Electric Bike Podcast #1 – Ebike Trends, Crowd Funding, Financing, Recycling & More

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Electric Bike Podcast #1 - Ebike Trends, Crowd Funding, Financing, Recycling & More

This being our first ever electric bike podcast, we decided to do some introductions and talk about the trends we saw in 2016 along with with we’re excited for the coming 2017 season. Chris Nolte from Propel and Brett Thurber shared bits about their season and we branched off into a discussion about brands that had gone out of business… this led us to Polaris and Brett explained that the product was actually a licensed piece of hardware not actually produced by Polaris (I believe the company may have been called E-Vantage). With a bit more talk about 2017 brands from Europe coming to the US and offering higher quality bikes that fill a lot of niches, I mentioned the Riese and Müller models with double battery packs, the Specialized ebikes with the Brose system that blends right in and looks stealth and how Sondors went from something people were skeptical about to something that actually worked and became a stepping stone for a lot of people to try out electric bicycles given the low price point. We mentioned Faraday as a crowd funded ebike (their original and the new step-thru Cortland) but now some mainstream brands are using Kickstarter and Indiegogo including Tern which did their Vektron folding electric bike. It seems like one approach is capitol and the other is for “free” marketing. Another cheaper crowd funded bike came up, the Wave electric bike, and we jumped into safety and support… what happens once these bikes are in the wild or if you’re overpowering a normal bike that isn’t setup for that kind of stress. One area Brett is passionate about is the sustainability aspect of cycling and electric bikes, he talked about Bicycle Blue Book and on to selling used bikes through his shop (connecting customers with sellers for free). I mentioned the Renewable Power Energy company which repacks batteries. Bosch actually offers a battery recycling program for their batteries, to harvest the Lithium. There’s a phone number on the bottom of Bosch batteries that you can call and they help you learn where to send it. For those who are interested in seeing the fat bike that got stuck on an electric fence in Europe that we watched, here’s the link: www.youtube.com/embed/eUL56vrK75I

In news, Faraday was acquired by Pon Holdings and Nifa seems to be going out of business (which does Grace). Brett had visited their factory several years back but said the factory just didn’t feel right.

Other things we talked about:
– Chris’s shop in Brookly New York, Propel Bikes: propelbikes.com/
– Brett and Karen’s shop in San Francisco and Marin California, New Wheel: newwheel.net/
– Bicycle Blue Book: www.bicyclebluebook.com/
– Kickstarter Ebikes: Faraday Porteur, Tern Vektron
– Indiegogo Ebikes: Sondors, Wave
– Electric Bike Podcast Forum Section: electricbikereview.com/forum/forums/podcast/
– New Gazelle ebikes coming… mention of the Arroyo
– Brompton is moving to a new factory and the Prince visited… they seem to be doing an electric bike version of their famous folding bicycle (planning for 2018 launch). Apparently there was a Brompton presentation at Google that got publicized that wasn’t meant to)

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