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Flywheel | January 18, 2023
Introducing electric scooters on Flywheel and featuring the top 5 vehicles of the week
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of the used side of owned micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight an observation of trends emerging in the industry and feature five of the most interesting used vehicles being sold in the secondary market.
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The observation of the week explores the challenges of finding used electric scooters and introduces Flywheel’s foray into the secondary escooter market. This week’s featured vehicles are a high-performance scooter, two cargo bikes, a workhorse fleet scooter, and a retro-design cruiser.
Observation of the Week
Introducing electric scooters on Flywheel: Solving the challenges of finding used escooters
Finding electric scooters on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace is a complicated and confusing experience. Searches for “electric scooter” result in everything from mobility scooters and children’s kick scooters to mopeds and motorcycles. It’s also hard to even know which product categories to look in to find a scooter. While ebikes are mostly found under the bicycles or cycling categories, classification of escooters by these used marketplaces is a mixed bag. On Craigslist, scooters are listed under the motorcycles, bicycles, electronics, sporting goods, toys, or health & beauty categories. Facebook Marketplace is even worse, listing scooters as a sub-sub category under Toys & Games.
This categorization, or lack thereof, not only means that it’s difficult to search for scooters, but also means that relevant information and specs are rarely included in a scooter’s listing. The following is a form for the details Craigslist asks for when you try to post a listing in the bicycle category:
These details are barely sufficient for an ebike listing, let alone an escooter listing. And in case sellers post an escooter under one of the other common categories like sporting goods or electronics, virtually no details are requested by Craigslist.
As per Rob McPherson (Founder and CEO of used scooter retailer King Scooters), “Facebook and Craigslist are usually the first stop for people who want to give owning a scooter a try. It’s a shame that these companies bury scooters in categories like kids toys or sports. They need to create an overall category for Micromobility, and then seperate out the different form factors like bikes, e-bikes, scooters, NEVs, etc.”
Until Craigslist creates such a Micromobility category, perhaps Flywheel can be of help. Starting this week, Flywheel will begin to aggregate and analyze used escooter listings across major US markets in addition to used ebike listings.
To give some quick context for the size of the secondary escooter market, listed below are the current ratios of the number of active used escooter listings vs. the number of active used ebike listings on Craigslist across the top 4 major US micromobility markets:
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Top 5 Vehicles of the Week
The Boosted Rev is a high-performance electric scooter and a pioneer in the owned scooter segment that unfortunately ended up being ahead of its time. Boosted became viral for its electric long boards, and was really the first brand to bring an incredible vertically integrated product design ethos to micromobility. With the Rev, Boosted launched the first premium scooter that was a viable, high-utility commuting vehicle, not just a toy. As Electric Scooter Guide puts it, “The Boosted Rev heralds a new era for electric scooters — the transition from being disposable electronic gadgets to legitimate micro-mobility vehicles.” Its dual-wheel drive powertrain features two 750W (~50Nm) motors that are capable of regenerative braking and a 614Wh battery pack, giving riders a range of ~15 miles at a max speed of 24mph and a max climbing grade of 25%. The vehicle’s acceleration, responsive throttle, and regenerative braking that almost entirely removes the need for the included mechanical brakes are a testament to the amazing firmware and motor controllers that Boosted has developed. The scooter is very easy to service given its modular design. However, since Boosted has gone out of business, replacement modules are hard to find. Although the Rev is one of the more expensive scooters, it has an incredible build quality and is still one of the best scooters ever made. The Rev is hard to find in the used market, so this listing for a vehicle bought in 2021 with <200 miles of usage is a rare and compelling option. Listing can be found here.
The Xtracycle EdgeRunner 10E is a trailblazing class-1 longtail cargo bike. Although it was launched in 2015 and is now discontinued, the EdgeRunner 10E still holds its own amongst newer models and offers comparable performance and function. Its powertrain features a 60Nm Bosch Gen2 mid-drive motor and a 400Wh battery pack. In fact, the EdgeRunner 10E was actually one of the first long-tail cargo bikes to use a Bosch powertrain. Its payload capacity is a heavy-duty 350lbs, and its wheel configuration where the front wheel is larger than the rear wheel (26” vs. 20”) gives riders a large attack angle while still maintaining a low center of gravity. Xtracycle was originally a manufacturer of accessories that extend normal bike frames into cargo bike frames before it transitioned to building full cargo bikes. Given this heritage, their vehicles are extremely modular and compatible with a wide ecosystem of Xtracycle accessories, ranging from foot rests and integrated racks to an awesome side-car cargo platform. This listing has a recently replaced battery pack from REI that is still under warranty and comes with a number of useful upgrades (front and rear racks, rear passenger seat accessories, integrated lights). Listing can be found here.
The Fucare Gemini X is a budget class-3 cargo bike. Launched in early 2022, the Gemini X has become popular because it has exceptional performance while still being highly affordable. Its powertrain features an 80Nm geared hub motor and a 1000Wh dual battery pack, both of which are components rarely found on bikes retailing for <$2K. In addition to this impressive powertrain, the Gemini X’s truss-tubing frame gives it an industry-leading 400lbs payload capacity. The integrated racks, fat tires, step-through frame, and removable batteries are further thoughtful design decisions that make the Gemini X a versatile and accessible cargo-toting vehicle. This listing is being sold because it’s too large for the seller, and is selling for ~$400 less than MSRP despite only having 2 miles of usage. Listing can be found here.
The Segway Ninebot ES4 is an electric scooter that was likely many people’s first introduction to micromobility. The ES4 is a powerhouse fleet vehicle that was extremely popular with shared dockless scooter services because of its cost, relative reliability, and easily accessible replacement parts inventory. Its powertrain features a 300W (~35Nm) front hub motor capable of regenerative braking and a 374Wh dual battery pack. Riders are able to hit a max speed of 18.6mph at an approximate max hill grade of 15%. There’s a number of useful features directly built into the vehicle, from an under-deck lighting system for nighttime riding to dual suspension. However, the ES4’s stiff and thin wheels make for a bumpy ride that’s very sensitive to road imperfections. While the ES4 was highly popular 5 years ago and deserves a lot of credit for its critical role in the micromobility industry, the growing owned micromobility segment has since birthed a lot of better alternatives (i.e. Taur, Segway Max, and Unagi Model One). Listing can be found here.
The Kalkhoff Tasman Classic Impulse 8 is a class-1 step-thru cruiser that combines beautiful design with high practicality. The high-performance powertrain features a 70Nm internally geared mid-drive motor and a 629Wh battery pack, and the pedal assistance is smooth and intuitive due to a three sensor (pedal torque, pedal cadence, and rear wheel speed) system. There’s even a number of accessories like lighting, a rear rack, and a mini tire pump that are directly integrated into the frame. Compared to other popular cruisers like the Townie Go!, the Tasman Classic is more expensive and doesn’t have a throttle. However, its longer range, more powerful motor, and stiffer frame give it a superior ride and a more solid and safe feel. A contact at a leading ebike reseller mentioned that Kalkhoff ebikes are some of the best vehicles for refurbishment and resale because they are extremely reliable, have a high quality build with low degradation, use components whose replacements are readily available, and can be very easily serviced. A new Tasman Classic is a bit expensive for a casual use-case like cruising, but this listing for a vehicle that is selling for ~$1K less than its Flywheel Vehicle Value with only 500 miles of usage is an excellent option. Listing can be found here.
That’s it for this edition. Thanks again for joining, see you next week!
- Puneeth Meruva
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