Electric motorcycles and vehicles haven’t taken off in the market yet, but consumers looking to make the final plunge will have the ability to fall back on a service contract created specifically for electric vehicles by McGraw Powersports, Manager of Powersports Product Development Dave Bottini told Powersports Finance.
“I started working in the claims department, and we would get calls every once in a while asking ‘what about this? What about this?’ and it’d be a Zero motorcycle or a Brammo, sort of that first advent of an electric motorcycle,” Bottini said. “We didn’t really have coverage that fit. Eventually, we got enough feedback from dealerships saying, ‘Hey, it would be nice to have something that we can sell for these vehicles. They are selling more and more.’ I went out, did some research, and put together a contract for electric vehicles that I feel offers a pretty solid set of coverage for owners.”
McGraw Powersports creates insurance, specialized coverage, and service contracts for powersports vehicles. The service contracts for motorcycles are designed for combustion engines, which doesn’t apply to electric vehicles. Thus, the company saw a need to create a product that caters to the specific needs of electric vehicles.
The electric vehicle service contract shares many of the functions as the one for a standard powersports vehicle. It offers comprehensive coverage for all integral components in the electric vehicles, including battery, motor, controllers, braking system, and a wide variety of vehicle components. Additionally, it can apply to a finance deal at the dealership.
“In the traditional sense of an F&I product, it can be added to a finance deal,” Bottini said.
For now, the product is only available in California. “I’m currently getting it approved in about half a dozen other states,” he said. “I expect to have that done in the next month, if not sooner. Then we’ll be going after the rest of the states.”
While electric vehicles have not taken off to the degree that they have in the auto industry, several OEMs are making pushes into the space over the coming years. Harley-Davidson Inc. is notably releasing the LiveWire in 2019, with more models on the way. While there remains a debate over whether “traditional” riders will make a switch to electric, the new service contract could help consumers who are on the fence.
“Perhaps some of what kept the electric vehicle market from going faster — and technology is a big part — but some of it is consumer confidence,” Bottini explained. “From my retail background, we would have a lot of people interested in electric motorcycles, and we didn’t have a lot of experience with them, but it was something that happened on a regular basis. The option of getting an extended service contract can assuage some of the fear in somebody that does want to get an electric vehicle.”