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Local retailers respond to Trump’s 25% tariff on electric bikes

Posted by on August 9th, 2018 at 10:24 am

E-bikes, like this one crusing on the Eastbank Esplanade, have become very popular in Portland. A new tariff could chill the market.
(Photo: Will Vanlue for BikePortland)

“Our forecasts predict that a 25% tariff will cause a 65-75% drop in sales as consumers postpone their purchases until sanity returns to our trade policies.”
— Wake Gregg, The eBike Store

In their ongoing effort to achieve more “fair and balanced” trade conditions with China, the Trump Administration has finalized a list of $16 billion worth of products that will be hit with a 25 percent tariff that will go into effect August 23rd.

Among those products are electric bicycles and e-bike motors. Bikes imported from China previously had no tariff. The tariff on motors will be 29 percent as the new tariff will be added to the existing one 4 percent. People for Bikes, a national bike industry advocacy group, fought the move, but has so far been unsuccessful.

This is bad news for the e-bike market. As we shared last week, sales of the pedal-assisted bikes have been a major bright spot for bike companies and retail shop owners. Here in Portland, we have a thriving e-bike scene and shop owners report brisk sales. There’s been a sense that — after years of challenges due to an educational and cultural bottleneck — the U.S. market for e-bikes had finally matured. And like many bike trends, Portland is at the tip of the spear.

Here are reactions to the new tariffs from three local shop owners:

Rich Fein, Cynergy E-Bikes (3838 SE Powell Blvd)

How would you describe interest in e-bikes in Portland in general?

E-Bike sales are definitely on the rise this year – more than we expected. In addition, we see that the attitudes towards e-bikes have changed dramatically over the 4+ years we’ve been in business. At the start, people were unfamiliar with them, and the “cheating” stigma was common. Now they are recognized and supported as a serious alternative to cars.

What impacts will the tariffs have on your business?

It’s going to impact some of our suppliers more than it will impact us. Some of our suppliers have their bikes built in China, some in Taiwan and some in Viet Nam. Those that have their manufacturing tied up in China will be the ones to take a hit because they won’t be as price competitive as those who source in other Asian countries.

What happens next?

I don’t see e-bike sales slowing down, or at least not very much. There are a few companies who sell real cheap e-bikes on-line – all fully sourced from China. As their prices rise, it could drive some shoppers to higher quality brands.

Anything else you’d like to add?
If the intent of the tariffs is to create manufacturing jobs in the U.S., I don’t see that happening for e-bikes. Suppliers who are manufacturing in China will just shift more production to other Asian countries. The higher-quality suppliers have been doing that gradually. This will just accelerate that.

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Wake Gregg, The eBike Store (809 N Rosa Parks Way)

How would you describe interest in e-bikes in Portland in general?

The eBike market is really growing in the US and in Portland. If I were to encapsulate the growth I would say that this year is the year that sales hit the much sought after curve in the hockey stick. Lots of room for growth, but the market is really booming.

If you look at the stories about e-bikes, the press has stopped writing the tired story heralding that, “Maybe this is the year of the e-bike.” Feedback I hear from most folks I talk with is, “I’m seeing e-bikes all over the place!”

What impact will the tariffs have on your business?

93% of all bikes sold in the US are made in mainland China. 5-6% are made in Taiwan. Without a doubt, tariffs will have a large, negative impact on our business. There will be some exceptions, but by and large, consumers will simply postpone purchasing an electric bike. Our forecasts predict that a 25% tariff will cause a 65-75% drop in sales as consumers postpone their purchases until sanity returns to our trade policies.

The companies that will be hit the hardest are traditional IBDs [independent bicycle dealers]. They are in the middle of a perfect storm. Increasing rents. Increasing commercial interest rates. Difficult labor market with increasing wages and decreasing pool of applicants (know any mechanics looking for work? eBike Store is hiring!) and a significant drop in high end road bike sales and increasing direct-to-consumer sales.

We have already seen quite a few bike shops fail, the tariffs may well be the final blow for some time honored Portland bike shops.

What happens next?

Hard knocks are nothing new. Our customers experience hard knocks all the time. Some have overcome tremendous physical challenges – strokes, multiple sclerosis, COPD, Lung cancer — just to name a few. It is an honor to serve folks who refuse to let life’s blows keep them from fully living their values.

Trade wars are new territory for me. My company’s hope of surviving is simply to provide as much value to each customer as we possibly can. We are betting the farm on the belief that our current customers and future customers will see the value in having a team of experienced and committed mechanics — with a sizeable inventory of in stock service parts – to keep them rolling.

We are fortunate that 3 of our 4 top brands are made in Europe (Gazelle and Kalkhoff) or Taiwan (Specialized). Our product mix will adjust to market conditions when/if the tariffs hit.


Kelly Aicher, Bike Gallery (six locations in the region)

How would you describe interest in e-bikes in Portland in general?

The interest is growing every year, and the market has definitely expanded in all categories of e-bikes.

Are e-bikes a significant portion of your shop’s business?

They have been the fastest growing bike category in the industry for the past few years, and are becoming a more important part of our business and the future of riding for many.

Do you think the tariffs will impact that business?

I think it will definitely have an effect. Major bike brands have been doing a great job creating more value for the dollar in high quality e-bikes over the past 2 years, and this has the potential to erase those gains with higher prices. This will likely slow the growth rate in the category nationwide.

What do you think will happen next?

My best guess is the retailers’ already low margins on e-bikes will drop (the bike manufacturers and the retailers will likely both absorb some of the additional cost) and prices will still have to go up. A 25% tariff on an e-bike, and 29% tariff on motors can only result in higher prices. It remains to be seen how quickly brands will respond to the increases, and how quickly the increases will be passed onto dealers and consumers.


