Introducing the e-bike company bringing Kiwi cyclists back to our roads: Electrify NZ! Founder Michael Tritt, an avid cyclist and sustainability advocate, saw the potential of electric bikes to change the way we commute, sightsee, mountain bike and exercise. In early 2015, he opened a small store in Auckland. As New Zealanders fell in love with e-biking, the company rapidly expanded; you can now find Electrify at 10 locations (and counting) across New Zealand!
Electrify offers a carefully selected range of e-bikes from top international brands. They prioritise high-quality products at reasonable prices, and are known for their excellent after-sales service, and support. They offer free test rides, so you can make sure your new e-bike is the best possible fit for you and your lifestyle.
Here, we speak with Michael Tritt to gain insight into the Electrify journey and what’s next for e-bikes in New Zealand.
Tell us a bit about Electrify. When did you start, and why?
Electrify started trading in early 2015 from a tiny store in Freemans Bay. I’d been a commuter cyclist pretty much my entire adult life as well as being passionate about sustainability, so it seemed like a business that was a good fit and had some potential. It was tough going in the early days, but thanks to being early to a fast-growing market, and the help of my business partners James Munro and Ron Minkhorst and our growing team, we’ve managed to establish ourselves as one of the major players in e-bike distribution and retail in New Zealand. We distribute several major e-bike brands now to about 70 independent dealers as well as 10 of our own franchised stores around the country.
How have you seen the e-mobility industry evolve since Electrify has been in business?
There has been a massive shift over that period. When we started there were less than 2,000 electric bikes being imported into New Zealand annually. I remember taking a gazebo and a bunch of bikes to weekend markets and having to explain to people what an electric bike was. You don’t have to do that now. If people don’t own one themselves, they’ll definitely know someone who does. In 2020 Stats NZ estimated around 50,000 e-bikes were imported into New Zealand. Demand grew about 25 times over about 5 years, and it’s not done yet.
How do you envision the future of e-bikes in New Zealand?
The only way is up. It’s only a matter of time until those e-bike import numbers overtake new vehicle registrations in New Zealand. And of course, they are far outselling EVs.
What do you think needs to happen for more New Zealanders to take up e-bikes?
Despite the rapid growth in their adoption, and their potential as a solution for transportation and carbon reductions, e-bikes just don’t get anywhere near the same level of attention from policy makers as other transport modes; that needs to change. I’m supportive of the financial incentives put in place to decarbonise the vehicle fleet, but it would be logical to bring e-bikes into that mix too. It’s certainly happening overseas. Many European countries have some kind of financial incentive in place for e-bike adoption, and Biden’s Infrastructure Bill in the US contains a provision for an up to 30% subsidy on e-bike purchases.
Addressing the upfront cost of ownership will certainly drive more adoption. Other than cost, perceived safety is the biggest barrier to adoption. Again, we are not seeing a lot of progress in comparison to many places overseas. Cycle lanes in urban areas are critical so that everyone from children through to older members of society can actually feel safe. Once it’s safe, cycling can potentially become the dominant form of transport and we can enjoy a lower emission, more physically active transport sector.
Check out the excellent range of e-bikes available at Electrify here.