Scooter Sales Rising With Gas Prices

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By: Pete Crusoe

Vectrix Electric Scooter

While high gas prices have seriously hurt automakers, the scooter segment of the motorcycling industry, has benefited significantly.

Nationwide, scooter sales were up about 66 percent in the first half of 2008 and these machines are appealing to older riders as well with the median age of a scooter buyer rising from 26 in 1990 to 46 in 2003, according to The Motorcycle Industry Council.

Averaging between 70 and 90 miles per gallon and at today’s average price of $4.02 a gallon, gas scooters can save the average driver upwards of $65.00* a week in fuel costs.

The U.S. scooter sales surge has caught the eye of manufacturers worldwide and there are now dozens of scooter manufacturers vying for the U.S market. Among the most popular are scooters manufactured by companies such as Vectrix, Piaggio (Vespa), Italijet, Kymco, and Honda. See Motorcycle Cruiser Links for a complete Motorcycle and Scooter Manufacturers List.

Going Green

Improvements in manufacturing processes and battery technology are making today’s Electric Scooters a viable alternative. Modern electric scooters can go highway speeds, accelerate quickly, charge from any electrical outlet, go 30 to 60 miles on a charge, and sport good looks.

Electric scooters also require very little maintenance. Aside from minor adjustments and pre-ride safety checks, little else needs to be done on these machines. Troubleshooting has gone high tech and most machines only need to be hooked up to a laptop computer to conduct diagnostic checks and install software upgrades.

Electric scooter manufacturers such as eGo, Electric Moto, ZAP, and Vectrix, are reporting that these machines cost only pennies a day in electricity to operate. Some scooters are getting the equivalent of 200-400 miles per gallon and the carbon footprint of these machines is roughly 90% less than that of some automobiles.

Incentives To Buy Electric Scooters

If high gas prices weren’t enough, some consumers are receiving even more incentives to buy electric scooters in the form of tax credits and rebates.

States such as California, Georgia and West Virginia are offering significant consumer incentives toward the purchase of who purchase alternative fuel and electric vehicles.

photo courtesy of Vectrix

*Savings based on driver traveling 15,000 miles per year at 15mpg (city) in automobile vs. 90mpg (city) on scooter.