People for Bikes isn’t done fighting this. Their next move will be to galvanize voices in hopes of receiving an exclusion to the e-bike tariff. If that works, their next fight will be against a separate 10 percent tariff on a slew of common bike parts that would drive up the price of your next purchase.

If you work in the local e-bike industry, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.

To learn more about the issue, check out their “Say no to bike tariffs” website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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80 Comments
  • rick August 9, 2018 at 10:38 am

    I’m at least glad to see the steel and aluminum tariffs. Many American mills were closed as China dumped so much metal below cost to import markets.

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    • Mike Quigley August 9, 2018 at 11:35 am

      Bets are on: China wins this trade war. Higher prices will force reduced consumption which will bring on recession just in time for the 2020 election. Trump will cave, but it will be too late. Stay tuned.

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      • rick August 9, 2018 at 12:32 pm

        The metal roof market is going strong. People keep buying. There is a scarcity of b-grade metal coils.

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      • pruss2ny August 9, 2018 at 6:25 pm

        reduced consumption leads to china “victory” how?
        US has suffered from overconsumption for too long….and as jobs shifted overseas, we supplanted actual wages to support that consumption w/ debt. reduced consumption hurts EM and China…i’m not averse to a recession call…but i don’t get your logic.

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    • John Liu August 9, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      The number of persons employed in the production of raw metal (steel and aluminum) is dwarfed by the number of persons employed in the value-add conversion of raw metal to intermediate and finished goods. The tariffs help the former and hurt the latter. Most metals companies in the US do more of the latter and are thus hurt by the tariffs – for example, Alcoa Corp (AA) is seeking exemption from the tariffs, which hurt it more than it helps.

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      • rick August 9, 2018 at 1:56 pm

        Some mills are once again running. Some people in Granite City now have 1 job working 40 hours per week instead of 2 or 3 jobs of 70 hours per week.

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    • Matthew in PDX August 9, 2018 at 1:24 pm

      A lot of American mills closed from the 1970’s to 1990’s because the owners preferred to take dividends rather than reinvest in the business and/or company pension plans, resulting in plants that could not compete with modern European and Asian plants, and pension fund deficits that inexorably led to the bankruptcy courts. Not to take away from the fact that the Chinese are dumping a lot of goods on the international markets.

      I’m still to be convinced that tariffs protect anyone other than the politician proposing them. It takes at least a decade to plan and build a large scale steel or aluminum mill, by which time President Trump will be a chapter in the history books, along with his tariffs.

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    • Joe August 9, 2018 at 3:42 pm

      Perhaps those specific tariffs on China were warranted. However, I don’t think they should have had tariffs added on Canada, Mexico, and the EU. That’s just plain stupid. My company buys steel products from the EU that American steel mills don’t bother with because the market is so small here. This just hurts a lot of companies for no real purpose other than bluster.

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  • SilkySlim August 9, 2018 at 11:26 am

    I’m certainly no expect in global economics, but my basic understanding of the theory behind trade tariffs leaves me not all opposed to them. At least the ones that lead to the desired result (stronger/balanced economies, jobs, etc.). This is a major challenge to my knee jerk reaction against all things Trump!!!

    I mean, isn’t it generally kind of a bad idea to import like trillions of dollars of stuff from halfway across the world? Some degree of trade is undeniably great (this millennial WILL NOT negotiate on avocado toast), but to get like a huge percentage of electronics, when we could probably be making them here, doesn’t seem like a healthy way for the world to work.

    But I’m wide open to getting schooled on this.

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    • Chris H August 9, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      Agreeing with 80% of economists that the tariffs will do more harm than good is hardly a knee jerk reaction.

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy-poll/economists-united-trump-tariffs-wont-help-the-economy-idUSKCN1GQ02G

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      • pruss2ny August 9, 2018 at 6:35 pm

        “Agreeing with 80% of economists that the tariffs will do more harm than good is hardly a knee jerk reaction….”

        lets not make this a global warming/science thing…i’ve worked with brilliant economists, none of whom batted better than maybe .300 on their calls. how many economists do you know who were ahead of the 2008 economic crisis in 2007? 2006?

        if you want to get wonky, henry ck liu has written some brilliant and timely pieces, and saw tariffs as nearly inevitable outcome back in 2005 — albeit his time frame got shifted b/c of 2008 crisis–
        https://henryckl.ipower.com/page5.html

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      • soren August 10, 2018 at 12:04 pm

        “Agreeing with 80% of economists that the tariffs will do more harm than good”

        what kind of tariffs, what magnitude of tariffs, and in what context?

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    • John Liu August 9, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      Global trade allows goods to be produced where it is most efficient to do so, supporting both lower costs, economic growth, and closer ties between regions.

      As countries become more developed with higher standards of living, they become high wage, high cost locations. When countries are not well developed, they are unable to produce many types of goods. If all goods consumed in a country had to be manufactured in that country, the cost of those goods for consumers in highly developed countries would go up many-fold (a $600 iPhone would be $3,000, etc) and many goods would be unavailable to consumers in less developed countries.

      Transporting goods is an expense, but it is usually fairly small. Economic: costs about $1,500 to ship 40 foot container from China to the US West Coast, about 37 cents per cubic foot. Environmental: on a per ton/mile basis, a container ship emits 1/2 the CO2 of a train, 1/5 the CO2 of a truck, and if the container industry converted to cleaner fuels, emissions would be lower.

