There is no doubt that eBikes (Electric Bikes) will replace conventional bikes as the dominant form of urban transportation. Even today, it’s quite common when you encounter an electric bike on the streets. They have been adopted by commuters, recreational riders, and even cyclists from different age groups.
With growing concerns about our own personal well-being and the environment, more and more individuals are choosing to ride bicycles instead of driving automobiles. For these reasons, among others, there has been an increase in the popularity of ebikes. However, for ebikers, especially newbies, there are a few things they may not know about ebikes. Here are some interesting facts about ebikes you’ve probably never heard before.
History of Electric Bikes
Surprisingly, eBike technology is not new. Although they have only recently become popular and widely accepted among the general public, the idea of using an electric bike dates back to at least the early 20th century.
In fact, the first patent for an electric bike was granted to Ogden Bolton Jr on December 31, 1895. He invented a battery-powered ebike with a 6-pole brush and commutator direct current hub motor mounted to the rear wheel. And in 1897, Hosea W. Libbey received a second patent for an electric bike powered by dual electric motors. The motor is placed inside the crankset hub, which is also a popular solution today.
One year later in 1898, Matthew J. Stephens was granted a patent for a rear-wheel drive electric bike that used a drive belt on the outer rim of the wheel. Another year later, John Schnepf invented a rear-wheel friction “roller” drive electric bike. However, nearly a century after this year, the development of electric bikes entered a vacuum period.
It wasn’t until the 1990s that big companies became interested in ebikes again. Yamaha built the first electric bike prototypes in 1989 and later invented the pedal assist system in 1993. In 1997, Lee Iacocca founded EV Global Motors and produced the E-Bike SX, one of the early American electric bikes Since then, electric bikes have entered a period of rapid development.
Growing Market for Electric Bikes
Electric bicycles have been around for decades, but they’ve become increasingly common in recent years. By 2007, some estimates suggested that electric bicycles accounted for 10 to 20 percent (or more) of all two-wheelers in China. Today, these figures are even higher worldwide.
The ebike industry was valued at $15.4 billion in 2019 and is projected to grow at an average CAGR of 7.5 percent between 2020 and 2025 (Source). Pedal-assist e-bikes accounted for 88.3 percent of the global ebike segment in 2019. By application type, urban e-bikes were dominant in 2019, accounting for 87.6 percent of the total ebike sales. From 2020 to 2030, more than 130 million e-bikes are forecasted to be sold globally.
At the same time, the performances of the electric bikes markets in different countries and territories are not equal.
However, although it was an American company to bring modern electric bikes to the global stage, as the leading manufacturer, China has become the undisputed leader in the production of electric bikes. China leads in the manufacture of electric bikes, ebikes sales, and the number and proportion of electric bikes on the streets. More than 95 percent of the electric bikes in the global marketplace are manufactured in China and reach Europe and America via the Indian Ocean and the pacific ocean.
Looking at the European electric bike markets, which account for 20 percent of the global market, central and western European nations dominate the market, including France, Germany, and The Netherlands. In 2009, only 500, 000 electric bikes were sold in the entire continent, and by 2018 this figure had grown fivefold to 2.5 million units. From 2020 to 2030, more than 30 million e-bikes are forecasted to be sold in EU.
Despite being a developed country like the EU, the USA has been one of the slower adopters of eBike technology. In fact, until recently, only about 1% of bikes sold in the USA were electric. However, the number of electric bike sales in the USA has grown rapidly in recent years, reaching almost half a million units in 2018 alone. Before 2012, fewer than 100,000 electric bikes had been sold in the USA; however, between 2013 and 2017, the number of eBikes sales grew by an average of 20% per year.
Reasons People Love Electric bikes
Electric bikes are loved by everyone for different reasons. Through a lot of online research, we’ve come across some of the most popular ones.
A recent study showed that 65 percent of people who bought electric bicycles did so primarily because they wanted to replace their cars. Another North American survey of ebike owners revealed that 60 percent of participants believed riding an ebike was safe compared to a conventional bicycle. Furthermore, 42 percent of interviewees claimed that ebikes helped them avoid accidents. Additionally, 49 percent of interviewees stated that they enjoyed using e-bicycles because they were more environmentally friendly.
Electric Bike Technology Is Always Improving
The most important thing about an e-bicycle is definitely its motor and motor technologies are constantly evolving for longer travel distances and better riding experiences. Initially, the first real electric bicycle (or “e-bicycle”) was powered by a heavy lead-acid battery, but later models were able to use nickel metal hydride (NiMH), nickel-cadmium (NiCd), and lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries.
However, these days, the majority of e-bikes are use lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries., which have significantly higher energy density and power output than other types of batteries. lithium-ion (Li-Ion) batteries. also, provide much faster charging times.
As technology continues to improve, we’re likely to see electric bikes become increasingly popular among consumers. People will increasingly choose to ride electric bikess instead of conventional ones on their commutes and leisure trips However, the studies show that there is a need for better infrastructure, such as cycle lanes and safe crossings, to make cycling safer for all.
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