Innovative tourism model turns Greenstorm into Europe’s largest used electric bike seller

An Austrian electric bike specialist launched only in 2016 has become Europe’s largest reseller in the segment by linking with tourism industry businesses and bike shops.

Founded by Philipp Zimmermann, the model is unique in the cycling world. Greenstorm simply partners hotel businesses, exchanging unused hotel room inventory for a fleet of electric bikes, often from well known labels in the market. After a season’s use Greenstorm then sells the fleets on at a reduced price through its store and online portal.

The idea came about in partnership with Richard Hirschhuber who joined the business in 2016, a hotel owner and marketing consultant. The pair invested around €5,000 into the upstart, purchasing a fleet of 3,500 electric bikes.

By 2017, Greenstorm had racked up an impressive portfolio of 600 hotels spanning Bavaria, Switzerland, Austria and Mallorca, among other electric bike hotspots.

Each bike sold on is estimated to only have ridden up to 1,000 kilometres at maximum and most will still fall well within manufacturer warranty.

As reported in the Eurobike Show Daily, the firm has this season purchased a 10,000 strong fleet, vastly expanding its reach in Europe. The majority of the fleet stem from the Accell Group’s portfolio, KTM, Bergamont, Fantic and Ghost.

Benefiting local independent bike shops, Greenstorm also has a programme of selling on stock to partners. The benefits of this model further allow bike shops to tap into the electric bike market, but with lowered retail prices making the segment more accessible to a greater chunk of potential buyers.

A notable perk of this model is that the IBD needn’t carry the stock on their shop floor. Instead participating stores can order through the Greenstorm website, with delivery routed through the IBD.

The rapid pace of the business is said to have caused a few bottleneck problems, with banks apparently declining to lend to the startup. This lead the firm earlier this year to turn to crowdfunding, via which the business raised getting on for €1.2 million on Conda. This has funded the new season’s bikes and allowed the business to expand its staff to around 50.

By 2020 the firm hopes to have recruited as many as 15,000 hotel partners across Europe, which will offer a fleet of 100,000 electric bikes for hire and even a pool of 400 Teslas, among other EVs.

To keep up to date with the latest electric bike industry news, bookmark our dedicated tab here.