      Note that the great majority (80-90%) of shipping is unavoidable, as raw materials (iron ore, lumber, etc) need to move to where production takes place. A ton of iron ore mined in Australia, can be 1) shipped to China and made into steel and then into a dishwashing machine, 2) shipped to China and made into steel, then the steel shipped to the US and made into a dishwasher, or 3) shipped to the US and made into steel and then into a dishwasher. Either way, the shipping happens.

      When the US last threw up big trade barriers, it was a major cause of the Great Depression (read about Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930).

      The US does indeed have serious and legitimate complaints about China’s trade and business policies. They are more related to barriers to US companies doing business in China, absence of intellectual property protections, and security risks for sensitive technology, than to the broad trade of goods. Most other countries have the same complaints about China, and if the US, Europe, Japan, etc all worked together the issues could be dealt with. But the current administration doesn’t believe in working with other countries and prefers showy dramatic actions that play well on FOX.

      That said, global trade/economics is a big complex topic and absolutist either-or answers and don’t really work.

      I believe in “buying local”, I prefer local small companies and artisans, I try to repair/reuse and buy used stuff (my “new” dishwasher is a used one), and in certain categories I look for US-made goods because I think they are usually higher quality. So I recognize there are gray zones.

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      • SilkySlim August 10, 2018 at 8:17 am

        I appreciate this balanced response!

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 10, 2018 at 10:01 am

        I’ll just add that while we have our own sources of ore domestically (so could make the dishwasher in the US without the international shipping component [there would still need to be potentially long distance domestic shipping, often by land, over mountains and such]), those ores are lower grade, so require more energy to extract the metal. Importing ore from purer sources saves far more energy than it costs.

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      • Middle of The Road Guy August 10, 2018 at 10:04 am

        Smoot and Hawley were my childhood heroes.

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      • soren August 10, 2018 at 12:08 pm

        i prefer “products” from democracies that respect basic human and civil rights. thus, buying from the USA is something i try to avoid (whenever possible).

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        • JeffS August 11, 2018 at 8:58 pm

          Which country do you import your soy from?

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          • soren August 15, 2018 at 11:22 am

            whenever possible!

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  • mran1984 August 9, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    It’s a moped. You can see in the picture that the motor enthusiast is not pedaling. Anything to keep motors off of bike lanes and paths is a positive. China’s leadership is far more intelligent than ours. Good Luck!

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    • Mick O August 9, 2018 at 12:18 pm

      You may be be very talented at lots of other really important and worthwhile things, but in terms of visual literacy you probably should not be spouting off nonsense on the internet. The bike is in motion, and the lens is tracking it fairly well. The rider’s foot displays motion blur not seen in the bike’s frame – thus it is moving relative to that frame. Pedaling.

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    • John Lascurettes August 9, 2018 at 12:30 pm

      … Also to add to Mick O’s comment: ever hear of coasting? That’s still allowed and possible on an e-assist bike. Just because it has a motor doesn’t mean it’s engaged all the time and not all e-bikes are the same. Some require pedaling to get the power.

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    • John Liu August 9, 2018 at 12:33 pm

      Dunno about this particular photo but I have seen plenty of e-bike riders who are not pedaling as their motorized bikes accelerate and power up hills.

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    • BradWagon August 9, 2018 at 1:19 pm

      Please do explain how you can see the absence of movement in a photo?

      “Look at that picture! The person is clearly just track standing, not even moving!”

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    • bendite August 9, 2018 at 1:33 pm

      mran meant to say *low powered moped

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    • q August 9, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      If you look at photos of the Tour de France, you’ll see that none of the riders’ legs are moving, either. They are ALL cheating with ebikes!

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    • TonyT
      TonyT August 10, 2018 at 1:50 pm

      mran, not only do we not see her pedaling, we can’t see her breathing. She may in be fact dead! It’s the ebike zombie invasion.

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  • bikeninja August 9, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    I predict that the other shoe to drop 1-2-3, Tariffs on E-scooters. These are almost all built in China and too easy a bit of low hanging fruit for Trump and his Tariff Crew to miss.

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  • Bill Stites August 9, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    While Truck Trike is still making our own frames and doing all construction here in Portland, we have already seen increased costs from a manufacturer perspective. AL and Steel prices have a direct effect; and electronics have gone up – some of which are made in Canada, but our hub motors and controllers are made in China.
    Due to slim margins mentioned above, we have already been forced to raise prices for our eTrikes. Fortunately, our larger fleet operators – like UPS and U-Haul – can ‘understand’ and absorb the additional costs. Generally, tariffs are very likely to hurt overall sales.

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  • bikeninja August 9, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    Perhaps a “revolution” in transportation that relies on cheap products made in developing countries by underpaid labor and few environmental laws to make it economic is not a revolution at all , but an illusion.

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  • Tony August 9, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    So much misconception about ebikes. An e-bike is a bicycle with a motor for assisting in pedaling. The motor doesn’t have to be engaged. Why are some people having a hard time considering them just like bicycles? They have the right to use bike lanes. Scooter and scooter’s do. This is a city encouraging using cars less. ebikes are pollutionless, noiseless and promote a healthy lifestyle.
    The photo is clearly depicting a bicycle with a motor. A moped is a small motorcycle. A motorcycle is self-propelled vehicle. e-bikes are not.

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    • q August 9, 2018 at 10:32 pm

      “Why are some people having a hard time considering them just like bicycles?” I think you answered that yourself, with your “An e-bike is a bicycle with a motor”.

      Also, “They have a right to use bike lanes” isn’t a settled issue.

      And they are not “pollutionless”.

