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Domestic e-bike brand EBC opens SoCal showroom

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Home e-bike model EBC opens SoCal showroom

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (BRAIN) — Electrical Bike Firm, which builds electrical cruiser bikes in California from imported and home components, has opened what might be the primary of many retail showrooms. 

EBC was based by Sean, a South Africa-born entrepreneur who had a profitable profession within the restaurant enterprise earlier than retiring in his 40s in California. He had deliberate to return to Africa with a number of bicycles to assist mobility there, however acquired sidelined.

“I used to be going to deliver three containers of bikes again. After which I noticed a man on an electrical bike and I assumed, if we’re going to actually assist the world (in Southern Africa) mobilize itself, possibly what we should always do is put a bloody motor on these items. How laborious can or not it’s?”

He came upon, ultimately pumping all his retirement funds into the brand new enterprise.

Lupton-Smith’s bikes went by way of a number of iterations and model names as his firm more and more developed its personal know-how and manufacturing as a substitute of importing off-the-rack merchandise. With mannequin names impressed by Tesla Motors, EBC now provides the Mannequin S, the Mannequin X, and Fashions C,Y,M and R. 

“The bike business shouldn’t be for sissies, I’ve discovered that,” he mentioned, noting that elevated tariffs on Chinese language e-bikes and components compelled him to diversify sourcing lately. Now solely about 22% of the worth of EBC bikes comes from China. The remainder is from Taiwan, Japan, the Netherlands and the U.S. A wood chainguard possibility is made by a furnishings maker in Oregon, for instance.

EBC provides worth in its Newport Seashore manufacturing facility the place it has about 40 staff who construct wheels, paint frames, forks and fenders, and assemble bikes.

In 2017, an early model of Lupton-Smith’s electrical cruiser caught fireplace on the sand at Newport Seashore; a photograph of the conflagration appeared within the LA Instances. 

After that, EBC invested over a half million {dollars} growing its personal electronics and battery pack. It now imports Samsung li-Ion battery cells and assembles them in Newport Seashore, utilizing a patent-pending battery pack that has an inner good charger with a retractable twine. For some bike fashions, an auxiliary battery is on the market that sits in a entrance basket (which attaches to the body) and will increase bike vary.

Lupton-Smith (center) with staff at EBC's warehouse.

Customization is the model’s secret sauce.

“Prospects are on the lookout for personalised merchandise, and we are able to try this. … No less than half or extra of our clients are ladies and so they love customizing. With the ability to supply that have units us aside.” 

He mentioned a minimum of 35% of gross sales are to {couples}. The bikes begin at $1,700 retail.

Customized body colours and components spec can be found by way of a B2C web site, and thru a small handful of impartial retailers nationally. And orders might be made by way of the brand new showroom in Huntington Seashore.

Lupton-Smith envisions a cluster of showrooms that can show EBC bike fashions and equipment, however not inventory stock. At roughly 1,000 sq. toes every, the showrooms will enable shoppers to order cruisers to be delivered absolutely assembled to the client’s door in a number of weeks. 

Lupton-Smith’s restaurant background reveals itself when he describes the showroom design. 

“They are going to be small footprint shops (constructed) with inexperienced, reusable supplies … We don’t must have the entire infrastructure in every metropolis, as a result of it’s all supported by the manufacturing facility in Newport Seashore. We’ll have the 4 best-selling bikes on show, and a few equipment. And proper within the center we’ll have a motorcycle stand with a motorcycle, and we’ll have a technician there who may also help with small repairs and stuff. But it surely’s primarily a showroom. We’ll have Pantone colour books so the client can select any colour they need so long as it’s within the ebook.”

He plans to check the idea first in Huntington Seashore and probably some extra areas close by.

“I’d like to go nationwide ultimately,” he mentioned. 

Lupton-Smith has expertise with multi-location retail from his restaurant days.  

“Being a franchisor and a franchisee taught me plenty of issues … personally I would like to essentially solely work with chosen high-quality sellers who can have their very own tiny design studios, both on a dealership fee foundation or 100% corporate-owned,” he mentioned.

Enlargement plans depend upon financing, in fact, and for now Lupton-Smith prefers to keep up 100% possession of the corporate. “It’s good, I don’t must undergo the entire enterprise capital presentation factor,” he mentioned.

The corporate at the moment sells about 100 bikes every week and gross sales have boomed throughout the pandemic. Final yr gross sales have been over $2 million and are on observe for $12 million in gross sales in 2020, based on Lupton-Smith.

And this 51-year-old retiree, who turned a U.S. citizen about ten years in the past, has ambitions to take the model additional.

“We aren’t going to be the one one customizing cool electrical bikes perpetually, so we would as effectively get as massive of a headstart as we are able to.”


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