WE SHIP WORLDWIDE. ALL PRICES IN US$
When we first set out to create the worlds most affordable electric bike our companies mission was straightforward and we knew with some hard work and dedication we could achieve our altruistic task. What we never expected was that there would be so many monumental hurtles standing in between us and delivering these ultra affordable electric bikes. We have had competitors file fraudulent DMCA claims, issues with our factory all of which resulted in slippage of our original timeline. Somewhat embarrassing considering that I personally have worked as a professional planner for over a decade and live by the motto: If you fail to plan you plan to fail.
What we were not able to plan for was the unexpected but with an intense, some might say 'Stark Drive' to succeed we pushed through and always looked to the inspiration of one of my idols, Elon Musk. He has also had his share of ups and downs and in an interview he conducted he eloquently articulated precisely what it takes in order to succeed. You can see the specific part of the video im referring to below:
Now what is on everyones mind is when are we finally sending out the first batch of several hundred bikes (orders before june 6th) and im pleased to announce they are completing their final assembly from September 10th to the 15th. Since they are going to be sent out to various parts of the world they will be leaving the factory in batches as follows: EU based bikes will be sent out in one batch and the North and South american bikes will be sent out in another batch. Other countries are generally in the low single digits for quantities so they will be sent out separately.
As promised (and due to the delay of manufacturing) we are shipping the first batch orders via non boat shipping (air being the most likely transport method used). Tracking information will be updated on your individual accounts as we receive the information from our carrier. If you backed us via Paypal, it will also auto-update through Paypal's homepage so you will have two sources to check the status of your bike.
None of this would have been possible without You, our backers who took this journey to create an affordable transportation solution for everyone and for that i want to express a heartfelt 'Thank You'.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
We just wanted to share with you a video taken about a week ago of the final frames for batch 1 finishing their lengthy manufacturing process. The longest lead time item for the manufacturing of our bikes is the aluminium frame as its made from scratch. The final step is the powder coating process which you can see here. in the video you can also see the blue Stark Drive frames being powder coated in a protected room.
We are receiving information from the factory as to the final date for manufacture for the first batch but its not long now, we are talking days, not weeks or months. Assembly is the easiest and fastest part in the whole manufacturing process.
We appreciate all the backers patience and we are pleased to have over $500.000 USD of backing now allocated to the launch of Stark Drive.
Finally you can see the following:
We were also contacted by an organization in Nepal a couple days ago whom were in Stockholm and took a test ride on our bikes. They come from a very mountainous part of Nepal (i would assume that applies to most of the country) and they were in disbelief when they saw our pricing. For a comparison they recently bought a less well equipped electric bike from a local Indian based distributor for double the price of Stark Drive. They want the electric power solution to be completely renewable with solar powered charging stations located throughout the country with no dependence on a sometimes unreliable electric grid. The entire motivation and values of Stark Drive are to get electric bike technology out to as many people as possible by removing the pricing barrier. Its exciting for us to be a part of such a worthwhile endeavor to enable affordable transportation in such remote regions. This consequently will lead to enhanced quality of life for everyone with the ability to more easily transport medications or even medical practitioners to remote regions that would be harder to reach otherwise.
It all begins with communication.
Suryanarayanan Balasubramanian Test riding Stark Drive in Stockholm.
If any other NGO's would like to get into contact with us to help distribute Stark Drive to those who need affordable transportation solutions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From Stockholm with ❤
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
If you want to drive Stark you crave Stark Drive. We are pleased to announce that we have partnered with Gregersen Communications in Denmark to promote Stark Drive to the Danish Market. We firmly believe that we are the best consumer electric bike in the world and Gregersen is going to help us to spread that message to the Danes.
Here is a photo of the CEO and I outside Sankt Annæ Plads 13 with their very own Stark Drive Unit.
We are pleased to be working with the best PR firm in Denmark!
From Denmark with ❤
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
We wanted to share some videos taken at the factory handling the production of the frames for Stark Drive.
We are soon finished batch 1 production and thereafter will begin batch 2 production.
More information on dates coming in a future update.
Its been a long road and there are still hurtles to overcome but we couldn't be more ecstatic to show you the first unboxing of Stark Drive for a lucky backer, Darren, in Singapore. In the photos you can also see the rear hub Stark Drive motor as well as the Stark Drive locking system that Darren chose to add to his unit purchase.
As you can see we used very heavy duty double walled cardboard for the transportation but the Stark Drive branding is lacking as this was not ready at the time of shipment.
We expect to hear more from Darren Shortly.
Just a quick note that we will soon be seeing photos and first reactions from the lucky winner of our contest Darren. Even though it was sent by air, due to the fact that its considered hazardous goods, it was segregated and flown separately to Singapore which ended up taking 1.5 weeks! We are super excited to hear first reactions from Darren.
Its not without a bit of irony that a recent study showed that in fact Stockholm is nearly the worst city in Sweden for users that take their bicycles to work. For those interested you can see the original story here
For us at Stark Drive, we can understand some of the prejudices that have been associated with taking a bike to work. There is the problem of finding a parking spot, perhaps difficulty in securing your bike, with a non electric bike the exertion can result in arriving to work extremely warm and sweaty not to mention the cost of obtaining even a regular bike in Stockholm can run into the thousands of SEK.
