September 27, 2016
Electric bikes offer fun and functional transportation for urban dwellers, travellers, or just doing errands around town. To learn more, Eco News Network recently caught up with the CEO of ProdecoTech, Robert Provost. ProdecoTech is a leading innovator and manufacturer of electric bikes in the USA. Provost’s mission is to make electric bikes the number one form of single person transportation.
Provost spoke last week at cycling’s biggest event, InterBike 2016 about his vision to change the way the world looks at electric bikes by making American-built e-bikes part of everyone’s lifestyle and implementing a 21st Century manufacturing process to keep jobs in the USA.
Here’s what Provost had to say about the company and the electric bike marketplace.
ENN – What was your mission when you founded ProdecoTech? How has that evolved?
RP – Today’s mission is to make e-bikes the number one form of single person transportation.
The Company was founded in 2008 with the first bikes released in 2010. ProdecoTech’s mission is to deliver a line-up of stylish best value for highest quality electric bikes worldwide. We are a vertically integrated company that is the premier researcher, developer, marketer, and manufacturer of the highest quality electric bicycles in the USA, and is headquartered in South Florida.
We are striving to become the number one e-bike company in the world. The founders came together from a previous technology and sporting goods company with a passion to design the world’s best e-bikes and build them right here in the USA. After a two-year research and development phase, Interbike 2010 was the stage for the unveiling of the company’s first product line of USA built e-bikes. The initial production of 1000 e-bikes were an immediate success. Over the last five years, ProdecoTech has implemented a sophisticated plan focused on developing the best-designed, most reliable, and most exciting e-bikes in the marketplace, while being highly cost competitive.
ENN – What sets ProdecoTech electric bikes apart?
RP – We have more than 20 different e-bike models and styles—ProdecoTech creates electric bikes that make sense for everyone.
ProdecoTech has partnered with Samsung on the design and technology of the custom battery that the bikes use. ProdecoTech is the only bike company in the US working directly with Samsung on these long life batteries. The Samsung batteries get well over 1000 cycles and have water-resistant casing/seals and can go up to 25-35 miles in a single charge. It only takes like four hours to fully charge an empty battery with the battery charger that plugs into any standard outlet.
ENN – What about the folding models?
RP – We originally introduced four folding models in 2010. There were two additional folding models added in 2011. In 2012 we added rigid frame models. ProdecoTech offers the largest array of folding e-bikes, including both compact and full-size frame folding options. The Phantom X2 and Genesis 300 are full size folding frame commuter e-bikes, as well as the popular Mariner which commuters in bigger cities love, as it’s a smaller bike and more compact. The Phantom X2 is rated the number one bike on Amazon.
ENN – How much do the ProdecoTech e-bikes cost?
RP – Costs range anywhere from $1500 to $3,000 depending upon bike style
ENN – On the website you talk about the popularity of electric bikes in Europe and how that made you think about the market opportunity here in the US. How has the enthusiasm for electric bikes grown here in the US? How does that compare to other parts of the world?
RP – Initially, we decided to build our own e-bikes after not finding any quality options at affordable prices. The rest of the world has proved that e-bikes are a reliable, easy and eco-friendly form of transportation. The USA is slower to respond and it is an education process. But the opportunities in the US are huge once mainstream America recognizes e-bikes as not only recreation, but also as transportation. Our 2017/2018 goals are to grow by 100 percent each year.
ENN – Tell me about the ProdecoTech team? Are they cyclists?
RP – No, we are innovators and dreamers that want to change the way people look at transportation in America. By trade, the founders have experience as manufacturers and distributors first, and cycling enthusiasts second. We made e-bikes a business first with tons of passion to make real change and offer options to consumers.
ENN – The bikes are USA made. Are all component parts made in the USA? Where are the bikes manufactured?
RP – The bikes are designed, engineered and built in the USA in our 60,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. We don’t say they are Made in the USA because we use top of the line SRAM and Samsung components, which are made over seas. We get all the parts in and manufacture the bikes in Florida. ProdecoTech is the only U.S.-based company mass-producing electric bikes in a U.S. manufacturing facility. Some of the vendors we use for frame-design, etc. are in the U.S. but since not all parts are made in the U.S we say “Built.”
ENN – What about the demand for electric bikes? Folding bikes? Lightweight folding bikes?
