ebike market

Electric bike market

Ebike popularity has exploded in the US, with reports that sales more than doubled in 2016. And this follows worldwide trends that have seen ebike sales overtaking regular bike sales in recent years. What Is An Ebike?

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Commuter Option

Electric bike vs alternatives

Ebikes are growing in popularity, and people are choosing to replace regular bicycles and cars with an ebike. In cities, ebikes are offering a fun, affordable alternative to oversubscribed, unreliable public transport.

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technical components

Electric bike components

Ebikes have come a long way since the first patent for an electric bike was filed in back in 1895. Explosive sales growth worldwide over the last decade is projected to continue and has led to a number of options.

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Electric Bikes are transforming the future of transport in our communities

Electric bikes (or ebikes) are one of the fastest growing segments in transport and represent the most significant, rapid uptake of alternative fueled vehicles in the history of motorisation. China leads the way with sales of over 30 million ebikes sold in 2016 and 4 million around the rest of the world. In Europe, many countries are showing explosive sales growth, led by Italy (50%) and Germany (19%) in 2017, with over 720 000 ebike sales.


In 2017, the U.S. market grew to 263,000 bikes, a 25% gain from the prior year according to eCycle Electric Consultants but the market is still small (comprising less than one percent of global sales).


A Brief History of Electric Bikes


The first patents for an electric bike were filed in the US in the 1890’s. One of which, invented by Hosea W. Libbey, was later re-invented and imitated by Giant Lafree ebikes in the late 1990’s. Between 1993 and 2004, ebike production grew by around 35%, and by 2007 ebikes were estimated to make up 10 – 20 percent of all two-wheeled vehicle transportation in Chinese cities. This trend has caught on around the world with electric bikes growing in popularity.



3 Key Factors Driving The Uptake of Ebikes


Globally, ebike sales were at 133 million in 2017, up from 32 million in 2014 and by 2020 it is projected that there will be over 243 million more ebike units sold worldwide. This explosive growth is not surprising if one considers the global trend towards urbanisation and green living.


Electric bikes also appeal to a broad range of the population, with younger generations choosing alternatives to car ownership (such as carpooling, using public transport and riding bikes, scooters or electric bikes). Older cyclists are also taking to e-bikes to continue exercising later in life. By riding an ebike for some added assistance, they can tackle hills with greater ease as well as taking pressure off aching joints.


The three main reasons that ebikes are transforming the future of transport for communities are firstly, their eco-friendly energy-saving potential, secondly, the convenience that they offer and, thirdly, the cost-effective alternative to cars that they present.


Ebikes Are Eco-Friendly


Around the world, country leaders are working on ways to reduce carbon emissions, touting green energy solutions and reduced reliance on carbon-based fuels. Ebikes offer an exciting alternative for transportation, using less than 100 – 150 watts in comparison to cars that use around 15 000 watts of electrical energy.


It is estimated that by 2020 ebikes will use 9900% less energy than cars (36,45 billion watts vs. 3,65 trillion watts) which will have a significant environmental impact. Comparatively, ebikes have a similar environmental impact to public transport, and a recent study by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy suggests that ebikes could reduce emissions by 47%, a saving of $128 trillion by 2050.


Electric Bikes Are Convenient


Worldwide, the trend has been towards urban living. An electric commuter bike means that people living in the city can cycle to work without arriving sweaty or having to try and find a parking spot. They’re more reliable than public transport and require very little storage space which relieves pressure on overburdened city parking facilities.


Comparatively, 81% of ebikes are used once or twice a week, while only 46% of regular bikes are used with the same frequency. Additionally, 33% of ebikes are used every day showing that ebikes are not a fad, but are adding convenience to their owner’s routines.


Electric Bicycles are Cost Effective


Electric bikes for sale start from $500 (in China) and around $1000 (such as in the US). In European countries such as Germany, the price is about $600 for an entry level ebike. Conventional non-motorized commuter bikes can easily cost upwards of $500, making ebikes a reasonable alternative for the additional value that they offer. Electric bikes more than make up for the initial outlay with their low running costs. Maintenance of an ebike is minimal, and the low energy consumption means that ‘refueling’ your e bike costs a couple of dollars every month.



The trend for the future of transport in our communities is clear; ebikes offer the perfect solution to concerns about eco-friendly options as well as answering the need for vehicles that are convenient and affordable. This shift is backed by hard data, with global sales of e-bikes set to reach 40 million units by 2023.