Electric bikes (or e-bikes as they are often known) are the more inclusive, more versatile version of the regular bicycle. If you’ve never seen or ridden an electric bike, picture a normal bike, and add a motor, battery, as well as a throttle or pedal-assist mechanism. The result is a bike that uses battery power to help you travel further and faster. E-bikes travel on average 2 – 3 mph faster when compared to mechanical bikes, and people tend to travel further on e-bikes. Some e-bikes can carry riders without any pedalling and are controlled through a throttle, while others use pedal-assist to engage the motor. Most people use e-bikes for commuting, for taking their kids to and from school and by older adults or those with physical limitations who find e-bikes easier, but the possibilities and uses go beyond that with delivery companies now switching to e-bikes and road racers trying out electric road bikes. This guide to e-bikes will cover everything you need to know about Electric Bicycles, such as the history and sudden rise in popularity of e-bikes among all ages, how an e-bike works, what you can use them for, as well as diving into some of the most popular e-bike brands. We’re excited about the future of e-bikes and what’s next for a rapidly growing market!
- History of Electric Bikes
- Rise in Popularity
- How Does an E-Bike Work?
- Why Use an Electric Bike?
- Electric Bike Sharing
- Electric Bike Brands
- Electric Bikes Regulations Around the World
- The Future of Electric Bikes
History of Electric Bikes
Despite their recent rise in popularity, electric bikes first appeared in the 19th century, with patent offices registering electric bike patents in the US and France.
The bike models featured rear-hub motors and were similar to what you might find on a cheap entry-level electric bike today. Most of the bikes featured heavy lead-acid and NiCad batteries but as new players entered the electric bike market, innovation resulted in lighter batteries. Some of the earliest electric bikes include the 1932 Phillips Simplex Electric Bike, the 1975 Panasonic and the 1989 Sanyo Enacle.
In 1989, Swiss pioneer Michael Kutter developed the pedelec system, (known today as pedal-assist), triggering the motor to assist when the bike registers pedalling movement. This system meant that instead of using a throttle, riders could use electric bikes in a similar fashion to riding a non-electric bike. Kutter created a production model pedelec bike, the Dolphin and most e-bikes today incorporate parts of the pedelec system invented by Kutter.
There aren’t any reports of electric bikes being sold to consumers en masse until electric bikes took off in the middle of the 1990’s. In 1992, Sinclair Research Ltd. started selling the Zike bike, an electric lightweight bicycle with 100w of power, but while they had intended to produce the bike for mass production, the company only managed to sell 2000 units before closing down. Between 1993 and 2004 there was significant growth in e-bikes.
In recent years the growth of the e-bike has boomed. Thanks to famous cyclists (like Olympian Victoria Pendleton) promoting e-bikes, electric bikes are now no longer seen as cheating machines and have been embraced by cyclists across all disciplines, including mountain bikes, cyclo-cross, road cyclists, and city riders. Well-known bike companies, like Trek, Canyon and Specialised, are creating multiple models of e-bikes including mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrids aimed at commuters. New companies are also innovating to create the best e-bike for all kinds of consumers, hoping to capture part of a rapidly growing market.
Rise in Popularity
With more variations and cheaper models, as well as an increasing concern for the health of our planet, we have seen more people consider changing their habits and switch out short car rides for slightly longer e-bike rides. The rise in popularity of e-bikes has occurred across all ages. Younger riders are using sporty electric bikes to travel further and explore more, ride uphill easily before flying down fast flow trails or using electric-bikes instead of a car. Young adults and parents are finding electric bikes useful for daily commuting, especially with children and for short grocery runs. Older cyclists have found the e-bikes offer them the ability to continue riding and staying fit without exerting too much effort. There are also people using e-bikes to keep up with faster training partners, recover from injuries or just because they like the idea of being able to travel a little faster.
The majority of electric bikes are sold in Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific. Globally, the e-bike market is expected to grow to an incredible 23.83 billion USD by 2025, from 16 billion USD in 2017.
In Asia-Pacific, the largest market for e-bikes is in China. The country exports and imports large numbers of e-bikes and an increasing number of people are riding them to avoid congestion in the cities. In 2017, China accounted for 80% of all bikes sold worldwide. In countries with ageing populations, like Japan, sales of e-bikes are surpassing ordinary bike sales. In 2016, 6 out of 10 bikes were electric!
