You’ll be shocked at how impressive the figures are!
In 1886, the first fuel-powered, three-wheeled car called “Motorwagen”, was patented that gave rise to one of the most popular modes of transportation during this era – the gasoline-powered cars. Sure enough, it provided convenience to the people, but several years later, different problems rose that proved inherent disadvantages brought by these vehicles. Setbacks include fossil fuel depletion and many environmental concerns. Because of this, people like William Morrison invented the electrical wagon in 1890 that paved its way to the rise of electric vehicles that we can readily access today.
Today, we reach a technological revolution where lots of traditional devices are now made to serve us even more conveniently by being electrically operated. Like e-books, e-players, e-tickets, e-cars, and most importantly – e-bikes or electric bikes. The e-bike industry has been growing more and more popular every year in every corner of the world and it is potentially becoming the future of transportation.
What are the numbers?
From 2006-2012, the establishment of the e-bike industry in the US was not much of a head-turner. It is still relatively small in numbers and is very, very niche – but full of promising potential. During this time, it only represented less than 1% of bikes being sold every year. But when lithium-ion batteries started becoming safer, more convenient, and more accessible, the e-bike industry gained more traction in the cycling space. This improvement created the shift from gasoline-powered vehicles to transition to the more environment-friendly e-bikes.
The following couple of years, 150,000 to 200,000 bikes were sold in the US and approximately 1.8 million in Europe. According to Deloitte’s tech predictions, 130 million e-bikes are expected to sell around the globe from 2020-2023 and that is more than 100 times of sales from the previous decade. The trend only grows exponentially every single year and it is astoundingly unstoppable!
However, e-bikes are only seen as a secondary option when it comes to transportation because some people still prefer cars may it be electric-powered cars, like Teslas or BMW’s; or the normal, gasoline-powered ones. E-bikes are only seen as a ride to be enjoyed on a sunny or cloudy day, where everything is easy and picturesque, and when you have all the time in the world not during the day-to-day rush to approach productive routines. For now, that is how people perceive e-bikes to be, but in the years to come, people will surely realize the true value and benefits of using an e-bike. That is why if you look at Deloitte’s same predictions, 40 million e-bikes will be sold per year starting 2023. Many factors influenced this prediction which includes the choice of people to shift in healthier and more environment-friendly lifestyles, not to mention the growing prevalence of bike-friendly cities that reallocate their spaces for bicycles. This is great news because e-bikes are literally making the world a healthier place.
With regards to the same study, it could be assumed that more and more people are going to choose e-bikes more than cars. Because as time passes, more technologies are developed to create e-cycling safer like the invention of wearable airbags, advanced helmets, and many more. And there are actually a wide variety of electric bikes available in the market today that will definitely suit your style and intended purpose so you won’t have to worry about having limited choices.
The International Energy Agency predicted in its 2019 Global EV Outlook, that by 2025, only 12 million electrically powered cars and trucks are going to sell and take up the lanes. That figure is way smaller than the number of e-bikes that are predicted to be sold in the future. Not only does this study predict the sales of e-vehicles in the upcoming years, but it also openly predicted the possible potentials of e-bikes in ridesharing services like we currently have in ride-hailing services from normal fuel-powered vehicles. We can only imagine so much when it comes to technological advancements and electric bikes are undoubtedly the future of land transportation.
Buying an e-bike: your basic guide
Having said that electric bikes are the future of transportation, it would be best to land your hands on one of those shiny, good-looking bikes before the demand and prices spike up! To help you with your decision, and clear some of your confusion and common misconceptions, here are the things you need to know when buying an e-bike:
A lot of people are still baffled by the concept of electric bikes, how it works and how it is related to its neighboring vehicles. Because e-bikes are often confused with motorcycles or electric scooters, it’s important to know what separates one from the other. First, you should know that e-bikes are neither like the two. It’s basically a bicycle, as the name gives it away. It looks like a regular bike but with an electric motor, a pedal sensor, and a rechargeable battery. Most e-bikes have electrical monitors where you can control your settings. Some more sophisticated models have more advanced digital display screens. These main features work together so that you can enjoy faster, more convenient, and more controlled cycling.
What to look for in an e-bike
If you want to know what to look for in an electric bike, you must understand its main features so that you will be guided accordingly when it comes to making informed decisions. Because understanding the main functions of an E-bike is a step towards appreciating its many amazing benefits if you are considering buying one.
Its three main features are the following:
Motor – this is what makes e-bikes "electric" because it transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. This is the reason why (among many things), electric bikes are so fast and convenient. Two types of motor are Hub motor – which is located on the rear or front hub; and a Mid-drive motor – which can be found in the middle of the bike’s frame.
Battery – this holds the power for your E-bike which makes it the priciest part about owning this beautiful vehicle. This can either be an External Battery – that can be detachable and easy to change; or an Integrated Battery – which is built-in and can be recharged by connecting the e-bike to a cable and a power source. Most batteries are made of lithium-ion, with capacities that range from 24V-72V. While batteries are more expensive than other parts, consider this as a good investment because a single battery can last you for 5-6 years of regular use.
