BRD Working on an Affordable Electric Scooter?

02/19/2014 @ 12:51 pm, by Jensen Beeler4 COMMENTS

BRD Working on an Affordable Electric Scooter? brd redshift sm factory 635x425

I was just in the BRD Motorcycles office the other day, and managed to get a glimpse of a near-production version of the startup’s RedShift supermoto/motocross platform. A more refined version of the prototype I rode in December 2011, though fundamentally and visually a very similar machine, we here at Asphalt & Rubber are eagerly awaiting the release of these lites-class bikes.

Unfortunately for my brief tour, the BRD team took away my phone, and gave me only vague responses to my questions about the RedShift in exchange. I can’t fault them on either account — the San Franciscan company doesn’t mess about with the “spy photo” nonsense, and would rather comment on realities, rather than push marketing hype.

CEO Marc Fenigstein did say that the company would have some announcements very soon though, which I would presume to be about additional company funding, which in turn leads to more concrete delivery dates of production bikes. Of course, time will tell on that.

However, one of those announcements might have been leaked out in one of the company’s job postings though: a cheap, powerful, affordable electric scooter for 2015.

Offering applicants a chance not only to work on the RedShift line, BRD casually goes on to mention that “our scooter, slated for 2015, beats the best from Vespa and Honda in performance, convenience, AND cost.”

An electric two-wheeled people-mover that goes head-to-head against two of the most entrenched scooter brands? That’s a big ask, from any brand; though an enticing prospect, as the business plan on that idea though is a simple one, and the market potential is huge, especially in regions outside of North America and Europe.

It is not clear how BRD sees itself competing in the scooter space, though the mention of Vespa gives some insight to a higher-end positioning, mostly for those in European metropolitans.

However with India, Southeast Asia, and South America being the real growth centers for the motorcycle industry, BRD could do well there too — following the money, assuming that “affordable” translates closer to “cheap” in consumer-speak, that currently flows in the moto-biz.

Considering the more premium race-oriented path BRD has taken with the RedShift though, we would expect to see the company to have eyes on Europe, and its more two-wheel friendly cityscapes, rather than the rutty roads of developing markets. But we’ll have to wait and see, until 2015 apparently, for some answers.

Up-Close with the BRD RedShift SM Electric Supermotard:

Source: Angel.co; Photos: © 2011 Jensen Beeler / Asphalt & Rubber – Creative Commons – Attribution 3.0

Comment:

  1. jzj says:

    BRD was going to produce a 250-type dirtbike, then as you describe it here a liter-class supermoto, and now possibly an electric scooter. BRD has been promising something right around the corner for several several years. I am wondering if we’re looking at another Mission: lot’s of talk, not a lot of actual bike.

  2. I said “lites-class” which is code for 250cc four-stroke power & weight. They’ve always been working on a lites MX & SM bike, so nothing new there.

    Motorcycle model development takes three years or so, so for them to be looking at a scooter now makes sense, as far as timing for a second product line goes.

    BTW, you can get a Mission right now if you plop down the coin.

  3. jzj says:

    All good corrections: thanks.

  4. mxs says:

    I understand why you are excited A&R and how close you have been to this development … however, for the consumers, there’s still no bikes available to buy at affordable prices (I know BRD considers it a better value, but the bike will still cost 15K …. equivalent to 250cc MX bike ….)

    I would challenge you on the claim though that they are looking for Europe as their more friendly market. I would think that their only chance is the toy market of US, unless the price comes wayyy down …. look at Zero … pulled out of UK, because they could not sell a thing due to high costs I believe. BRD’s bikes will be facing exactly the same problem of low volumes and high costs ….

    Not trying to be negative, but I guess I am ….