Vancouver scooter companies discover success, say pandemic boosting demand
Two new downtown Vancouver electrical scooter companies are offering a brand new approach to safely discover Vancouver in the course of the pandemic.
Electrical-scooter rental firm and supplier Zoot Scoot, close to Esther Quick Park, and one other supplier, Rev Rides, close to Briz Mortgage & Guitar on Washington Road, are each discovering success with a lot of gross sales this summer time.
Jason Adams and his spouse, Kristie Means, opened Zoot Scoot in early June at 812 Columbia St. Earlier than opening, he was apprehensive about beginning a brand new enterprise amid the pandemic. However he realized it was a possibility to carry reasonably priced leisure to downtown in a time when many sources of leisure have been shut down.
“At first, I used to be pondering of placing it on maintain due to COVID-19,” Adams mentioned. “However I believed it was an excellent type of leisure whereas nonetheless following the social distancing tips.”
Zoot Scoot gives fat-tire e-scooter leases and gross sales. They’re obtainable to lease for $20 per hour, or $69.99 for the day. The scooters have a 40-mile vary, permitting clients to see a lot of Vancouver. Leases might be made on-line at zootscoot.net or over the cellphone.
Adams specified that the e-scooters needs to be used within the bike lane solely and never on any sidewalks. Helmets are supplied by Zoot Scoot and the e-scooters can be found for buy at $1,695 every.
Adams mentioned the response has been wonderful, and the neighborhood has embraced them. Throughout the first 5 weeks of opening, he bought the 50 models he had in inventory, and leases proceed to return in.
“I needed to maintain it reasonably priced so folks can take pleasure in it with out monetary pressure, particularly in a time like this,” Adams mentioned.
He mentioned a number of native companies have come by to indicate help. His neighbors subsequent door at Doppelganger rented eight scooters for an worker outing this summer time.
“That is my hometown. I’m proud to be doing my half in serving to our space develop,” Adams mentioned.
Nathan Pust relocated his enterprise REV Rides, which stands for Leisure Electrical Autos, out of his storage in Salmon Creek to a brand new downtown location at 500 Washington St., full with a workshop and showroom.
In October of 2018, Pust started REV Rides after he first acquired within the trade whereas touring to Asia and seeing the recognition of electrical automobiles there.
“I personally needed one and I all the time needed to begin my very own enterprise,” Adams mentioned. “I observed there have been hardly any scooter outlets within the U.S. and noticed there was a market there.”
Almost two years later, Pust moved REV Rides downtown to promote a wide array of leisure electrical automobiles, together with stand-up scooters, grime bikes and unicycles. In addition they provide upkeep within the workshop hooked up to the showroom.
“We’re a part of an ideal neighborhood down right here, and it’s actually helped with our native presence,” Pust mentioned.
Most of Pust’s enterprise comes by way of gross sales throughout the nation. He provides round 35 sellers with electrical automobiles and sells merchandise on-line at revrides.com to clients in Seattle, San Francisco and New York. The situation downtown is open for gross sales and upkeep by appointment solely.
Pust mentioned he doesn’t see a lot battle between his and Adams’ enterprise. He believes they each can thrive in downtown Vancouver.
“As we have been each opening up and shifting in Jason got here by and launched himself,” Pust mentioned. “He’s a very nice man; we talked about our enterprise plans and I don’t see lots of overlap.”
Pust mentioned enterprise has boomed throughout the trade in the course of the pandemic, with gross sales doubling and nearly tripling.
Pust and Minon Minnieweather, Rev Rides’ shopper help specialist, had a few theories on the excessive demand: Individuals are bored sheltering indoors and on the lookout for environmentally pleasant types of transportation.
Minnieweather identified that the first motivation is monetary causes. Leisure electrical automobiles require much less upkeep, lower out gasoline and parking prices and are sometimes extra reasonably priced than a automobile for these desirous to keep away from public transit in the course of the pandemic.
“Now that everybody’s house, they’ve time now to consider practicality and their finances,” Minnieweather mentioned. “There’s a sensible side but additionally a enjoyable facet to it.”
Adams hopes to make use of the upward momentum within the electrical automobile trade to attain his long-term objectives of franchising his enterprise. He plans on opening a second Zoot Scoot in Scottsdale, Ariz., in October.
“It’s all concerning the seasons,” Adams mentioned. “When the rain comes again to the Northwest, it drops right down to 85 in Arizona and that’s once they need to get outdoors.”
Pust and his co-workers at REV Rides all participate in a neighborhood journey for electrical automobiles each Sunday.
He mentioned it’s been a pleasant approach to get out of the home and see folks.
“These leisure electrical automobiles are clean and quiet,” Pust mentioned. “You possibly can hear all of the birds and you’ll really feel the breeze rush by.”