      And saying e-bikes are not self-propelled vehicles isn’t true. Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not.

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      • Tony August 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm

        If someone can blow enough air at me while I ride my bike and I don’t have to pedal, what I am riding is still called a bicycle. The fact that there’s something on the bike that helps me pedal, it’s still a bicycle. Just like when more gears were introduced and one doesn’t have to pedal as hard, it’s still a bike. Don’t get hung up on the motor thing. It quiet, invisible, doesn’t produce pollution. The ebike has the same tires, takes the same space, looks the same. It’s a bike. It’s not a motorcycle. it’s not a moped.

        “Pollutionless” in the sense you are not inhaling any kind of fumes when you’re riding behind one. If you’re thinking about pollution from a coal plant for example, it’s no different than charging a laptop, mobile phone and the gazillion of devices with batteries people have and have no qualm about using them on a daily basis. I can say I am charging my ebike with a solar panel. It’s no one’s business.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 10, 2018 at 2:44 pm

          If it has a motor on it is still a bicycle. Are you saying the energy source for that motor is what makes it a bicycle or a not bicycle?

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          • Tony August 10, 2018 at 5:58 pm

            No. An eBike meets the definition of a bicycle. It looks like a bicycle. It contains the same components of a bicycle. It functions like a bicycle. It just has an added hardware called a motor and a power source to assist in pedaling.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty August 10, 2018 at 6:57 pm

              A moped is defined as “a low-power, lightweight motorized bicycle.” Sounds like an e-bike would have a very similar definition.

              Incidentally, moped is derived from the Swedish words for “pedal cycle with motor and pedals”. According to Google, at least.

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              • Tony August 11, 2018 at 10:35 am

                Nope. Go to Widipedia’s page. It says it’s a small motorcycle. Google ‘moped’. All the images are of something that looks like a motorcycle. A moped gets its power from a motor. You can’t pedal it all the time, if it even has pedals. A Vespa is a moped. It’s not a bicycle or eBike. An eBike is basically a bicycle with a motor. It looks very much like a bicycle.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 11, 2018 at 11:34 am

                So we have are conflicting definitions, which is hardly surprising. What I have yet to see, from any source, is something that unambiguously separates a “moped” from a “motorized bicycle”*, or an “electric powered moped” from an “e-bike”. You suggest it might be that you cannot pedal a moped all the time. Never having ridden a moped, is it true that the pedals somehow become non-functional when under power?

                I think the real issue is that mopeds have a certain image (heavy, loud, dirty), and bicycles a very different one (light, quiet, clean), and that people who sell or own e-bikes (less heavy, quiet, debatably clean) want no part of that moped image.

                * Further confusing the situation, there is at least one heavy looking, loud, dirty gasoline powered bicycle tootling around SE Portland. I’ve never seen the rider pedal, though I’m sure he could. Would that be a moped?

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 11, 2018 at 11:37 am

                Also, most people would call a Vespa a “scooter”. I’ve never heard anyone refer to one as a “moped”, even in jest.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 11, 2018 at 11:45 am

                Finally, if you want to go by appearance, one of these is a moped, and one is an e-bike. Can you tell which is which?

                https://imgur.com/a/9TXnqDN

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              • John Liu August 11, 2018 at 11:32 pm

                Moped has pedals and motor. You can propel it by pedaling, by motor, or both. The motor is controlled by a throttle rather than responding to your pedaling. They can be electric or gas. If gas, engine displacement is limited to 49 cc and top speed is typically around 30 mph although they can be hopped up. They require a license, helmet, and must be ridden where cars can drive.

                The above can describe certain throttle controlled e-bikes as well.

                The majority of e-bikes you see today are pedelec (motor responds to pedaling), although I’ve seen throttle controlled e-bikes on the streets too (rider not pedaling while e-bike accelerates).

                Some new pedelecs from major companies are now designed to go up to 28 mph using motor + pedaling, https://www.electricbike.com/28mph-legal-strategy/

                E-bike websites and discussion groups are full of ways to speed your e-bike to over 30 mph.

                As with any technology, e-bikes will get faster and some not-small number of people will abuse the speed. When or if this combination of speed + abuse gets bad enough, regular cyclists will want e-bikes kicked out of the bike lane. We will then probably find that the e-bike lobby, and the e-everything advocates who promote “anything but cars”, are too strong.

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        • q August 10, 2018 at 3:37 pm

          I never said ebikes are motorcycles or mopeds, or even that they’re not bicycles. I only said that they are not “just like bicycles” as you claim. Having a motor makes an ebike different that a bicycle that doesn’t have a motor, otherwise nobody would bother paying extra for the motor.

          Yes, of course they are pollutionless in the very limited sense that they’re not spewing fumes out their tails. And yes, millions of people have no qualms about using devices powered by electricity and batteries. Those all still pollute, and in many cases even cause fumes–they’re just being generated somewhere else. They are not pollutionless in any standard sense of the term.

          And yes, of course you can say you charge your ebike with a solar panel, and say it’s nobody’s business. What weird, basically irrelevant things to say, though.

          I’m not arguing against ebikes. I was just pointing out that you started your comment with, “So much misconception about ebikes”, then ironically argued against several things that are NOT misconceptions by presenting your own misconceptions. People can make good arguments in favor of ebikes without resorting to that.

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      • Tony August 10, 2018 at 5:52 pm

        “And saying e-bikes are not self-propelled vehicles isn’t true. Sometimes they are, sometimes they are not.”

