Electric bikes: Battery technology changes the offer for two-wheelers

Electric cars help reduce oil consumption. Electric bikes not only reduce petrol consumption but also reduce human sweating.

Socially adopting cycling as a mode of distance exercise and travel has accelerated during the epidemic. At the same time, battery-powered e-bikes have expanded in the hope that a jolt of electricity could keep car drivers away from high-frequency, rather than short-distance travel for bikes.

Venture capitalists see an opportunity. Many models cost more than $ 1,000, and these e-bikes, which are sensitive to the ambiguity of the battery supply chain, are expensive. But as urban and suburban mobility continues to reshape, e-bikes could be part of the plan for the carbon-light world.

Annual e-bike sales increased from 130,000 to 353,000 between 2015 and 2019, according to data compiled by electric scooter share company Bird. In 2020, that number will rise to 908,000 The global market could reach $ 52 billion by 2028, an annual growth rate of 16 percent from today, according to research group Fortune Business Insights.

Seattle’s Red Power Bike, a leading start-up, recently launched a venture capital round, partly backed by socially responsible funds, with a business value of $ 1.65 billion.

Cycling purists may despise their e-bike brethren for relying on artificial propulsion boosts. In fact, most e-bikes qualify as “Class 1”, so riders have to paddle themselves to take advantage of the electric charge. This type of “pedal-assist” bike can only reach a maximum speed of 20mph. One study found that e-bikers typically take longer trips, working as hard as those who use ordinary bicycles.

Environmental benefits are also significant. According to the US government, car travel below one mile adds at least 10 billion miles or 2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. Switching to e-bike will reduce these.

Nevertheless, there is a risk of replacement. Powerful e-bikes, popular among fast food delivery riders in New York City, can cause problems. Excluding the risk of collisions, Lithium-ion batteries, sometimes of low quality, which power e-bikes and e-scooters, have been blamed for more than 100 accidental fires at the Big Apple last year.

Over time, the quality, reliability and affordability of e-bikes and their batteries should improve. That means we should see these gippy, electric two-wheelers on the streets, driven by some enthusiastic enterprising capitalists.

The Lex team is eager to hear more from readers. Please let us know what you think about e-bikes in the comments section below.

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