Importing electric bikes

Open for any sort of non-technical discussion regarding EVs
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greenmover
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Joined: Fri, 09 Mar 2012, 22:02
Real Name: Dave Roberts
Location: Bunbury WA
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Importing electric bikes

Post by greenmover »

Gidday all, I'm looking at importing bikes, I've got an idea that if we prove the market witrh what's available, there are improvements to design that can make them better transport, I'm not technical enough to see improvements to motors etc, but that's happening elsewhere.
Basically to prove I can do it though, I want to bring a couple of dozen in and re sell them.
I'm looking for an insurer for public liability, product liability, blah blah, and no one wants to do the business. Who does anyone else know that insures electric vehicles?

IVI
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Joined: Mon, 30 Jan 2012, 21:52

Importing electric bikes

Post by IVI »

Are we talking Public Liability, for your business?

...or the kind of bike insurance that a buyer of such a product might purchase?

If it's the former (& you don't find anything else) I think there was a UK insurer, that marketed itself as a company ready to insure almost "anything"
(maybe it was Lloyds of London? It's been a while. Maybe they're out of business?)

If it's the latter, I think there was an Aussie insurer of motorbikes, who might see EB's in the same category; you should be able to find them adverising at larger motorbike shops.

Let us know how you go, where you're setting up & what you're offering & some price examples.

Do you plan to sell EB's online at all?

IVI
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Joined: Mon, 30 Jan 2012, 21:52

Importing electric bikes

Post by IVI »

eBay vendors seem to list these in at least 2 categories:

+ Cycling &
+ Scooters

"Featured" items in Cycling carry surprisingly high price-tags,
suggesting that they're paying "too much" for insurance, or
just trying to "train" the near-virgin marketplace to pay heaps.

Maybe it's to early to expect these to be priced as "commodity"
products, yet, but - if you want to see more people trying &
buying them - somebody's going to have to offer at least -soms-
at "introductory" pricing. :-)

antiscab
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Joined: Mon, 26 Nov 2007, 05:39
Real Name: Matthew Lacey
Location: Perth, WA

Importing electric bikes

Post by antiscab »

for insurance, call the insurance association:
http://www.niba.com.au/html/index.cfm

They will point you in the right direction

btw - by bikes, are we talking about the things that are 200W and under with pedals?

or the ones where you have to licence?

If the later, getting through compliance is a 2 year $20k exercise

Matt
Matt
2017 Renault zoe - 25'000km
2007 vectrix - 156'000km
1998 prius - needs Batt
1999 Prius - needs batt
2000 prius - has 200 x headway 38120 cells

greenmover
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Importing electric bikes

Post by greenmover »

Gidday EV people,
to answer some questions. We're talking about the 200w electrically assisted pedal cycles. We've brought in some kits and we liked what they did, so we looked at the standard offerings, made some tweaks and had 20 made for us. The bikes we've had made are pretty impressive, they use Lithium ion batteries and will run at around 25km/h for about 40km, carrying about a 90kg rider.
The ones we have come with a twist grip throttle and pedal assist.
We're convinced that with these, we understand people are not going to give up the family car, but the second commute vehicle and the hour on the freeway in the morning. We're targeting people who might let the 15 yo corolla go, in favour of one or two bikes. For a trip to the shops, or taking the kids to school, these are actually a better deal at all sorts of levels.
The trick from our view is getting people to actually get on and ride them, they're better than I'd have thought, and I reckon they're better than most people think.
25 km/h for instance, is faster than traffic from Carousel all the way into the city during peak hour. When you get to the other end, you don't pay for parking and if you plan it right, you don't have to walk from the parking bay/ train station.
The bikes we offer aren't a whole lot different from a lot of others. We like to think we've refined them a tad, but the point of difference is slender. As i said earlier, we're not technical enough to come up with better batteries or controllers or motors, but we think we've got some ideas about frame design that'll make them more attractive. The first thing is to get a trickle through so that we have some sense we can sell them. Given that we want to sell a lot though, we need to take account that people are more litigious than they used to be and someone will ride one under a truck and say that somehow it's our fault, like if they weren't motorised we'd never have been able to reach the truck in time, etc etc.
I'm a motorcyclist and would love to bring in electric real motorbikes, but it's a job for someone with very deep pockets. I'm suspicious that if we prove this, it's one more step toward the major getting into electrics.
Yes we want to sell them on line. My other business sells GoPro cameras and we've worked out that we can do very good phone service and real support for good products, and we sell heaps on line. Electric bikes will sell well this way too, but not until we get a few out there so that people can really get a sense of the benefits.
With regard pricing, these are quite expensive if you want a toy. They're the cost of a real bike, plus the cost of the electrics. We can't do the quantities that Kmart are doing and we can't compete with Northern star. They're still way cheaper than the family's second car, and they're better. The trick now is to get people thinking of them as real transport.
Thanks for the link to the insurance mob. We'll see where we are going with that.

manlytom
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Importing electric bikes

Post by manlytom »

Hi Greenmover
great work. Would love to do the same on the east coast to get people to commute etc. much better. For cyclists it might add even a safety margin if they have some power to use. Was hoping Australia goes the way of Canada or at least Europe to go with somewhat more wattage to get some speed into these things... anyway that seems to hard down under I guess.
Have you got a website up at all -- if the models look the part and have the right price we might combine on volume.

As for electric motorcycles -- there here, now. Zero MC - I had a 2010 and now a 2011 one -- a blast. Speed, range, the package. Even at the price tag it works out cheaper over three years than an IC bike.

Tom

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