        The self-propelling feature on eBikes is a bonus feature and not the reason buy eBikes for. Running an eBike on battery only can drain the battery very quickly. The main use of an eBike is the pedal assist. Not the self-propelling feature. I have several eBikes with this feature. I seldom use that feature. Otherwise I would get a moped or a motorcycle.

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        • q August 10, 2018 at 7:41 pm

          In other words, sometimes they are self-propelling, other times they are not.

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          • GlowBoy August 14, 2018 at 10:56 pm

            Class I e-bikes are not self-propelling. They must be pedaled for the motor to produce power.

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            • GlowBoy August 14, 2018 at 10:58 pm

              I should add that I had to look up the definition because I just spent a weekend in Seattle, riding LimeBikes (both electric and non) all over the city, and some of the bike paths I rode on (Burke-Gilman and others) had big signs saying “Class I and Class II e-bikes allowed.”

              Most of the e-bikes I saw there were Class I, but I did see a couple of riders on Class II bikes.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 10, 2018 at 10:06 am

      How do you differentiate an electric bike from the mopeds of yore? Aside from the fuel source, of course.

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      • dirttorpedo September 20, 2018 at 12:23 pm

        Power level. In Oregon under 20mph\ 1000 watts is an ebike. Legally it’s the same as a bicycle.

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  • Tony S August 9, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Maybe retailers should stop selling Chinese crap and stock their stores with American made goods.

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    • X August 10, 2018 at 7:32 am

      I can remember when “Made in Japan” was thought to mean inexpensive and low quality. Now, not so much. China produces what you call “crap” because somewhere there is a huge market for it. The two words don’t automatically go together.

      Who goes to Harbor Freight anyway?

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      • q August 10, 2018 at 10:17 am

        And actually, though China produces lots of “crap”, it also produces plenty of high quality stuff. Companies are not always sacrificing quality to have their products made in China instead of here.

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    • Middle of The Road Guy August 10, 2018 at 10:06 am

      If only it was that easy. Where was your device that you posted your message manufactured?

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    • Al August 10, 2018 at 10:06 am

      Did you read the article?

      “93% of all bikes sold in the US are made in mainland China. 5-6% are made in Taiwan.”

      US bike manufacturing is a rounding error. Something like 20 million bicycles are sold in the US annually. The supply of US made bicycles is simply not there for “retailers to stock their stores with American” bicycles. When I toured Trek’s factory in Wisconsin, they readily admitted that less than 10% of their revenue comes from that factory and that’s only because their most advanced, highest priced bikes come from there. By units sold, it’s likely to be just a couple percent of their volume and that’s one of the largest bicycle factories in the US.

      Part of the problem is that capitalism has turned everything into a commodity. When you go to the store to buy a hammer and see 5 different ones, you end up buying the one for the lowest price because one hammer is the same as another hammer. The other part of the problem is that even before price pressure forced manufacturers overseas, they were lured there by low wages & lack of employee and environmental protections to improve their profits. For those that weren’t, Walmart and Amazon insured that they go overseas.

      Even when products carry the “Proudly Made In the USA” label, they aren’t always made HERE. For example, clothing made in Guam, yes technically a US territory, can be labelled this way but so can products made on other Mariana Islands, not part of the US.

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  • B. Carfree August 9, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    I know that Representative Peter DeFazio from the fourth Congressional district is on the case and has been for a month or so. I don’t know what he can do, but it’s probably a good idea to not underestimate him. I’ll be tagging along with him later this month when he takes a whirl on an e-bike for the first time. It should be fun.

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  • Mike Quigley August 10, 2018 at 6:45 am

    All I know is that Kalkhoff 25 V Panasonic battery I used to buy for about $650 is now over $800. And it isn’t made in China. Looks like the locals are jumping on the price hike bandwagon as long as it lasts.

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    • younggods August 10, 2018 at 12:48 pm

      Yep, when your competitor’s price goes up due to tariffs, you get to raise yours too, because customer has no choice!

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    • Pruss2ny August 10, 2018 at 1:42 pm

      Of course prices go up when tariffs go into effect—from both foreign and domestic producers. If the rationale for the tariff is foreign subsidies competing at an unrealistically low price point, then prices ahould rise across the board…eventually to a level where more producers see an opportunity to compete profitably

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  • Tony August 10, 2018 at 2:38 pm

    There are goods designed by Chinese and made in China and there are goods designed in the US by people making a living in the US and made in China. iPhones for example. The tariffs don’t differentiate between the two and don’t differentiate between crappy goods or quality goods. Just the fact they come from China.

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  • steve August 10, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    mran1984
    It’s a moped. You can see in the picture that the motor enthusiast is not pedaling. Anything to keep motors off of bike lanes and paths is a positive. China’s leadership is far more intelligent than ours. Good Luck!Recommended 4

    except oregon law states ebikes are classified as bicycles.

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  • Tony August 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    Finally, if you want to go by appearance, one of these is a moped, and one is an e-bike. Can you tell which is which?https://imgur.com/a/9TXnqDNRecommended 0

    Easy. The Honda is a gas powered moped and the A2B is not.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 12, 2018 at 9:35 pm

      You’d be exactly right if fuel is what distinguished a powered bike from a moped.

