At the beginning of this year, the prices of electric bicycles rose almost everywhere. Now we’re starting to see price drops from major U.S. brands. Could that be the light at the end of the tunnel?
The indicators are starting to point in this direction.
Now, surprisingly, we are seeing the prices of a handful of electric bikes from popular electric bike brands are falling.
After Rad Power Bikes raised the prices for many models at the beginning of the year, it is now lowering them again for several models.
The company’s cheapest model, the RadMission, had risen to $ 1,099 but has since fallen back to $ 999. Another popular model from the brand, the RadMini folding tire e-bike, was priced at $ 1,499. But now the company has made the RadMini’s $ 1,299 retail price permanent.
Juiced Bikes has also seen impressive price drops. When the company unveiled its new, step-through version of the CrossCurrent X commuter bike, valued at $ 2,499 last month, it was listed at just $ 1,999 (though the new version had a slightly smaller battery).
And after Ride1Up raised the price of its popular Roadster V2 belt-drive e-bike from $ 995 to $ 1,095, Ride1Up has since modestly cut the price down to $ 1,045.
Why are e-bike prices falling?
The sudden rise in the price of electric bikes earlier this year was driven by several factors, but most importantly, skyrocketing shipping prices and a weaker dollar.
The prices for shipping containers have increased more than fivefold in the last year. A typical 40HQ shipping container that can hold about 250 e-bikes has increased from about $ 4,500 to $ 20,000 on the popular route from East Asia to the US West Coast.
This price rose steadily in the last year, so that many had to fear that an end was not in sight.
However, the last month has seen one of the first brief price drops, followed by a weak plateau in shipping prices, as seen in the chart below. They’re still sky high compared to a year ago, but the continued rise in prices seems to have slowed or even stopped temporarily.
This likely signals good news for e-bike companies that may be able to plan on more predictable shipping prices, at least in the short term.
At the same time, we are seeing a similar story with the weakening dollar.
Compared to the Chinese yuan, the US dollar has depreciated relatively steadily over the past year.
However, we are starting to see a plateau there too, as you can see in the table below.
After bottoming out at the beginning of the summer, the US dollar rebounded slightly against the Chinese yuan and appears to have stabilized somewhat compared to its period of steep price losses.
While the dollar exchange rate has still fallen significantly compared to the Chinese yuan, this trend will also stabilize for US e-bike companies that manufacture most of their production in China or rely heavily on batteries and motors from Chinese manufacturers.
The world markets are still volatile, which complicates both the long-term planning of the electric bicycle manufacturers and the price forecast by analysts.
But the signal from several major manufacturers to cut prices on their e-bikes while many of these companies are still facing delivery bottlenecks is a good sign for consumers.
If current trends continue, we may only see the first rays of light at the end of the tunnel.
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