Manhattan Beach resident and licensed pilot Aaron Brady enjoys the occasional flight with his friends to Catalina or other nearby destinations. It was his need for speed and the bird’s-eye view that gave him an idea.
“Looking down and seeing all of the bikes, I was thinking it was amazing how many people ride their bikes for fun,” Brady said. “I started looking for an electric bike myself. I’ve been obsessed with fast cars, motorized things, my entire life. There was nothing out there at a decent price point. Everything was $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 and up, which is pretty crazy for a bike with a motor on it.”
So Brady and his friend and business partner, Justin Bransmit, started an Indiegogo campaign to fund the Wave Electric Bike, which they call the “world’s most affordable electric bike ever.” The fundraising campaign began April 1 with a $70,000 goal by May 1. To date, they have raised more than $372,000 from more than 1,700 contributors, reaching 543 percent of their goal.
Brady said fundraising was slow at first. They had $15,000 in pledges when their story appeared on the home page of Yahoo!. By the next morning contributions had doubled. By the end of that day, they had reached their $70,000 goal.
“We didn’t expect that, but we had hoped,” Brady said.
At $549, the Wave eBike, which comes standard with a 48-volt battery, 750-watt hub motor, has a range of more than 26 miles on a single charge, without any peddling. The beach cruiser is single speed and comes in multiple colors, including white, yellow, blue, red, black, silver or camouflage. The bike has a top speed of 28 miles per hour.
“You can get a nicer cruising speed at 20 mph, which is what a lot of people want to cruise at without completely draining the battery,” Brady said. “Like a lot of competitors for example, their (bikes) will top out at 20 mph. But if you’re doing 20 the whole time, you’ll drain the battery really quickly. It’s like a buffer, so that it’s more efficient.”
Originally, Brady said their goal is to manufacture 200 units. But with the tremendous response from donors, they are now looking at producing 500 bikes with a shipping goal of July. They’re also hoping to include some perks, from an LED back light to reducing the shipping costs. They may eventually offer options for gears and a chrome color bike.
“We’re growing, but we’re not being super greedy,” Brady said. “The whole goal and premise was to offer an affordable bike.”
Brady originally wanted an electric bike as a fun option for transportation, but it could be a lot more for many people.
“I wake up every morning with a smile on my face, thinking about how many lives we’re going to impact for the better, with people saying, ‘I can’t afford a car,’ or they want to be more green and use the bike to commute,” he said.
Brady said he has probably put a few hundred miles on his eBike by riding from Manhattan Beach to the Santa Monica Pier.
“You don’t have to worry about parking, it eliminates the use of a car, especially in the South Bay when you’re not really going far distances,” he said. “It’s a really cool way of seeing the city … I’ve seen parts of Manhattan Beach that I haven’t seen before just cruising around for fun.”
For more information visit, indiegogo.com/projects/wave-electric-28-mph-bike.