E-bike Market Growth Accelerates: Examining the Factors Driving the Surge

Man riding a bikeElectric bikes (e-bikes) are helping to define the future of the bicycle market. They have developed technological breakthroughs that have been noticed by manufacturers and suppliers of the automotive industry. The category has also achieved unprecedented sales in major world economies for the past several years. 

Triton Market Research estimates that the total number of e-bike circulation will reach 300 million worldwide, which is a 50% spike from 2019’s 200 million. Therefore, it is safe to say that the growing popularity shines an opportunistic light on the overall e-bike market growth.

Why the Hype Over E-bikes?

There is an increasing need for developing sustainable mobility options for the coming generations. With climate change taking its toll on humanity and fuel prices hitting the roof across the globe, e-bicycles, scooters, and motorbikes have emerged as the perfect choice. They are versatile, eco-friendly, and trendy light motor vehicles (LMVs).

Triton Market Research estimates that the global e-bike market was valued at $25,239.55 million in 2021 and is projected to reach around $49,731.01 million by 2028, with a CAGR of 10.12% during the forecast period 2022-2028.

In terms of volume, the global sales in 2021 were 31,411 thousand units and are expected to generate 61,161 thousand units by 2028, with a growth rate of 9.97% over the forecast period 2022-2028.

A Glance down the Bike Lane

E-bikes have grabbed the attention of consumers and governments with their economical and user-friendly benefits. This interrelationship between the demand-to-use ratios has progressed into serious initiatives, benefiting both in parallel, which is explained below.

The Call to High-Tech Infrastructure 

The evolution of smart cities will benefit the e-bike market. Growth enablers like the rise in urbanization and the shifting preference of consumers towards E2Ws (Electric Two-wheelers), mostly due to traffic congestion, have driven the trend. Also, the boom in the product category compels governments to focus on revamping bicycle (express) routes, guarded bicycle parking facilities and setting up battery charging stations. For instance, Sanyo (Japan) opened two solar parking lots in Tokyo where around 100 electric bicycles can be recharged from solar panels. The key product types studied in the report are Pedelecs, throttle on demand, scooters, and motorcycles. Among all, Pedelecs leads with the dominant share.

Heart of Technology (Battery) 

Battery brands and drive mechanism providers are making e-bike charging faster and easier than ever before, thereby innovating their offerings for removable batteries, smartphone charging, and dual batteries to increase range time. Currently, the batteries used to build e-bikes are lead-acid and lithium-ion. One of the primary reasons for China leading the front in sales is lower production costs due to the usage of cheaper and heavier lead-acid batteries. Until recently, the trends have shifted in favor of lithium-ion batteries (LIB). It is expected that Li-ons will power 60% of electric bikes by 2023. Their applications are seen in various models designed for commuting, hauling cargo, or mountain biking. Also, this swelling demand directly influences battery prices, making them volatile.

However, these powerful batteries are responsible for growing incidences of fires. New York City fire department recorded about 200 fires and six deaths this year. Also, around 22,000 e-bikes sold by Sears, Walmart, and Amazon have been recalled due to sparks and fires causing serious burns and injuries. Nevertheless, recent developments in battery compositions (better energy density and charge time) and effective management systems promise system-wide transformation, thereby retaining the light on the e-bike battery market in the coming years.

A Crackling Solution

Fuel costs have been a sore wound in the world’s economy over the past decade. This results from surging crude oil prices regulated by OPEC countries, and the trend will continue in the future due to its limited sources globally. These dynamics have influenced consumers to adopt e-bicycles as a mode of daily commute as the cost of electricity has been low in several countries of the world, especially Germany and Denmark.

Another pillar to the sharp rise in Europe’s e-bike sales is the ambitious objective of the EU – ‘The Green Deal’ to achieve a 90% reduction in transport emissions by 2050. In order to unlock the potential of the sustainable and smart mobility strategy, leading European cycling orgs: trade-body Cycling Industries Europe, CONEBI, and the European Cyclists Federation recommended a long-way shift with effective policies, clear targets, and adequate funding.

This makes the Europe e-bike market stand at the second position after the Asia-Pacific region with CAGRs of 11.40% (in revenue terms) and 11.67% (in volume terms) in the forecast years 2022-2028.

Tips to Competitive Success in the E-bike Market

The electric bike market is highly fragmented and competitive, with the presence of several local and international manufacturers. That said, a few top players lead the pack and make more sales than others. The biggest ones are Riese & Muller, Accell Group, Brose Fahrzeugteile Se & Co Kg, BMZ Gmbh, Fuji-Ta Bicycle Co Ltd, and Derby Cycle.

The intensity of rivalry is expected to be moderate as existing companies are executing organized methods with both physical stores and online platforms. On the other hand, established players are expected to focus on reducing the cost of motors and batteries to achieve volume sales, which is also one of the key challenges affecting the overall market growth. Nevertheless, the most consistent strategic move witnessed among the operating players is the sustainable advantage through innovation. Bicycle manufacturers and automakers that fail to offer competitive and comprehensive product lines will risk losing out on potential new business. 

Concluding Statement

E-bikes are emerging as a primary benefactor for trends such as unprecedented levels of traffic congestion and a lack of available parking due to their remarkable benefits like low cost, requiring no licensing or insurance, fitting into existing bike lane infrastructure, and easy to park. They have become a sustainable form of transportation and a promising investment as it continues to diversify in various sectors, including delivery and courier services and fitness equipment in sports. Another trend contributing to the global e-bike market is bike sharing programs. Currently, around 1,000 such schemes exist worldwide, with millions of shareable bikes. However, their success and adoption majorly rely on combating the impracticality of traditional shared bikes: the weight and chunkiness.

Where to Learn More

For detailed data and analysis of the global e-bike market, please see the following reports:

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