SUFFOLK, England (BRAIN)—Ultra Motor, a British e-bike manufacturer, has acquired American Electric Cycle and Fitness, a company owned by longtime e-bike veterans Ed Benjamin and Mike Fritz.
As part of the acquisition, Benjamin and Fritz have both joined Ultra Motor. American Electric offers two e-bikes and one electric scooter that are sold under the Tres Terra brand name. New products will incorporate Ultra Motor’s patented drive system and will be sold under the Ultra Electric name.
Ultra Motor will exhibit at Interbike.
“The acquisition will…provide us access to the U.S. market, where we believe there is a great opportunity for our business,” said Joe Bowman, chief executive officer of Ultra Motor. “We are planning to rapidly grow and over the next 12 months invest over $10 million into developing our U.S. operations.”
Ultra Motor gains access to American Electric’s distribution network of 65 IBDs, primarily in Florida and Southern California.
Benjamin becomes chief operating officer of Ultra Motor and will coordinate global operations. Fritz will become vice president of product development.
The U.S. is still a relatively small player in the e-bike market. Industry analyst Frank Jamerson estimates that the U.S. market for e-bikes will reach 200,000 units in the year 2010, compared to 100,000 in 2006.
In Europe, by comparison, e-bike sales should reach 400,000 bikes this year, according to other analysts. —Doug McClellan