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More people in California are buying eBikes to combat record-high gas prices

The electric bike market in the U.S. has experienced a recent boom in sales, particularly in California.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As gas prices hit a new record high every other week, more and more people are opting for more fuel efficient methods of transportation, specifically electric bikes.

A recent study reveals that electric bikes, also known as eBikes, are dominating the market with upwards of 130 million units expected to be sold globally between 2020 and 2023.

Jacob Stabler, co-owner of ATV Wholesale Outlet in Sacramento, is experiencing the spike in eBike sales firsthand as lately he is hardly able to keep up with the demand.

“We tapped into just the right market at just the right time,” Stabler told ABC10. “We’re starting to see a little bit of a downturn in sales on the gas powered stuff and now we’re seeing a shift in desire from consumers for the electric bikes,” 

The long-standing family-owned motorsports shop has made the decision recently to stock up on eBikes following soaring gas prices and a noticeable trend in the consumer market.

“In the last year, we decided to dabble with some of the electric bikes and it absolutely exploded,” Stabler said. “We’ve traditionally for 17 years been a gas-powered dealership, but every day we open up the store and people are coming in for more and more electric bikes.”

While already an extremely popular mode of transportation for decades in Asian and European countries, the U.S. is only considered at a median growth rate in eBike sales and popularity.

Nonetheless, the U.S. is seeing higher rates of growth and interest in electric bikes every year. 

Stabler thinks people are opting for electric bikes because they are only pennies at a charge compared to the amount people are paying to get around in a gas-powered vehicle these days. 

Pat Kendrix, who works in San Francisco, says she has to commute four days a week from Castro Valley and spends over $100 a week on gas.

“We have the pandemic, we have other issues, we have no money and the gas prices are ridiculous,” Kendrix said.

However, Kendrix also said she thinks this next wave of gas-efficient transportation will see the similar effects amid the current rate of inflation.

“All the solutions are costly,” Kendrix said. “The more we buy, if this catches on, then they’re gonna go up sky-high – just like the gas,” Kendrix said.

Kendrix says she wants to see more effort into lowering gas prices as opposed to people constantly having to find a way around them. 

One issue consumers have faced is considering the price of gas versus the price of an eBike.

“The stuff that’s really flying off the shelves is our $2,000 and under price points,” Stabler said. “There’s a huge demand for electric bikes, but you go to every other eBike store and you’re looking at $4,000, $5,000, $6,000 starting prices and not everyone is looking to drop that kind of money on their first bike.”

With California at an average of $6.40 for regular gas, $6.70 for premium and in some areas over $7, many are looking for a way to save money where they can.

“Seems like everyone and their moms’ got an electric bike now so we’re here to help flood the market with exactly what consumers are looking for,” Stabler added.

Watch more from ABC10: Sacramento County new possible Tiny Homes Project, fighting homelessness

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