Electric Bike Companies That Have Gone Out Of Business

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi guys, it's a sad subject... but I thought it would make for a useful thread over the years. Please share any ebike companies you know of that have gone out of business, and anything you know about it (like the date they went out, where they were based, where to get parts etc.) I'll start things off:
  • It looks like PIM Bicycles went out of business in late 2019, their website is down. I remember riding by their storefront in Seattle when reviewing some bikes for Rad Power Bikes and I think they were the original supplier for Polaris Ebikes, which also seems to be out of business
  • EV Global Motors (the company Lee Iacocca created) went out of business a long time ago
  • Easy Motion (they changed to just being called BH, not out of business but the brand is retired)
  • Populo (website is up, but I think they stopped selling), the same parent company is now selling Aventon
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Add Faraday Bikes to your list... purchased by Pon industries in 2017 and then closed in mid-2019.
Unfortunately, they are still selling Faraday bikes on the web and not mentioning the company closure... :(

From an insider: "Apparently, the company that purchased them was not happy with the mechanics of the bike.
Both the battery and power was not as represented, and the battery is not an industry standard, so it's cost-prohibitive."
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
Bionx, GO Swissdrive (former supplier to Specialized), Sunstar (Japanese company who had their mid-drive design stolen by Bafang)
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Bionx, GO Swissdrive (former supplier to Specialized), Sunstar (Japanese company who had their mid-drive design stolen by Bafang)

Interesting... who does Specialize now use for their custom motors, Brose?
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
Interesting... who does Specialize now use for their custom motors, Brose?

Yes, though wouldn’t know it from reading the Specialized website, it mentions engineers in Switzerland but Brose is a German supplier of power seat and door window motors to BMW, VW, and Daimler, and at some point they branched out to ebikes
 
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D

Deleted member 4210

Guest
Hi guys, it's a sad subject... but I thought it would make for a useful thread over the years. Please share any ebike companies you know of that have gone out of business, and anything you know about it (like the date they went out, where they were based, where to get parts etc.) I'll start things off:
  • It looks like PIM Bicycles went out of business in late 2019, their website is down. I remember riding by their storefront in Seattle when reviewing some bikes for Rad Power Bikes and I think they were the original supplier for Polaris Ebikes, which also seems to be out of business
  • EV Global Motors (the company Lee Iacocca created) went out of business a long time ago
  • Easy Motion (they changed to just being called BH, not out of business but the brand is retired)
  • Populo (website is up, but I think they stopped selling), the same parent company is now selling Aventon
Add Shocke Ebikes, a Canadian based firm. And Wave Ebikes. They have a website still hanging around, but not active.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
Accell North America was the Canadian/U.S. distributor of Raleigh, iZip, Redline, Diamondback, and Haibike. Accell NA wasn't technically e-bike only, but they were heavy into e-bikes, and primarily focused on growing their e-bike business. The North American division bled money until their assets were sold off by the parent company, so I'd argue that counts.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
Did BH have the LYNX models? They are closing? I had some interest, but gravitate back to the big-3 - trek, giant, or specialized.
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
Bionx, GO Swissdrive (former supplier to Specialized), Sunstar (Japanese company who had their mid-drive design stolen by Bafang)

We used to sell BionX, but thankfully we'd sold all of our BionX products some time prior to them going out of business.

I'd be curious to learn more about Bafang reportedly stealing a Sunstar design.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Silicon Valley
Did BH have the LYNX models? They are closing? I had some interest but gravitate back to the big-3 - trek, giant, or specialized.

As posted above by Court... Easy Motion (they changed to just being called BH, not out of business but the brand is retired)

BH has been in business for over a hundred years and is still very successful... I just purchased a BH Lynx over the holiday. ;)
 

Dewey

Well-Known Member
We used to sell BionX, but thankfully we'd sold all of our BionX products some time prior to them going out of business.

I'd be curious to learn more about Bafang reportedly stealing a Sunstar design.

