Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Will Best Buy Care to Service EVs, even after the Electric Scooter Failure? WHY YES!

Now we all know what a flop the Best Buy entry into EVs was. All you have to do is Google it. Despite some creative gimmicks by Crispin Porter and whole bunch of Crispin interns Brammo has burned a lot of cash and sold a few more bikes than ZERO ( which currently has as many units out there as its name )

So where are the real EV scooter sales? From what I have seen they are all in the under $4,000 category which is the reason the new ETON EV is a hit and a reason why companies like Current Motor and even Vectrix are going to the under $3999 crowd.

I think Best Buy would be the best place in the country to shop for EV units, but they can't just put a little corner and expect the units to sell themselves unless gas is at $5 which is what the upper management probably thought when they came up with this brilliant idea while drinking at the Golf course bar with the Brammo guys. Seriously, you have to put more effort than that. Testing areas, demos, explanations and you probably have to get licensed to sell Motorcycles in all the different states if you're going to do this the right way.

I recently saw the people from Walmart looking at getting in on EVs and scooters. Every couple of years I see the SAM's people walking the shows at EICMA or INTERMOT and here I was seeing them visiting factories again. The thing is in Europe they already sell Scooters at the Supermarket so why not in the USA at some point? Best Buy and Walmart both have the money to lobby each states DMV to change the laws. So technically if they want the market they can afford to build it.

So if its easy anyone can do it. It's sad to see the Best Buy track record in this because when they announced back in May that they were shutting down the EV program it was just after announcing they would be pushing harder into it. So it left a few of us watchers confused. The Brammo thing made sense only if they added several brands, EV bikes, and had a whole section. I mean a little corner wasn't going to do it. There are many educational barriers, marketing barriers, so it just became one of those lazy corporate things because I think Best Buy failed to put any effort into it. Looked very "green" like a comment you make at a hippie party "I like to recycle as well," but there was no real effort behind it.

If Best Buy or Walmart really want to influence the market here are the Scooter Mavens suggestions:

1. Put car and EV Bike charging stations in every single store. Not a few green areas like Portland where you feel you need to impress the locals so they don't Unionize, not everywhere.

2. Start selling EV bikes at every location. No dealers license, no crazy insurance schemes, sell some ULTRA bikes or something cool like that. Also, be really smug about it so that people run there. Make it look really clean like the Apple section.

3. End all customer confusion about the charging process by giving away free videos, have a large TV screen showing how easy it is to charge your EV Scooter or bike. Walmart sells vehicles in other countries including China so why not here? Think about it, make EV stations a requirement for all stores including the new Walmart Express. I can see it now "Charge your scooter in 30mins while you get your pain killers at 30% less than your local CVS!" Actually, next to the Mc Donald's express and the Korean Nail salon inside the mega Walmart you might have to go high end in certain markets like California in my opinion a Dr Tatt Off would be a good idea as well. So you can charge your bike, get your pain killers, eat a burger, and have that wart removed all in 30 mins. 

4. Once you get your feet wet, find some under $4,000 vehicles, get some dealers licenses and start selling EV bikes and Motorcycles. Make some trikes for the old retirees in Florida. Put the force of your media machines behind this. Make a sporty version for all the DUI drivers in North Carolina and you will have yourself a hit.  Call up Current Motor, Vectrix, any of them will gladly help you on this. Worse case scenario import your own brand. Make the Justin Beiber and Lady Gaga edition and you will be the KINGS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES IN NORTH AMERICA. You will have half a China offering you their wares in a few weeks from the only industries you currently don't buy from.

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