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  • Tony August 12, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    John Liu
    Moped has pedals and motor. You can propel it by pedaling, by motor, or both. The motor is controlled by a throttle rather than responding to your pedaling. They can be electric or gas. If gas, engine displacement is limited to 49 cc and top speed is typically around 30 mph although they can be hopped up. They require a license, helmet, and must be ridden where cars can drive.The above can describe certain throttle controlled e-bikes as well.The majority of e-bikes you see today are pedelec (motor responds to pedaling), although I’ve seen throttle controlled e-bikes on the streets too (rider not pedaling while e-bike accelerates).Some new pedelecs from major companies are now designed to go up to 28 mph using motor + pedaling, https://www.electricbike.com/28mph-legal-strategy/E-bike websites and discussion groups are full of ways to speed your e-bike to over 30 mph.As with any technology, e-bikes will get faster and some not-small number of people will abuse the speed. When or if this combination of speed + abuse gets bad enough, regular cyclists will want e-bikes kicked out of the bike lane. We will then probably find that the e-bike lobby, and the e-everything advocates who promote “anything but cars”, are too strong.Recommended 0

    The eBikes have a computer controller which disengages the motor if the speed is over 20 miles. It’s the law. If it’s OK for regular non motor bicycles to go as fast as they want, why wouldn’t eBikes as well? The bike lanes should be for both. Regular bike cyclists don’t own the bike lanes to kick eBike cyclists out. Limit the speed for both then. Anyways, inside the city, there’s little chance for bikes to go too fast. There are stop sign and signals between city blocks. By the time a bike hits a high speed, they will encounter a stop sign. It makes sense to ride at a reasonable relaxing speed.

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  • steve August 13, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Tony

    John Liu Moped has pedals and motor. You can propel it by pedaling, by motor, or both. The motor is controlled by a throttle rather than responding to your pedaling. They can be electric or gas. If gas, engine displacement is limited to 49 cc and top speed is typically around 30 mph although they can be hopped up. They require a license, helmet, and must be ridden where cars can drive.The above can describe certain throttle controlled e-bikes as well.The majority of e-bikes you see today are pedelec (motor responds to pedaling), although I’ve seen throttle controlled e-bikes on the streets too (rider not pedaling while e-bike accelerates).Some new pedelecs from major companies are now designed to go up to 28 mph using motor + pedaling, https://www.electricbike.com/28mph-legal-strategy/E-bike websites and discussion groups are full of ways to speed your e-bike to over 30 mph.As with any technology, e-bikes will get faster and some not-small number of people will abuse the speed. When or if this combination of speed + abuse gets bad enough, regular cyclists will want e-bikes kicked out of the bike lane. We will then probably find that the e-bike lobby, and the e-everything advocates who promote “anything but cars”, are too strong.Recommended 0

    The eBikes have a computer controller which disengages the motor if the speed is over 20 miles. It’s the law. If it’s OK for regular non motor bicycles to go as fast as they want, why wouldn’t eBikes as well? The bike lanes should be for both. Regular bike cyclists don’t own the bike lanes to kick eBike cyclists out. Limit the speed for both then. Anyways, inside the city, there’s little chance for bikes to go too fast. There are stop sign and signals between city blocks. By the time a bike hits a high speed, they will encounter a stop sign. It makes sense to ride at a reasonable relaxing speed.Recommended 1

    Thanks Tony for the clarification. John Lui, can you cite ordinance in oregon law that backs up your claim? Because as a reminder, ebikes are bicycles per ORS 801.258.

    If your claim is an opinion, that is OK. It’s just the law seem to contradict your statement.

    Here is the link for your education:
    https://bikeportland.org/2018/08/01/portland-firm-releases-free-legal-guidebook-for-electric-bicycles-286715

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 13, 2018 at 1:35 pm

      Using the legal definitions you linked to, in Oregon, any ebike producing more than 1000 watts or capable of going faster than 20mph on level ground is a moped.

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  • steve August 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    Using the legal definitions you linked to, in Oregon, any ebike producing more than 1000 watts or capable of going faster than 20mph on level ground is a moped.Recommended 0

    And which ebike are you referring to that are 1000w or above that a bike shop sell? To my knowledge, LBS only sells class 1,2,3 ebikes.

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  • steve August 13, 2018 at 3:31 pm

    steve

    Hello, Kitty Using the legal definitions you linked to, in Oregon, any ebike producing more than 1000 watts or capable of going faster than 20mph on level ground is a moped.Recommended 0

    And which ebike are you referring to that are 1000w or above that a bike shop sell? To my knowledge, LBS only sells class 1,2,3 ebikes.Recommended 0

    Ah, I re-read the ordanance and I see where there could be different interpretation in the laws!

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  • Tony August 13, 2018 at 4:01 pm

    steve

    Tony

    John Liu Moped has pedals and motor. You can propel it by pedaling, by motor, or both. The motor is controlled by a throttle rather than responding to your pedaling. They can be electric or gas. If gas, engine displacement is limited to 49 cc and top speed is typically around 30 mph although they can be hopped up. They require a license, helmet, and must be ridden where cars can drive.The above can describe certain throttle controlled e-bikes as well.The majority of e-bikes you see today are pedelec (motor responds to pedaling), although I’ve seen throttle controlled e-bikes on the streets too (rider not pedaling while e-bike accelerates).Some new pedelecs from major companies are now designed to go up to 28 mph using motor + pedaling, https://www.electricbike.com/28mph-legal-strategy/E-bike websites and discussion groups are full of ways to speed your e-bike to over 30 mph.As with any technology, e-bikes will get faster and some not-small number of people will abuse the speed. When or if this combination of speed + abuse gets bad enough, regular cyclists will want e-bikes kicked out of the bike lane. We will then probably find that the e-bike lobby, and the e-everything advocates who promote “anything but cars”, are too strong.Recommended 0

