- Flywheel: Atlanta's New Ebike Subsidy and Used Ebike Market | Vehicles from EBC, Pedego, Co-op, NIU, & Aventon
Flywheel: Atlanta's New Ebike Subsidy and Used Ebike Market | Vehicles from EBC, Pedego, Co-op, NIU, & Aventon
Exploring Atlanta's recently strengthened ebike scene & featuring the top 5 vehicles of the week
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of owned and used micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight an observation of trends emerging in the industry and feature five of the most interesting used vehicles being sold in the secondary market.
If you were forwarded this post and found it interesting, I would appreciate it if you subscribed to Flywheel!
The observation of the week explores Atlanta's recently strengthened ebike scene. This week’s featured vehicles are a scrambler, a cruiser, a utility ebike, and two urban commuters.
Observation of the Week
Exploring Atlanta's recently strengthened ebike scene
Atlanta is the latest major US metro to join the ebike rebate party. On January 8, 2024, Atlanta City Council approved a $1M investment to set up the region’s first ebike rebate program:
Administered by the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) and Propel ATL, a nonprofit advocating for a safer and more sustainable Atlanta, the rebate program offers up to $2,000 off as an upfront point of sale rebate on new ebike purchases. 75% of the initial $1M is preserved for income qualified residents whose annual income is <=$54K, which represents an income <=80% of the Atlanta region’s median income. Those who are income qualified receive up to $1,500 for a regular ebike and up to $2,000 for a cargo ebike, while all other residents receive up to $500 for a regular ebike and up to $1000 for a cargo ebike. This is actually quite a bit more generous than what we’ve seen elsehwhere. For reference, Denver’s rebate (the catalyst of the city ebike rebate movement), is anywhere from $200 to $600 smaller based on the applicant and the vehicle type.
Similar to Denver’s rebate, Atlanta’s rebate program also only applies to ebikes bought from a local brick-and-mortar bike shop. As the ARC puts it, this eligibility requirement is a measure “to help ensure that residents have a place to get their e-bike serviced and repaired.” All participating bike shops will be posted here in the coming weeks.
The rebates will go into effect sometime this Spring, and the ARC expects that this initial $1M investment will help fund the purchase of 800-1000 new ebikes. Since its launch in April 2022, Denver’s program has already put “7,600 [new] e-bikes on the road and reduced vehicle miles travelled by about 165,000 per week.” Given the fact that Atlanta is more than twice as large as Denver, effective execution of a similar rebate program should help put even more people on ebikes.
In honor of Atlanta launching this program, let’s benchmark Atlanta’s secondary ebike market against its peers and get a better reference for the current state of its ebike scene.
Average Number of Active Listings per Week
Atlanta is currently the smallest market amongst its peers listed above, but it isn’t too far behind Seattle and Miami. The launch of this rebate program should help kickstart Atlanta’s market size over the coming 12-18 months.
Breakdown of Brand Type
Atlanta’s secondary market skews heavily towards D2C brands. 68.9% of its listings are vehicles made by D2C OEMs. The top 5 most commonly listed brands in Atlanta are (in descending order) Nakto, NIU, Lectric, Trek, and Aventon. Given that the ebike rebate program is only applicable to ebikes bought from physical retail stores, this split of D2C vs. Dealer-Network brands should even out over the next year or so.
Average Resale Price
As expected given the above mentioned dominance of D2C brands in Atlanta, Atlanta’s average resale price of $1,359.75 is the second lowest amongst its peers.
Atlanta has the lowest average mileage amongst its peers to date, coming in at 196.2mi. This isn’t much lower than LA, where the average mileage is 208.1mi. It’s no surprise that LA and Atlanta have such low mileages; Both cities are plagued with urban sprawl and a lack of dense, connected bike lanes. While Atlanta’s new rebate program should lead to a higher number of riders riding more miles, it needs to be paired with serious infrastructure improvement projects to significantly displace vehicle trips.
For more observations and resources on owned and used micromobility, check out rideflywheel.com/resources.
Featured Vehicles of the Week
The Electric Bike Co Model J is a class-2/class-3 ebike with a unique scrambler-cruiser hybrid form factor. EBC has long prided itself on building all their vehicles in the US, and this domestic manufacturing setup allows EBC to highly customize every single vehicle that leaves their factory doors. Customers can pick colors for virtually every part, upgrade batteries, choose between a twist or thumb throttle, add on software features, add a suspension fork, select different types of handlebars, and even choose between a cadence or torque sensors. EBC actually has a pretty cool vehicle customization studio to explore the many different ways you can configure their vehicles. Another perk of their domestic manufacturing is that all their bikes are delivered fully assembled, which not only lets customers ride immediately but also helps make sure that there’s no potential safety concerns due to assembly errors. The Model J’s powertrain features a custom EBC branded 85Nm rear hub motor and a 672Wh battery pack. This powertrain has a lower power configuration than those of other scramblers. Although this makes the Model J a bit less zippy than scramblers from the likes of Super73, it also reduces wear on the motor and makes the vehicle a bit safer to ride in a bike lane along side other bicyclists. Rounding out the Model J are hydraulic disc brakes and 24” by 3” fat-tires. This listing is sold by Bay Area bike shop New Old School E-Bikes and was used as a demo floor model. It has a mileage of 8mi and comes with the full EBC warranty (10yrs for motor and frame, 5yrs for battery). It also features several other upgrades, including a 7-speed Shimano drivetrain, a torque sensor, a front suspension fork, and the tech upgrade package (turn signals, headlights with hi/low beam, horn, motion detection alarm, and two key fobs with arm/disarm and panic buttons). Listing can be found here.
