Having already launched a range of licensed e-scooters, Shell now has plans to enter the e-bike market. The firm said its research indicated, “our customers want our brand to move into micromobility even if we don’t have market share yet.”
Shell e-scooters were released last year through Shell Ride, a project operated by Lotus International.
A statement on the Shell Ride website explains: “Shell is exploring e-scooters and e-bikes as part of our commitment to delivering more and cleaner energy. Shell’s ambition is to be a net-zero emissions company by 2050, or sooner, in step with society. To achieve this we will need to implement a mosaic of solutions to help lower our carbon emissions and those of our customers who use our products.”
Quite what that those stated ambitions are actually worth is another matter however, with a recent report indicating that a Shell communication from 2020 urged employees to never, “imply, suggest, or leave it open for possible misinterpretation that (net zero) is a Shell goal or target.”
Shell has “no immediate plans to move to a net-zero emissions portfolio” over the next 10 to 20 years, it stated.
Nevertheless, the 2050 commitment is explicit and Shell is making at least some sort of commitment to micromobility.
Speaking to Zag Daily, Shell’s Head of Group Brand Strategy and Stewardship, Rahul Malhotra, elaborated on how the firm was approaching things.
“Licensing is a way to extend the reach and relevance of Shell where there is a natural and latent equity for our brand,” he said. “It helps us get closer to consumers without necessarily getting into the game on our own.
“We welcome about 30 million people to our petrol pumps every day worldwide. Micromobility hasn’t reached that scale yet. So this is a legitimate business option where the licensees do everything using our trademark.
“At the moment, we have one licensee with Lotus, which manufactures and sells two models of e-scooter for personal use. Lotus follows our brand standards, quality specs and then sells them under the Shell Ride banner.”
Malhotra believes that there is a particular opportunity for a recognised name like Shell in a nascent market where new names and manufacturers are forever popping into existence.
“When our customers are thinking about buying a completely new mode of transport, they need a lot of assurance from somebody they can trust,” he reasoned. “Some of our competitors in micromobility are completely unknown nouns to them.
“So you have a dad thinking about buying an e-scooter for his teenager who’s been insisting on it, right? That dad needs to know that it’s safe, well manufactured and from a brand they can trust, and that’s where Shell comes in. We have evidence that trust does transfer because the association of Shell and mobility is very strong.”
The first offering from Shell Ride was the SR-5S e-scooter, a 350W e-scooter with an RRP of $699.99 that is currently selling for $549.99.
Two more e-scooters (one cheaper, one more expensive) are due, along with three e-bikes – all of which have similarly terrible serial number style names.
The Shell Ride SR-3B is a $1,199 hybrid e-bike with a rear hub motor and a removable 280Wh battery.
The $1,899 SR-4B is a step-through model with a 500W rear hub motor (it’s for the US market, remember), a 480Wh battery and 28mph “peddle assist.” (Maybe it’s aimed at travelling salespeople?)
Finally, the SR-5B – which is also $1,899 – offers much the same spec with a different frame and handlebars.
Malhotra says the new e-scooters and e-bikes will be launched, “in a couple of months.”