As the first day of the 2022 AIMExpo continued to gain momentum into the afternoon, the trade show’s electrification seminar drew a decent crowd of interested powersport dealers looking to hear what Marc McAllister of Tucker Powersports, Bill Jenkins of Kawasaki and Dan Quick of Zero Motorcycles all had to say about the industry’s growing EV focus.
However, not everyone in the crowd was so elated to hear that E-powered vehicles will continue to increase in volume. As Marc McAllister was talking about Tucker Powersports’ own projections on future EV business, a dealer stood up and challenged the relevance of EV and that he wasn’t buying in. McAllister assured him that gas-powered vehicles won’t go away, but EV is the future and it is drawing new consumers to the powersports space.
Gasoline and internal combustion engines aren’t going anywhere for a long time, McAllister said – with agreement from Jenkins and Quick. But the upshot is that electric motorcycles, in particular, may well help expand the market with their clutchless, shift-free ease of operation.
The panel all agreed and spoke about the many ways that the EV market within powersports is here, its evolving and its accelerating. OEMs are driving that growth and the large majority of dealers are onboard or are certainly seeing the signs that they should be, and soon.
Throughout the panel discussion, audience members were asked to answer polls related to E-powered vehicles and the market. Questions such as “How many dealers carry EV already?” “Are dealerships getting EV inquiries?” “Would your dealership be comfortable/want EV along with ICE products?” And so on…
Every question posed swayed in favor of the EV market and more E-powered vehicles. It seems to be a good thing too. Zero’s Dan Quick said the EV market is akin to when UTVs and ATVs entered the motorcycle space and drew a whole new consumer to dealerships. Now, those markets are nearly 50/50 within powersports.
The three panelists also spoke about today’s E-powered vehicles and how there are some barriers that exist, such as training both dealers and consumers, a growing EV infrastructure, and understanding the batteries themselves and how they charge.
However, battery technology today has come leaps and bounds, and with both automotive OEMs and powersport OEMs putting significant effort behind this segment, its only going to get better. All three panelists agreed that in just five years we will see a huge jump in EV.
The question remains – what is your dealership going to do for or against it? *Much more on this panel discussion will be featured on MPN soon.