    The eBikes have a computer controller which disengages the motor if the speed is over 20 miles. It’s the law. If it’s OK for regular non motor bicycles to go as fast as they want, why wouldn’t eBikes as well? The bike lanes should be for both. Regular bike cyclists don’t own the bike lanes to kick eBike cyclists out. Limit the speed for both then. Anyways, inside the city, there’s little chance for bikes to go too fast. There are stop sign and signals between city blocks. By the time a bike hits a high speed, they will encounter a stop sign. It makes sense to ride at a reasonable relaxing speed.Recommended 1

    Thanks Tony for the clarification. John Lui, can you cite ordinance in oregon law that backs up your claim? Because as a reminder, ebikes are bicycles per ORS 801.258.If your claim is an opinion, that is OK. It’s just the law seem to contradict your statement.Here is the link for your education: https://bikeportland.org/2018/08/01/portland-firm-releases-free-legal-guidebook-for-electric-bicycles-286715Recommended 1

    ORS 801.258 doesn’t say an electric bike is a bicycle. It gives a definition of it only. https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/801.258

    eBikes are not allowed on state parks. This means they are not considered as bicycles.
    Check out the legal guideline booklet:
    https://bikeportland.org/2018/08/01/portland-firm-releases-free-legal-guidebook-for-electric-bicycles-286715

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  • steve August 14, 2018 at 9:07 am

    Tony

    steve

    Tony

    John Liu Moped has pedals and motor. You can propel it by pedaling, by motor, or both. The motor is controlled by a throttle rather than responding to your pedaling. They can be electric or gas. If gas, engine displacement is limited to 49 cc and top speed is typically around 30 mph although they can be hopped up. They require a license, helmet, and must be ridden where cars can drive.The above can describe certain throttle controlled e-bikes as well.The majority of e-bikes you see today are pedelec (motor responds to pedaling), although I’ve seen throttle controlled e-bikes on the streets too (rider not pedaling while e-bike accelerates).Some new pedelecs from major companies are now designed to go up to 28 mph using motor + pedaling, https://www.electricbike.com/28mph-legal-strategy/E-bike websites and discussion groups are full of ways to speed your e-bike to over 30 mph.As with any technology, e-bikes will get faster and some not-small number of people will abuse the speed. When or if this combination of speed + abuse gets bad enough, regular cyclists will want e-bikes kicked out of the bike lane. We will then probably find that the e-bike lobby, and the e-everything advocates who promote “anything but cars”, are too strong.Recommended 0

    The eBikes have a computer controller which disengages the motor if the speed is over 20 miles. It’s the law. If it’s OK for regular non motor bicycles to go as fast as they want, why wouldn’t eBikes as well? The bike lanes should be for both. Regular bike cyclists don’t own the bike lanes to kick eBike cyclists out. Limit the speed for both then. Anyways, inside the city, there’s little chance for bikes to go too fast. There are stop sign and signals between city blocks. By the time a bike hits a high speed, they will encounter a stop sign. It makes sense to ride at a reasonable relaxing speed.Recommended 1

    Thanks Tony for the clarification. John Lui, can you cite ordinance in oregon law that backs up your claim? Because as a reminder, ebikes are bicycles per ORS 801.258.If your claim is an opinion, that is OK. It’s just the law seem to contradict your statement.Here is the link for your education: https://bikeportland.org/2018/08/01/portland-firm-releases-free-legal-guidebook-for-electric-bicycles-286715Recommended 1

    ORS 801.258 doesn’t say an electric bike is a bicycle. It gives a definition of it only. https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/801.258eBikes are not allowed on state parks. This means they are not considered as bicycles. Check out the legal guideline booklet: https://bikeportland.org/2018/08/01/portland-firm-releases-free-legal-guidebook-for-electric-bicycles-286715Recommended 0

    actually, it does:

    https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.405

    2017 ORS 814.405¹
    Status of electric assisted bicycle

    An electric assisted bicycle shall be considered a bicycle, rather than a motor vehicle, for purposes of the Oregon Vehicle Code, except when otherwise specifically provided by statute.

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  • Tony August 14, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    steve

    Tony

    steve

    Tony

    John Liu Moped has pedals and motor. You can propel it by pedaling, by motor, or both. The motor is controlled by a throttle rather than responding to your pedaling. They can be electric or gas. If gas, engine displacement is limited to 49 cc and top speed is typically around 30 mph although they can be hopped up. They require a license, helmet, and must be ridden where cars can drive.The above can describe certain throttle controlled e-bikes as well.The majority of e-bikes you see today are pedelec (motor responds to pedaling), although I’ve seen throttle controlled e-bikes on the streets too (rider not pedaling while e-bike accelerates).Some new pedelecs from major companies are now designed to go up to 28 mph using motor + pedaling, https://www.electricbike.com/28mph-legal-strategy/E-bike websites and discussion groups are full of ways to speed your e-bike to over 30 mph.As with any technology, e-bikes will get faster and some not-small number of people will abuse the speed. When or if this combination of speed + abuse gets bad enough, regular cyclists will want e-bikes kicked out of the bike lane. We will then probably find that the e-bike lobby, and the e-everything advocates who promote “anything but cars”, are too strong.Recommended 0

    The eBikes have a computer controller which disengages the motor if the speed is over 20 miles. It’s the law. If it’s OK for regular non motor bicycles to go as fast as they want, why wouldn’t eBikes as well? The bike lanes should be for both. Regular bike cyclists don’t own the bike lanes to kick eBike cyclists out. Limit the speed for both then. Anyways, inside the city, there’s little chance for bikes to go too fast. There are stop sign and signals between city blocks. By the time a bike hits a high speed, they will encounter a stop sign. It makes sense to ride at a reasonable relaxing speed.Recommended 1

