High gas prices are scooter boosters



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Posted on March 4, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 4 at 6:57 PM

SEATTLE -- The last big gas price crisis spawned a new generation of high mileage, hybrid and electric vehicles. But small, two-wheeled scooters also got a taste of the success they've enjoyed for years in Europe. This time around, scooter makers and sellers are confident their product will take a full bite out of the new vehicle market.

"With the gas prices going up I do believe we'll be selling more scooters, more people will be interested," said Susan Richardson, owner of the Scoot About Store in Seattle.

Richardson was unwrapping a new shipment of scooters with high hopes they wouldn't be on her lot for long. She said rising gas prices are good for business, but worries the down economy might stop people from buying.

She pointed out she can get someone scooting on a brand new model for less than $1,500 and they'll enjoy 100 miles per gallon.

Scooter seller and designer Jeb Gast is zeroing in on a different consumer, one who wants get rid of the gasoline habit all together.

"This is The Fido, a fully electric scooter," said Gast, Owner of Fremont Motors, as he prepared his new invention for its debut at a Seattle coffee shop Friday night.

He said The Fido has a retro style with modern touches like a removable battery you can take indoors to charge overnight or while at work and a cargo box that turns into a backpack.

There is already a new wave of scooters, gas and electric, that are zooming into local dealerships. All of them are hoping for a piece of the defiant streak that America consumers showed to help end the last great gas price crisis.