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EU Batch 1 Customs / Duties / Taxes - LISTEN UP.

10/19/2017

Hello,

If you are one of the lucky backers in the first batch heading to the EU listen up. This will affect your delivery.

For those of you that are going to receive your reward in the coming weeks you will be contacted soon to cover the customs and import costs for your Stark Drive as per our FAQ here:

https://starkdrive.bike/frequently-asked-questions...

You need to cover these as fast as possible otherwise your reward will be held at the distribution location and if held long enough, returned or distributed to another backer.

We tried to get around having to do this (as our competitors have, but hey at least your bikes are at the distributor in the EU when we ask for these funds, unlike some competition) and instead having the delivery carrier charge these funds directly to the receiver but apparently that is not going to work for our logistics partners EU based partner.

If you are contacted you should consider this a GOOD thing, it means your bike is about to arrive, you just need to submit the customs fees (which we are going to pay for you in advance) so that your bike is clear to leave the distribution location and come out to your home.

That being said there is some really good news!

Due to our tight relationship with our logistics partner and the fact that they know about the delay we have experienced they have given us a break on the import costs. You see as we have a base in stockholm, they are well within their right to charge SWEDISH import taxes which would be around 31%

we are super excited to report that we have gotten away with about 10% off this amount with some extremely complicated mathematics.

thats right folks you heard it here first, we are getting away with a very modest amount of taxes for your new Stark Drive.

We will be sending out the bills to all the receivers and a paypal account or bank account to send the funds to. You need to pay this immediately in order to not hold up your delivery. we have tied our computer systems to the ones at the distribution center so once we confirm payment they will know about it.

This discount is currently only for the first batch im afraid, mainly due to the delays.

Thank you

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.


Stark Drive Mini / USA-Canada-South Pacific Deliveries

10/18/2017

Hello Backers,

we are super excited to announce that the Prototype Stark Drive Mini has now been complete and can be seen in testing below. Our aim for Stark Drive mini was four fold.

  1. We wanted to make an electric bike that went toe to toe with any other small electric bike our lovely mates out in the industry might have
  2. We wanted to make the most fully featured electric bike with price being super important
  3. We wanted a starting price at under $300 US
  4. We wanted it to be super light and portable so that you can easily take it on public transit.

Stark Drive Mini will be as configurable as Stark Drive is with available upgrades to the motor, battery and a host of accessories that will be available when we launch it on kickstarter early next year (2018).

The starting price will be $299 USD + S&H

The goal is to make electric bikes more available then ever before. We dont know of any purpose built (note: not frakensteined together) electric bike in this price bracket. Especially one that is as handsome as Stark Drive MIni.

It will be available in White, Matte Black, and more exclusively Blue and Red.

Since we are using the same manufacturing partner and there are no longer any chances for lovely competitors to file fraudulent DMCA claims against us, we will hold our schedule for production this time.

See some photos and videos below. (videos coming later)


As always, we are super appreciative of all of our hundreds (soon to be thousands) of backers out there and you should all give yourselves a pat on the back for altruistic attitude on life and helping to bring affordable electric transportation to the masses.

USA / CANADA / SOUTH PACIFIC DELIVERIES

We are waiting on word from our logistics partners for the delivery schedule for these deliveries. If anyone out there knows of an easy way to get our bikes to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands (such as the Cook Islands) we would love to hear from you. Our logistics partner in China has never shipped there before so its hard for them.

We already have a quote for USA and Canada but our logistics partner is waiting on a second which they say could arrive faster and at a better price. We will update our blog as soon as we have news in this respect. Australia is not a problem for us currently.

Batch 2 Deliveries (orders after June 6)

We are getting a lot of questions about when these are going out. As the first batch was a bit delayed (ie going out now) we anticipate that batch 2 will go out end of november. We will convey the latest information to you from the factory as we know it.

A heartfelt ❤ thanks

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

Batch 1 EU Headed to Lucky Backers (Video)

10/16/2017

Hello Backers,

Just wanted to write a quick post and alleviate any doubt that the first batch had not in fact left the factory. Here you can see a very short video of hundreds of Stark Drive's boxed and being loaded onto trucks destined for the logistics facilities. Apologies for the slight delay with the delayed posting of this post as this happened last week but we did not receive these images until today.

Right now production is full speed ahead with the Fat Tire bikes the priority as we now have a road tested prototype that passed with flying colors. It has taken a bit longer then expected but considering we have been able to do something that certain lovely competitors said was impossible,

that being: Launching an electric bike starting at 399USD as it was below their purchase price of their smaller bikes from the factory, we feel we maybe be a bit justified in being a little late.

