The Electric Bike Hub, based in Nelson and owned by Jace Hobbs, was the second distributor of eZee in New Zealand, gaining distribution rights in 2012. Jace is an energetic advocate of electric bicycles and low-emissions technologies and worked tirelessly for many years promoting eZee bikes and e-bikes in general and was part of the vanguard in getting the public and politicians to see the benefits of e-bikes in New Zealand. The electric bicycle market was a fraction of its current size through that time and the level of public awareness was low. As such, it was pioneering work that was being done at that time by a relatively small number of individuals and companies, some of whom are still active today, namely Anthony Clyde (Wisper, Pedego and Smartmotion), Volto and Flying Cat.
We are quite familiar with the challenges of the time, through Glow Worm Bicycles in Australia, which started distributing eZee bikes in 2010 and still continues now. As with any emerging technology, there were various teething problems, reliability challenges and steep learning curves in repair and maintenance of electric bicycles. eZee has always been a proactive and effective partner in overcoming each challenge as it came up and the result has been always better bikes. Countless brands and retailers did not make it through this period – I recall a meeting in 2011 of the would-be Australian electric bicycle association that had 8 importers in attendance. By 2013 only 2 of the 8 were still in business and by 2016 we were the only ones of the original meeting. Naturally many more importers and brands arrived in that time, but we are still seeing them come and go.
We moved to Auckland in 2015 and started as a sub-distributor of eZee for Jace in 2016 under the name (of Jace’s choosing) Electric Bicycle Hub Auckland. In 2018 the distribution of eZee electric bicycles was awarded to us, after Jace’s distribution agreement was terminated. At that point we re-branded as Electric Bike Team. The legal reason for the termination of Jace’s contract was for non-payment of debts, though the overarching context was more complex. Essentially eZee had doubts about Jace’s ability to carry the brand through a new market reality of intense competition. And although all of Jace’s customers and dealers attest to passion and commitment to the brand and the industry over the years, there were issues and problems carrying out the day to day duties required of a distributor, particularly in recent years. eZee offered Jace a generous commission arrangement based on nationwide eZee sales, in consideration of his work in building up the brand to this day, however the two parties were unable to come to an agreement on the details. This led to Jace withholding payment for bikes already received, which led to contract termination and mutual loss of trust and goodwill. Jace has since made good on all debts to eZee by transferring all stock over to us in Auckland.
For our part, there were discussions with Jace about purchasing his website and customer base, but we were also unable to reach an agreement on the details.
Jace is quite unhappy about the turn in events to say the least. Unable to find a buyer, he has started to use his website to damage the reputation of eZee products by highlighting some challenges that were faced over the years in selling them. While they were very real challenges that we also worked through in Australia, the timing and the choice to speak of them now is of course directly related to losing the distributorship – there’s nothing amiss with the manufacturing of these bikes. Furthermore he has described some models as ‘discontinued’ which is not truthful – they are simply no longer available for sale from him.
While Jace has every right to his side of the story, we’d like to assure all existing and prospective eZee purchasers that we stand 100% behind the product. We hold every model in stock in our Auckland showroom and warehouse, including an extensive range of spare parts and accessories. No matter where and when you purchased an eZee bike, we are ready and able to provide parts and support.
Fantastic new models and torque sensing options have arrived, recent reviews are positive and any eZee retailer could confirm the same. We have an excellent relationship with eZee and can happily report that the product is better than ever. At time of writing, the CEO of eZee, Wai Won Ching, is road testing his new Longabike model on the Suntrip, a 70 day ride from France to Eastern China!
Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions or feedback.