Your native bike store gained’t carry them. Amazon has too lots of them. And those from the sharing providers preserve breaking down. The place are you purported to go to find a decent electric bike or scooter?
How about RidePanda, the brand new on-line market for battery-powered two-wheelers? The location, which simply got here out of stealth final week, goals to turn into a “one-stop store” for electrical micromobility. Every e-bike, e-scooter, and e-moped is hand-picked, examined, and rated based mostly on its elements. There are add-ons, like financing, warranties, and meeting help. And with bike and scooter sales booming amid the pandemic, RidePanda’s timing could also be extraordinarily fortuitous.
RidePanda is the brainchild of two veterans of the scooter wars: Chinmay Malaviya, who used to work at Lime, is the CEO; and Charlie Depman, a former worker at Chicken and Scoot, is the chief expertise officer. They’ve seen up shut how individuals use (and abuse) shared scooters, and so they wish to carry that have to the world of non-public possession.
Most customers store for electrical bikes and scooters by looking out on Amazon, or typing “finest e-bike” into Google and scrolling by means of countless blogs and overview websites. Or possibly they learn reviews on sites like The Verge. RidePanda needs to assist make that course of slightly simpler.
“We’ve give you this vetting system to assist us filter by means of these 1000’s of choices,” Depman mentioned, “and we use the vetting system to fee our autos throughout efficiency, security, sustainability, sturdiness, and repairability.”
RidePanda presents scores based mostly on the core elements, just like the motor, battery, brakes, body, and others. Prospects can take a brief quiz, with questions on their top, weight, and using habits, to get a handful of outcomes finest suited to their life-style.
Lots of the bike and scooter corporations featured on RidePanda promote their merchandise on to customers, largely by means of their very own web sites and infrequently with a wide range of added extras, like meeting directions and equipment. However RidePanda assumes most individuals aren’t savvy sufficient to know which websites to go to, and can want an skilled voice to make suggestions. That, together with financing choices and repair bundles, helps justify RidePanda as a intermediary between clients and these direct-to-consumer corporations.
“They’re competing in a wild, wild West,” Malaviya mentioned. “Daily there’s a new Kickstarter marketing campaign. Why is my product higher? They’re all tooting their very own horn … What we do is say, ‘Hey, these are the very best ones.’”
It stays to be seen whether or not RidePanda can set up itself as a trusted model within the micromobility market. Transport e-bikes and scooters by means of the mail to clients is a fraught enterprise, as VanMoof’s high executives not too long ago admitted in an interview with The Verge. The Dutch model has been plagued with supply points, with many purchasers reporting scuffs and injury on their bikes that occurred throughout transport.
RidePanda contracts with bike upkeep distributors that journey to a buyer’s home and assist with any meeting or restore points that will come up. However these providers value further and are solely accessible in a handful of cities. The location additionally will inform clients up entrance how lengthy it is going to take to ship a motorcycle or scooter earlier than they make a purchase order.
Electrical autos may be tougher to keep up and restore than nonmotorized bikes and scooters. However RidePanda’s founders don’t see themselves in competitors with conventional, human-powered autos; they see e-bikes and scooters as alternate options to automobile possession.
“E-bikes may be exhausting for a shopper,” Malaviya mentioned, “however automobiles are even more durable.”