Friday, May 16, 2008

I was off politics today but did an interesting story on Segways (at least I think interesting!).

I'll leave it below because I frankly don't have much else to report on. Next week will heat up with increased budget talks and I'm already getting numerous press conference invitiations by groups hoping to get their agenda taken up at the legislature. Should be fun, plus I'm headed to Fayetteville Thursday to cover the Prez..

Have a good weekend!

RALEIGH -- Soaring gas prices have led to another new Segway dealership in North Carolina.

The two wheeled battery powered transporters are gaining popularity from police and tour guides. Dealers are now even marketing Segways for commuting.

Todd Masinter swears Segways will not only save you on gas money, but it will add years to your life.

"There's definitely this perverse enjoyment when you're passing people on a sidewalk at 12 1/2 mph and in gridlock cars everyone is staring at you it's just a phenomenal feeling knowing you're not wasting any gas," Triangle Segway owner Todd Masinter said.

Two months ago he and his wife moved from California to North Carolina. They decided to open up a Segway dealership to offer tours and sales.

"A number of people during and after a tour will ask about a purchase and how they can obtain one and how quickly," tour guide Bruce Miller said. "We had one the other day said how quickly can I get one, not just can I get one."

The two wheeled battery powered vehicles can go 24 miles on a single charge. It takes eight hours to recharge in a standard outlet.

41 states including North Carolina say they are legal on sidewalks and have the same rights as an electric wheelchair.

There are two models, a commuter and one with larger tires. One model even comes equipped for the golf course.

The price varies from $5100 to $5600 and Masinter says the rise in gas prices have turned skeptics into buyers.

"There are folks in downtown Raleigh who have purchased from us who go from their condo into the elevator down through the lobby out the doors and onto their job and repeat their process and take it to their desk and plug it into the outlet," Masinter added.

"Well if you live downtown it actually makes a lot of sense not having to drive your car from place to place, and it's a pretty convenient device," Tour customer David New said.

Segway now has authorized dealerships in Raleigh, Charlotte, and Wilmington.

1 comment:

Crandall said...

I saw your Segway TV coverage and it was a great piece. I'd sure like to just plug in a Segway to recharge than fill up my car's tank for a whopping $60! That's what I paid the other day. Ouch. Glad to see that Raleigh has its own Segway dealership. It's about time!