Verona’s Electric Spokes Company is expanding in a big way. The business, which is already New Jersey’s largest electric bike and e-scooter dealer, announced today that it is launching a franchise company, Voltaire Cycles.
The partners say it was a market-driven decision. E-bike sales in the U.S. rose from $15 million in 2015 to $28 million for 2016, and global projections see multi-billion-dollar sales worldwide by 2025. Major auto companies like Audi, Ford, and BMW have all announced e-bike designs.
“Until recently, small electric vehicles were a niche industry that would occasionally appear at big box retailers or in gadget magazines during the holidays,” says company CEO Derek Mithaug. “The ever-increasing concern about our planet, recent advances in battery and energy storage capabilities, and new designs of e-vehicles like e-bikes, and e-scooters are drawing a much bigger audience.”
The franchise locations, like the Verona store, will offer a wide range of options, from e-bikes–including fat tire bikes and tandems–to e-boards, recumbents and bike accessories. “If there is any doubt about what these e-vehicles are all about, we take them on a test ride,” says the company’s communication director, Jamie Gilson. “The sale is almost always made at the end of that ride. The impact of the first-ride experience is tremendous.”
Each Voltaire Cycles franchisee undergoes extensive training in the care, maintenance and support of e-mobility vehicles. “The service department is one of the most reassuring aspects for consumers who are nearing that decision to invest $1,000+ on a new e-bike or e-scooter,” says company COO, Mark Baraniak.