Now our goal is to fine tune the production process and to cut the delivery times by a factor of magnitude. Instead of 3 months delivery we are aiming for 4-5 days delivery time to our backers. We will have an update in an upcoming post about how we are going to do this.



Stark Drive Box Ready Lined up.

Final Checks for Quality


Some Minor Adjustments May Be Required.


Sincerely,

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

Thoughtfully Written Article on Electric Bikes ''Mainstreamivity''

10/14/2017

This article has been updated from the original article that was written on March 7th 2017.

Electric bikes reach a Stark junction with the mass market


The World (and Google) is Listening

10/13/2017

Hello Backers,

what a pleasant surprise today when we were informed by one of our backers that google now rates our website as 1st when searching for 'Cheap Electric Bike' a terms we are not fond of as the bike itself is more affordable then the connotation that the word cheap affords however when searching for 'Affordable Electric Bike' on google we are the first hit that is not a review site! What a nice surprise, this leads us to the conclusion that there is now enough buzz around the inter-web to 'backrub' our company into a high enough ranking to achieve such a status!


We are not done here folks! Next year we are launching a mini version of Stark Drive for an unbelievable starting price of $299. This bike will mainly be geared towards the public transit commuter with a much lighter total weight and a much smaller frame enabling one to easily carry it around instead of rolling it around which is what the majority would be doing with Stark Drive today.

Watch for our new bike on Kickstarter. The prototypes will be arriving to us with the first delivery of Stark Drive which is anticipated sometime mid november.

Thank you for all the Backing, Support, and kind words we have received from our backers, non backers, and the press. We are here to make electric bikes mainstream, not to make a buck.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

Stark Drive Mentioned in SvD Newspaper as the Perfect Gift

10/12/2017

We here at Stark Drive are super excited to have been mentioned in the well renowned newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

Although there seems to have been a bit of a conversion error when going from USD to Swedish Crowns as they mentioned our price at 10.000 SEK which equates to about 1250 USD, YOWZERS!

With our base price of 399 USD for a fully functional electric bike and even if one were to include shipping costs and import duties and taxes to Sweden, this is still close to 2X the actual price of Stark Drive's landed cost to Sweden.

Conversely we are super happy to have been mentioned in their Veckans Val (Weekly Choice) Section under their 'Perfect Guide' Insert.

Thank you SvD, from all of us here at Stark Drive, its great to be noticed.



From Stockholm with ❤

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC

FAT Tire Bike Prototype Complete and Tested / First EU Batch Leaving!

10/11/2017

Hello Backers,

Had a discussion through the help of a translator today with the owner of the factory that we have had the luck of partnering with to make Stark Drive a reality today. This has been a learning experience on both our parts, partly as the concept of custom built (with a lot of different options) for our backers was something that the factory had never attempted before and partially because we here at Stark Drive underestimated some of the massive hold ups that can occur from simple delays at the factory. Then there are the holidays which do not sync with western calendars and seem to last at least a week at a time. Understandable if the people have to commute several hundred km's to see their families.

Either way, super good news for you Fat Bike Backers. The Fat Stark Drive is now done and we want to reveal some photos and videos of its assembly and testing below.





The Fat bike is on schedule now to finish in a couple of weeks and will ship by latest the 26th of October (fingers crossed). Here are a few more photos of the Fat Bike in slightly higher quality then the videos.



Full Stark Drive Glamor Shot.


Stark Drive More Romantic Lighting


Stark Drive with Head Lights


Even though its Fat, it fits really well in the rear hatch













All Batch 1 bikes (minus Fat Tire) going to the EU will have left the factory by friday. They will be transported by iron horse to europe and once they reach the central distribution location (a secret) they will be given to local carriers and then tracking numbers will be provided for all these bikes.

The Swedish Bikes as well as Ireland, Iceland, Norway will be transported by boat leaving china at the end of the month as our order of Stark Drive for our newly opening Showroom location are also included in this batch and the majority of this order is Fat Tire.

We really appreciate the patience of our backers. Your faith and belief in us has really helped to make Stark Drive a reality. Without your support none of this would have been possible.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

EU Accuses China of Dumping Inexpensive eBikes in Europe?

