Zapp Scooters set to enter crowded electric motorcycle segment


Tony Posawatz, longtime director of electric vehicles, introduces the new Zapp i300 electric scooter to its first American audience in this photo posted on August 2, 2021 on the eve of the Automotive Research Management Information Seminars in Traverse City, Michigan, United States Zapp / Document via REUTERS

Aug 4 (Reuters) – UK company Zapp Scooters plans to start selling its new i300 electric two-wheeler this fall in Europe and early next year in the US, the company said on Wednesday, as the segment of electric motorcycles is more and more congested.

Founded by Thai entrepreneur Swin Chatsuwan, a former investment banker now based in the UK, Zapp, four, will market with a build-to-order business model, according to Tony Posawatz, an investor and advisor to Zapp who was previously with General Motors Co (GM.N).

The launch edition of the Thai-built i300 will be priced at $ 8,995, with a standard model to follow at $ 7,495.

A key competitor, the Italian-made battery-powered Vespa Elettrica, starts at $ 7,449. Vespa is owned by Piaggio & C SpA (PIA.MI).

“This is not your father’s Vespa,” said Posawatz, who once led GM’s Chevrolet Volt hybrid electric car program and advised start-up companies from Lucid Group Inc (LCID.O) to Inrix.

Unlike the familiar decades-old Vespa made popular by “Roman Holiday,” the 1953 film starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the Zapp i300 sports a post-modern design and features like a lithium-ion exchangeable. drums.

The newcomer faces stiff competition from more than two dozen companies, many of which are based in China and India, the world’s two largest markets for two-wheelers. Among the more notable rivals: Gogoro, based in Taiwan, and the Chinese Niu Technologies (NIU.O).

Zapp hopes its retail model – order your vehicle online, specify its features, and have it delivered to your door – will help it cross the competitive thicket.

The company is also considering using authorized resellers in certain markets and may sell directly to corporate customers.

Reporting by Paul Lienert in Detroit Editing by Matthew Lewis

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