ANN ARBOR, MI– Ann Arbor Scooter Co. owner and former State Rep. Adam Zemke has wanted to sell electric mopeds since his business opened in 2018.
As of last week, he did just that. Ann Arbor Scooter Co., 402 Maynard St., is now selling fully electric Niu NQi and MQi mopeds.
“We had pretty much right from the start questions about electric ones,” Zemke said. “There really just weren’t any available at the time.”
After several months of learning about this brand, Zemke became a dealer. Five electric scooters arrived last week, two were sold and one, a special order, is awaiting pick up.
The electric scooters are slightly more expensive than gas-powered mopeds, Zemke said. The starting price of a gas moped is anywhere from $1,300 to $2,200 plus tax, while the electric mopeds start at $2,600.
However, electric mopeds should last a lot longer than a gas moped, Zemke said.
“In theory, electric motors don’t wear out.. you have to put so many cycles on them to get them to wear out that it’s (a) crazy amount,” Zemke said. “Way more than a gas powered. So in theory, they should last a much longer time.”
To fuel up, the electric mopeds plug into the wall with a special plug and a charger that looks similar to one used for a laptop. Each seven hour charge gets anywhere between 40 and 88 miles, depending on the model.
The average electric and gas mopeds are similar in top speed, with electric topping out at 28 mph and gas at 30mph. Electric mopeds on the other hand will get going faster with a more instantaneous torque and also have a cruise control feature, Zemke said.
However, different models of each type can go faster and this changes its classification. The lower-speed mopeds can be driven with a regular driver’s license, while higher-speed mopeds require a motorcycle course to be driven.
The electric mopeds available at the store do not need a motorcycle endorsement and are targeted at students or community members who want to go 35 mph or less around town.
Mopeds are also convenient for the Ann Arbor lifestyle, Zemke said, adding he got started in the scooter business by wanting an easier way to get around and park in the downtown area.
“I started looking at a moped to solve my problem and I ended up calling a dealer in Maryland and they were super helpful, and I ended up calling the manufacturer,” Zemke said. “They asked me if I was interested in starting a franchise.”
From a practical and environmentally sustainable perspective, Ann Arbor has embraced a multi-modal lifestyle from walking to riding stand up scooters and bikes, Zemke said.
Demand for mopeds at the Ann Arbor Scooter Co. has increased significantly since opening in 2018, he said.
All of Zemke’s scooters are fuel efficient, with the gas mopeds getting 100 miles to the gallon. In comparison to a car, they are inexpensive to purchase and own.
Zemke’s goal for his business has been to provide greener, convenient transportation to the Ann Arbor community. His goal of selling electric mopeds has been nearly three years in the making.
“We were very excited, particularly for this brand, because we had been looking at this brand for a while,” Zemke said. “…To be able to have the opportunity, I think is really neat. I think it’s very much in line with the values of our community in terms of environmental sustainability.”