10/04/2017

A article by CNN dumbfounded us here at Stark Drive recently. The title of the Article:

China has been accused of flooding Europe with hundreds of thousands of cheap electric bicycles. by Ivana Kottasová @ivanakottasova

the main reason that the article has invoked such reactions over here is that the EU has been pushing a policy of renewable transport to combat climate change as long as we can remember and most recently with the VW Diesegate fiasco as well as the environmental disasters in recent years related to fossil fuels this the policy makers have lead us to believe that anything that is good for the environment is something actively pursued by the EU.

Well here we have something that could not be more green (electric bikes) which both take single passenger vehicles off the road and replace them with compact and lightweight transport not only reducing inner-city congestion but also contributing to improved air quality consequently reducing disease and improving quality of life.

Yes the chinese are able to make electric bikes affordably, i have written about this in a previous blog post in so much as china with their gargantuan population and significant environmental impact due to them basically working as the worlds factory is making strides in trying to clean up their cities through the use of bike sharing programs and a concerted effort to electrify their cities.

Inexpensive electric bikes are a good thing.

Yes it means that competition is harder for EU based companies but this is where innovation comes into play. Innovate and create unique eBike designs, features and capabilities. The chinese are unbeatable in mass production as their cost of labor is so incredibly low, innovation is what will save the electric bike industry in europe, not imposing sanctions, anti-dumping tariffs and the like. These just serve to limit consumer choice and prevent mass adoption of electric bikes.

These are our companies founding principles and ones we stand by.

We were approached by a VC firm whom wanted to invest in our company significantly. After a discussion about financials, one of the team made a statement which although true was completely against our companies values in so much as he had said: 'Well with the current market here in the EU you could easily increase your prices to improve your margins'. Yes, it is true we could increase our prices but that would decrease the number of people whom have the ability to afford an electric bike which goes against everything we believe in at Stark Drive.

With ❤ from Stockholm

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC


Stockholm Prioritizing Bike Lanes

10/03/2017

Stockholm Cycle News:

Further to the vain that efforts are being made in order to ensure that central Stockholm will eventually be vehicle free is the news that on Kungsholmen (where our future Showroom will be located) there is currently an ongoing reorganization of the vehicular traffic whereby they are removing both lanes and parking spaces and instead reallocating these spaces to bicycle lanes and/or parking.

The representative of the Environmental Party states clearly in the article that they want to ensure that Stockholm is a city where its easier to have a bicycle and commute on two wheels instead of 4.

Further, there has been news recently that the sales of electrified bikes have exploded in 2017, just as we at Stark Drive believed it would, with an estimated 45000 sold in 2017 which was an increase of 50% from the previous year. And this at traditional pricing. Once Stark Drive arrives on the market there will no longer be any question of whether or not a consumers next bike should be electrified or not.

With the estabilished players selling eBikes for prices starting on average around the 14.000 SEK mark, we will truly be a disruptive force for good with an average starting price of less then half.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC.

Stockholm City Bikes (Finally) Introduces Rental eBikes

10/01/2017

We here at Stark Drive were really excited when we saw the article pictured here. The company behind City Bikes in Stockholm is introducing an electrified version of their rental concept for everyone in Swedens Capital. The premise is really excellent from our analysis with super low prices making this accessible to anyone that wants to commute throughout the city. The plan is a softer launch with around 1000 bikes spread throughout the city approximately April 2018 expanding further to a network of 5000 bikes in 2019.

In a previous article on this new concept we read that the company will be 'leasing' the batteries meaning that one would need to carry the battery to the bike, plug it in and remove it once you returned the bicycle. This concept seems very strange in my opinion creating an extra inconvenience to the end user. Stranger still is that if BikeX as they will be called chose to follow in the footsteps of Stark Drive with a locking internal battery in each bike, they would be able to have them charge automatically when returned to any of the dozens of Bike Drop off locations which all have access to inexpensive grid power.


This would make the entire transportation solution not only more convenient but also more likely to gain mass adoption throughout the city. No user is interested in lugging around a huge battery just to be able to commute a few Km's.

Further, BikeX has chosen to go with a style of eBike that has the motor or propulsion system on the front tire which we personally believe is a mistake since this style of design is more prone to skid outs as there is generally not much weight on the front tire but that being said, unlike Stark Drive, you can not take advantage of the 'e' portion of the bike without pedaling. Stark Drive has the option to upgrade to include a throttle meaning that you can travel on pure electric energy without needing to get break a sweat. This is especially important if you plan on commuting to work and want to arrived to your destination calm and composed not drained and disheveled.

Still, we are moving in the right direction and we are pleased at the inroads electrified transport is making not only in Stockholm, but worldwide.

Sincerely

Oscar
CEO, Stark Drive LLC