Europe is the second-fastest growing region of the global e-bike market with 20% of total e-bikes sales happening in Europe. The region is also expected to witness the second-fastest growth rate (6.23%) after Asia-Pacific. In 2020, Germany took the lion’s share of the market in Europe, followed by France and Italy. Electric bike sales in Europe have grown rapidly since 2013, with 2.6 million E-bikes sold in the region in 2018.
While growth in the sector was to be expected, the rate of growth across Europe has been much greater than analysts originally predicted. In the Netherlands, it was expected to be another four years before electric bikes overtook mechanical bikes, but in 2019 that milestone was already reached.
Talking to one e-bike user in Switzerland, they remarked that an e-bike allows them to find more affordable housing outside of the city, while still being close and connected to everything in downtown Zurich. E-bikes are changing the way people live, work and have fun, and in almost all cases they are improving users’ health and accessibility possibilities.
The uptake in e-bikes across the US has been much slower than in Europe and Asia-Pacific, largely due to a lack of infrastructure built for bicycles. When compared to other regions, America’s market share is tiny with only 152,000 e-bikes sold across the US in 2016 compared to a massive 32.8 million e-bikes sold in Asia-Pacific. Additionally, commuters and shoppers travel longer distances in the US than in Europe or Asia Pacific, making bicycles less convenient.
Increasingly though, manufacturers are finding a market among older riders in the US, who have always enjoyed riding bikes but are less mobile in their older age. Americans living in large cities are also now buying electric bikes, finding that without having to pay for parking, gas and insurance, owning an electric bike is much more convenient than owning a car. Some analysts believe that because bikes are seen more as sports equipment or even toys in the US and not as a mode of transportation there are fewer people using bikes to carry-out everyday tasks and therefore fewer Americans buying them.
How Does an E-Bike Work?
Let’s have a brief look on how an E-Bike actually works and what the differences are compared to a regular bike.
As shown in the picture below there are several components that make an electric bike different from a regular bike.
The two main components are the battery and the electric motor. The battery contains the power to drive you along, and normally emits between 300 and 500 watts of power depending on the size of the battery. For a much more in-depth dive on batteries check out our article on How to choose the right battery for your electric bike.
The motor on an e-bike can be located on the front hub, rear hub or next to the crankset. Different manufacturers have different preferences for the position of the motor depending on the other components on the bike.
Every e-bike has a controller to engage and interact with the different components. The core function of an electric bike controller is to take the inputs from all the electric components such as the throttle, speed sensor, display, battery, motor, etc. and then determine what should be feed back to them (motor, battery, display).
On pedal-assist bikes, the pedalling sensor activates the motor when you start pedalling and on bikes with a throttle you can switch on the motor without pedalling. E-bikes also include a gear sensor that stops the motor when you are changing gears. E-bikes propel power through the chain on the bike, and you want to cut the motor when changing gears to stop causing undue stress on the chain, which could break it, and the gear sensor helps cut the gears.
The console or display shows important information such as battery status, speed, distance etc.
Types of E-Bikes
As briefly mentioned, there are two types of e-bike, pedal assist and throttle. Throttle bikes behave more like scooters and don’t require any exertion on the part of the rider to move forward. Pedal-assistance bikes act more like regular bikes, you have to keep pedaling to move them forward, and the motor engages as you pedal. There is a pedaling sensor that communicates with the motor, ensuring a smooth feeling very similar to if you were riding a mechanical bike.
In pedal-assist bikes, there is also a pedalling sensor that activates the motor when you start pedalling, providing assistance, but only when you are also pedaling. With throttle bikes you can switch on the motor without pedaling, giving you more assistance and power even when you aren’t turning the pedals. This is particularly useful if you’re riding through difficult, steep terrain, so you’re more likely to see a throttle on off-road bikes.
One of the difficulties of e-bikes is that they are quite heavy without the motor engaged, especially if you have to push them uphill or walk with them for a while. A lot of e-bikes, especially those with large motors that are particularly heavy, now include a walking assist mode, providing a little bit of power to help you push your bike uphill at a walking pace.
Why Use an Electric Bike?
Just like there are a wide range of normal bikes, there’s also a wide range of electric bikes and what you choose to use your electric bike for is up to you. The possibilities for electric bikes are seemingly endless and range from bikes made specifically for commuting to electric mountain bikes made for tackling steep uphill climbs. Electric bikes were initially popular among older riders in mountainous regions like central Europe, but their popularity has now spread around the world with riders of all ages using electric bikes.