Grin recently came out with a video showing how to bypass the Bionx controller and keep using the direct drive motor with a generic controller & battery, the downside being you would lose the Bionx axle torque sensor and need to buy a bottom bracket torque sensor, but I imagine with these hacks or paying a company to re-cell an exhausted battery pack Bionx motors will be around for years as there are fewer moving parts in a DD motor, and as Justin points out in the video Bionx DD motors have less rolling resistance than typical generic DD motors.

Sunstar filed suit against Bafang in a German Court in November 2014 and the case was settled in April 2017 in Sunstar's favor with Bafang fined 500,000 euros. I am not a lawyer but various threads on Endless Sphere report a history of patent infringement between the two companies, a 2008 Bafang patent copied a 2002 Sunstar European patent, and the later 2013 Bafang BBS01 patent copied the 2010 Sunstar S03 patent, albeit without the torque sensor, which led Sunstar to initiate the court action. By 2017 Bafang had gone on to produce the BBS02, BBSHD, and various OEM mid-drives, on top of their hub motor business, the fine was a drop in the ocean of their profits, Sunstar meanwhile withdrew from the mid-drive kit motor market a week before the final court decision was announced.
 
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D

Deleted member 4210

Guest
It will be interesting to see if some numbers are gathered by a 3rd party entity to show what the growth was like for 2019 here in the US. The number of new offerings and firms getting into ebikes this year seemed to really accelerate. It makes you wonder if that number of new offerings isn't getting a bit ahead of actual growth and affecting the sales of existing players. If we see an increase this year of more firms going under, that could answer that question. Worldwide growth is supposed in the single digits, but a large part of that is China which far surpasses other markets with 10's of millions sold annually. Whereas the US may be approaching or slightly exceeding the half-million mark. But US growth appears to have been in double digit percentages the past 5 years. More entities from China, such as BTN and Vtuvia, are establishing 'beachheads' here with warehouses and distribution, so that dealers do not have to import China product themselves if they want to bypass the mark up of the typical importer who brands and tries to support the product. They also sell direct too, and have their own websites. The various channels to market and business models are getting saturated. It's not just a simple direct to consumer vs dealer play anymore. The lines are very blurred. There are also many layers in the supply chain in China and all of Asia.
 

Browneye

Well-Known Member
I recall very different industry numbers - total at $16B world-wide with growth pegged at near 20%.
But I've been known to not remember numbers correctly before. 😇
 

Mass Deduction

Active Member
It will be interesting to see if some numbers are gathered by a 3rd party entity to show what the growth was like for 2019 here in the US. The number of new offerings and firms getting into ebikes this year seemed to really accelerate. It makes you wonder if that number of new offerings isn't getting a bit ahead of actual growth and affecting the sales of existing players. If we see an increase this year of more firms going under, that could answer that question. Worldwide growth is supposed in the single digits, but a large part of that is China which far surpasses other markets with 10's of millions sold annually. Whereas the US may be approaching or slightly exceeding the half-million mark. But US growth appears to have been in double digit percentages the past 5 years. More entities from China, such as BTN and Vtuvia, are establishing 'beachheads' here with warehouses and distribution, so that dealers do not have to import China product themselves if they want to bypass the mark up of the typical importer who brands and tries to support the product. They also sell direct too, and have their own websites. The various channels to market and business models are getting saturated. It's not just a simple direct to consumer vs dealer play anymore. The lines are very blurred. There are also many layers in the supply chain in China and all of Asia.

Anecdotally, bike suppliers are telling me that both Bosch and Shimano are struggling to meet the high demand that they're seeing for e-bike product, and that bike suppliers are having to commit well ahead of time to get product out of either of them. I can't quantify how that compares to demand from other players in the industry.
 

Moryc

New Member
Does anyone have any updates/news on the BionX situation? My LBS is still promoting the Elby ... I test drove it, and really love the way it rides. They are assuring me that it is safe to purchase an Elby right now, but they are of course biased. I read somewhere that the company that purchased part of BionX is making components in Taiwan right now ... but can't seem to find evidence to substantiate that as a fact. Should I hold off with purchasing any bike based on BionX components?