As you may have seen recently, the price of e-bikes has been increasing across the industry. In fact, the prices of cars, boats, houses, and electronics have all been increasing as well. There are many reasons for these price increases ranging from simple supply and demand to complex manufacturing, economics, and technological-related reasons.
The global demand and subsequent supply shock that COVID-19 caused is one of the overarching catalysts for these recent industry changes. When COVID-19 started shutting down economies around the world in the Spring of 2020, demand for almost everything ground to a halt. Companies around the world shut their doors and stopped selling or producing almost all non-essential goods. Then, as we learned more about the virus, and how to mitigate and protect against it, people started opening their businesses and consumers started going out and shopping again.
Unfortunately, the global economy cannot easily be turned off and on with a simple switch. The stop and start motion that all industries experienced, including the e-bike industry, caused waves of disruption that are still being felt today. We here at Himiway want to be as transparent as possible with our consumers so that you understand the reasons for our e-bike price increases and the increases for the industry in general. Here we will discuss four topics specific to e-bike manufacturers so that you can understand the recent e-bike price increases, reasons for long shipping delays, and the general state of the industry.
Rising Cost of Batteries
First and foremost, the cost of e-bike batteries has increased about 30%. As one of the most critical components of electric bikes, the batteries represent a large chunk of the cost of an e-bike.
Motors, tires, and other parts have also increased in price to some degree, but the overwhelming majority of the price increase is due solely to the batteries. Electric transportation has surged in popularity over the past 2 years due to reduced emissions, ease of charging, and improved technology that goes into electric vehicle batteries in general. Himiway bikes use 48V 14Ah Samsung/LG batteries of the highest quality, so the price increase is extra difficult to manage because the cost was already very high to begin with.
Quality parts cost extra but they are very often worth it to ensure a good experience. For example, by using top-tier batteries, Himiway bikes can achieve 45-60 miles on a single charge. In addition to such a long-range, Himiway offers 2-year warranties on all batteries they sell with their bikes. We are proud of this incredible value riders receive for the price of our bikes.
You may have also seen the topic of shipping containers and cargo boats in the news recently. The e-bike industry is not immune to supply chain issues related to the shipping and transportation of our products around the world. In general, shipping costs are up 30% across the board. That is assuming you can even get your cargo container a spot on the shipping vessels or airplanes which are backed up for months.
Although we are planning well in advance, there is almost nothing that can be done for the huge number of container ships that are simply anchored on the coast of California waiting to be unloaded at the Port of Los Angeles and Long Beach. These are the main ports for which products are brought into the U.S. from China and other countries around the world. Because of this bottleneck and limited cargo space, some companies are experiencing shipping costs up to 10 times higher than last year.
In addition to high logistics fees, another reason for e-bike price increases is that there is a 25% tariff placed on all imports of e-bikes coming from China. This is essentially a tax placed on the total value of the bike that e-bike manufacturers have been absorbing until now. There was an exemption of this tariff on e-bikes until recently when it expired. If e-bike manufacturers are to remain in business, the cost of the tariffs must be shared with the consumer, unfortunately. Unless political action is taken to reduce these burdensome tariffs, the price of e-bikes is likely to remain elevated.
Shortage of Components
While batteries are still one of the most difficult components to get ahold of, hydraulic brakes, wheels, and shifting gears are also in extremely short supply. Some companies are reporting a delay all the way until 2023 to receive their next shipment of some of these electric bike parts.
Without these crucial parts, production will be much slower, or even impossible until the operating capacity at the parts suppliers is back up to speed. Switching suppliers is one of the only ways to mitigate this issue, but it is not a guaranteed solution and may still lead to backorders of e-bikes.
Lastly, many new e-bike manufacturers are entering the market with sub-par quality products which may damage the reputation of all e-bike sellers. They substitute low-quality parts for higher ones to achieve low prices and fast delivery speeds. These new entrants may also sell their products at a loss just to steal market share away from the main brands that have been here supporting the e-bike community for years. Although competition can be good for consumers, if a brand is only joining the e-bike market to make a quick buck and then leave or provide no support, it will ultimately hurt consumers more than help them.
One possibility to help offset the rising e-bike prices is the renewed interest in the E-BIKE ACT, which would allow for a refundable tax credit of 30% from the cost of a qualified electric bicycle. You can show your support for this bill by signing the online petition here.
To do our part, Himiway is offering various deals and promotions throughout the year to help offset the unavoidable e-bike price increases. For example, we are currently offering $100 off when you buy any 2 e-bikes. We also run holiday sales which may include free accessories with the purchase of an e-bike. By offering these different discounts, we hope we can help more riders experience the thrill of electric bikes even during such a difficult time for the market in general.
We are doing our best to keep e-bikes in stock and shipping as soon as possible. If you are interested in a Himiway e-bike, please submit your order as soon as you can to secure your place in line. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through these many challenges for you, our riders. Thank you from all of us here at Himiway!