A new study from Deloitte predicts that “between 2020 and 2023 more than 130 million e-bikes (using all battery technologies) are expected to be sold, and in 2023, ebike sales are expected to top 40 million units worldwide, generating about $20 billion in revenue.” This is obviously huge not only for the ebike community but for transportation in general. The move towards electric is picking up speed but electric bikes will be leading the way versus cars and trucks.
To put these numbers into perspective, the study goes on to say that in 2018 alone, there were only 5.1 million electric automobiles and trucks in circulation and the study predicts that 12 million are expected to sell in 2025. This number obviously pales in comparison to the expected number of ebikes that will be sold in these periods.
One reason for the increase in popularity of ebikes is the improvement in technology we have access to now. For example, the switch from heavy lead-acid batteries to lighter weight lithium ion batteries make ebikes much more convenient to have.
The study states that “more than 80 percent of the e-bikes sold each year were using heavy lead-acid batteries as recently as 2016, the falling price of much lighter LIBs has shifted the market.” The increase is expected to go from 25% of ebikes with LIBs in 2020 to more than 60% by 2023.
Whether you already own an ebike with a lithium ion battery or not, it is refreshing to see that as technology advances, ebikes seem to increase their viability for transportation in the United States. This can lead to more infrastructure for cyclists in their community if their lawmakers see a demand for it.
There won’t just be increases in just private ebike usage either as many companies are starting to gain traction in using public ebikesharing much like the popular BIRD or Lime electric scooters you may have seen in certain cities. The study states “Six months after Uber purchased e-bikesharing company Jump in January 2018, trips by new e-bikesharers on the Uber platform had gone up 15 percent while the number of car and SUV trips decreased by 10 percent”
Bikesharing has kind of been a thing in the United States but this study seems to suggest that ebikes are the answer to many of the problems with traditional bikesharing. Public share bikes have the problem of being too heavy to comfortably ride for many and some people simply would enjoy the ease of an ebike instead. “In trials, the Madison e-bikes had generated up to five times as many trips as standard bikes; since the move to all-electric bikes”
All in all, the next decade seems to be a large next step for ebikes and electric bike riders. We expect the advancement in technology for electric bikes will make them much more accessible to buy, and will normalize them more in terms of transportation. Also expect an increase in areas with public ebikesharing docks so even if you aren’t looking to purchase your own electric bike they will be around.