In cities and areas where people are traditionally only making short trips, you might be considering replacing your car with an electric bike. Bikes with cargo and child-carrying capacities are increasingly seen as viable options for replacing at least some of the trips you’d usually take by car, and electric bikes allow you to ride further with less effort while pulling more weight.
Alternatively, you might decide to use an electric bike to shorten your cycle commute time, or to make a previously unfeasible commute distance possible by using an electric bike. Manufacturers have started designing electric bikes specifically for city riding with additional safety and security features.
Riding electric bikes is almost always more fun than riding a non-electric bike (as long as the idea of torturing yourself with tough climbs doesn’t fill you with joy). You can tackle tough climbs with ease and put in long days without tiring yourself out all at once. Electric bikes are still real bikes; you still have to pedal and you’ll be exercising, but they open up the possibilities of what you can and where you can go on a bike.
Electric mountain bikes have been designed for people who want to travel a little further a lot faster. In places where you’re riding down big mountain trails, you can sometimes spend seventy percent of your day pedalling uphill to the start of the trail. E-bikes make these trips a lot more fun, helping you get up some of the steep descents so you can spend more time on the downhill. When you’re looking for an e-mountain bike you usually want something that is only pedal assist as you don’t usually need a throttle.
The idea with e-mountain bikes is that you want to simulate normal riding behaviour and the electric assist makes it feel like you’ve got a powerful headwind behind you. The potential for e-mountain bikes goes beyond just getting you to the top of a hill. They’re great for rest days, for lugging your kids and other cargo up steep hills and for navigating difficult terrain when you just need a little extra power to feel secure about what you’re attempting. Prices on e-mountain bikes range from $12,000 down to about $2,000 and you usually get what you pay for. The more expensive models feature quieter but larger capacity motors, carbon frames and better components.
Commuting by bike is way more fun than sitting in a packed train or subway car. It’s much cheaper, it’s better for the planet and it’s better for you. So why do so many of us still choose to commute by public transport? Maybe you don’t want to get to work sweaty and out of breath, or maybe you live just a little too far to walk or ride a bike ride every day. E-bikes solve both of these problems. Riding an electric bike makes any journey shorter, quicker, and easier.
You can exert less effort and make sure you don’t get to work sweating and out of breath. Bike companies quickly realised that cities were full of commuters who were looking for a more efficient way to get to work and have responded by building bikes with these consumers in mind. These bikes now include self-locking systems, like the VanMoof bike, integrated front and rear lights, like the Gazelle ULTIMATE, and increased cargo capacities, like Tern bikes, Yuba bikes and Urban Arrows.
Electric bikes built for commuting range from cheap add-on electric bike kits that convert any bike to an electric bike to fully-integrated hybrid bikes with racks, lights and locking systems.
Bikes like the RadWagon and Xtracycle allow for multiple cargo-carrying combinations, so you can take one (or three!) of your kids with you whenever you ride, as well as shopping, toys or anything else you might normally carry in your car. These electric bikes offer modular options so you can combine high-seats, benches and cargo-carrying capacities to get the right set-up for you. There are also now electric folding bikes, perfect for taking on trains or in the back of your car before unfolding the bike and speeding through the city traffic.
It is worth noting that electric bikes are considerably more expensive than non-electric bikes, especially if you’re comparing them to a cheap second-hand bike you normally use for cruising around town. It helps to think about the costs you’ll be saving by purchasing an electric bike. Lots of families have found they were able to give up a second car when they bought an electric bike, or have saved significantly on public transportation costs.
While you can find cheap electric bikes we like to think about the fact that buying a reliable and comfortable electric bike means you’ll likely get more use out of it and therefore save more in transportation costs. In most cities travelling by electric bike is faster and more convenient than by car, but we’re also seeing the potential of electric bikes in the suburbs and countryside, where people are now making what would’ve been a short car journey by bike, helping them get exercise as well as reducing congestion and pollution.
Electric road bikes
Electric road bikes are causing quite the controversy among hard-core cyclists, with claims of electric bikes being cheating and some cyclists arguing that electric bikes are making people unfit as people replace their normal bikes for ones with electric assist capabilities. In fact, studies have found that electric bikes are more inclusive, encourage users to ride more and that those who do ride electric bikes are riding further than they did before. Cyclists who claim e-bikes are “cheating”, quickly forget this idea when they get on an electric bike and realise they still have to put the effort in but now they’re just going further and faster than they ever could before.
