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I often hear people say that “I don’t want any cheap China made stuff” or I see claims by other companies of “made or built in the USA.” The fact of the matter is that there are no American companies that make the main components for electric bicycles and electric bike kits. At best bikes and kits are “assembled in the USA.” Assembly is what we do a lot of at Electric Bike Solutions. I actually was contacted a couple of years back by a fairly large U.S. lithium battery manufacturer that is located in Nevada; they wanted to sell me batteries for our conversion kit systems. I thought great…they are a little more expensive, but I thought it would be worth it to use an American company. Well, it did not work out as I had hoped. They got the cells and cases from China and assembled them in Nevada, so it was taking twice as long for me to get my orders and then if there was a problem they often had to wait to receive the correct components.
Asia has been utilizing electric bicycles for decades and estimates are that nearly 200 million are in use in China and 30 million more are sold each year. Compare that to the U.S. where just approximately 175,000 were sold here in 2013. (see the E-Cycle-Electric Report). Can 200 million Chinese be wrong?
So the problem/challenge is that China has manufacturers for e-bikes and conversion kits almost like we have Starbucks (there are a lot of them). As with anything there are the good and the bad. There are plenty of good manufacturers in China that care about quality and meeting customer needs. And there are plenty more that just don’t seem to care at all. I know as I tested a lot of them at significant expense before finding manufacturers that provide quality products with good technical support and customer service. I can count on them delivering components that meet my stringent specifications and know that I will get good support in the rare occasion there is an issue. That is the level of service I provide to all our customers, and it’s the same level of service I expect from the manufacturers.
So when you buy from us you know there has been an extensive vetting process for the products you will receive. In addition, nothing ships without a thorough bench test. You also have stateside support to get answers to your questions quickly and resolve any potential concerns. Could you pay a little less and buy directly from Asia? Maybe, but based on personal experience it is definitely a trip to the roulette table…and even if you do get something that works, getting support can be very problematic. One of the most challenging areas can be the lithium battery. Since the vast majority of electric bikes are in Asia and Europe, the batteries are made to accommodate those markets. The electric bikes and conversion kits for those markets require much less power and amperage draw because laws regarding speed and power there are much more stringent than in the U.S. Batteries for Electric Bike Solutions high performance systems need to hold up to higher continuous amperage draw and the motors need to function well when running at 750 to 1200 plus watts. Batteries and motors have to be built to specifications set by knowledgeable people in the industry to meet American standards. Rest assured that I put my personal stamp on every system we sell and will always stand behind it.
Give me a call anytime to discuss it more. I always like hearing from existing and potential customers.
Doug – Owner