Green Business Ideas: Electric Bike Shop

electric bike sparksIf you’d like to get a piece of the clean transportation action with your green business, one of the exciting new markets is electric bikes, or ebikes, which are getting lighter and more efficient, with longer ranges, every day.

Whether you start your own electric bike shop, add electric bicycles to an existing new or used bike shop, or start selling ebikes and accessories as an extension of an existing green business, the future is bright for those passionate about widening the reach of appropriate and affordable human-sized transportation.

While the greenest bike is still a pedal-powered bicycle, adding electric pedal assist or full-time electric drive to a two-wheeled vehicle like a bike allows for riders to go farther, faster, carrying more stuff with them, than without an electric motor, which enables ebikes to be used by many more people than would otherwise.

The energy still (probably) comes from fossil fuels, unless you have home solar or a solar/wind/hydro purchase option from your utility company, but ebikes eliminate emissions from the vehicle itself, and because of the transportation energy efficiency of an electric bicycle, are affordable to own and operate.

One company that’s been pioneering the electric bike retailer model (and is soon launching a franchise option) is Curbside Commuters, which is an expansion of a successful electric bike program launched in 2012 in Mexico, called Electrobike. Curbside Commuters, which is located in Venice, CA, offers 5 models in the Electrobikes range for sale, as well as a selection of cycling accessories curated with the bike commuter in mind.

In an effort to reduce the carbon footprint and improve the quality of life of commuters, college students, city dwellers, beach goers, and everyone in between, we are proud to announce a completely gas-free and cost effective solution to navigating LA.

Built to resemble traditional bicycles, ElectroBike’s cutting-edge technology equips riders to travel longer distances than they could pedal. With the flexibility to choose between pedal, cruise or assisted pedal, riders use ElectroBikes for daily commutes, leisure travel and a healthy lifestyle.

Another approach to ebikes as a green business would be to offer electric bike conversions for the bicycles that people already own, as well as ebike conversions that begin with used frames and other bike components. A number of ebike conversion kits are readily available online, or if you’re more of a maker, there are plenty of instructional videos and books to help you build your own perfect ebike conversion kit.

Along with electric bikes and ebike conversions, electric scooters and skateboards could be additional product lines for a shop focused on clean transportation, and small-scale solar chargers and power packs (especially those sized to an ebike or the customer’s personal gadget-charging needs) might also be a good fit.

Read some of our other green business ideas.

Image: michele






About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!
  • Pedego Electric Bikes also has a dealer model.

  • Wow, that’s a sweet pic! 😀

  • janetgrey

    This is actually something my husband and I started doing locally. We buy ebike kits and install them on regular bicycles, then sell custom ebikes on craigslist and advertise around town. We got started with the DIY ebike guide from http://www.UltimateEbikeEbook.com and now are taking orders to build people custom electric bicycles. I’ve read about people doing this in other cities too.

    • BenGesher

      I got that ebook on the Kickstarter campaign they ran a few months ago and I definitely recommend it if you want to learn to build your own electric bicycle. That’s a cool idea to assemble and sell them. Good luck!

  • Good article. I’m looking forward to the day when electric bike and electric scooter shops are more ubiquitous, unceasingly helping people to replace the automobiles in their lives. Here’s a crowd-sourcing campaign for Electric Avenue, an electric scooter dealer in Austin, Texas that also has chain-expansion plans:

    https://www.fundable.com/electric-avenue-scooters

    Please help out!

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