GREENVILLE, SC (BRAIN)—The electric bike category has just gotten a little more competitive with the Stromer’s launch into the United States.
The Swiss company Stromer has been selling its same named e-bike in Europe for almost three years now. “It’s one of the more popular electric bikes in Europe,” said Brent Meyers, director of sales for Legacy E-Ride, which is a division of JH Global Services—a manufacturer and distributor of low speed electric vehicles based in South Carolina. Legacy E-Ride will now distribute Stromer in the United States.
Meyers, who used to be the director of sales at e-bike manufacturer Ultra Motor, said JH Global Services had been looking to dive into the e-bike category, and that the company was just looking for the right partner and product for the American market.
“We’re developing the dealer network right now,” said Meyers, who said the company has about 30 U.S. dealers currently carrying Stromer. “We don’t want that many dealers. It’s where a lot of electric bike makers have failed: the company has a premium product, but the customer can get it just about anywhere. And that’s not exactly how we’re going to do things.”
By year’s end, Myers would like to see Stromer in 50 – 60 shops. “There’s a certain type of shop that we want to work with,” he said. “It’s the shop that understands that, of course, electric bikes aren’t going to be their bread and butter for the shop, but they definitely know there’s a market out there for a premium product, and it can bring some pretty good incremental sales.”
A couple things, Meyers said, sets Stromer apart from its other American competition. Stromer uses a “proprietary controller that allows us to have power on demand and pedal assist riding. Other brands, he said, don’t offer that dual functionality. Also, most e-bikes come with either a 250 watt or 350 watt motor, while Stromer uses a 600 watt motor. “Someone who rides an electric bike, especially Americans, they want to feel torque; they want to feel that power, and they don’t really feel it with the smaller motors,” Meyers said. MAP (minimum advertised price) is $2,850 for Stromer.
But the most important thing consumers are looking for is an electric bike that doesn’t look like an electric bike, Meyers said.
“We’re seeing people want a much more traditional design, which is why this Swiss design was so good,” Meyers said.