The Pedego Boomerang is a class-2/class-3 step-through cruiser. Built by iconic vintage beach cruiser brand Pedego, the Boomerang is purpose designed to be highly approachable and ultra-easy to access. Its standover height is only 9” tall, which I believe is the lowest standover height on the market. This makes it a great vehicle for older riders or others with mobility challenges that may have difficulties mounting/unmounting an ebike. The Boomerang’s powertrain features a 60Nm Dapu rear hub motor and a 546Wh battery pack. The battery pack is made of UL 2580-compliant Li-ion cells, which are sourced from premium cell suppliers LG, Panasonic, and Samsung. As its cruiser form factor would suggest, the Boomerang is extremely comfortable to ride. Its Thudbuster suspension seat post and suspension fork smoothen out bumpy roads, and its 26” tires and hydraulic brakes make it easy to maneuver. The vehicle is heavy and weighs almost 60lbs, but this heft is what helps make the Boomerang far sturdier than most other step-throughs. This listing has a mileage of 1,200 miles and has been charged less than 70 times (the battery pack is rated for well over 500 charge cycles). Listing can be found here.
The Co-op Cycles Gen e1.2 is an exceptionally budget-friendly class-1 utility bike. Launched under REI's in-house ebike brand, Co-op, the Generation e series aims to provide utility-focused riders with compact cargo and utility ebikes. The e1.2 is the most advanced model Co-op offers in this range. Its powertrain is UL 2849 certified, and features an 80Nm Bafang rear hub motor and a 672Wh battery pack. The bike has a 300lbs payload capacity, and its step-through chassis with 20” tires makes it maneuverable and easy to use for newer riders. Co-op also offers a similar model called the e1.1, which has smaller battery pack but includes a front suspension fork. Co-op Cycles is one of the most compelling brands in the ebike market, and its combination of D2C pricing with a service network of 170+ REI ebike service centers nationwide is hard to rival. Particularly given the e1.2’s current discounted retail price of $1,138.93, practically no other vehicle can even come close to the value, versatility, and reliability that the e1.2 offers. This listing is brand new, so it provides a further ~$340 discount on top of the already low MSRP. Listing can be found here.
The NIU KQi3 Max is a performance escooter and NIU’s most premium scooter offering. NIU is a prominent figure in the light electric vehicle world, having recently sold over 3M vehicles worldwide. While the brand is best known for its smart emopeds, it has recently expanded into the escooter market with a series of highly popular escooters that borrow some of the same connected functionality found on NIU’s emopeds. The KQi3 Max is powered by a 450W rear hub motor and a 608Wh battery pack, offering a realistic range of 23 miles, a top speed of 22mph, and a 25% grade climbing capability. Although the KQi3 Max is mostly noted for its sporty acceleration, what sets it apart is its industry-leading triple braking system. Featuring rear regenerative braking and two disc brakes with “dual action” calipers that evenly apply pressure to both sides of the disc, the KQi3 Max has a better braking system than most escooters that cost more than twice as much. The scooter is also equipped with self-healing tubeless tires that automatically repair punctures, which make for a slightly stiffer ride but significantly minimize maintenance. Lastly, as is to be expected of a NIU EV, the KQi3 Max has several simple yet elegant software features. A standout user experience feature for me is the "New User Mode," which restricts the scooter to a maximum speed of 9mph for the first mile after unboxing to help new users get adjusted to the controls and dynamics of the vehicle safely. This listing is only 4 months old and comes with proof of purchase, yet is selling for $450 less than MSRP. Listing can be found here.
The Aventon Pace 500.3 is a class-2/class-3 cruiser-style step-through urban commuter. Its powertrain features a 35Nm rear hub motor and a 614Wh battery pack, and is both TÜV certified in accordance with UL 2849 and rated by Consumer Reports. The Pace 500.3 is the latest installment in Aventon’s Pace 500 line, with the most notable upgrade being the switch from a cadence sensor to control the pedal assistance to a torque sensor. It’s rare to find ebikes that combine torque sensors with a throttle, and it’s even rarer to find ones that do so at this price point. The rideability of the Pace 500.3 is further improved with an 8-speed Shimano transmission, and integrated lights (including turn signals) allow you to ride the Pace 500.3 (which comes mostly assembled when shipped) right out of the box. The Pace 500.3 is a straightforward ebike without too many bells and whistles. Its powertrain is modest, and there’s no suspension on the vehicle. However, Aventon is a great value brand, and few brands offer ebikes that are both affordable and reliable while also having a large service network. There’s a reason that Aventon is the 3rd most popular ebike brand in the secondary market. This listing was purchased just earlier this month, and has 1mi on the odometer. It comes with proof of purchase, is certified by Pasadena dealer Open Trails E-Bikes, and comes with 1yr of free service and warranty. Listing can be found here.
That’s it for this edition. Thanks again for joining, see you next week!
- Puneeth Meruva