SINGAPORE: Among the dozens of e-scooter models being sold in the Singapore market, only one is currently compliant with the new fire safety standards set by the Land Transport Authority - and its stocks are fast dwindling, according to some local retailers.
Demand for the Segway Ninebot ES2 has increased after the Government announced on Monday that all motorised personal mobility devices (PMDs) that are not UL2272 certified will be illegal by 2021.
The UL2272 standard was first published by US-based company Underwriters Laboratories for hoverboards in the US in November 2016, but its scope has since been extended to cover all types of motorised PMDs.
The Segway Ninebot ES2 is being sold by at least two major PMD retailers in Singapore - Falcon PEV and online retailer scootersg.
Scootersg said on Friday (Sep 14) that its current stock for the model is “temporarily out” and the company will need to make further enquiries to expedite incoming shipments.
Many customers have placed orders as it is “the only model in Singapore” that meets the UL2272 requirement, a scootersg salesperson told Channel NewsAsia.
Since the new regulation was announced on Monday, scootersg has boosted its marketing for the product, posting multiple posts on its website as well as popular online marketplace Carousell, indicating prominently that the model is UL2272 certified.
Scootersg is currently selling the model at S$799. Other independent sellers have posted about the same scooter as well.
READ: PMD retailers left disappointed after meeting with LTA as fire safety criterion puts brakes on e-scooter sales
Carousell user Reservevault, who is selling the Segway Ninebot ES2 for S$670 in “brand new” condition, told Channel NewsAsia that its stock for the model has run out, and that a shipment will be delivered the following week.
OTHER MODELS HAVE BETTER SPECS: RETAILERS
One of Singapore’s largest PMD retailers, Falcon PEV, said more people have been asking about the Segway Ninebot ES2 this week. It has directed customers who have expressed concern over owning e-scooters that meet the new requirements in the long term to the Ninebot.
However, a spokesperson for Falcon PEV noted that there are many brands “with better specs which are better options for customers” - albeit not compliant with UL2272.
“Customers want a range of choices, they look at the specs - the speed of the scooter, the durability, etc. The Segway hasn’t been a popular brand for informed consumers,” said Mr Eugene Ng.
Despite the demand for the Segway Ninebot ES2, local retailer Mobot said it has no plans to stock it. The company does not sell the model currently, said its general manager Chew Boon Hur.
For customers looking to buy e-scooters, Mr Chew said he will explain to them the new LTA regulations and stress that the Mobot e-scooters they purchase now will only be usable for two years and three months.
“Consumers will make a decision based on price. They will divide the price of the e-scooter across two years and decide whether it's worthwhile,” he said.
Mr Chew also predicted that the prices of UL2272 compliant e-scooters will surge in the coming months, and prospective buyers should be wary of buying them on impulse.
“We share with customers that there's bound to be (an) increase in price for e-scooters (that are UL2272 compliant) because they have to pay for UL stickers and checks, and these are expensive.”
In the meantime, Mr Chew said Mobot will assess its options to get its current models, which are mostly manufactured in China, UL2272 compliant.
"The cost of getting our e-scooters UL2272-certified will be between S$50,000 and S$100,000 per model, and this will translate to higher prices for buyers," he explained.
“Consumers will expect costs to increase, possibly by up to S$100 … But we don’t know exactly how much yet,” Mr Chew added.