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BiS profile: Damon Victor, Electric Bikes of Savannah

co-founder

Damon Victor

 

when and why did you decide to launch Electric Bikes of Savannah?

Our parent company, Greenpath Electric Bikes, launched in 2009 in Brooklyn because we saw New York City was becoming so congested with traffic, noise, and pollution. Electric bikes were our solution. We decided to launch our satellite company, Electric Bikes of Savannah, in downtown Savannah in 2015 because Savannah seemed to be always moving forward. Savannah seemed more avant-garde than other Southern cities and is centrally located in the Southeast. We believed this would be a good opportunity to launch a new technology in the region. At Electric Bikes of Savannah, we both rent and sell electric bikes.

 

what are electric bikes?

Electric bikes are bicycles — they ride, feel, and look like a bike. To understand electric bikes, you need to know about amperage, voltage and wattage. The amps, if you think about it in car terms, are like the gas tank: However many amps the battery holds will determine how far the bike will go. The wattage is the torque; it’s the pushing power that carries the weight. The voltage is the horse power. The voltage determines the top speed and the quickness of the bike. Our electric bikes have either 36 volts or 48 volts. The 36-volt bikes have a speed of 20 miles per hour and the 48-volts have a top speed of 28 miles per hour. You can get an average of 30 miles on one charge and it takes three to five hours to charge a battery.

Electric bikes account for 10 percent of bike sales in the U.S. market, and that figure is continuing to grow. About 45 percent of electric bikes have a motorcycle throttle on them. About 95 percent have a sensor inside the crank, and as you pedal it, the sensor senses how fast you’re pedaling, and it sends that information to a computer, which then sends the information to a motor, causing the bike to speed at different levels. There’s a control on the computer that the more you turn the settings up, the faster the bike goes.

With our bikes, the biker can choose whether he or she wants to use the bike manually and peddle, or use the electric portion of the bike.

 

why are your bikes an environmentally conscious choice?

Our tagline is, “Go green, no sweat.” The electric bikes don’t emit the exhaust fumes that cars do. They don’t add to the pollution. We launched the electric bike company because the exhaust fumes from cars was getting intense. The city of New York had built 1,000 miles of bike lanes across the city that needed to be used. The average person’s commute to work is eight miles long. But the average person can’t physically bike sixteen miles per day. The electric bike replaces the car, is easier and faster than peddling a regular bike, and reduces your carbon footprint on the planet.

 

Are your bikes economical?

Definitely. You don’t have to pay for gas, registration or parking tickets. The average electric bike costs about $2,000, significantly less than a car.

 

who is your target market?

A big sector of our market are people who are over 50 years old and still want to get out, but have physical ailments. They use the electric bikes with comfort and ease without getting into physical trouble. Also, most of the bikes we sell are folding electrical bikes, which are attractive to students who live in dorms, or to people in urban areas who don’t have access to parking. Boaters have also been finding out that electric bikes are helpful. They’ll pull their boats up to port and then will ride electric bikes around the city.

 

how do you think your bikes benefit travelers?

We found these are the best bikes for Savannah because they allow tourists to see more of Savannah than they could see on foot or even on a tour. Savannah is an easy city to get around, but also can be difficult to see by simply walking. So travelers can rent our bikes for one hour, three hours or the full day. They also receive helmets and locks for the bikes.

 

what kind of bikes does Electric Bikes of Savannah rent and sell?

We have high-end brands that are both high-quality and durable. They don’t just last a year and fade away. We sell top of the line electric bikes from countries all over the world, ranging from $1,195 to $6,000.

 

does Electric Bikes of Savannah have any events coming up?

In September, we’re hosting Electric Bike Week at Fort Stewart in order to sell electric bikes to military members and their families. We’re also getting in a new product before the end of summer in Savannah: the electric skateboard with a Bluetooth control.

 

where is Electric Bikes of Savannah located?

Electric Bikes of Savannah is on Madison Square in the back of E. Shavers Booksellers. We bought the building about one year ago. We saw the opportunity of retail space and our vision was to grow the company and concept to another region of the United States. And here we are!

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