If you love cycling and bikes then there are lots of electric bike business opportunities in 2019.
With the current trend in growth within the industry predicted to continue well into the 2020’s now is a great time to start!
In this post I will be highlighting various electric bike business opportunities, and how you can start with minimal investment (as little as £100).
Starting an online store selling electric bike conversion kits, Lithium batteries, and parts. This is a great business model, as you can start from scratch with a very small initial investment (as low as £100). Click here to read my full article on starting an online e-bike kit business. (This article will be posted soon – WATCH THIS SPACE!)
E-bike repair business
Over the next few years as e-bikes become more popular, there will be a greater demand for parts and repairs.
Electric motors can go wrong from time to time. Most manufacturers offer a 1-2 year warranty with their bikes, but once this runs out there will be an increased demand for electric bike repair specialists.
Lithium battery reconditioning
The average Lithium battery pack should theoretically last 20-30k miles, but they can be costly to replace if premature failure occurs. Learning how to build and recondition Lithium battery packs is a rare and specialised skill that could prove to be very useful in the future.
Electric bike conversion service
Offering electric bike conversions is something that you can do as a stand alone business, or better still, if you already own a bicycle shop it is a valuable service you can offer customers. I made a good living from converting bikes for over two years, and you can read my full article on this here. (This article will be published soon – WATCH THIS SPACE!)
Electric bike rental
This can be a very lucrative enterprise, especially if you live in an area popular with tourists. Ideally you would want to be located near a national cycle route like the Sustrans nation cycle network in the UK or similar routes in other countries.
The initial investment would be quite high, and you would require extensive public liability insurance. You would also need to make sure your e-bikes were legally compliant in your country.
Purchasing your bikes
You would need to purchase e-bikes in a variety of frame sizes and would need to make sure they were suitable for the terrain being ridden on. Hybrid electric bikes are good as they are versatile, and can be ridden on most surfaces from tarmac to gravel.
Who will be your primary customers?
It is likely that your main customer base is likely to be older riders, or parents towing their children in trailers. The best frame style to get, in my opinion would be a low-step frame, as this type of frame can be ridden by anyone – male or female, young and old.
Electric bikes can be purchased for as little as £500, but at this price point they are likely to have a low battery range and be made of cheap components. Having said that, they usually use simple hub motors, and are fairly inexpensive to repair if they go wrong. At the other end of the scale there are the higher-end e-bikes that use the mid-drive Bosch motors. These usually start at around the £1400 mark, and can be very expensive to repair once the warranty has expired – You will need to make sure the manufacturers warranty covers the bike for hire usage
Because you will be purchasing ten or more e-bikes in one go, you should be able to negotiate a better price with your chosen supplier. Remember, it is a buyers market, and if one supplier isn’t willing to budge on price, you will always find a supplier who is. You will be investing a lot of money, so shop around for the best deal.
Open an e-bike shop
Having a physical store, where you can showcase and demonstrate e-bikes to potential customers is a great idea.
Purchasing a new e-bike can be expensive, and people aren’t always willing to buy from an online retailer, because they often want to see the bike in the flesh before they make a decision.
Another important factor is bike sizing. We are all built differently and just because an online sizing chart recommends a certain size for your height, doesn’t necessarily mean it will be right for you particularly body shape.
Unfortunately opening an e-bike shop requires a substantial initial investment and you will need to choose your location wisely. These businesses tend to thrive in larger towns and cities, where people are looking for a viable alternative to public transport or cars for commuting.
The good news is, the electric bike industry is continuing to grow at a steady rate and this growth is predicted to continue well into the 2020’s. Another point to consider is that in the early days, e-bikes were very much the preserve of the elderly cyclist, but now we are seeing a trend where more and more young people are purchasing electric bikes.
If you already own a bike shop but haven’t started to stock a range of e-bikes, you need to do it now. You already have a shop and well established business. New e-bike sales are increasing year on year and it is predicted that e-bike sales will eventually overtake conventional bicycle sales.
Emerging niches within the electric bike industry
Electric mountain bikes are becoming increasingly popular – even the die-hard mountain bikers are starting to warm to e-mountain bikes and their benefits. All the big players, like Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale, Scott and Cube all make top level electric mountain bikes. (WATCH THIS SPACE for my full article on electric mountain bikes)
Electric road bikes – A couple of years ago, Giant were the only company selling an electric road bike. Now all the big companies are making them. Imagine the scenario: You are a regular at your local cycling club’s weekend tempo ride, and have been for years, but you are starting to struggle keeping up with the pack on the climbs. This may just be down to the natural ageing process or maybe you have sustained an injury or are suffering from knee or joint problems. The latest electric road bikes come with all the bells and whistles – carbon fibre frames and top Shimano, SRAM or Campagnolo groupsets. They are comparatively light (as light as 12kg) and they have beautifully crafted frames with integrated battery packs and hidden 250w motors. Read my full article on electric road bikes 2019.
With fuel prices increasing and the cost of running a car becoming more expensive. E-bikes offer the perfect solution for those making smaller daily journeys.
More and more people are enjoying the benefits of using electric bikes recreationally, with the main emerging niches being electric mountain bikes and electric road bikes.
As e-bike sales continue to increase in the coming years, so will a demand for repairs and servicing.
If you are looking for a long-term and sustainable business idea. The Electric bike industry has a bright future.