BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – With a market volume of approximately 1 million bicycles per year, the number of e-bikes bought annually by Argentineans is still very low. Nevertheless they are slowly discovering the advantages of e-bikes. The four founders of the Buenos Aires based company Eshift expect to sell at least 10,000 units until 2016 to their fellow countrymen, as well as a few thousands to Chileans and Uruguayans.
Only a few months ago Gabriel Eduardo Scorolli and three partners started their business to import e-bike motors and 350 Watt lithium acid gel batteries and assemble them on locally-made bicycles. Today Eshift’s product range includes a beach model and MTB. A city bike, as well as a shopper model, are expected soon.
As in in other South American countries the price for bicycles has eroded deeply. The same is true for e-bikes, due to heavy competition from China. The retail price for an Eshift e-bike is €341 while their main Chinese competitors charge €300. A wider range of e-bikes is offered by PractiWheels, with a product portfolio of five e-bikes, three e-trikes and a 250 W as well as a 500 W conversion kit.
Airline supports cycling initiative
A remarkable initiative to support the promotion of cycling came last month from the Dutch airline company KLM. On the occasion of the return of KLM to Argentina, Eric Louveau, CEO of Air France KLM for the South America revealed the winning photo of the Facebook competition on cycling in Argentina: ‘Pedals, Love and Spring’.
KLM and ‘Argentina y Mejor en Bici’ (Best Bike Argentina) signed a mutual cooperation agreement to promote the use of bicycles in the city of Buenos Aires, a meeting which was also attended by William Dietrich, Undersecretary of Transport of the City of Buenos Aires. The agreement between KLM and Argentina y Mejor en Bici includes monthly meetings with cyclists of Buenos Aires, as well as the organization of various online contests.
The signing of the agreement is part of KLM's broader plan to support initiatives related to the use of bicycles, the unofficial symbol of the Netherlands and in general terms, sustainable mobility, a priority for the Air France KLM group. In the same way Air France KLM group is a member of Argentina’s program of companies supporting sustainable mobility in the city, which aims to promote the usage of bicycle among employees of companies.