Tucker Expands ePower Offerings - Electric Bicycles, Scooters and Skateboards
Among the initiatives embraced in the past two years, Tucker's decision to get into the burgeoning EV market may prove to have been one of the biggest opportunities for expansion.
At AIMExpo, Tucker announced a "dramatic expansion of its industry-leading portfolio of ePower products with the addition of new Fantic e-bicycles, UBCO utility e-bikes, Evolve electric skateboards, additional models of e-scooters from Dualtron, Speedway, and underwater scooters from Jet Pilot.
|UBCO utility e-bike
"The company's offering of e-vehicles and accessories was launched in early 2021 and has had overwhelming acceptance by forward-looking retailers from throughout the United States."
The expansion of the program includes the addition of three additional e-bike models from legendary and resurgent Italian off-road motorcycle manufacturer Fantic - including mountain bikes, a commuter e-bike and the revolutionary Issimo, a step-through e-bike that has won design awards across Europe, featuring 20” fat tires, mid-motor and front suspension.
A line of UBCO utility e-bikes features two-wheel drive and built-in components which make them suitable for everything from work, hunting and outdoors, to commuting and family travel. All UBCO bikes have embedded tech that allows over-the-air updates to the bike via a smartphone app.
'training and operational change requirements'
Tucker's e-skateboard line-up adds seven new premium boards from Evolve, including its Carbon GTR, Bamboo GTR and Stoke series. Each series features a dramatic look and both GTR series include both off-road and street models.
Described as "the ultimate accessory for a scuba diver or snorkeler," Tucker has added three models of underwater scooters to its ePower and Water portfolios. The Yamaha Explorer, Yamaha Sea Wing II and Yamaha RDS250 are licensed products manufactured by Jet Pilot. Tucker has also added new e-scooters from its current suppliers, Dualtron and Speedway.
Jamie Kempinski, Tucker's Director of Business Development, says that the company "recognizes that a dealer's addition of e-bikes and scooters to its business doesn't come without questions. The training and operational change requirements can be significant, so we have also launched a training series specifically designed to help dealers add ePower items to their business operations.
"The education program will assist employees in understanding the products and working with customers that may be new to the dealership and to ePower products. The training is part of a redesigned Tucker University, an online portal that is available to all Tucker dealers and their staff.
"Electric products are a part of our future and they deserve a place alongside a dealership's current product offering. Our growing line-up of ePower products, our online training tools and our knowledgeable field sales team make us a great partner for dealers preparing for an electric future."
Marc McAllister on eMarket Dealer Opportunities
Interviewed at AIMExpo by Dealernews' Robin Hartfiel, CEO, President and former H-D executive Marc McAllister addressed the issue of electrification and the business opportunity it represents for the market's dealers head-on.
"Is it the 'next big thing'? We do not regard the decision to carry ePower products as an either or for any kind of dealership. It is an additional business opportunity and sits alongside products for internal combustion engine [ICE] motorcycles and their riders.
|Marc McAllister, CEO & President of Tucker Powersports
"We need to see the market get to a position of maturity in ePower terms, and that will take at least a decade, in which some [vendors and brands] will come and go. We are very happy with the partners we have been able to select. Manufacturers such as UBCO, Fantic, Dualtron and Speedway are quality businesses who will stand the test of time.
"In the case of UBCO, we are seeing the benefits of new technology. The idea of all-wheel drive has been with us for years, but UBCO's in-hub motors are finally making it an accessible idea, one that gives UBCO access to new engineering and to all-new thinking about platform architecture."
'dealers need to be more fluid'
Asked about his take on whether getting involved in sectors such as eBikes ['Pedelecs' etc] sees the powersports industry encroaching on the sectors traditionally dominated by independent bicycle dealers (IBD), McAllister doesn't see it as a battle for dominance between sectors, he sees it as a symptom of wider market changes.
"Bicycles, motorcycles, scooters, UTV segments are all merging together. Whereas the motorcycle and bicycle markets went their own ways 40-50 years ago, the market is now changing again with dealers needing to be more fluid and participating in as many of the available sectors as possible.
"There is no more black and white - the lines between market segments are going grey. Consumers are changing their buying habits, so retailers need to track them and deliver what they are looking for."