    Thanks Tony for the clarification. John Lui, can you cite ordinance in oregon law that backs up your claim? Because as a reminder, ebikes are bicycles per ORS 801.258.If your claim is an opinion, that is OK. It’s just the law seem to contradict your statement.Here is the link for your education: https://bikeportland.org/2018/08/01/portland-firm-releases-free-legal-guidebook-for-electric-bicycles-286715Recommended 1

    ORS 801.258 doesn’t say an electric bike is a bicycle. It gives a definition of it only. https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/801.258eBikes are not allowed on state parks. This means they are not considered as bicycles. Check out the legal guideline booklet: https://bikeportland.org/2018/08/01/portland-firm-releases-free-legal-guidebook-for-electric-bicycles-286715Recommended 0

    actually, it does:https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/814.4052017 ORS 814.405¹ Status of electric assisted bicycleAn electric assisted bicycle shall be considered a bicycle, rather than a motor vehicle, for purposes of the Oregon Vehicle Code, except when otherwise specifically provided by statute.Recommended 0

    An eBike is NOT a bicycle for all intents and purposes. For example, it’s a motorized vehicle in state parks. Can’t go on trails where regular bikes can go.

    https://bikeportland.org/2017/07/06/not-so-fast-e-bike-riders-motors-arent-allowed-on-bike-paths-in-oregon-state-parks-233954

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    • q August 14, 2018 at 9:38 pm

      I’m glad you’ve come around from your earlier “Why are some people having a hard time considering them just like bicycles?” position. The motor makes quite a difference, practically and apparently also legally.

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  • Jim Davis August 14, 2018 at 6:12 pm

    href=”https://bikeportland.org/2017/07/06/not-so-fast-e-bike-riders-motors-arent-allowed-on-bike-paths-in-oregon-state-parks-233954″ rel=”nofollow”>https://bikeportland.org/2017/07/06/not-so-fast-e-bike-riders-motors-arent-allowed-on-bike-paths-in-oregon-state-parks-233954Recommended 0

    “electric assisted bicycle shall be considered a bicycle” seems pretty clear to me. No wiggle room in that sentence.

    I believe the point Steve was making here is if an ebike is a bicycle, not where they are allowed.

    Sorry that offends you.

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    • q August 15, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      “ “electric assisted bicycle shall be considered a bicycle” seems pretty clear to me. No wiggle room in that sentence.”

      But you only quoted the first half of the sentence. You left off, “…rather than a motor vehicle, for purposes of the Oregon Vehicle Code, except when otherwise specifically provided by statute.”

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  • Tony August 15, 2018 at 9:24 am

    q
    I’m glad you’ve come around from your earlier “Why are some people having a hard time considering them just like bicycles?” position. The motor makes quite a difference, practically and apparently also legally.Recommended 1

    That was for the people who think eBikes should be banned completely because they are dangerous and fast just because they have a motor. I for one consider them like bicycles. They should be allowed anywhere bicycles are allowed. That includes state parks. I quoted earlier about Oregon laws. I didn’t say I agree with these days. I don’t. These laws were placed before eBikes existed and they need to be revised. eBikes should not be treated like motorcycles, mopeds, quads… as motorized vehicles.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 15, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      I think it is undeniable that ebikes are qualitatively different than bikes, and we should acknowledge those differences and consider whether they should lead to differing policies in various settings (which they might not).

      Deciding on the policy outcome first (treat them the same), and using that to backfill the analysis (ergo, there are no qualitative differences) seems backwards and dishonest.

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      • q August 15, 2018 at 1:01 pm

        That’s exactly what happened with standup paddleboard regulations, and it’s been a mess that has cost several lives. When standup paddleboards appeared several years ago, the Coast Guard ruled that they were “vessels” because paddles were used to propel them, and thus inherited the regulations that apply to other vessels, such as small boats. So a paddleboard paddler is required to have “on the vessel” a pfd (life vest). Many deaths have occurred because people fall off their boards, and the wind or waves carry their boards away, with the life vest sitting on it. And of course the board itself would function as a huge pfd, because it is a giant floating device that, unlike a boat, cannot sink. What is much safer is to either wear the pfd and/or use a leash to attach the board to your ankle, so if you fall you won’t be separated from it. But wearing the pfd isn’t required, and the leash isn’t recognized as a safety device. So people continue to go out with pfds on their boards, and no leashes, confident that they’re safe because they are complying with the law. And people who are very safe, with leashes but no pfd, are ticketed and fined.

        All because, as you said, the “policy outcome” was decided first, without considering the realities. The same situation may occur with scooters.

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  • paikiala August 15, 2018 at 9:30 am

    What percent of an e-bike’s cost is the motor (the thing the tariff is imposed on)?
    If 30%, then the new 29% tariff is (.29 x .3 =) 8.7% price increase. And I’ve heard China has already deflated it’s currency value by 8+%, so the effect could be nil.

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  • Tony August 15, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    paikiala
    What percent of an e-bike’s cost is the motor (the thing the tariff is imposed on)? If 30%, then the new 29% tariff is (.29 x .3 =) 8.7% price increase. And I’ve heard China has already deflated it’s currency value by 8+%, so the effect could be nil.Recommended 1

    The tariff is on the value of the whole bike. Not the motor only.

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    • paikiala August 17, 2018 at 9:01 am

      Your source, please.

      My source: “The tariff on motors will be 29 percent as the new tariff will be added to the existing one 4 percent. “

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  • Matthew August 19, 2018 at 6:16 am

    Rick; aside here but if you a metal roof guy we are interested in potentially buying one; hickeymad@yahoo.com

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