With motors built-in to the frame, many e-bikes are almost indistinguishable from their non-electric counterparts making them fun to use and nice to look at. Electric road bikes are increasingly popular among riders who often ride with a much stronger counterpart, or for people who are just looking to explore further afield. When choosing an electric road bike we recommend focusing firstly on the frame fit, as this will translate to comfort on the bike. Next, consider the size of the battery. A larger battery will give you more power and range, but will also be heavier than a smaller battery, so figure out what is more important to you. Most electric road bikes have the batteries built into the frame for a sleek look and this also means there’s less risk of things going wrong.
Electric Bike Sharing
Electric bike-sharing systems are popular in major cities around the world. Initially, these bike-share programmes featured docking stations and were implemented by governments and sponsored by large organisations, but there are now 100s of for-profit businesses offering dockless electric bike-share programmes. Electric bike-sharing is more popular in large cities, though the networks are expanding around the world. It’s usually popular in cities with a high population density, because there is a higher risk of bike theft and commuters are travelling in by train and then making the last mile of their journey by bike. Major international cities, like London, New York and Barcelona have their own government sponsored electric bike programmes, provided often at low cost through docking stations around the city. These bike sharing programmes have encouraged safe riding and the development of infrastructure, and there are now lots of easily accessible electric bike sharing programmes.
The most well known include Limebike, JUMP and Ofo bike sharing. The bikes that are part of these programmes are usually slower than retail electric bikes and are often quite heavy to deter thefts. Historically, there has been criticism of the bike sharing programmes in crowded cities as residents complain that bikes are left in awkward and inappropriate places, such as the middle of sidewalks and in front of entrances. Bike share programmes have been largely successful at reducing the number of cars on streets, as well as increasing the amount of physical exercise undertaken by residents in large cities. Injury rates for cyclists participating in bike-share programmes have been found to be lower than traditional cyclists, perhaps because cyclists were more cautious and less-experienced than everyday commuters or heavy-use road cyclists. While bike sharing programmes sometimes come under attack for their drain on public resources, the public health benefits have found to far outweigh the costs, which are often negligible to begin with.
Electric Bike Brands
Traditional bike brands have quickly realised the potential growth of the e-bike market and have adapted to include e-bikes in their range of bikes. Some bike companies have adopted their traditional models and incorporated motors and batteries, resulting in streamlined electric bikes that are often indistinguishable from their non-electric counterparts. There are also an increasing number of bike companies dedicated to ebikes who have designed their electric versions from the ground up and offer only electric bikes. We’ll look at a range of these businesses below, considering their history, innovation in e-bikes and unique models.
Traditional Bike Companies
Brompton Bicycles, the largest manufacturer of bikes in the UK, are well-known across Europe, but especially in the UK for producing the best folding bike money can buy. They are reliable, sturdy and come in hundreds of different colors. In 2019, the company released their first electric folding bike, and it is remarkably convenient. The electric version folds down and retains all of the same features as a mechanical brompton, but has the extra advantage of having an electric boost.
Cannondale offer a huge range of e-bikes, matching their range of mechanical bikes. They offer mountain, touring, trekking and urban e-bikes and are moderately priced compared to their competitors.
Giant, currently the largest bike manufacturer in the world, are expected to also become the largest e-bike manufacturer, with an especially large presence in China and Europe. As you would expect from the largest bike manufacturer in the world, Giant has a bike for everyone. As one of the first companies to introduce in-frame battery packs, Giant’s innovation around e-bikes has continued. Today, all their electric bikes have customised Yamaha drive systems and fully-integrated batteries.
Liv is the sister company to Giant bicycles, and makes bikes specifically designed for women, with geometry based on a women’s physique. Liv’s e-bike range is geared towards e-MTB, though they also have two bikes that could easily be used for commuting.
For 2020, both Giant and Liv e-bikes feature PedalPlus 6-sensor technology. Aiming to provide the most natural riding experience on an e-bike, the PedalPlus technology calculates how you are riding based on your torque, speed, cadence, motor rotation, the slope and the amount of accelerator depending on your input. The system results in a natural riding feeling, an efficient ride and support from the motor when you need it most.
