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Shipping an E-Bike

 
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

I’m thinking about buying an e-bike and having it shipped to the island, the problem is the company is relatively new and doesn’t yet ship outside the lower 48 states.  Is there a way to ship it to someone, like Blue Ocean, who would then send it on to STX?  I understand this will add cost and it can be any shipping company.  The bike weighs about 70 lbs plus packaging, so say 85 lbs total.  Not sure if the lithium ion battery is a problem as well.

All advice is appreciated.

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Topic starter Posted : January 27, 2020 10:18 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

Of course.  No problem at all to ship to VI Cargo or Blue Ocean in Florida and they will forward to STX.  You can call with weight and size and get an estimate.  You'll have to ask about battery rules.

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Posted : January 28, 2020 12:19 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Paradise Freight is another option. Just ship to their warehouse in Miami and you're good to go.

E-bikes do need to be registered as a motor vehicle though.

But, like everything in the VI, enforcement is spotty.

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Posted : January 28, 2020 8:12 am
RSdream
(@rsdream)
Advanced Member

My experience with VI Cargo and Paradise Freight has been positive. If you decide to use Tropical Shipping you will have to hire a service to clear customs. With VI and Paradise that portion of the process is included.

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Posted : January 29, 2020 10:39 am
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

I called VI Cargo and they were concern about it having a lithium ion battery.  They asked for the MSDS for the battery so I emailed the E-Bike manufacturer who claims they don’t have a MSDS.  They gave me the make and model of the battery call (Samsung) but given it’s just the cell I’m not sure that’s enough information.  I think people are too freaked out about lithium ion batteries as we all carry them around in our cell phones, smart watches and iPads or computers. 

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Topic starter Posted : January 31, 2020 6:22 am
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

@jaldeborgh

Lithium ion batteries are considered hazardous materials by shippers.

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Posted : January 31, 2020 6:10 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

True, there have been rare fires caused by the batteries, as a result airlines won’t allow them in checked baggage but do allow them to be carried in the cabin.   My frustration is the e-bikes manufacture ships to the 50 states and to a number of countries in Europe.  To me there is no difference between shipping to St. Croix versus Hawaii or Europe. 

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Topic starter Posted : January 31, 2020 9:30 pm
Scubadoo
(@Scubadoo)
Trusted Member

The manufacturer is probably shipping under more controlled conditions when they are shipping freight.  The manufacturer is likely subject to and complying with defined shipping regulations such as disconnecting the batteries, or possibly even removing and storing separately,  the batteries may be only charged a limited amount for shipping, etc.  The manufacturer may be certified or inspected by an independent agency or the shipper for compliance.   

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Posted : January 31, 2020 11:05 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

I believe you are correct and the manufacturer claims at some point they will ship to the USVI.  I’m just going to wait until the Fall and try again.  I know which e-bike and models I’d buy today but the technology is developing so rapidly that in 9 months things could be very different and likely less costly.   I bought 2 e-bikes 18 months ago for our place in MA and while we love them, the technology has improved significantly. 

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Topic starter Posted : February 1, 2020 12:48 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member

Another alternative would be to buy a used all electric car in FL and have it shipped to the VI. Lots of folks doing that and the price hovers around $10-12K for a vehicle with less than 20K miles on the battery. Used Nissan Leaf's are the bomb. 

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Posted : February 1, 2020 1:34 pm
jaldeborgh
(@jaldeborgh)
Advanced Member

It seems counterintuitive, economically speaking, to own an electric car on STX given the electric rates and relatively affordable gas prices.  I like the no maintenance part of EV’s but I would want an SUV and enough solar to stay away from WAPA.  Plus after a mega-storm like Irma and Maria you’d possibly be without a vehicle for months unless were self sufficient with power.  The home charger power requirements for EV’s are fairly significant, a typical home generator won’t make much of a dent in an EV’s needs.

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Topic starter Posted : February 3, 2020 3:38 pm
Gator's Mom
(@gators_mom)
Trusted Member
Posted by: @jaldeborgh

It seems counterintuitive, economically speaking, to own an electric car on STX given the electric rates and relatively affordable gas prices.  I like the no maintenance part of EV’s but I would want an SUV and enough solar to stay away from WAPA.  Plus after a mega-storm like Irma and Maria you’d possibly be without a vehicle for months unless were self sufficient with power.  The home charger power requirements for EV’s are fairly significant, a typical home generator won’t make much of a dent in an EV’s needs.

A small electric car is a viable choice in the VI if you generate grid linked solar power or have a solar charging station for it. 

I would not consider a small EV as a primary vehicle but as a cool little low maintenance second vehicle absolutely. 

A Nissan Leaf battery will fully charge plugged into a regular outlet overnight. There are quick charge options available but those wear out your battery in no time.

I would drive my truck after a storm.

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Posted : February 4, 2020 9:29 am
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