By Dana Hull
San Jose Mercury News.
Electric scooters are all the rage in China, but they have yet to take off in the United States.
Enter GenZe, an all-electric motorized two-wheeler being marketed to college students and urban dwellers as a fun, clean way to zip around campus or city streets at a top speed of 30 miles per hour.
And zip it does. During my test drive I never went more than 10 miles an hour, but it felt like I was going much faster.
I’ve never driven a motorcycle or moped, and was apprehensive about operating the GenZe. But it was easy to drive and intuitive to understand. It had the open, airy feeling of being on a bicycle. The vehicle weighs about 200 pounds and has a cast-aluminum exoskeleton; it’s solid without feeling clunky. I made turns with ease and even though there is both a front and rear brake, most times I just let up on the throttle to come to a full stop.
The GenZe name is a double entendre, it refers to both future generations as well as zero emission vehicles.
It’s manufactured in Michigan; sales and distribution are overseen from a vast warehouse in Fremont, Calif., where I took my test drive in the parking lot. It has a range of roughly 30 miles per charge.
The company has a showroom near the Stanford University campus, and is taking pre-orders for deliveries later this year. The GenZe costs about $3,000.
“Electric two-wheelers are at the nexus of next generation mobility,” said Alex Boyce, GenZe’s brand manager, in an interview.
“You don’t have to worry about oil changes or smog checks, or the traditional hassles of car ownership like parking. We’re looking forward to Stanford students getting back on campus. This is a whole new market segment in the United States.”