An controversial electric bike which raised $US3.2 million in 11 days by billing itself as the world’s most affordable eBike, is still going so strong on crowdfunding site Indiegogo that the company will extend its fund-raising for another 30 days, it announced on Tuesday.
Sondors Electric bike has raised $US3.8 million so far.
This is despite the controversy surrounding the bike where critics have claimed that it can’t be sold for the original low advertised price.
The campaign originally made it sound like the bike would sell for under $US600. But Sondors clarified that only people who got in on the IndieGogo campaign will get the bike for the super low price. Everybody else will pay around $US1,300, the company confirmed to Business Insider. (At one point, the company warned in the fine-print that it could be around $US2,000.)
Under scrutiny, the bike’s makers started touring around Southern California with a demo prototype to assure would-be backers that the bike was real and the naysayers were wrong.
And, because several news reports pointed out that Indiegogo collects its pledges up front, and has no-refund, buyer-beware policy, the campaign is also selling “insurance” from Indiegogo. For a $US150 fee, Indiegogo will refund your money if the bike isn’t delivered as promised.
With that, the wildly successful crowdfunding campaign, which was supposed to close on Tuesday, has been extended for another 30 days, the Sondor’s folks announced.
When that extension kicks in on Wednesday, they will also raised the price of the bike by $US50, and those folks will get their bikes on the second round of manufacturing, to be delivered in July or August 2015, instead of around May, the promised date for the first batch. The company has promised that manufacturing is on target and going as planned.
Since our story first ran on the bike, we’ve heard from a a few naysayers. Many of them are talking about their concerns on this electric vehicle forum thread.
It will be interesting to watch who gets to say “I told you so” in a few months when this all plays out: the ones that always believed in the company, or the ones that cried foul.