Dear MOTHER: DIY Electric Scooter, Root Store, and More!

Read letters from Mother Earth News readers about farming safety, foreign gardening, facing challenges, and more.

| April/May 2019

Powering Business Ventures

Editorial Director Hank Will’s opening letter “Under Cover” (December 2018/January 2019) is prompting me to finally write in concerning something I’ve wanted to ask for a while. In his letter, Hank asks readers to write him if they’ve been inspired to step outside their comfort zones.

This happened to me recently. I have limited mobility and rely on an electric scooter to travel any distance beyond 50 yards. The problem with the scooters available in stores is that they’re all designed for smooth pavement.

I like to go to old tractor and steam engine shows, and neither of those events typically involve smooth sidewalks. As a former airline mechanic with A&P (Airframe and Powerplant) certification, I converted an old rear-engine riding mower to an electric scooter so I could attend and fully enjoy these events again. I repair mobility scooters as a source of income in my retirement, and I’ve had several people ask me to build them their own off-road scooters, but building only a handful wouldn’t be financially feasible.

Mark built his own off-road scooter because store-bought scooters weren’t tough enough. 
Photo by Mark S. Hull

Here’s where I’ve been prompted to possibly go beyond my comfort zone: These individuals weigh heavily on my mind, because I know exactly how they feel. However, I’m just one retiree with limited resources. I’d love to build these scooters, but I’d have to build at least 10 to 15 of them just to break even financially. Most importantly, I’d have to have some reasonable idea that there’d be enough demand out there for me to move forward, as I really don’t think it would be a wise decision to invest so much in project materials just to break even.

I think Mother Earth News readers would be a perfect market for this type of product, so my question is this: Do you think there’d be enough demand for me to go ahead and build these scooters?

4/19/2019 5:51:13 PM

If you Google "off-road electric wheelchairs", you'll find a plethora of options.

4/1/2019 9:20:35 AM

Depending on the costs one of these would be a great help to me in getting around in my yard, etc. Heck, I might even go to the forest preserve and start enjoying life again.



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