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Published on March 27th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Electric Bicycle Sales to Hit 47 Million per Year by 2018, Report Finds

March 27th, 2012 by  

Piggy-backing on my post the other day about electric bicycles (focused on the fact that you can buy an electric bicycle for about the same money as it costs to fill up your gas tank 20 times), here’s more electric bicycle news: annual sales of electric bikes are expected to go over 30 million in 2012 and over 47 million by 2018.

The findings, from a recent Pike Research report, indicate that “the worldwide market for e-bicycles will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% between 2012 and 2018” and the “e-bicycle market is anticipated to generate $6.9 billion in worldwide revenue in 2012, growing to $11.9 billion in 2018.”

China is where most of the growth is projected to occur, due to its rapid urbanization, demand for low-cost transportation, and a historical affinity to bikes, I presume. The Chinese are expected to be buying 42 million of the projected 47 million or so e-bicycles that that will be sold in 2018, 89% of the total world market.

Of course, the report is based on assumptions, and sales under a more optimistic scenario are even higher. Under the most aggressive forecast, sales will reach 51 million bicycles and $13.2 billion in annual revenue by 2018.

While China is going to continue to lead growth in the sector, the North American e-bicycle market is also expected to grow.

“E-bicycle manufacturers and importers in North America and Latin America continue to struggle with a weak distribution network and modest demand,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst.  “As a result, the e-bicycle market is experiencing an accelerated rate of acquisitions and business failures.  Nevertheless, sales are expected to grow rapidly, with a CAGR of nearly 22% in North America from 2012 to 2018.”

Want more details on these e-bicycles and the e-bicycle market? Here’s more from Pike Research:

The vast majority of the e-bicycles sold in China, the world’s largest market, utilize sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries.  While this has resulted in extremely low-cost e-bicycles in China, it has also led to a number of challenges including e-bicycle traffic congestion, lead contamination, and manufacturers effectively ignoring laws relating to e-bicycles speed and weight limits.  Pike Research anticipates that the global penetration of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries will grow from 6% in 2012 to 12% in 2018.  Cost pressures from Asia Pacific will keep manufacturers interested in SLA batteries through this decade, but once manufacturing efficiencies have driven down the costs of Li-ion, we will start to see the decline of SLA as the battery of choice in e-bicycles.

Pike Research’s report, “Electric Bicycles”, provides a comprehensive analysis of the worldwide e-bicycle and e-bicycle battery industry including an examination of market forces, technology issues, government policy influences, the competitive landscape, and key drivers of growth.  The study includes global forecasts for e-bicycle units and e-bicycle batteries through 2017, segmented by world region and key countries.

Source: Pike Research
Image courtesy Kalkhoff

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.

  • wake up

    stromer looks like a regular bike. but you can get an elec scooter or 100 mpg scooter for same price….very few bike shops and most sell only chinese made bikes in US anyway.

  • wake up

    overseas it is very easy to use fold up bike and take it anywhere in office school etc…in the US probably not as easy and roads are typically sh*( as well.

    however my ride gets 50 mpg now but if gas goes to five bucks after we start war with Iran prob. will shell out three grand for a stylish electric bike when there is no oil or rationing etc….in city, if there are bike racks etc. dont know why anybody would deal with hassle of car ownership especially as it is a depreciating asset which loses half its’ value the second you buy it…doesnt make any sense. but nothing in the US does.

    I especially love the shell ‘letsfixthis’ propaganda during masters they sponsor. while most of our budget goes to attacking countries to ‘secure’ cheap oil, my state just recently got 200 mill lopped right off of educ budget so every single school in the state is now struggling cutting AP classes or closing entirely and shell says they want to ‘fix this’ maybe by having no schools or no teachers.

    still not as bad as chesapeake fracking propaganda during super bowl whereby a lady was riding a high speed rail and gullible people are supposed to think it is linked to fracking..nobody else has mentioned it and unless somebody apparently big oil can just have puppies rainbows etc in commercials…while very animal in gulf has cancer, dolphins now washing ashore are immediately classified as hazmat due to toxins in them. but ‘nothing is happening’ because BP says so. inquiring minds should think of climate change and who has most to gain by doing nothing at all!!!scientists????obama??? when planet turns to sh*(, it certainly isnt helping him get reelected…when society fails due to unstable climate it isnt helping scientists. use occam’s razor. when denialists say ‘everybody drives’ refer to false equivalency…you cant compare apples and oranges with no oranges as in alternatives. like we have in the US. thanks to big oil which owns our govt. which blackmails you into whining about five dollar gas because you honestly have little choice at this point in history. a century of billion dollar big oil subsidies will do that!

  • DSNI

    ok. So, where do I find a good one? How can I buy one? I can easily take it on the train with me for the longer distances and comfortably cruise around closer to my destination(s). I like to ride 30 miles a week on a pedal bike, so pedal assist should really increase the distance or just make a comfortable ride to work or fun.

    • I’ve seen a number of them around, but don’t know the best brand. But here’s one company:

    • Antonio

      For folding eBikes, I like:
      emotoev.comheroeco.comveloverde.net1/2 cent per mile for power;charge at night and take advantage of underutilized power plant output;large plants are very efficient so you are NOT simply moving the same amount of emissions from your theoretical tailpipe to a remote location where the plant may be located;emissions are greatly reduced.One less car baby!

      • hmm, links seem to be all mushed together. but they do look like fine options.

  • Thomasbluee

    can i be your seller in nigeria? if so add me @ let me have your reply as soon as possible.

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