Best Buy is going to start selling electric bikes, scooters, and mopeds. The Verge earlier reported on the announcement, which helps validate the market for lightweight electric vehicles and could bring in new buyers.
Unagi, Bird, Segway, and Swft are among the brands that Best Buy will begin stocking. The big-box retailer is already offering the vehicles for purchase on its website, and starting on October, 10 locations across the United States will begin carrying e-bikes and scooters.
Best Buy’s advantage — There really isn’t any one brand in particular that has become a household name in lightweight electric vehicles. Most of them are pretty similar, only different in name and price, and come from largely unknown Chinese manufacturers. Best Buy stepping in could help consumers decide what to buy, curating a selection of quality e-vehicles and letting customers actually compare vehicles in person before making a purchasing decision.
It was only a few years ago that people were decrying the death of Best Buy at the hands of e-commerce companies, particularly Amazon. The company has made a staggering turnaround, however, as it invested more heavily in offerings like in-store pickup and begun price-matching with online competitors. Best Buy has a place, and could really move the needle on bringing electric vehicles to more people.
There’s clearly — The market for electric bikes — and bikes in general — has boomed during the pandemic, as people seek to spend more time outdoors and virus concerns have made people rethink how they get around. Shared rental services have also introduced many people to the fun and practicality of riding an electric scooter or e-bike around town — you get to enjoy the cool wind of the outdoors blowing in your face, and when you’re done you’re not all gross and sweaty.
Cities appreciate small electric vehicles too, as they can alleviate congestion and pollution. Infrastructure, like bike lanes, still needs to be better developed in the U.S., however, if the country is to truly switch to more sustainable modes of transport.
Pandemic-related shortages may cause Best Buy to struggle with inventory, but that’s the story across industries as a cascading series of problems have hampered global supply chains.
“There’s been incredible innovation in the e-transportation space, and we know more customers are looking for ways to efficiently and sustainably commute,” said Frank Bedo, senior vice president at Best Buy, in a statement to The Verge. “As we grow this selection, we look forward to helping customers find the right products to fit their needs and supporting them as they hit the road safely.”