Focus electric mountain bikes are designed and manufactured in Germany, with a focus on providing high quality bikes. The company has set itself part by focusing on improving the range of its e-bikes, offering an industry leading range of up to 127 miles on one charge, climb assist, shift-sensor technology, and along with other premium electric bike brands, bluetooth capable onboard navigation. In 2020, Focus bikes are using the new generation of Bosch motors, stronger batteries and new 1×12 speed groups from SRAM and Shimano. By focusing on building the high quality Focus frames customers are used to and integrating the best industry parts, Focus e-bikes are some of the best quality e-MTB you can find.
Tern started out producing non-electric folding bikes, with a focus on designing products that made urban transportation easier. They produced their first electric bikes in 2015 with BionX motor systems, before moving to Bosch and Bafang drive systems in 2016. Their range of electric bikes now includes durable, incredibly practical folding and non-folding electric bikes that have lots of smart accessories, lots of cargo-carrying capabilities and a great ride feel.
Trek is a US based bicycle company, with more than 1,700 dealers across the US and Canada, making them one of the most popular brands of bicycle for North American riders. Trek offers fantastic warranty services and an easy test-riding service operating out of their stores across the world. They were one of the first companies in the US to release an e-bike with the BionX drive system and now have bikes that include Shimano and Bosch motor and drive systems. As a large bike company, they offer e-bikes across a wide-range of bike types, with almost all their electric bikes featuring external battery packs that make changing and charging the batteries easy.
Specialized is one of the oldest and most established bike companies in the world, founded in 1974 and now based in Northern California. They offer a full range of bikes across all price brackets, from a reasonably priced electric city bike through to a high-end electric mountain bike as part of their S-Works range. Customers love Specialized e-bikes for their ability to look like mechanical bikes with the motors highly integrated. Across their range of bikes, they hope to simulate normal riding, promoting their bikes under the idea that “it’s you, only faster”. Specialized claims to have the quietest, smoothest and most powerful bottom bracket motor in the world. The company has used motors with integrated belt drives, built-in freewheels and custom software that picks up on sensors like the torque applied to each pedal stroke. As a long standing bike company they know what riders want from a bike, and this applies to e-bikes as well. They’ve designed batteries that ensure the longest possible battery lifetime, and have a custom Turbo Range Calculator for their electric bikes.
Electric Bike Companies
Flyer is a Swiss-bike company working primarily with customers in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. The company sees themselves a knowledge hub within the e-bike industry, and produces high-quality e-bikes manufactured in their factory in Switzerland. They have a small production line and are focused on high-quality customer service. Their range of e-bikes covers urban bikes, mountain bikes, crossover bikes and touring bikes. The wide range of bikes mean you can strike the right balance between comfort and performance, with the urban e-bikes being the most comfortable and the mountain bikes being the most sporty. All the bikes have a massive range, with batteries emitting up to 1125 watts. through their dual battery option. Integrated lights, mudguards and luggage racks make the bikes easy to use straight out of the box.
Haibike is an e-bike company that prides itself on innovation and specialises in affordable e-mountain and city bikes. Haibike was founded in 1995 in Germany, and from the beginning they have offered a sporty-looking bike. With a focus on producing innovative mountain bikes, Haibikes invented the Gravity Casting Motor Interface, a casting process that originated in the motorcycling industry and allows Haibike to produce very precise and stable, but lightweight and complex components. Haibikes’ Skid Plate, first used in 2013, protects the motor from damages and scuffs, which allow Haibike to place the motor underneath the frame in a more favourable position for riding. Haibike’s latest innovation, the Modular Rail System (MRS) makes it possible to mount different components easily and quickly on the bike as well as mount different types of compatible batteries; it is this design that makes Haibikes so distinctive today.
RadPower bikes are best known for producing fantastic, modular, highly customisable electric cargo bikes. Based in Seattle, Washington, RadPower bikes are designed to work well on and off the road. Selling directly to consumers, RadPower bikes avoid mark-up costs and have created an affordable option for customers looking for a reliable electric cargo bike. RadPower is hoping that an increasing number of people will buy electric bikes to replace their cars and want to make electric bikes more accessible to everyone.
UrbanArrow bikes could be redefined as their own type of bike. Designed in Amsterdam, the company was launched in 2010 and aims to redesign how people move around cities. They are front-loading cargo bikes that can carry everything from children to building supplies. As well as a strong motor and lots of power, the company has focused on designing the bikes to make them easy to maneuver and incredibly reliable. Their bikes use Bosch Performance motors, have integrated safety features and easy side loading.
