North America’s largest e-bike company, Rad Power Bikes (opens in new tab), is currently conducting its third round of layoffs in a year filled with lawsuits, manufacturing defects, layoffs and a market downturn.
“Over the last few months, we’ve been focused on right-sizing our operating costs to become a self-sustaining business,” the company said in a statement to Geekwire.
“The economic downturn, inflationary pressures, and softening consumer spending require us to further reduce costs, which unfortunately includes decreasing the size of our team. We have a clear and actionable path toward financial stability and will continue to prioritize initiatives that allow more people to experience the unexpected joy of e-bikes and to change their ride for good.”
The exact number of employees being let go is of yet unknown.
This news comes just days after the Seattle-based company launched its newest e-bike model (opens in new tab), a trike that addresses a user gap in micromobility and increases access to car-alternative transportation for more people.
The launch and third round of layoffs are the first big company moves since Mike Radenbaugh announced he’d be stepping down from his CEO role after 15 years at the helm mere weeks ago.
Riding the pandemic- and climate-related tailwinds, the Seattle-based company started the year among the fastest growing bike companies in North America with some $329 million in investments and more than 550,000 customers world-wide.
But in April 2022, the first round of layoffs indicated that perhaps the company had grown too quickly. Citing growth strategy and business restructuring, 100 employees were let go.
A second round of layoffs followed in July with the company downsizing by another 10 precent, this time citing economic uncertainty and rising operating costs.
Then in August, Rad Power Bikes was presented with a wrongful death lawsuit by the parents of a 12-year-old girl who died from injuries sustained after riding on the back of a RadRunner e-bike in 2021.
A second lawsuit followed in October in which a Rad Power Bike battery or charger was claimed to have been the cause behind a house fire that caused significant property damage.
Rad Power Bikes denies the claim, however, confident that the fire did not originate in a Rad e-bike battery, charger or any other Rad product.
And then, just last month, Rad Power Bikes, in collaboration with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, issued a recall of its RadWagon model for faulty rim strips and tires.
At the time of the recall, the firm had received 137 reports of tires blowing out, deflating and separating from the sidewalls. There were eight injuries including reports of arm and wrist fractures, road rash, cuts and bruises.
The company’s president, Phil Molyneux, will take over as CEO and navigate the choppy waters as they approach a new year.