Will Tariffs on Chinese Imports Affect e-Bikes? 

Here’s What It Means To You

Tariffs are nothing new.

The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Section 301 tariffs, aimed at preventing China from flooding the US market with cheap products that could hinder domestic manufacturers, effectively put a surcharge on electric vehicles, batteries, solar cells, and a range of other goods imported from China.

Caught up in all of this surcharge frenzy are electric bikes and scooters.

These battery-powered, fun-to-ride two-wheelers you see around town are not just for the 20-somethings or grannies visiting the coast. They’re important tools for fighting climate change, combating car culture, and improving mental and physical health.

It’s no secret that China dominates bicycle manufacturing. Some reports say 86% of bikes purchased in the US are made in China. Even with domestic manufacturing, many e-bike companies rely on China for components like frames, batteries, and motors.

E-bikes and bike components imported from China have been subject to 25 percent tariffs since the Trump administration, but trade exclusions have kept most of these from kicking in and affecting consumer prices. These exclusions have been extended at least twice, keeping prices in check.

Last week, the USTR announced that those trade exclusions will expire on June 14th.

Bike helmets imported from China are not part of the tariff.

Some products, like bike trailers and helmets made in China, will still be excluded. But e-bikes, some youth bikes, and some components will now be subject to the 25 percent levy.

And that is going to have a major impact on the affordability of e-bikes in the U.S.

Consumers will most likely see e-bike prices rise quickly.

These increases hit right as e-bikes are becoming mainstream. In 2022, there were 1.1 million e-bikes sold in the United States. According to the Department of Energy, that’s almost four times more than in 2019. This year is on track to exceed that.

,It’s unlikely that these tariffs will get a last-minute extension, though various groups are pushing for them.

Bikes and components imported from China after June 14th will get hit with this surcharge.

If you’re thinking about getting an e-bike, you might want to move up your timeframe and consider getting one before mid-June, when the tariffs are set to start.

Acting quickly could save you a 25% increase in the cost of your new e-bike. Come in and see us if you want to find an affordable e-bike. We do have buy now, pay later financing, and that might help you get a new e-bike before the tariffs hit.