Interview with JP Blake the Co-Founder of E-Lux Electric Bikes – Crafting a Legacy of Quality and Innovation

by | May 8, 2024 | Business

JP Blake, CEO

E-Lux Electric Bikes

Hi, I’m J.P. Blake, and I’m CEO of E-Lux Electric Bikes. E-Lux is located in Fountain Valley, California, where we have a retail showroom. There are also 24 retail E-Lux bicycle partners across the country who sell our products in 24 different states… After 10 years in the electric bike business as a manufacturer, I’ve had a front and center seat to watch the exciting growth of the ebike industry since it’s infancy in the USA. E-Lux Electric Bikes started in 2014 and it has been quite the ride (no pun intended).

Before we founded the company, my brother Josh and I connected with Jerry Bridgeman who had been building EBike conversions since the early 2000s. Jerry had helped Pedego get its start back around 2007,working with them on their technical challenges. Pedego was one of the early pioneers of the industry.

Growing up in the 1980’s I saw several disruptive technologies develop. Starting with the cell phone. Then the internet. Then social media – especially Youtube.

From my early teens, I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. I love solving problems, learning and growing. I have done everything from mowing lawns and throwing newspapers, to computer consulting, network engineering, and even selling real estate.

Back in 2014, my brother Josh actually had the idea to start E-Lux. He approached Jerry first, then me later. At that time, I was winding down another small business. After hearing about the opportunity, I had a strong feeling that ebikes were going to be a disruptive technology too. Just like cell phones and the Internet.

As it turned out, I was right. Since the early beginnings of this industry, I have seen so many Ebike companies come and go. It is a challenging and dynamic business to be in.

But I must say, my experiences have really help me on the path.

I believe business is an art. It is an expression of ones’ self. As owners, we have the freedom to express ourselves however we like — in life as well as business. And we can continue to do that as long as we are able to grow.

One thing that has helped shape that for me is Music. I am a guitarist and was a music major in high school and college. Playing in several bands over the years from Jazz to Blues, Funk, and Rock and Roll has taught me a lot about working with groups. We each were able to improve as musicians, sometimes playing above our abilities while growing into that ability. We continue to do that with every challenging piece of music we write or learn. The key is to re-work the music to make it better until it forms into something that makes us proud.

These principals are true in all business dealings. I remember something my friend Darrell Pash the owner of Metro Estates in Newport Beach told me back in the 90s. Take care of your clients and the money will follow. And don’t be greedy.

These lessons have stuck with me over the years through my different businesses as during my time developing E-Lux Electric Bikes.

We were one of the first Ebike companies to have headlights and taillights when other companies were going a cheaper route to save money. We were the second company in the industry to have brake lights — Stromer being the first. We had to develop special electronics to get the brake light technology right. Doing this, we influenced our controller manufacturer (the largest ebike controller manufacturer in the world) to add this functionality to their controllers. Now you see brake lights on most ebikes.

We pushed our motor company Bafang to develop a 28 mph motor and we were one of the first to bring 28 mph ebikes to market.

We have always used Samsung or Panasonic cells in our batteries even though they cost more. That way our customers have batteries that get better range while having longer overall lifespan.

Providing high quality components and backing our bikes up with great customer service has been key to our success.

Recently,some big money companies have come into the e-bike industry; many expanding and growing at a rapid rate. They are cutting costs on parts and service so they can sell Ebikes cheap and try to gain market share. Some of these companies are foreign owned and opening warehouses in the US.

This is causing a lot of confusion in the marketplace and making it hard for people to really get their heads wrapped around what they should buy when shopping.

Seeing these changes over the years has inspired me to keep pushing forward to keep quality and customer service in the marketplace. There is nothing worse than calling a company and getting a series of recordings or a having a major communication challenge with a person who lives on the other side of the planet.

I believe there is great value in personal relationships developed between manufacturers and their customers. And I believe that should come before cutting corners. So far, our customers and clients feel the same and this has helped us succeed.

  • What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?

Have an abundance mentality.#2: Be flexible.

Develop emotional intelligence.

  • What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

 The ability to provide value for others including people on your team.



  • How many hours do you work a day on average?

10 -12 because I enjoy it.

  • How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?

Word of Mouth, Online, Email, PPC, SEO. Word of Mouth is our bread and butter.

  • Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?

We have found specialists through networking that have access to capital and have assisted presenting our company to lenders for a percentage of the funds raised.

  • What is the best way to achieve long-term success?

Be persistent, patient, flexible, and open minded.

  • Where you see yourself and your business in 5 – 10 years?

Enjoying the challenge of growing and creating!

  • Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?

Those companies that empower their team to grow in a shared vision while providing value to others and their community.

  • How important have good employees been to your success?

It is very important to have great team members. And it is even more important to give them what they need to succeed and grow.

  • How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?

Business is a test of an idea. Every idea/situation is different. You research and make a decision to try something. Then get feedback from your customers. Or you try to find the right customer base for your product. You may be surprised that an entirely different group of people actually use your product more than you expected. You find success with them unexpectedly. You give your product exposure and the market will tell you what it likes.
And what the customer likes is more important than what you think they want or like.

