Lowest Cost solution for using E-Bikes for delivery?

Chep

New Member
I have a small start up health food business located in New Orleans. Our city has almost no hills, except for overpasses, but the street conditions are horrible. I am looking to build a fleet of electric bikes to use for deliveries. My budget is VERY limited.

LOW Price, durability, and speed/acceleration are the three most important variables. Style, weight, features, pedal assist, displays don't seem that important for our needs. I was thinking that extra swappable battery packs might make more sense than being overly concerned about range. Would buying used bikes and putting front wheel kits on them be a good plan?

Lastly, we are trying to run our business off-grid. We have inverters, but we use PV and Wind to charge our 48 volt deep cycle battery bank, and then invert to a/c as needed. I'm not sure if this variable effects what I should be considering.

Any help that you can offer in making the wisest choice for our needs is hugely appreciated.

Thank you,

Chep
 

Barry Jones

New Member
I would have thought the first consideration would be load.

What weight and size of delivery will each bike be required to deliver ?
 

Chep

New Member
Barry, thank you so much for showing an interest in helping me make the right choice.

Usually only 5 - 10 lbs., but occasionally 20 - 25 lbs. Soups, salads, and juices. Average round trip of 2 miles, with a very rare 10 mi. round trip possible.
 

Barry Jones

New Member
OK so that could be distributed across a backpack and panniers. I would consider a battery located in the centre of the bike to provide safe weight distribution, but will leave others to advise re models as Im not up to date on what is available in the states.

low price but durability i.e. low cost of ownership I guess is your primary objective.
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
Seriously? Small packages usually less than 3 miles and always less than 10 miles? No hills?

Unless there are a lot of deliveries every day, you don't need or want an electric bike.. You will be buying a new battery every 2 years for about $600.


Just buy a good quality commuter bike, install high quality tires like Schwalbe or Maxxis or Continental, and add front and rear cargo racks...Turbo flashers front and rear.

Then offer to pay some college kid or anyone in shape a decent living wage. Like $12/hr... They will flock to your door.
http://neworleans.craigslist.org
http://neworleans.craigslist.org

http://neworleans.craigslist.org
http://neworleans.craigslist.org
 
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Chep

New Member
JoePah,

Thanks for the links. The bikes with the front suspensions should work well for the fleet on our old streets. I'll be contacting them today. But as for the decision to go electric or not, during our peak hours, we need speed, and to avoid heat exhaustion. At peak hours, we make 6-8 (1 to 2 mi round trips) per hour, for several hours in a row, in 90+ degree temps. We are currently using a gas scooter, and two pedal powered bikes. The guys riding the bikes, can't get it done fast enough, and are the stinkiest, sweatiest, dripping mess, after only one or two trips. And a 49cc, 2 stroke scooter, even at 70 mpg, is a polluter and doesn't align with our core values.

I need help making wise value and durability choices on kits and batteries. Do you know anything about the "8FUN mid drives"?

Thanks for your time and advise,

Chep
 

JoePah

Well-Known Member
DD hub motors have a rock solid track history for reliability..There have been a lot of reported problems with the first generation Bafang or 8Fun mid drives.. The newer ones should be better but do not have a long track record.

If one of your existing delivery bicycles is a quality piece, you can install a kit on it and save yourself some money.

It just depends what your budget is... A good ebike kit will cost 1000 to 1500 plus bike.

Golden Motors Canada has a decent reputation

Electric Rider out of Texas has a long reputation, but they are a bit pricey.

I would buy this if it was in your budget:
http://www.electricrider.com
 
Hey Chep,
We have 3 models of EG bikes that are about $800 fully built. They are only 24V 10AH Li-Ion Battery but they should be fine for what you describe. These bikes have both throttle and a simple cadence pedal assist. EG is a great value brand and even though they are not high end bikes they really service their products and are very responsive to any issues. You can find info here: For the money EG may be better than buying kits, bikes and taking the time and expense of installing, and the whole bike is cheaper than a lot of LiIOn kits. Hope that helps. Please reach out at any time. :)
 

calvin

Active Member
Hey Chep,
We have 3 models of EG bikes that are about $800 fully built. They are only 24V 10AH Li-Ion Battery but they should be fine for what you describe. These bikes have both throttle and a simple cadence pedal assist. EG is a great value brand and even though they are not high end bikes they really service their products and are very responsive to any issues. You can find info here: For the money EG may be better than buying kits, bikes and taking the time and expense of installing, and the whole bike is cheaper than a lot of LiIOn kits. Hope that helps. Please reach out at any time. :)
Sorry about disagreeing with you here, but he is going to need a fleet of at least 48 volt, 500 watt perhaps 750 watt motored ebikes with matching 48 volt 15 amp hour batteries. This will get the acceleration to get through intersections without holding up traffic. He will also need several batteries per bike, all being charged up and ready to go. Each battery is only good for about 1.5 hours of riding, and even that is stretching the specs, since the lithium ion battery is not to be discharged anywhere near completely. This coupled with the off grid, solar cell ideal, makes the whole plan/idea a bit sketchy to me. Got big plans? Test the plan out on a small scale first. If you make a mistake, its a small one. Buy just one ebike. See how it goes. I still like the Currie Metro. Though it is available in 36v only.
 
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DashRiprock

Active Member
I look at the last two posts and hope that the (ensuing) discussion can be referenced later. Cost vs power vs 'how much will you (or force someone in your employ) pedal'.
I also can't imagine that this argument isn't the same in Europe or anywhere else where cargo is hauled commonly with overall quality of the wear components (obviously more stress) front and center in the debate as well.
 

calvin

Active Member
I look at the last two posts and hope that the (ensuing) discussion can be referenced later. Cost vs power vs 'how much will you (or force someone in your employ) pedal'.
I also can't imagine that this argument isn't the same in Europe or anywhere else where cargo is hauled commonly with overall quality of the wear components (obviously more stress) front and center in the debate as well.
And the United States of Europe has limited their motors to 250 watts!