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Air Quality Image Credit: Augapfel via Flickr photos

Published on April 29th, 2013 | by Cynthia Shahan

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Electric Bikes, A Rising Force On Urban Transit Landscape — 38 Million Units Per Year By 2020, Navigant Reports

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April 29th, 2013 by  

Efforts to transition rapidly to renewable and clean energy solutions while satisfying growing urban mobility needs are key factors accelerating the sale and use of electric bicycles. Widely used in Asia Pacific and Europe, the electric bicycle is well-established in those areas as a sound and serviceable means of dealing with stepped up congestion due to urbanization. However, electric bike use in North America and Western Europe is a new trend, especially among the younger riders. Electric bikes are a rapidly growing transit option in these regions.

Image Credit:Augapfel via Flickr photos

Image Credit: Augapfel via Flickr photos

Recently, I talked to a retired gentleman, in Florida, about his electric scooter. He was very educated on renewable energy solutions, as well. At the end of our conversation, he added: “The real buzz on the street is these electric bicycles that the young kids are really into.” I realized he is tapped into the electric transit culture and knows the current trends quite well. His opinion is supported by one of Navigant research’s principal research analyst, Dave Hurst. Hurst explains the same: “In many cities, the streets are so clogged with traffic that they are virtually unnavigable by car, and e-bikes are seen as an increasingly viable option for urban mobility. The utilization of high-quality, affordable lithium ion batteries, among other factors, is helping open this market to people outside the normal e-bicycle demographic. Younger riders are more frequently turning to e-bicycles in countries, in North America and Western Europe.”

Nine out of ten electric bicycles used are in China; yet, they are increasing rapidly in the West as modern consumers recognize the significance of lithium-ion over lead-acid batteries. Modern members of a growing culture of responsible choices, along with the East, make use of e-bikes in transportation — contributing to ecological and economic concerns, as well as transit fluidity in urban areas. With increased ridership, concerns for safety arise.This punctuates issues that concurrently need to be taken into consideration with urban planning; changes necessary in our transit systems — with lights and lanes, specifically for bikes and other modern innovative vehicles.



According to BusinessWire, “Some cities in China, however, either already have or are considering bans on e-bicycles because of increasing accidents and bicycle congestion. The report’s forecasts assume that bans will either remain in place or be enacted in parts of several major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.”

“The report, ‘Electric Bicycles’, provides a detailed analysis of the market forces, key drivers of growth, technology, and government influence on the worldwide market for electric bicycles. Forecasts are included, both base and aggressive scenarios, for annual e-bicycle sales through 2020, broken down by region and by battery technology. The report also includes profiles of key e-bicycle manufacturers, suppliers, and other market players. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.”

Navigant Research, by the way, is the market research arm of Navigant, and it has a very strong focus on cleantech (scroll through its recent press releases or reports and that’s obvious). Navigant Research was previously Pike Research, which is probably a much more familiar name to long-time readers of CleanTechnica. “The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors,” the company notes.

The report discussed above includes a lot more information on “profiles of key e-bicycle manufacturers, suppliers, and other market players,” and it addresses the following key questions:

  • What are the trends that will shape the market for electric bicycles?
  • What are the distinguishing characteristics of different types of e-bicycles?
  • What types of motors are used in e-bicycles, and why?
  • Where are e-bicycles most popular currently?
  • What are the differences in battery chemistries used in electric bicycles?
  • How much revenue will be generated by e-bicycles, segmented by battery technology?
  • How will government regulations influence the electric bicycle market?
  • Who are the key manufacturers in the e-bicycle market?
  • Who are the key battery manufacturers competing in the e-bicycle market?

If you’re a bicycle or bicycle component manufacturer; steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber supplier; battery manufacturer; electric motor manufacturer; retailer; government agency or municipality; industry association; or potential e-bicycle investor; this report may be quite useful to you.

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About the Author

is an Organic Farmer, Licensed Acupuncturist, Anthropologist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.



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