Aug 27, 2019

Get Real Guys

eBikes ought to be a solution to a lot of the world's carbon transportation problems, but too many of the manufacturers are treating the market as if it is only occupied by 1%'ers. Yamaha, for example, is hustling its new Wabash Gravel model for $3500 plus $330 for a rack and fenders. Eric Buell's eBike, the Fuell Fluid, is going for $4,000 or $4,400 with a 2nd battery. Harley has some eBikes in the works and it's safe to assume they'll be asking prime prices. BMW's attempt at high tech eBikes will be in the $3000 to $4000+ price range. Ducati, as you should assume, will be offering eBikes at full motorcycle prices.

I think that is a huge mistake. Right now, Motorcycle dealers are ideally positioned to provide service for hundreds of thousands of eBikes of all brands, which would draw new customers to their showroom floors. Give the competition enough time and motivation and as motorcycle sales continue to tank that advantage will fade away. Bike dealers and mechanics are currently busy whining about having to cope with "complicated" eBike systems and hardware, but they too will either have to figure it out or vanish in the dust of business history. This, like all games, a zero-sum game; not everyone currently in the game will survive. eBike sales are cranking up all over the world and there will be big winners and lots of small losers.


Cas said...

You are right (as usual). Premium pricing for a product that is relatively simple, and which should be being urgently pushed as a practical transport solution is crazy, and will only impede uptake.
From what I can see, crank mounted motors are the best option, and Amazon (other sites are available), have 36v kits which even with all the premium options are less than £500 (about $600)to buy. Add the cost of a half decent push bike to that, and the on road cost must still be less than half what HD, Ducati etc. are charging. So what makes their offering cost so much more? And, as you say, why are motorcycle dealers not jumping at this relatively new market? It's evolve or die time.


Nikos said...

Why would a budding Ecyclist go anywhere near a Motorcycle dealer?

Cas said...

Why not? If they had the right products/ prices, and the right skill set to keep them on the road? Also, there is likely (eventually) to be a whole range of e-transport, from ones like bicycles powered by battery, to fuel cell powered bikes capable of longer distances and instant refuelling. At present, battery is the most eco friendly solution because of the way that hydrogen is produced in quantity, but this may well change.

T.W. Day said...

Because the price, product, and support were there. I can't figure out why a "budding Ecyclist" would consider most bicycle shops competent to repair anything with a motor or electronics.

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