You also need to decide when you should pivot away from something. For me, that is when we develop a similar, but better version of a product. Another way to calibrate success is to notice when you have exhausted the resources set aside for testing ideasand still had no success. Another time you might need to pivot is when market conditions change and your product and it is no longer valid from the customer’s perspective.

  • What motivates you?

Smiles on other people’s faces. Learning. Personal growth.

  • How do you generate new ideas?

I strive to keep my mind open and keep looking for what others need. How can we provide value to them?

  • How do you build a successful customer base?

Providing great customer service and putting our clients first.

  • What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?

The challenge of daily problem solving. The freedom to create and grow as an individual and as part of a team in my work.

  • What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

When someone has taken our creation (one of our ebikes) and made it their own. They personalize them with decorations, music speakers, stickers. When I see our bikes that people have customized on the boardwalk here in town, or in pictures of peoples travels around the world, it is extremely humbling.

  • What do you feel is the major difference between entrepreneurs and those who work for someone else?

There are advantages to each. As an entrepreneur, I have always enjoyed working for others as well as myself. I think the largest difference for me in the entrepreneur role is carrying the responsibility of my decisions and how they affect everyone on my team. That can be a heavy load sometimes. My decisions leading my company affects everyone – customers, dealers, and employees.

  • What kind of culture exists in your organization? How did you establish this tone and why did you institute this particular type of culture?

My Head of Operations, Victor Long, has influenced me heavily in this area. He has helped bring on people whose goals and ideas align with E-Lux’s. We believe in empowering people to learn and grow individually and as a team as we strive towards those common ideas and goals. We are a small business and everyone has to wear many hats. Victor has been instrumental in putting processes in place to foster these values. His past experiences contribute greatly. One example is our weekly meetings where everyone shares an update status on their individual projects.. We all have the opportunity to express how we can all improve our business and customers experiences.

  • In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.


  • If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?

Strive to use the knowledge from my experiences that I didn’t have at that time. My outcome may or may not generate more success, but experiences make us who we are — including the mistakes we make. All these experiences have helped me grow personally and professionally, and contribute to my ability to provide value moving forward.

  • How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?

I am single and have remained that way because of my business. It can be lonely at times, but it is the path I chose.

A couple of years back my Mother developed memory issues and because I did not have an immediate family to take care of, I was able to move her in with me and help support her.

It is tough seeing her go through this time in her life. That being said the blessing in disguise has been being able to have a closer relationship with her as we are spending time together daily. I am truly grateful for that.

  • What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?

The unknown beyond our control. There are always external things beyond our control. But it is also the most exciting thing about life and entrepreneurship. I manage fear by focusing on the challenges and experiences in front of me each day. Keeping an open mind to the lessons presented by these forces beyond my control. Striving to grow into those challenges. Learning and negotiating with life. In the end the one thing we do have control over is how we look at things. Our perspective. Most times when I am feeling fearful of the situation I’m in, I look at others who are walking a more difficult path than myself. That brings gratitude into my mind and I appreciate all that I have. I am truly blessed to be walking this path called life.

  • How did you decide on the location for your business?

For my current business, E-Lux Electric Bikes, we have had three locations. There are four if you count an additional warehouse we rented. The decision for our first location was driven by looking within our budget and needs. The additional warehouse was added as we needed more space. The next two places were the same.

It is important to try and balance your business needs while trying not to take on too much overhead. This is not always easy.

  • Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

Yes. Being persistent, patient, flexible, open minded, and lucky count for a lot.

Also having an abundance mentality and developing emotional intelligence are key.

  • If you could talk to one person from history, who would it be and why?

My dear friend Johnny Downer who passed away much too young. He was an amazing musician and like a brother to me. As mentioned, I am a musician and I played many hours together in garages, at venues/clubs. Even on beaches all night then watching the sun rise. He was a kind soul and a true music ambassador. He always invited others to play no matter what their ability was. I would love to have a conversation with him about our musical paths then and now. I miss his insights and perspective as well as his spirit in my life.

  • Who has been your greatest inspiration?

There are too many to list. I think it is important to keep an open mind to inspiration. It can come from so many places. A child who has no judgements. A person showing kindness when they have little else to give. A dog wagging its tale after jumping in a lake and coming out soaked. Inspiration is everywhere. When you set your ego aside you can see it in the most unexpected places.

  • What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)

I don’t have a favorite book but I really enjoyed “7 Habits of Highly Effective People” when I read it many years ago. There are some great lessons in that book. ‘The Obstacle Is The Way” is another great book I have gained insight from.

  • What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?

Not being engaged or present mentally when opportunity was around me.

  • How can you prevent mistakes or do damage control?

Practicing the art of having awareness of the present moment. Striving to develop emotional intelligence so that you see things from others perspective. Two people can have opposite viewpoints and can both be right because of their experiences in life. We all need to be more respectful of that.

  • What sacrifices have you had to make to be a successful entrepreneur?

That is something I haven’t really thought about. The choices I’ve made have put me on this path and I enjoy it daily. Sometimes my personal life, my availability is limited because of time constraints from my work. But that is really just another challenge to solve. I love to work hard and play hard. But a business is a living organism that has a life of its own. Sometimes you focus in on it too much without making time for other important aspects of life.

  • If you were conducting this interview, what question would you ask?

Describe a typical work day from waking up to bedtime in your life as an Entrepreneur.

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