Cities actively promoting e-bikes and Bikeshare Programs, such as New York, are starting to encourage the public to break away from car dependence and adopt environmentally-friendly transportation strategies.
Dutch firm Gazelle, recently announcing its 15 millionth bike off the production line, revealed a gear change to E-bikes was now beginning to gain ground.
The company presently produces 250,000 bikes annually, with e-bikes accounting for around 87,000 – or 35% of its production. However, Gazelle, sensing a change in public trends, is targeting more than 100,000 e-bikes in 2018.
The e-bike, of which two-thirds carry a built-in Bosch motor, is constantly under review, with Gazelle looking to pack more into the smart bike than ever before.
Ferdi Ertekin, of Gazelle, explained that as the average commuting distance was 15 km, electric bikes were becoming a viable alternative.
“Everything will soon be connected to the internet in real-time, including our bicycles,” declared Mr Ertekin, who suggested better protection against theft and e-bikes self-reporting maintenance would evolve
As for Gazelle, he suggested: “We will soon be producing even more e-bikes than regular bicycles.”
sensing a change in public trends, GAZELLE is targeting more than 100,000 e-bikes in 2018
Bikeshare Fuels Demand
And that demand is being fuelled by cities offering a variety of e-bikes and bikeshare systems, with the aim to ease traffic-choked city centres, combat rising pollution and reduce personal costs.
With the ability to deftly manoeuvre through traffic, to travel further, with speeds ranging from 28mph to 60mph, and better battery power, the e-bike is seeing an upswing in usage.
E-bikes account for around 200 million on the streets of Asia and half-a-million in Germany alone.
This is matched by bikeshare schemes, with bikes rented out via smartphone app or self-service kiosk. They can be taken from one point to another, offering flexible transit options.
While China heads the world’s usage of shared bike schemes, the likes of New York’s Citi Bike is proving popular in peak hours. With bikes gliding effortlessly up hills, the likes of vertically-challenged San Francisco are experiencing a boon.
Other innovative bike schemes from Alabama to Lisbon and Washington DC are taking hold. Zyp, launched in Birmingham in 2015 and Motivate will be expanding its San Francisco scheme throughout 2018.
The US saw a 25% upswing in the sales of e-bikes in 2017, with prices averaging between $1000 to $3,000.
And retailers who initially weren’t interested in the tech-bike have now changed their tunes — as sales begin to rocket.