Electrify NZ & how it will change urban transport

Electrify.nz was started with one mission in mind – to rapidly grow the number of people in Auckland and around New Zealand using electric bikes.

There are a huge number of options out there in the electric bike market and unfortunately a lot of it is very low quality product, but it’s very difficult for the average consumer to tell that - until they’ve bought it and start to experience problems.

Electrify.nz has made the buying process easier, by bringing several well-proven brands of top quality electric bikes under one roof. By using electrify.nz you know you’re dealing with top international brands backed by solid warranties. Whether it’s an e-bike for commuting, rail trails or an electric mountain bike, we have the product for you.

Just select the bike you’re interested in, and click through to ask a question or book in a demonstration ride. Our booking system is only available in Auckland right now, but if you’re not in Auckland we may be able to get a local dealer to help you out.

How does your test ride booking system work?

Just choose the bike you want to try and the day you want to try it, then you’ll be given options for booking time. In Auckland, the bike can either be picked up at 5 Scotland St or delivered to your address.  The bike is due back (or will be picked up) 24 hours later. You will receive an email and/or call confirming all the details.

Does it cost anything to test ride a bike?

No, our demo rides are completely free. In Auckland, for a limited time, we are also offering the demo delivery service free. If, after trying the bike for 24 hours, you decide it’s not for you there is no obligation to pay anything.

Will you give me instructions on how to use it?

Yes, you’ll get a full briefing on how to use the bike, and we’ll supply a free helmet and lock if you need it.

What is an electric bike?

An electric bike is a power-assisted bicycle with an electric motor and battery built into the bike. You still pedal, steer, brake and change gears like you would on a regular bike but the extra power will let you go further and faster. They “flatten” every hill and turn every headwind into a tailwind, in other words taking the bits that aren’t fun out of cycling, leaving you with the enjoyable bits.

Electrify founders Ron Minkhorst (L) & Michael Tritt (R) launch their e-bike range

Is it cheating?

In the Tour de France, yes, but otherwise only to the extent that any form of mechanical assistance (including cycling) is “cheating” compared to walking. Humans have cleverly invented machines enabling them to get from A to B in a more timely, practical and convenient way. Unfortunately, some of these (fossil fuels driven vehicles, we’re looking at you) have contributed to other problems including air pollution, obesity, congestion and climate change. The electric bike may be the best form of transportation yet invented. Super energy efficient, pollution-free and usually faster at peak hour than a car or bus. You’ll still get exercise, but unlike a regular bike you won’t arrive hot and sweaty to work, requiring a shower (or ostracision by your workmates).

Do you need a license?

No, in fact you can go anywhere that a regular bike is allowed to go – cycle paths, cycle lanes, rail trails and other shared paths – as long as your electric bike is rated not more than 300 watts of power. Under current law, more powerful e-bikes can’t be ridden on public roads (unless they are registered as “mopeds”.

How fast do they go?

Most electric bikes will have a motor that tops out at around 30km/h. The real speed advantage will come going up hills, where you will need to get used to passing those on non-electric bikes. E-bikes will also take off quicker from standing starts, allowing you to get away safely in front of traffic at the lights. They’re also great for merging with general traffic, allowing you to maintain a more consistent and safer speed when doing so.

How far do they go?

As long as you’re prepared to pedal there are no limits…but most e-bikes will quote a maximum “assisted” range. This can be anywhere from around 25km at the low end to 200km at the high end. Bear in mind that manufacturer’s maximum ranges usually assume a fairly optimal set of conditions. Still, the vast majority of electric bikes will have sufficient range for what 95% of people would do in a day. Battery capacity is measured in “amp hours”. 10 – 11 amp hours should take you around 50km, although some bikes (especially mid-drives) may be more efficient.

How long do the batteries last?

Depending on the battery, they are usually good for somewhere between 500 and 2000 charge cycles before they deteriorate significantly. This is where it’s really important to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable supplier. $1500 e-bikes might seem like a bargain at the time, but battery failures on cheap products are relatively common. We get asked to repair said batteries and are usually not able to help as they are made specifically for the bike, which means the owner is usually lumbered with a very heavy “normal” bike. Buy from established brands that use Samsung, Sony or Panasonic cells and you’ll generally be OK.

Electrify founder Michael Tritt with son tagging along (his favourite thing to do on an e-bike)

Do the batteries charge while you’re riding?

Generally, no. The physics of a bike is very different to a car, and it’s usually not worth doing. When you get 50 – 100km by spending just 15c on electricity per charge, you’re talking unparalleled mileage, so nearly every electric bike just has a removable battery that you charge at the wall.

How long do batteries take to charge?

3 to 8 hours, depending on the amp hours of the battery and the charger.

How do you control the power of the bike?

There are generally two methods – pedal assist and throttle. Many bikes will have both. Different people have their own preferences. Some prefer the full manual control of a throttle, adding as much or as little power as you need in an instant. Others prefer the automation of pedal assistance – where you select an assistance level (usually 3 – 6 levels dependent on bike) and the bike detects when you’re pedalling and adds motor power to support you.