Nine out of 10 electric bicycles sold in the world will be in China, but trends show growth elsewhere, especially in Europe.
While electric bicycles (e-bicycles) are still a nascent market in North America, they have been embraced in many Asia Pacific countries as well as some countries in Europe. As the use of bicycles, scooters, and other forms of two-wheeled transport as commuting vehicles rises in large cities around the world, e-bicycles are expected to expand their reach steadily. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, worldwide revenue from e-bicycles will grow from $8.4 billion in 2013 to $10.8 billion in 2020.
“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.”
The increasing quality and affordability of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries will help expand the e-bicycle market, as well, according to the report. Li-ion batteries offer longer lifespans at lower weights than conventional lead-acid batteries. While there is considerable disagreement over which specific lithium technology is truly best for e-bicycles, many in the industry point to lithium iron phosphate as the most e-bicycle- friendly battery technology, because of its combination of thermal stability and long life.
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.