Yuba cycles are unique because they have been designed with women, parents and children in mind. The company, created in 2006, wanted to make cargo bikes that are also fun to ride. The company has measured their success against the number of customers who reduce their car usage, and currently report that a majority of Yuba bike users reduce car usage by 50% after purchasing a Yuba bike. Based in the US they are working hard to promote the use of bicycles for transportation and as a way of moving around a community more easily, not just as a toy.
Hailing from the capital of city riding, VanMoof was founded in Amsterdam in 2009 by two brothers, Taco and Ties Carlier. VanMoof set out to create the world’s best commuter bikes, and are most famous for their sleek, electric bike designed for commuters in large cities. With a whole host of features, the aim was to make the bike simple to use. Their electric bike can be turned on and off with a remote control, has integrated GPS-tracking and a locking system that allows the bike to be locked while free-standing, and built in lights and fenders for raining weather. Their sleek design is loved by commuters and design agencies, they’ve won multiple awards for their innovative bike design.
This list is not comprehensive but provides an overview of some of the top bike manufacturers in the world, and an understanding of just how diverse e-bikes are. Their popularity is clearly infectious, because now automakers are switching gears and releasing e-bike designs. Jeep is the latest automaker to join the party, releasing their electric bike in early 2020. The throttle-assisted bike has a maximum speed of 20 mph and a 10-speed drivetrain providing lots of power. Jeep is among a string of automakers including, GM, BMW and Audi who are hoping to use their experience in manufacturing, batteries and drive trains to design e-bikes that appeal to younger audiences.
Electric Bikes Regulations Around the World
Around the world, electric bikes have largely been allowed to pose as regular bikes, using roads and bike lanes as normal bike users would without being subject to regulation. However, there are a few exceptions to be aware of, which we’ll outline below.
In the European Union, there are two classes of e-bikes available, L1e-A and L1e-B. L1e-A requires registration and insurance for bikes, and can include throttle and pedal-assist bikes. L1e-B does not require any insurance, and can follow the same rules as mechanical bikes, but can only have pedal assist, no throttle functions. E-bikes in the European Union have a maximum speed limit of 25 kph/15 mph before they have to be classed on road vehicles, at which point you need insurance and a compulsory helmet when riding.
In the US, there are four classes of e-bike, Class 1, Class 2, Class 3 and Class 4. The major differences between them are the top speeds; all classes can have a maximum motor allowance of 750W, with Class 4 being allowed to have more than 750W of power. Class 4 e-bikes are however classed as mopeds so you’ll need insurance and a helmet to ride them legally.
In general, electric bikes are seen by lawmakers as normal bikes and are allowed to ride on the same bike trails and paths. In reality, riding an electric bike in a crowded area where there are lots of pedestrians can be dangerous and intimidating for people who are walking. On backyard trails we know that electric bikes can be disruptive if people are riding quickly and encourage users to be vigilant about how aggressively they are riding electric bikes! Legislation continues to evolve, and in many cases is supportive of electric bikes, providing more support and infrastructure to encourage safe and smooth riding.
The Future of Electric Bikes
In the next five years, electric bikes are expected to become more and more similar to non-electric bikes. Not only will they become hard to recognise as e-bikes by looks, they’ll get lighter until the geometry and handling is almost identical to non-electric bikes. Some users also think that e-bikes, especially e-mountain bikes will start dropping the non-essentials, things like computers, kickstands and battery warnings will fade away until an e-bike is a much more stripped down version of what we find today. Other riders think that e-bikes will become smarter – tuning in to things like heart rate monitors and suspension inputs to deliver a smoother ride.
These riders think that more technology will mean better and more capable bikes that go beyond getting you from A to B. Lots of e-bike riders are looking at batteries and finding that small improvements could make a big difference. Right now batteries are too small, they take a long time to charge, and crucially you can’t fly with them, making it impossible to travel with an e-bike. Cyclists have suggested creating a network of charging stations powered by renewable energy, much like electric cars, electric bikes could be charged while having a coffee. When it comes to motors, experts are expecting smaller, lighter, quieter and more integrated systems. There are also suggestions of further development of Bluetooth capabilities and integrated mapping systems.
Electric bikes are set to propel forward an electric revolution. By 2025, we are expected to see 12 million electric cars sold worldwide, but more than 40 million electric bikes will be sold the same year. Entrepreneurs, city planners and cyclists are more inclined than ever to see electric bikes are the future of transportation. Their capabilities mean that they are increasingly a viable form of transportation, and a real possibility for replacing, or greatly reducing our car usage.
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