After temporarily shutting down during the COVID19 pandemic, GenZe is now shuttering its operations for good.
GenZe to close operations
GenZe might not have been the first company to spring to mind when Americans think about seated electric scooters (think Vespa-style scooters) or electric bicycles.
But the Mahindra-owned company was one of the few with an actual US factory and that built vehicles in the US. Now we are learning from a recent announcement by its parent company that GenZe will be shutting down its US operations.
The company is in the process of liquidating GenZe’s assets after deciding to shutter a number of its unprofitable subsidiaries. GenZe will reportedly be completely dissolved in the next six months.
GenZe 2.0 electric scooter
Mahindra has said that GenZe’s intellectual property will be integrated into other Mahindra products and subsidiaries.
GenZe had been known for both its electric bicycles and its electric scooters.
The vehicles were popular with ridesharing companies, demonstrating how the GenZe two-wheelers were often overbuilt for the needs of an average rider.
As much as I enjoyed testing out GenZe’s electric bikes, I found the company’s GenZe 2.0 electric scooter to be even more capable.
It’s a full-sized seated electric scooter with a large rear trunk.
The GenZe 2.0 is electronically limited to 30 mph (51 km/h), which could occasionally be a bit limiting on larger roads, but it was an awesome utility vehicle for living in the city.
I was in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the time and the GenZe became my daily driver. It even replaced a car, as I had no need for one during the year while I had the GenZe electric scooter. Its trunk could handle most of our groceries, and anything that didn’t fit in the trunk would simply go at my feet.
There was the occasional baguette that unfortunately made it home in two pieces, but anyone who commutes entirely on a two-wheeled vehicle knows that some sacrifices must be made.
The scooter was only a one seater, but my wife and I would regularly ride it tandem style while scooting all over the city, and it had enough power to propel both of us. Check it out in my review video below.
GenZe had a proprietary app that included vehicle telemetrics, and could even sync with both the GenZe bikes and scooters so riders could check both of their vehicles in a single app.
Honestly, this is really sad news to me. I might be taking it a bit harder than most due to the warm feelings I have for GenZe vehicles and the awesome experiences I collected on them.
But taking a step back and trying to be objective, I think this is a poignant reminder about how difficult it truly is to operate a US-based electric motorbike company. Sure, GenZe was owned by the Indian company Mahindra. But they built their vehicles in a Michigan factory, they employed Americans and they supported American families. This company was more red, white and blue than a lot of so-called “Americans companies” I can think of. There are a lot of hard-working Americans who cared about the EVs they were building and providing, and will now be out of the job.
GenZe had great products with innovations that no one else was offering. They were slightly more expensive than the competition, but they were also paying fair wages to US workers and all the other expenses that go along with running a US operation.
And they still couldn’t find a sustainable path to profitability, even with products that won praise across the board.
There are other US-built electric moped companies like ONYX and Huck Cycles, as well as US-built electric bicycle companies like the aptly-named Electric Bike Company. But there was only one major electric scooter company building EVs in the US. And today I’m pouring one out for them.