RP – Demand is growing and lightweight is a plus for some, same with folding. e-bikes tend to be heavier than traditional bikes and solid construction is important for the safety and stability of the bike. ProdecoTech developed and produced the lightest production e-bike in 2014-2015, the Titanio at 31.8 lbs. There are a few others a little lighter, but not production e-bikes. The new Titanio 2 will be out in 2017.
ENN – Who rides your electric bikes? Men/Women/Urban/Travellers? US, North America, other countries?
RP – All types of riders, we leave no one behind. We have over eight different models and 30+ versions to suit the riding needs of anyone. Right now riders are early-adapters, and primarily men 25-45, but we are seeing a lot of interest with millennials and baby boomers. We focus on sales in the US, but have distributed our e-bikes all around the world.
ProdecoTech electric bikes are growing extremely popular and are owned by some of Hollywood’s elite and best-known celebrities, including Brad Pitt, Rosie O’Donnell, Jennifer Lawrence and Val Kilmer, P. Diddy and many more. With over 25 different models, ProdecoTech bicycles give users the choice to pedal, use a throttle, or both.
ENN – What are three attributes of ProdecoTech bike that make them a better choice than the competition?
RP – First, they are built in the USA – no one else is mass-producing electric bikes in the USA – we have the largest and most state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the US. Second, they are built for the USA Rider – From design, power, usage, and needs – we design our bikes with the American rider in mind. And third, our e-bikes are 30 percent lower in cost with no added margin layers for middle channel suppliers – no other companies offer comparable e-bikes as low as our price points
ENN – Are there any restrictions related to traveling with electric bikes vs. a standard bicycle and if so what are they?
RP – There are some and the laws evolve. Right now you need to check with the specific transporter for their restrictions. But more recently, Federal regulations have made riding e-bikes up to 20 mph simple and easy by not requiring any license, registration or insurance to ride e-bikes so ProdecoTech electric bikes are bike path and street legal without the rider needing a license, registration or insurance.
ENN – Has the battery life evolved since the first model was introduced?
RP – Yes, we have partnered with Samsung, the #1 manufacturer of Lithium Ion batteries. This has ensured we are always getting the highest quality battery cells and technology direct from the manufacturer. We also work directly with Samsung to design custom battery options for our product lines. Batteries are now more durable, reliable, safe and get more full cycles than ever before.
ENN – Is there an advantage to the downtube vs. the rack mount battery design? Is so what is it?
RP – Down tube increases the center of gravity and the bike balances well. Rear rack batteries are similar to riding with a few books if you remember riding your bike to school. Folding models with high capacity batteries require rack systems. Rear-rack also allows for a more entry-level price point for those new the e-bikes.
ENN – Where is the company going? New models, new battery designs/battery life extension?
RP – We are looking for our Mariner line in 2017 to be beyond water resistant and close to waterproof. Right now we have some of the most cutting edge battery design, seals and technology to make the batteries more durable in any weather condition.
Soon we’ll be offering configurator sites and building bikes in the USA for other company’s including our current competitors. With the extensive savings we offer, our competitors can use ProdecoTech to build their bikes and keep their same cost. New innovative models are coming out in 2017 including specialty models made for the European market and we are building on our recent strides to offer some of the best battery technology in the business.
ENN – What is the most important thing you’d like to tell Eco News Network readers about ProdecoTech and your bikes?
RP – We are the #1 electric-bike manufacturer in the USA with designs developed for the USA buyer. Our frames are specific for e-bikes and when combined with our supplying partners such as Samsung and SRAM, we cannot be beat. No added margin layers allow us to offer bikes for 30% lower than our competitors. We design and build all of our e-bikes in the USA and use superior parts and components to offer a premium electric bike at affordable prices.
ProdecoTech’s vision is to change the way the world looks at electric bikes by making American-built e-bikes part of everyone’s lifestyle, and by implementing a 21st-Century manufacturing process to keep jobs in the USA. ProdecoTech is the #1 U.S. e-bike industry employer with the largest USA-based workforce. ProdecoTech prides itself on offering a superior product that supports eco-transport and green initiatives, while providing solutions for those who need electric riding assistance or affordable transportation options without a license or insurance.
Stay tuned for the results of the Eco News Network test drive of the Mariner folding e-bike from ProdecoTech. If you’re interested in an e-bike from ProdecoTech, they are offering a $100 discount to Eco News Network readers. Please use ENN Promo Code: ENN100
Photos and video provided by ProdecoTech.