Pure Electric opened its latest store in Holborn earlier this week. Rebecca Morley met with CEO Peter Kimberley to find out more
As COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease and more people return to their offices, commuters are looking for safe ways to travel, and this is where e-bikes and e-scooters present a real opportunity. And helping customers start that journey is Pure Electric, which, on Wednesday, 5th August, opened a store on Southampton Row in Holborn, London – its 13th outlet in the UK.
The business is also in Belgium online, it is launching in France online in the coming weeks and has signed a deal on a shop in Paris. Locations have been viewed in Madrid and Barcelona, and Italy is also on the list.
“Most people don’t want to get to work hot and sweaty, and that’s why generally they use the tube and public transport,” says Pure Electric’s CEO Peter Kimberley, at the Holborn store’s opening on Wednesday. “E-bikes and scooters are perfect for doing that.
“It’s really important that the shops are on the route of the commuters because you do get punctures and the bikes and scooters do need servicing. It’s like a petrol station – if a petrol station two miles down the road is cheaper, you don’t necessarily go there as you just stick to your route. And if you take away petrol stations then you don’t have cars.
“That’s the heart of our business; it’s not just selling, it’s looking after that customer and making it a seamless journey. We’ve all got very busy lives so we want things to be convenient.”
But despite e-scooters being legal to buy, individually owned scooters are still illegal on public roads. Trials designed to help understand whether the devices reduce motor traffic, as well as their impacts on safety for their users and others, have begun in the UK, and are due to last 12 months. They will be strictly prohibited on pavements, will be limited to 15.5mph and riders are recommended to wear helmets.
“Rentals are great, but I think people want their own private access to things,” continues Kimberley.
“I do believe we could act quicker – the Government has got an awful lot of its plate right now but there are some really simple things to get people back to work and in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
“They’re portable, you can take them into your offices, you can charge them up. The challenge we have with bikes is that you’ve got to have somewhere to store them.” New offices are being built with plans for bike storage, Kimberley continues, but there are buildings in our cities that are still years away from being converted, and that’s where e-scooters and folding bikes that can slot under a desk can provide an easier solution for commuters.
“It’s a lifestyle change,” Kimberley says. “We all need to adapt – our world is going to be very different for many years to come. We’ve still got to keep people apart in a safe distance – that’s not going away anytime soon. We need to get the economy going and moving again. That all comes down to transportation.”
Read the August issue of BikeBiz below: