoming issues,so please stay in touch.
Taking the reins on May 11th and starting with the July 2022 issue will be Connected Design Chief Editor Erinn Loucks, who will be serving as Editor in Chief of both Dealerscope and Connected Design moving forward. Please join me in congratulating her on this exciting new role.
Tom is the Editor in Chief of Dealerscope.