Falcon EV has high-quality electric scooters for sale. Come along with me in this interview to meet the owner, Andy Reich, at his North Florida warehouse. We talk about electric scooters and the pollution that comes from gas-guzzler scooters (more than you'd think!), and we talk about quality. I discovered - among other things - that Falcon EV scooters has maintained their high quality standards over the past 8 years because Andy is very hands-on at his factories.
He told me a story about visiting the Philippines and deciding to open a dealership there because of all the pollution from the little gas scooters with two stroke engines.
Finally, we talked about Falcon EV's scooter colors, accessories, battery replacement or upgrades, and how to get your electric scooter shipped to you for the least amount of money possible.
Lynne: Andy, how long have you been in the electric scooter business?
Andy: 8 years now. I have two scooter factories in Taiwan and two also in China.
You said you've noticed the gas scooters ruin the air quality in those countries. Sounds like there are a LOT more scooters there than in the US, where it's car exhaust that ruins our air quality.
In the cities over there, the buzzing noise from the little gas scooters gets to be very irritating and small gas engines pollute more per gallon than a car.
A lot of people don't think of that, the fact that the small gas engines don't have the same emissions control that our cars do, so they're putting a lot of crap in the air, and into the atmosphere, for their size.
So you went to visit your scooter factories over there?
Yeah, I went there to personally inspect the scooter factory, get to know the workers and the owner and make sure we were all on the same page about quality. Really excellent quality is extremely important to me.
While I was there, I decided that I want to start a dealership in the Philippines where they have a terrible pollution problem from 2 stroke tricycles.
I see you've got fairly high-end scooters. So...I don't know how to phrase this un-rudely, so I'm just going to say it. How do you manage to get excellent quality scooters that are made in China and Taiwan?
I personally go to the factories to check. There are many scooter factories, but only 2 or 3 can make a good scooter to my high standards with a good controller and motor, and give a warranty and factory support.
What features and materials make your scooters high quality?
I tell the factory owner not to skimp and use only the more expensive parts. I maintain quality control by threatening to buy from someone else if he screws up.
Can you give me a clear idea of which features go to which scooters, with the differences in price?
The size of the motor, size of controller and scooter size and speed determines the price. The Matrix is the biggest and fastest scooter I sell. The Proton and Vista are just different body styles with same motor, controller. Battery size affects price also.
Do you have a showroom where someone can come test-drive one of your scooters?
No, this keeps the price down. I do have a dealer in Miami, and he asks for a $1000 deposit to test ride.
A thousand bucks?
Hey, it's not a joyriding service; ) We don't want a new scooter turning into a used scooter, and after some bad experiences, we had to make a rule.
If someone's never ridden a scooter before, but wants to learn, can you teach them?
It's just like a bicycle. If you are uncoordinated, I recommend starting on an electric bicycle instead (which I also have).
I am uncoordinated, actually. I might take you up on that electric bicycle thing.
Do you have helmets and such people can borrow for a test drive?
How long would it take to order it if I just HAD to have pink (or whatever) and you didn't have it in stock?
Custom orders not a problem, it just takes a little more time for a paint job.
Do you have accessories for the scooters?
Not really, the only accessories are a cargo box, covers and ding ding bells can be purchased anywhere. The ding ding bells are to let people know you are near without blowing the horn.
Different electric scooters have different levels of noise, don't they? Are yours especially quiet, and what makes them that way?
Unlike the Vectrix or any under-powered scooter, mine are zero noise. The motor assembly and windings are made to be very quiet.
Do you have a truck for local delivery of your scooters?
Yes, we do. I deliver within 400 miles of North Florida, or I can ship it anywhere else in the US for no more than $350. It's more for international shipping, of course.
I saw on your website that it's cheaper to deliver to a business address, and cheaper still to use a business address with a loading dock; more expensive shipping is to residences.
You've got lithium replacement batteries for most all kinds of electric scooters, right? Will I need a new charger, too, since my old battery was lead-acid?
Yes to the lithium replacement batteries, and the new charger is included.
Thank you, Andy.