Upper Austria’s Stefan Huber wants to fill a gap in the e-bike segment with the Ecorocket. For this he uses a technology that is also used by Tesla.
“The passion started like this: I was looking for an e-bike with a lot of power, not the 0815 eBikes that were on the market. I knew it had to be possible to sound silently through the forest “, says Stefan Huber:” But since I did not find anything, I started to develop one myself. “The long search for a lot of power had a reason: today 34-year-old Welser was at home for many years in extreme sports, in addition to inline skating in the ‘Team Rollerblades’ and extreme skiing, he was among other Upper Austria athletics national champion.
Demand keeps increasing
“Due to the production and further development of the ECOROCKET, demand has increased more and more. This resulted in a ‘business case’, “says Huber. Therefore, five years ago, he started looking for material suppliers and freelancers who contributed know-how in the fields of technology, design and video production. The entire planning for the series production of e-bikes took three years. In the meantime, Huber founded his own company in 2015 in Wels, Upper Austria.
“Component production is monitored directly by us and is still distributed to specialist companies worldwide. But the electrically powered bikes will then be assambled at the company’s location, “says Huber. The distribution of the e-Bikes takes place directly over the manufacturer: “Currently I have no ambitions to involve middlemen, since we can guarantee to the customers at present only as direct sellers the optimal quality of our products at best prices.”
Up to 70 km/h
The electrically operated bicycles are supplied with a motor with a power from 5000-watt motor. The battery has a capacity of at least one and a half kilowatt hours. Thanks to the installed components, ranges of up to 120 kilometers and “top speeds of up to 70 kilometers per hour” are possible. So that the ECOROCKET does not run out of juice on the road, Huber installed a KERS system, as it is also known from the Formula-E and is also used in Tesla cars. “This converts the energy generated by braking into electricity and thus supplies the battery,” says Huber, who holds a master’s degree in economics from Johannes Kepler University in Linz and then an MBA course.
Above all, it is the performance and the fun factor that distinguish Huber’s products from the competition. “The performance of e-bikes is our unique selling point because no manufacturer offers a comparably high-performance series product.” However, that should change within the next five years: “As soon as the boom on ‘normal’ e-bikes subsides, manufacturers become manufacturers switch to high-powered eBikes. We are pioneers here, “says Huber.
Actioncam as a goodie
How Huber markets its e-bikes? “Marketing-wise, we focus on Facebook (currently 16,151 followers), YouTube and word-of-mouth,” he says. Initially, Huber gave his customers an actioncam for their bikes. “This had the advantage that the customers filmed their rides and then put the material on Facebook or YouTube,” says Huber: “From a marketing perspective, this was an absolute win-win situation. As a result, we have increased our reach disproportionately. ”
In the next two years, the startup is aiming for sales of between one and a half to two million euros. “We can do that by shortening the production time and increasing the marketing budget,” says Huber. Is also a reduction of the cost planned? Huber; “We are also well positioned in the B2B area of component supply. This allows us to lower the costs of our B2B and B2C customers as well as our costs. We also plan to supply the end user market with a few other high-power products, including slip-on motors and do-it-yourself sets. The distribution is done via ebikeparts.at. ”
Incidentally, Huber’s career as a future innovative entrepreneur in 2004 was hanging by a thread: “At that time, I fell from a balcony on the second floor of a building into the depths. I broke the fifth and sixth cervical vertebrae. The result was complete paralysis. “He spent half a year in a wheelchair. “I could not move, did not eat on my own and almost lost my voice,” says Huber, “but I fought back step by step. Whole for two years. A big help during the regeneration phase was my past as an athlete. “
Also published on Medium.