Electric Pedal Assistance – e-bikes work only if you put in the work. The reason why e-bikes are confused with motorcycles is that they are not aware of the functions of the pedal sensor that you can only get from an e-bike. Two types of pedal sensors are Torque Sensors and Cadence Sensors. In essence, the former regulates according to how hard you push your pedals, while the latter depends on the speed of your pedaling. Now that you know these things, it is also important to familiarize yourself with the different working modes:
Full Pedal – makes you ride an e-bike the way you would exactly ride a normal bike. If you do not need any extra help with your ride, you may want to be in this mode.
Electric Pedal – this is the combination of human effort and electric power. You can use this when you want to boost your speed or when you encounter slightly steep slopes that might make it harder for you to pedal alone.
Full-electric – you can use this when you are not in the best mood to consistently pedal. Unlike the first two modes which require a little to full human effort, this mode makes you sit back and relax while your e-bike takes you to where you are headed.
Different Types of Electric Bikes
Electric bikes are carefully designed to suit different purposes. Whether you are an adventurous rider, riding through sandy, muddy, or snowy trails, or a simple rider that only wants to go to places while enjoying the scenery, don’t worry because we got you here!
1. Electric Mountain Bikes – also known as eMTB, is a mountain bike that makes it easier for mountain bikers to smoothly hike steeper slopes, perfect for the roughest trails, and is amazing for long-distance travels. However, if you’re thinking of not pedaling at all, you might choose another type of bike because this type of bike requires pedaling because it does not have a full throttle control. Other than that, you are sure to enjoy a better version of mountain biking.
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2. Electric Cruiser Bikes – specifically built for cruising when you are into a more convenient and elegant journey. It has wide handlebars, more comfortable big plush seats, and sometimes a little cute basket on the front of the handlebar perfect for picking up groceries at the market. It can travel up to 20mph and is perfect when you are only looking to appreciate the scenery around you without any rush.
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3. Electric Commuter Bikes – this is commonly known as the hybrid of a mountain bike and dirt bikes that can be both used if you switch between smooth and extreme riding and gives you more speed even with minimal effort. Built safe for everyday use and is equipped with an assistive system to give your ride an extra boost up to 20mph.
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4. Electric Cargo Bikes – made for people that would regularly carry baggage (such as parcels and different goods) and children but want to opt for healthier, cheaper, and more environment-friendly mobility. This is made with a high-performance engine and can travel up to 20mph.
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5. Electric Folding Bikes – this is made with a high-performance motor and is perfect for people on-the-go and simply needs to go around comfortably until 20mph. This has a powered pedal-assistance that provides enough power you need with every pedal. The main advantage of this type of bike is that you'll never have to worry about the space for storage, it can simply fit almost everywhere!
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6. Fat Tire Electric Bikes – this kind is suitable for riding on sand, snow, and different challenging environments because its tires are 2-4 inches wider than a normal tire which makes it a little heavier. But its weight might not be an issue because you can still go as fast as 20-28mph and is durable enough to use from smooth to rugged roads or pathways.
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7. Step-Thru Electric Bikes – this is best when you are looking for an alternative to the daily commute and you want to cycle to work without sweating profusely when you reach the office. You can reach the pedals without pulling your leg up the whole time – which makes it friendlier for women who wear skirts or men with tight trousers. This electric bike is equipped with a high-performance motor and can travel up to 20mph.
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8. Hunting Electric Bikes – this is one of the most specialized and new types of bikes that can be best for hunting, for it can resist the most rugged trails and can be great for long-distance travel. If you are not into hunting, don't worry, because you can also ride this daily without worrying about losing range.
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9. Electric Trikes – also called an electric tricycle because its design has three wheels that have a pedal-assist power mounted in the hub or in the mid-frame. Some models of these electric trikes can even let you ride without pedaling at all, it is like riding a motorcycle or an electric scooter that can go up to 20mph.
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Living in the age of information makes people like you want to be fully educated and mindful about the decisions they make as they interact with certain living conditions presented to them. Our cities are becoming more crowded with cars as time goes by, and that it only worsens the problems like heavy traffic congestion. Giving in to these norms can make you compromise or even sacrifice your health, time, and finances. Therefore, making more intelligent choices by shifting to alternative means of transportation like electric bikes is one big step towards a more progressive and environment-friendly community.
As people recognize these priorities, manufacturers cater to this need by developing more and more models of electric bikes to be more inclusive of the different needs of different people. In fact, giant companies are already starting to have their own product line for electric bikes. This marks a major transition in transportation as more and more people switch to a more convenient and eco-friendly mode of transportation. Soon, millions of electric bikes will take on the roads, and who knows? Maybe it’s going to be more than what the experts have predicted.
Do you have any questions? Leave us a comment!