Are Erato, E-fun, Zap Xiamen and Mountain Chen all the same company????

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aussieghump
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Are Erato, E-fun, Zap Xiamen and Mountain Chen all the same company????

Hi,
I've been doing a little snooping here in China and may have found some interesting co-incidences....

1) Some websites on Alibaba/trade sites show E-Fun has a CEO of Aileen Tian...... Erato used to have an employee, Aileen Tian http://eratoerato.en.ec21.com/
I contacted E-Fun for a price list and obtained one back from Aileen Tian and an offer to visit her factory in Xiamen.

2) Mountain Chen claims to make ZAP bikes, others on this forum suggest they are made by E-Fun. Certain models may be sold by different companies.

3) EFun and Xiamen Zap appear to be both located in the same Industrial Complex in Xiamen. The locations on both websites are sufficently obtuse not to clearly identify the plant/office but they appear to be located close to each other!

4) A photo on the 'contacts page' of E-Fun entitled Testing shows a foreigner filming an ebike on a dynometer.....he looks remarkably like the Italian buyer Mountain Chen showed in some of his videos.

5) Shots of the bikes on the hill road appear to be very similar - maybe this is a common test road that everyone in Xiamen rides up to test their electric motor scooters!

6) EFun (Aileen Tian) and Xiamen Zap (Mountain Chen) will not ship locally to China, only overseas. I have emailled both because I am interested in long-term testing some bikes..... but I cannot see samples unless I visit their respective manufacturing sites (sic).

Now while there is not necessarily anything sinister about this, but it might account for the similar shapes of bikes and designs being presented by both companies!!!
Also be aware that many companies in China are literally 'bolting together' components they buy from other suppliers to produce many items (not just e-bikes!!!) so details such as fairing & body shape, light fittings etc are common amongst many manufacturers.
Many of the electrical components come from local suppliers, not necessarily the sales group....my e-bike in China has had 3 controller units re-fitted, all from different sources but same local 'ebike manufacturer'!!

Most suppliers will do customisations, add spraypaint and stickers to 'brand' for customers.

It is not illegal to have trading companies, agents, co-manufacturers or other 'arrangements' with companies in China or elsewhere....so I am not suggesting anything.

Just putting out the general info....read into them what you may!

MikeB
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Re: Are Erato, E-fun, Zap Xiamen and Mountain Chen all the ...

Here's the story as I understand it:

Mountain Chen has a brother, they originally worked together at the same scooter company (Zap). There was some type of screw-up, and Mountain's brother left the company and formed his own company (EFun). I think the brother wasn't at fault, but was just taking the honorable path. (I wish we had more executive accountability like that in this country!)

Both companies therefore have similar designs, and similar suppliers. The core 'glider' (scooter body with no engine) appears to be sourced from the same manufacturer, and each company then adds the electric drivetrain according to their own design. Additionally, when one company makes a change to a product line, there's a good chance the other company will copy the change, so they don't diverge much. They appear to be making an effort to innovate separately, but a good design idea is pretty easy to reverse-engineer and adopt.

My electric vehicle: CuMoCo C130 scooter.

little
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Re: Are Erato, E-fun, Zap Xiamen and Mountain Chen all the ...

how is your scooter( more than 3500watt) quality? I don't think those more than 3500watt scooter/motorcycle technology is mature.

jdh2550_1
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Re: Are Erato, E-fun, Zap Xiamen and Mountain Chen all the ...

MikeB almost got it right - but not quite.

The original company was called Erato. Mountain Chen and Aiomee (sp?) Chen both worked at that company. This is the company that produced the XM-2000.

That company split up. Aiomee formed EFun. Mountain formed ERider.

EFun used to produce the ZAP Zapino and also the XM-3100. Mountain is now saying that ZAP has switched from EFun to ERider to produce their bikes. They both make bikes that are based on similar frames - visually the plastic looks close to identical.

XM-3000 (ERider) is similar to EFun-B (EFun)
XM-3500 (Erider) is similar to XM-5000 (EFun)
Original Zapino (EFun) & XM-3100 (EFun) & EFun-C (EFun) is similar to Zapino (ERider).

I believe Mountain Chen either created a new name or added "ZAP" into his company name. As far as I can tell that was an attempt to win customers who assume "ZAP China" is related to ZAP in the USA. I don't know though.

Now, although there frames and plastic look the same it's been stated on another thread that the frames do not appear to be identical. The frame on the XM-5000 (EFun) appears to be superior to the frame on the XM-3500 (ERider) - e.g. the welds are better. So, it might be that the two factories source frames from different factories.

Regardless of similarities - the electric powertrain is different. I don't know which is "better".

Confused? It certainly is confusing - some confusion seems to be deliberately introduced and other confusion seems unintentional.

The answer is simple - buy our bike instead! ;-) [how's that for a subtle sales pitch!?]

John H. Founder of Current Motor Company - opinions on this site belong to me; not to my employer
Remember: " 'lectric for local. diesel for distance" - JTH, Amp Bros || "No Gas.

electron
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Last seen: 11 years 8 months ago
Joined: Monday, October 6, 2008 - 18:11
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Re: Are Erato, E-fun, Zap Xiamen and Mountain Chen all the ...

I think the smokescreen is deliberate but the key thing to remember is you'd have to be crazy to want to do business with the foul-mouthed and unscrupulous Mountain Chen.
Just search this forum for the tales of woe from importers who had the misfortune to deal with him.
Also, check out http://www.mountainchen.info for more on his unique way of backing up his products.

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