Boston area's first e-scooter shop caters to new mobility trend
Look around Boston's roads and bike lanes and you'll see as many electric scooters as pedal-powered bicycles.
- But as the popularity of electric scooters takes off, batteries wear down, tires go flat and brakes get squeaky. Riders aren't always welcome at traditional bike shops and home repair can be frustrating or impossible.
Why it matters: There was a hole in the market for a brick-and-mortar e-scooter repair and retail business, and BostonProScooter filled it as the Boston area's first and only shop dedicated to e-scooters.
- The Central Square shop's staff have become experts on the most popular scooter brands sold online and offer service you can't get anywhere else locally.
- Instead of shipping an entire scooter back to a manufacturer, the shop can handle tire and battery replacement, fix internal electronics, source parts and keep riders on the road.
Details: Most e-scooters in Greater Boston are privately owned after the region's disastrous experiences with scooter rental companies like Lime and Bird years ago.
- Brookline and Somerville experimented with the kinds of sidewalk rentals seen in other cities, but without Boston and other municipalities allowing them, the trend quickly faded.
Yes but, mid-range commuter e-scooters saw a surge in popularity as Chinese brands began selling affordable models through Amazon and other retailers.
- Entry-level models go for around $400-$800, while higher-end models for enthusiasts can cost thousands.
- Brands like NIU, Segway Ninebot, GoTrax, Hiboy and Dualtron make up most of the shop's portfolio.
What they're saying: "It becomes their automobile. They can't live without it," BostonProScooter co-founder Andrew Nashed told Axios of the city's growing number of scooter enthusiasts.
- Nashed put up a website and started repairing scooters in his home until the business took off enough to open a small shop just outside Central Square.
- The shop moved to a larger location in the heart of Central Square last summer.
Nashed said the shop has repaired over 2,400 scooters to date.
- "The e-scooter world is so complicated. There are so many models. There's no standardization for anything," Nashed said.
Nashed sees part of the shop's mission as educating e-scooter consumers about which brands are reliable, repairable and good investments.
- Nashed and co-founder Gabriel Demelo work with two full-time and one part-time repair techs. Each tech has experience with the kinds of low-voltage electronics the battery-powered scooters rely on.
What's next: The company has plans to open a second location in downtown Boston and wants to expand to student-heavy areas in the western neighborhoods.
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