Blog : Scooters Prove Popular Alternative for Seacoast Residents

By John | Jul 15, 2015 | in

By Anne Twombly

PORTSMOUTH – Any seacoast local will tell you, parking in Portsmouth can be a challenge, especially amongst commuters who also cope with increases in gas prices. And with the city’s recent decision to build a new $23.2 million parking garage with funding in-part from increased parking fees at meters and the Hanover garage, drivers are turning to different forms of transportation.

Local electric bike and scooter dealer, EZBikes and Scooters of Exeter has been meeting this growing demand for alternative transportation on the seacoast.

After nearly 30 years of providing mobile electronic services through his business Autosounds of NH, Tom Hemenway, expanded his business six years ago to include electric bikes. One year later, he and his wife and co-owner Teresa, added gas powered scooters to the mix.

“The electric bikes business has grown, but not as fast as scooters.” Teresa explains, “We found that there really was a need for scooters.”

Demand for the electric bikes rose when gas prices began climbing rapidly. The average electric bike consumes an incredible 1kwh for every 100kms, achieving close to 2,000 mpg, while the average scooter gets 80-100 miles per gallon.

Additionally, scooters are a convenient way to commute into cities like Portsmouth, where payment for parking can come at a premium and actually finding a spot is elusive. Unlike cars, scooters can legally park on sidewalks not otherwise designated by sign.

“We get a lot of people from Portsmouth,” said Teresa Hemenway. “The reason they’re buying is because of the parking.”

With an extensive background from 30 years of business in the auto industry, Tom has an eye for quality and dependability. EZBikes is extremely selective in the types of scooter models that they offer.

“We carry three brands, Lance, Genuine and SYM,” Teresa said. “[SYM] has been manufacturing scooters and motorcycles since 1961 and they also make Hyundai, the number one mid-size selling car in the U.S. right now.”

The Hemenways did their homework when it came to selecting certain brands and models, as scooters became a popular alternative throughout the U.S.

“It comes down to a good quality product,” Tom explains. “We decided to sell a better quality, and as these brands became available in this country, we scooped them up.”

The scooters sold at EZBikes come with a two-year warranty, which Tom and Teresa honor. And the couple employs two full-time and one part-time mechanic to meet the servicing needs of their clients.

“We’re the only servicer for the products south of Portland and north of Boston,” Teresa added.

This emphasis on reliable service makes them an attractive option for any new scooter owner, especially students at the University of New Hampshire.

“The customers that we’ve had from UNH, a lot of them come in with their parents,” Tom said. “They want to know that their kids are being taken care of because a lot of them are out of state. Where are they going to get service, who’s gonna take care of it?”

Students use the bikes and scooters to get to and from classes and off-campus during warmer months.

This strong commitment to service relationship generates a lot of referrals for their business.

Of course in all the practical benefits reaped from scooter ownership, most owners say they can’t overlook the simple joy of the ride. Scooter popularity has generated the growth of organizations dedicated to the collective experience of riding for enjoyment.

“A lot of people come in in groups and one person buys an electric bike or scooter and the other one comes back,” Teresa says. It’s developed a sense of family amongst scooter owners and the shop, according to Teresa.

EZ Bikes is also committed to serving the greater community outside of their specific clients. The business recently partnered with My Breast Cancer Support in a scooter raffle to benefit the local non-profit organization committed to providing tangible support to cancer patients.

And the Hemenways take pride in their bikes and scooters for reducing carbon emissions. It’s the reason EZBikes and Scooters is a Business Partner with the Portsmouth-based Green Alliance, a union of local green businesses and like-minded consumers dedicated to fostering a green economy.

To learn more about the products and services at EZBikes and Scooters, visit http://www.ezbikesandscooters.com/.
To contribute to My Breast Cancer Support, visit http://www.mybreastcancersupport.org/.
For more information on The Green Alliance, visit www.greenalliance.biz.