Flywheel | January 30, 2022
Featuring the top 5 used vehicles of the week and an exploration of pricing in the secondary e-bike market.
Welcome to Flywheel, a weekly exploration of the used side of owned micromobility. Each newsletter will highlight five of the most interesting used vehicles being sold in the market followed by an observation of trends emerging in the industry.
This week’s featured vehicles are two commuters, a cargo bike, and two performance e-bikes. The observation of the week explores pricing in the secondary e-bike market.
Top 5 Vehicles of the Week
Rad Power’s RadCity (MSRP of $1,599) is an excellent city cruiser that is great for commuting or delivery/utility applications. It’s interesting to note that the seller emphasizes the good condition of the battery: “battery is damn good, we have been conscious of exercising the battery.” Battery health is one of the biggest risks of buying used e-bikes. They usually make up a majority of the vehicle cost and replacing a faulty battery can often be more expensive than the price of the used bike itself. As an aside, Rad Power is currently the 5th most listed and 2nd most sold brand on Craigslist across SF, NYC, LA, and Seattle. Listing can be found here.
The Lectric XP (MSRP of $1,099) is one of the best selling e-bikes in the market. It is foldable and extremely affordable, making it a vehicle popular with first-time e-bike buyers looking for economical options to test out the modality. This listing is in like-new condition (84 miles ridden) and comes with a spare controller module that I suspect could be used to upgrade the bike’s power and torque. Listing can be found here.
The CERO One (MSRP of $3,799) is a compact multi-utility, portability focused cargo bike inspired by the iconic Japanese Mamachari bicycle design. As per the seller, “this bike is the equivalent of a compact pickup, super practical for its size unlike many other longer and heavier cargo bikes.” The vehicle features a power train, battery, and disc brakes all from Shimano and has a total payload capacity of 300lbs. This listing has been ridden for 1273 miles with ~30-40 charging cycles. Listing can be found here.
The 2021 Specialized Turbo Vado SL 4.0 EQ (MSRP of $3,750) is an ultra-light performance commuting class-3 e-bike. The vehicle features Specialized’s custom ultra lightweight motor and ultra dense battery, which combined with their E5 aluminum frame brings the bike’s weight to 33lbs. This specific listing has 126 total miles, and the seller (Orange County Cyclery) has conducted a safety inspection (results likely available upon request) as well as a full tune-up. Listing can be found here.
The Super73-R (MSRP of $3,295) is the street legal “performance racer” in Super73’s R-series. The drivetrain can be set to output power in class-1, class-2, class-3 mode, or unlimited mode, giving riders a top speed of 20mph to 30mph+. The vehicle also has a connected electronics suite, offering features like built-in turn-by-turn navigation and over-the-air software updates. This specific listing only has 10 total miles and the owner mentions that it is still under warranty. However, Super73’s warranty is technically non-transferrable. The only way in which the warranty could be transferred is if the owner didn’t already register the vehicle with Super73 under their own name, allowing new buyers to register instead. It’s unlikely that this is the case, but the Super73 powertrains have low failure rates so the lack of warranty isn’t necessarily a huge concern. Listing can be found here.
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Observation of the Week
Pricing for used e-bikes
Price discovery in the secondary e-bike market is an extremely opaque process, with sellers estimating price and depreciation in the same way they would for a couch or desk sold at a garage sale.
Looking at pricing data in Craigslist uncovers a couple interesting statistics. I analyzed the pricing data for listings in the top markets mentioned in last week’s newsletter (SF/Bay Area, NYC, Seattle, and LA) from November 24, 2021 to today.
Below is the price distribution of all used e-bikes listed on Craigslist in the locations and time frame mentioned above:
And below is the price distribution of all used e-bikes sold on Craigslist in the locations and time frame mentioned above:
New mass market e-bikes (i.e. Rad Power, VanMoof, Cowboy) seem to be converging to price points in the range of $1500-$2500. While there is probably some temporary price inflation due to new vehicle shortages increasing prices in the secondary market and a few outlier vehicles that are selling for $10K+, it is still somewhat surprising that the mean price of all listings ($1848.63) falls within this range and the median price of all listings ($1399.50) falls just short of the range. The distribution of sold vehicles skews a little bit higher than the distribution of all vehicles listed, but that difference seems marginal and insignificant.
It’s exciting to think about what else can be extracted from this pricing data. Combining it with seller-reported vehicle condition and grouping by vehicle brand/model gives way to some of the industry’s first residual value models, amongst other tools to unlock better price discovery and a slew of new services.
That’s it for this week. Thanks again for joining, see you next Sunday!
- Puneeth Meruva
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