Prices in the electric bike industry spent years with relative stability until the pandemic’s many ripple effects wreaked havoc on the industry. Over the last few years, we’ve watched prices rocket up and then plunge back down again in a matter of months, only to repeat. Many riders had hoped to see 2023 bring with it a return to normalcy in the industry. Based on the several recent price changes across many companies, that doesn’t appear to be the case.
It looks like while some manufacturers are dropping prices, others are seeing major increases.
For example, ONYX Motorbikes just launched a special sale to kick off the new year, with prices reduced by up to $1,000 on some of the company’s most popular models.
The RCR electric moped, which is admittedly closer to light electric motorcycle specs than true electric bicycle territory, sees the largest discount of the bunch. The street model dropped from $5,479.99 to $4,479.99. The pricier dirt model dropped from $5,922.99 to $4,922.99.
The company is also reducing prices on its LZR series, which are the company’s true electric bicycles that were just unveiled earlier this year. Those get $600 price reductions, with the LZR Standard 500W dropping from $2,299 to $1,699 and the LZR Pro 900W dropping from $2,799 to $1,999.
ONYX has limited the discounts to just 50 models of each style, so it’s unlikely that this pricing will last long, and unfortunately, it probably doesn’t represent a larger industry trend.
Other companies haven’t reduced prices in 2023 but have kept some of their impressive Black Friday and holiday sales running into the new year. San Diego-based Ride1Up has multiple models of city, trail, and cruiser electric bikes with sale prices close to or matching the company’s best holiday sales from 2022.
That’s another trend we noticed near the end of last year, that the often too-good-to-be-true Black Friday deals from many e-bike companies extended well into the holiday seasons and even into the new year in some cases, instead of being quickly reset to standard pricing as we’ve seen in past years.
On the other side of the price flipping sit several e-bike companies that have already announced price increases.
The largest electric bicycle company in North America, Rad Power Bikes, increased its pricing on several models.
The RadRover 6 Plus spent a long time at $1,999 before recently being bumped past the $2K mark to $2,099. That still isn’t Rad’s most expensive e-bike, though, as the newly released RadTrike took that title with its $2,499 MSRP.
Rad has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in VC funding over the last few years, and some believe that the company may be feeling pressure from its investors to demonstrate healthier profit margins. The company has also invested significantly in new product developments too, with R&D spending likely seeing an increase as well.
SUPER73, another highly visible electric bike company, has also announced price increases for 2023.
Unlike Rad Power Bikes which operates on the more value-oriented end of the e-bike spectrum, SUPER73’s e-bikes offer higher power and punchier performance that has helped drive prices higher.
The company has one of the most dedicated communities of riders, though, fueled by a culture of customization and riding culture that has brought motorcycle club vibes to the e-bike world.
The company announced that its SUPER-73RX Mojave e-bike would increase by $300 to $3,995. The SUPER73-R Brooklyn bumped its price by $200 to $3,695, while the midlevel SUPER73-S2 increased by $300 to $3,295. Even the company’s more affordable SUPER73-ZX saw a $200 jump to $2,395.
In addition to inflation and other factors that have been blamed for the rise in e-bike prices over the last year or so, sky-high freight costs from Asia played a major role in the soaring cost of e-bikes.
However, we’ve seen those ocean freight prices plummet in the last few months, which fueled hope that e-bike prices would catch a break as well.
Despite some small downward movements we’ve seen in the industry, reduced prices haven’t become a larger trend. Most e-bike companies have either stayed stable or slowly walked their prices up, even as shipping prices have reduced.
Of course, other factors, such as a rising and falling exchange rate between the US dollar and the Chinese Yuan, have also played a role in the roller coaster ride of e-bike prices.
With only a week into 2023 and no stability in sight, don’t expect to count on this being the year that prices drop back to normal for good.