The electric bicycle market in the US is being squeezed from multiple directions at once, forcing prices higher. That could threaten the increased rate of e-bike adoption at a time when e-bike sales have been soaring.
The latest major e-bike manufacturer to announce a price increase in the United States is Seattle-based Rad Power Bikes.
The largest e-bike company in North America is seeing a $100 increase in many of its most popular models.
The prices increases include:
- RadRunner utility e-bike (now $1,299)
- RadRover fat tire e-bike (now $1,699)
- RadCity commuter e-bike (now $1,699)
- RadRunner Plus (now $1,799)
Rad Power Bikes has been hit with a number of compounding variables that have increased the company’s own costs. These include rising material costs, a weakening dollar impacting exchange rates, and the end of e-bike tariff exemptions earlier this year.
As a representative from Rad Power Bikes explained to Electrek:
Within the last year there have been multiple factors that impacted the global supply chain, which inevitability has impacted the e-bike industry and retailers worldwide. As a result, Rad is facing increased material and component costs across manufacturing, in addition to significantly higher transportation costs. Our first priority is always to ensure Rad can continue to offer our market-leading e-bikes and unparalleled customer service to our customers. To do this, Rad is increasing the prices of select bike models as of today.
Rad isn’t the only well-known US-based electric bicycle company increasing prices.
Juiced Bikes, which is headquartered in San Diego, also recently announced that it will raise prices on all of its e-bikes by $100-$200.
As Juiced Bikes’ founder Tora Harris explained via email:
Sadly, we can no longer financially withstand the incredibly damaging impact of the current 25% tariff imposed on nearly all e-bike imports. I carefully use the word ‘nearly’ because 98% of all electric bikes are sourced from China and subject to this tariff. We are absolutely baffled that an industry (both e-bikes and bikes) that so deeply influences reduced carbon emissions, energy efficiency, improved urban congestion, increased activity, mobility, and overall physical fitness would be essentially taxed at this extraordinarily high rate.
In addition to the burdensome and irrational tariffs, the bike and e-bike industry is faced with significant increases in material costs and unfavorable exchange rate fluctuations. We are proud to have successfully delivered high performance e-bikes to thousands of customers despite those ongoing challenges, however, the addition of a 25% tariff requires that we raise our pricing on Juiced electric bikes, effective April 4th.
Our sincere hope is for these price increases to be TEMPORARY, and for the current administration to quickly reconsider tariff exclusions for e-bikes, exclusions that were in place through December 31, 2020. Until then, to continue delivering the highest performing e-bikes that continue to wow our riders, Juiced e-bike prices will be increased by $100-$200.
Fellow San Diego-based electric bicycle manufacturer Ride1Up was also forced to raise prices by $100 recently, citing the same industry pressures that have increased production and shipping costs.
One of the largest drivers of this recent increase in prices is the expiration of exemptions for the 25% e-bikr tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.
The exemption expired at the end of 2020, and many e-bike companies attempted to absorb the increased cost for as long as possible before ultimately raising prices.
While there has been no solid indication that the Biden administration will provide an exemption for e-bikes or cancel the 25% tariff altogether, there may be a reprieve for e-bike shoppers in another form.
Pending legislation is attempting to create a 30% tax credit for e-bike purchases in the US, which could help riders save dramatically on new e-bike purchases. Some manufacturers such as Ride1Up have already gone on record saying that if the tax credit is passed, they will not raise prices and will instead ensure that riders benefit from the entire tax credit.
I’m with all of the e-bike companies here, scratching my head at this ridiculous situation where we are penalizing an industry that provides such a strong net positive impact in so many ways.
We should be encouraging more e-bike sales to reduce traffic, fight pollution, encourage exercise, and take advantage of so many more benefits.
I’m glad that at least we’re not seeing extreme price hikes, but rather generally just $100 here and there. A hundred bucks isn’t nothing, but it seems reasonable under the many pressures facing these companies. And in Rad’s case, I’m glad to see the RadMission is still priced at $1,095, unaffected by the recent price hike. I’ve long felt like the RadMission is an incredible option for budget-minded shoppers and that it can fit the needs of around 75% of potential new riders, helping them discover the joys of e-bikes without breaking the bank.
And I think we need to keep in mind a lot of the added value that these companies provide. Local US companies offer service and support that many riders forget to factor in to the value equation. In Rad’s case, consider that they offer a wide network of brick-and-mortar stores PLUS Rad Mobile service that can have Rad technicians pull up at your house with a bike shop’s worth of tools in their van.
So while prices are unfortunately increasing, let’s not forget that these companies are still providing tons of value to new riders.
That’s something that we have to factor into e-bike prices. And with any luck, better winds will blow more favorable costs toward the industry to lower prices for all of us.
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