The electric bicycle industry has seen some of its greatest success in Asian countries. However, thit industry is still in its infancy in the rest of the world. As it grows, according to a report from Navigant Research, international revenue from electric bicycles should attain $10.8 billion by 2020.$2.6 billion of e-bicycle are expected for 2013. The improving lithium-ion family of battery technologies is helping with their relatively light weight, compact size, and ability to discharge energy quickly. Their light weight makes the bicycles easier to handle, hence increasing safety. Lithium-ion batteries have the potential to last longer than lead-acid batteries, as well.
“Growing urbanization is contributing to traffic snarls on city streets in many countries, and pushing people toward other options,” says Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “The aging global population is seen by many as one driver of e-bicycles’ popularity, but the fact is that more young people are choosing them as well.”
According to the report, 9 out of 10 electric bicycles are still sold in China, which is known to have a frugal population. One of the reasons why most e-bike sales are in China, of course, is because its population count is so large. Additionally, while the Chinese economy is now humungous, the wealth per person is still relatively small, and people are quite frugal.
Bicycles are cheap, whether or not they are electric.
Electric bike sales, along with biking in general, have been growing steadily in the West. Currently, 20% of global electric bike revenue comes from Western Europe annually. Clearly, that means Western Europeans are buying more expensive electric bikes than their Chinese counterparts.
All in all, Navigant Research forecasts a global e-bicycle sales increase from 31 million units to 38 million units annually.
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