In Paris, the fever of electric scooters

In Paris, the fever of electric scooters

September 1 marked the start of paid parking for all thermal two-wheelers in Paris, while free parking for electric vehicles still applies. A situation that could spread to other large cities in the country, says Grégory Coillot, CEO and founder of Volt, a start-up specializing in electric mobility. “In Nantes and Montpellier -among others-, the city councils are considering banning the parking of two-wheeled thermal vehicles, or doing so for a fee, for acoustic and environmental reasons,” he explains. Parisians, therefore, already have a right to it.

And this does not stop delighting the sellers of electric scooters, who see more and more new customers pushing the door of their stores. But will there be a machine for everyone? 20 minutes posed the question to industry professionals.

Demand is exploding

The entry into force of this paid parking lot in the capital was initially scheduled for January 2022. So much so that the orders for electric scooters had already begun to rise upstream. “But the reform was delayed for electoral reasons,” says Emmanuel Combelles, CEO and founder of the GreenMotorShop brand, which has two stores in Paris. “Clients therefore came to cancel their purchase and indicated that they would return the following summer”, continues the commercial manager.

In fact, it is in 2022 when motorcyclists meet again. “We were surprised by the sudden acceleration in sales, which we would have thought would be more gradual”, explains Grégory Coillot. It was felt “during the summer holidays, in June/July”, according to Emmanuel Combelles. Sales have “multiplied by 5 or 6”, specifies the CEO of Volt, according to which this year 100,000 electric scooters have been registered.

The phenomenon is even more acute in stores that sell their own brand, particularly in RoulezEcolo. “Our sales have increased by 100%”, says Aubry Noirjean, its president. Established in Brittany, the company has anticipated the increase in Parisian demand and its “Lycke” scooters will be available in three months at a new point of sale in the 15th arrondissement.

pending inventory

But with so many sales in such a short time, do you keep stocks? The GreenMotorShop brand, which offers both 50cc and 125cc equivalent electric scooters, is experiencing a shortage of stock. “This affects 40% of the references we offer”, explains Emmanuel Combelles. Some “are coming back faster than others,” like the Niu brand scooters, because the company “is a very large importer throughout Europe,” he adds. Instead, the Super Soco brand, for example, is more impacted.

At RoulezEcolo, “flagship models are on pre-order, because shortages are regular.” Stock is less of an issue at Easy-Watts, a China-linked electric scooter brand. “We have a direct relationship with the factory, we are not worried,” says Pierre Hinault, its commercial director.

Longer delivery times and more expensive scooters

But why so much scarcity? Because in addition to a rapid increase in sales, replenishment cycles are long. “It takes 3 to 4 months from the order,” explains Grégory Coillot. For his part, Pierre Hinault (Easy-watts) admits that delivery times have increased due to “the shortage of components and the acceleration of maritime transport”. Not to mention “the space occupied by the scooters once they arrive at the warehouse, according to the CEO. No professional in the sector can store so much”.

And if delivery times are extended, prices are also subject to increases everywhere. Aubry Noirjean (RoulezEcolo) recalls that the cost of maritime transport has increased considerably since the pandemic. Consequence: “Although we try to stabilize them, our prices have increased by 20% since 2021,” he acknowledges.

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