We att Stark Drive believe that cycling is something that is not only good for the environment but also good for the soul. We sell our ultra affordable electric bikes at near cost to help to get them out to as many people as possible. In fact our Stark Drive City model costs less then many of the non electric bikes sold at major chains here in Sweden.
However as much as it might sound ridiculous, the starting price of $399 is still to high in my eyes. Early next year we are going to launch a mini version of Stark Drive that weights just over 10kg and is completely foldable including the handlebars for the unbelievable starting price of $299. We will soon launch a site dedicated to sign ups so that people can keep informed about progress.
First however we want to get Stark Drive delivered to our backers. On that note production is going well. We are going to receive word from our factory near the end of august about the concrete shipping dates and as soon as we have this information we are going to pass it on to you. The good news to batch 2 backers and beyond is that we have now resolved our 'growing pains' and production will proceed smoothly from here on in.
Furthermore, we are going to be much more proactive then some of our competition and are opening up a Storage facility in the middle of western Europe which will house the standard models of Stark Drive (no customization) and for those that order a standard unit, they will have their bike within a week. the goal is to cut the standard 60-90 day delivery time our competition has to no more then 7 days.
Thank you for your patience and support.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
We are super pleased to have packaged and shipped the first Stark Drive unit to a lucky backer in Singapore. It was shipped via air freight and will arrive to the backer early next week. They have told us that they will be conducting an independent review and posting to all the major forms of social media on receipt.
Meanwhile production of Batch 1 is ongoing with no hiccups and we will be shipping approximately end of August. We have also started receiving quotes for shipping costs and to our surprise costs of air shipping to India (right next to China) is over 500 USD per unit which is unfortunately not going to work for us. We will keep working to find a better alternative. We are also excited to be near a solution which would see stock Stark Drive units warehoused in Europe and in the future USA in order to cut down on delivery times significantly. More on that later.
Here you can see our own branded Hub motor, in this case they have upgraded to 350W.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC
Many of you noticed that our facebook page had been disabled for several weeks coinciding with my trip to China. You see while in China, facebook was completely blocked and to get around that I did what many 'foreigners' do and used a VPN. Even with the VPN the connection was glacially slow and it was near impossible to load pages, post updates, etc.
This was the same problem that was happening when I tried to post updates via our website. Recently it was in the news that Apple (spoiler: I own an iPhone) removed all VPN apps from their app store to comply with chinese regulations.
A VPN or Virtual Private Network is a method used to add security and privacy to private and public networks, like WiFi Hotspots and the Internet. VPNs are most often used by corporations to protect sensitive data or in my case to get around the Great Firewall of China.
On returning to Sweden I tried to sign in and it worked up until i hit a refresh and suddenly I was logged out of Facebook and my account was disabled. I immediately contacted facebook to try to determine why and was given the run around in terms of pages and verifications and such that they like to put you through. They finally asked me to upload a photo of myself.
The process to protect my account took several weeks to resolve and im not sure exactly what Facebook is protecting. Facebook has no access to my bank account, website or anything which i personally would call 'sensitive' but who am i to criticize. What I will criticize is the handling of the procedure to re-verify onesself.
We used to advertise with facebook as well, we wont be doing that at least in the near term. We were spending hundreds of dollars weekly to put the word out about Stark Drive and suprisingly i did receive an actual call from the advertising department at facebook but their answer was that they have no connection to nor anyway to contact the 'verification team' and that i would have to wait and in some cases this could take months.
As a customer, im really shocked at this treatment and that even though they called me and verified it was me signing in that they didnt care enough to do anything about it.
Take a facebook account or 'lack of one' with a grain of salt, they seem to be overloaded with thousands dare i say millions of verifications when someone dares to leave their home city.
More info on the first delivery of Stark Drive coming soon. It was just loaded on the carriers vehicle today.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.
As with any new company, we want our final product to be perfect and since we are just starting out the checks and balances that are normally established to ensure qualitative repeatability are simply not present. Sure we have an excellent factory handling the manufacturing whom we have vetted from dozens of other factories but at the end of the day its the final product that counts.
We are delivering a state of the art electric bike to the masses and it may be a bit presumptuous of me to compare our situation to that of my idol Elon Musk but the end result is the same when manufacturing a product, in comparison to say delivering a service such as Facebook. The end result is either right or not and if its not, then its not going out and that was the decision i was forced to make which ended up delaying production some weeks.
Although we do not have a final date right now, the target date for sending out the first bach is end of August.
That being said, I'm excited to announce that our EVT Model Stark Drive is exactly as we have wanted it from the beginning and one luck backer is going to be receiving it via air shipping in the coming days. In order to generate some positive energy after the hindrances that have delayed the full scale manufacturing Stark Drive will be shipping out to someone that agrees to blog, tweet, post, instagram, and every other form of social media buzz generation there is so that we can get the word out that Stark Drive is here to stay. Gone are the days of high priced electric bikes and overpriced sustainable transportation solutions. Stark Drive stands for transportation equality and no matter what walk of life or what country, if you have $399 USD you can join the electric bike revolution.
We are not stopping there. Next year, we will be launching Stark Drive mini, which looks similar to other products our mates (Sondors Fold, Mate.bike) have developed for the unbelievable starting price of $299.
Some might have thought it was 'goodbye' when our project was cancelled but we here at Stark Drive like to say 'Hello'.
CEO, Stark Drive LLC