State of the Ebike Industry: Batteries
Many of you, our customers, have reached out to us expressing, in a variety of ways, that you would like to purchase another battery for your ebike. Unfortunately, most people’s attempts to fulfill their desire has resulted in the frustration of unfulfillment. We feel your frustration and in our continued effort for transparency, as to why things are the way they are at the moment, we have authored this piece to keep you informed of why you are unable to obtain a battery for your ebike.
POST-PANDEMIC PROBLEMS DRAG ON
In March and May of this year, we released pieces detailing the issues affecting the ebike industry and the efforts we were going to overcome these. Unfortunately, the issues of high demand, limited supply, and supply chain backlogs brought on by the pandemic have not let up and there is currently no return to normal visible on the horizon.
Focusing in on the battery component of ebikes, the supply chain issues go all the way back up the chain and down the mines that extract the raw materials -nickel, lithium, and cobalt- used to produce lithium-ion batteries. Battery manufacturers can only work with what they’ve got, and if raw material extraction is behind or slower than before then there is less material available for producing batteries; and this only compounds on top of the aforementioned issues.
But, answers to the ebike battery issue go much deeper than those of raw material and supply chain; and resolving them is not as easy as just sourcing the appropriate high standard, alternative components like we have been able to in the past.
THE ELECTRIC-POWERED TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY
The ebike industry has seen excellent growth over the last decade, and this has been enhanced by a sustained surge in demand since early 2020. Within the ebike industry, this surge in demand has also seen the birth of many new brands and existing, classic bicycle, companies entering into the ebike sphere. The combination of inflated demand, raw materials shortages, and a growing number of companies offering ebikes collectively increase the demand for ebike batteries from both consumers and ebike manufacturers; resulting in components like batteries becoming even harder and more expensive to source.
The ebike industry isn’t the only burgeoning, battery-hungry industry. There is also the electric and hybrid car market which has been growing at an exceptional pace over the past decade. Demand is expected to continue along this upward trajectory for the foreseeable future, however, industry commentators are warning that it might not be able to hit targets toward the end of the decade, specifically because of an imbalance in battery supply and demand. Additionally, there is a shortage of semiconductors which affects batteries and other electronic components.
We are already seeing the effects of the shortage of raw materials, and with other industries -specifically the motor vehicle industry, which has a lot more capital behind it than the electric bike industry- competing for the current, very finite stock of lithium-ion batteries, we all expect the battery shortage to continue to affect the production capacity of every industry that uses them.
WHY NOT MAKE FEWER EBIKES?
Some of our customers have asked us why we continue to produce new ebikes instead of providing our current customers with batteries for their ebikes. This is not a nonsensical question however, we are an ebike company. Whilst we would love nothing more than to produce new batteries for every single one of our existing customers, this option just isn’t a viable business model.
We are an ebike company that has dedicated itself to offering high-quality ebikes to our customers; not just batteries. We want more people to “Join the Movement” and continue to grow the ebike community across North America, fostering a greater sense of community and helping to build a wider understanding of and appreciation for ebikes.
Whilst we don’t have a consistent flow of batteries coming in, we will be prioritizing all batteries we do receive to fulfill warranty claims so that we can keep our warranty promise to our existing customers.
We hope that this detailed explanation of why it is difficult for us to procure enough batteries to suit demand has informed you of the position the current global predicament has left us in. We want more than anything to provide for all of our customer’s wants and needs, but factors outside of our control prevent us from fulfilling yours and our dreams when it comes to batteries. We can, however, continue to focus on our mission of providing high-quality ebikes at affordable prices and welcoming new riders to the ebike space, whilst also keeping our warranty promise to those customers who have already purchased ebikes.
Every year, everyone will set ambitious goals, which may be to get results in competitions, or to refresh a personal record for a certain section of the road, or to participate in a cycling challenge. But the pressure from work, family, etc. always has to make you put the training plan aside.
Although the training time is limited, you can still reach peak state, which requires a smarter allocation of cycling time. Below, two top cycling coaches summarize the ten key points of how to train efficiently
1. The cycling platform is the best friend
Indoor training can eliminate external factors that interfere with the training effect, allowing you to achieve specific goals in a short time.James Sprague said: “Without obstacles such as cars, traffic lights, road works, turning or downhills, the quality of training can be guaranteed.”Second, use the cycling platform for many years
Indoor riding is often regarded as a substitute for not being able to go out to ride a bicycle, such as in winter, or other bad weather, or at night. In fact, for riders who don’thave enough time, the cycling platform can ensure the continuity of training.Ian Jenner of Rule 5 Cycling said: “Continuity is everything. When you can’t go out for long periods of time, indoor cycling allows you to maintain the rhythm of training, but also to develop the habit of daily exercise.”
3. Eat more “desserts”
“Dessert” training is considered to be the most efficient way to enhance endurance. The so-called “dessert” or sweet spot refers to the 83%-97% interval of FTP.
Jenner added: “Training in this interval can effectively improve FTP, but it is not as hard as the real threshold output. Sweet zone training is very helpful to your aerobic foundation, and it is great for riders with limited training time. .”Now, there are many apps and software that will tell you how to determine your FTP. Jenner believes that the best time for sweet zone training is 10 to 20 minutes for each group, with 5 to 10 minutes of rest between groups, and two or three groups at a time. Remember to warm up beforehand and cool down afterwards.Fourth, plan aheadSix, use technologyRiding software like Zwift has completely changed indoor training. Virtual real-life riding greatly improves the experience of riding the platform, whether you are joining a group training, online competition, or doing a course, or just letting go.
Seven, make the most of commuting
If you can ride to work, you can add a little training while commuting. Jenner said: “There is no such thing as junk mileage. The time spent in the car is always useful. You can practice pedaling skills while commuting, or even add a set of training to it.”
Jenner recommends that everyone try intermittent time, such as waiting for the red light to start at full speed. Find some feasible places on the road and ride hard, other times as a rest. Of course, the most important thing is to pay attention to safety. If there are a lot of cars on the road, or the weather is not very good, then come back when conditions permit.
8. Remember to recover“Recovery” is often overlooked in the constant pursuit of greater strength. But rest is crucial, it allows your body to gradually adapt to the stimulation brought by training.Jenner said: “Don’t be so involved that you forget to arrange rest days and low training volume. You have to leave your body a chance to rest, adapt and absorb all these hard training.”
If you want to maintain a balance between training and work and life, planning is the key. It allows you to squeeze time to schedule training in a tight schedule.
“Try to plan ahead.” Jenner said. “See when you can set aside time for training next week, so that you will be mentally prepared, even if it’s only half an hour of training.”
Five, get ready
Forewarned is forearmed, without prejudging the waste. In addition to planning, it is also necessary to prepare your indoor training equipment in advance.
“Just put the bike on the cycling platform,” Sprague said. “In that case, you can just change your clothes and you can ride directly. Remember the fan.” In addition, a spinning bike or something. The equipment can avoid the trouble of every assembly and disassembly.
Nine, don’t forget to control the car
If you don’t have enough time, indoor training is the most efficient method. But skills are also very important. Riding on the road can exercise your car control skills, especially if you want to participate in road cross-country, mountain racing, or riding a lot of downhill. Jenner said: “Indoor cycling allows you to improve your physical fitness, but in terms of car control technology, it cannot replace the role of outdoor cycling.”
10. Enjoy riding
The most important point is that riding a bike should be a happy thing. An ambitious training plan, and countless other promises, can be stressful. Be flexible and not forget why you want to ride a bike.
“Remember why we like cycling. Nature, scenery, climbing, going to different places, meeting all kinds of friends (this is the essence of cycling).”
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