Ride1UP Battling 25% Tariffs

Ride1UP Story in the news covered by the Digital Journal:

In The Face Of 25% Tariffs, Electric Bike Manufacture Ride1UP Seeks To Lower The Prices

Dec. 19, 2018 / DAVIS, Calif. — After initially successful sales, electric bike start-up Ride1UP gears up to release their new generation of class 3 electric bikes with 28mph speeds. However, due to the newly imposed and whimsically applied tariffs on electric bikes by president Donald Trumps’ irreverent foreign policy and ongoing trade feud with China, electric bikes have been hit with a 25% tax. “Effectively, this has further inhibited the growth of alternative transportation in America and the alleviation of our roadways. Manufacturers are forced to pass these increased expenses on to the consumer,” says Ride1UP owner Kevin Dugger. While there are still federal tax credits for foreign and domestic electric vehicles, these new tariffs will certainly increase the cost of ownership of an electric bike.

Ride1UP is a newer electric bike startup seeking to bring down the costs of owning a reliable electric bike. Kevin Dugger, owner and designer became passionate about electric bikes after building his first electric bike in 2014. “There is great potential in this industry to replace most daily car trips with something a hell of a lot healthier, more efficient, and most importantly, more fun. The biggest barrier is price and quality. Sure, there are $600 bikes on amazon, but they will be in the junkyard in 2 years’ time and leave buyers with a bad taste in their mouth. We don’t want to see this ruin the potential of electric bikes”

Their goal is ambitious; to lower the price of entry to the world of ebikes, while fighting dramatically increased costs due to these tariffs. How can they possibly achieve this? The company was established on private contributions and claims to have the leanest most efficient supply chain in the industry. They certainly have lofty goals, but the initial growth of the company has been promising. At the time of writing this article, the Ride1UP commuter bike (named City on their site) is still available to the public at $999 with free shipping. So far, the customer remarks have been stellar.

“Wow, you might find shops are trying to hit this $1k price with something, but they are certainly NOT this quality.” – John F.

“We had tested other bikes including the “delivery” bikes and some of the $3–4,000 range price and this is just as good or better. The price is an astonishing bargain.” -Enrique Davila

“I cannot believe the price of the bike is only around $1000 with free shipping.” – Britton P.

Whether or not Ride1UP can maintain their lofty ambitions and if these 25% tariffs will stem the exploding growth in this new sector remains to be seen.

It is important to note, these new tariffs only apply to Chinese imported electric bikes, where most of the manufacturing is being done, even for big players such Trek. Many may say think it is good news that manufacturers are forced to produce domestically, but in 2019 the United States simply doesn’t have the infrastructure to manufacture electric bikes on a large scale. Setting up such factories will require a massive capital investment which the majority of bike manufacturers do not have. However, auto-manufacture Tesla has hinted at doing just that. Judging by their current problems, and the slowdown in the domestic economy, we are a long way off from that moment, and in 2019 this remains a pipe-dream. For now, we will keep a close eye on new electric bike startups like Ride1UP to see if they can bring the globally popular trend of electric bikes into the mainstream markets here in America.