Today’s E-Bike Trends for Tomorrow

by Ride LEV | | | 0 Comments

This year, the electric bike market has seen some clear and obvious growing trends.  E-Bikes are adapting to our lifestyle changes, and with that we have seen manufacturers focusing on increased carrying capacity, while other brands are reducing weight & size.  Trends don’t just stop with the manufacturers either,  as we see the landscape of our cities changing to be more pedestrian and cycle friendly.  Here are some growing trends today that we think will be here to stay tomorrow.

E-Cargo Bikes - the death of the second car?

In 2020, Germany saw an increase of 30% in e-Cargo bike sales, in comparison to 2019. In the UK, although the uptake of e-cargo bikes hasn’t seen as much growth, they are growing in popularity.  Active travel in the UK has increased by 300%, this has understandably been influenced by the global pandemic, which saw numbers grow significantly between March & May 2020, the UK’s first national lockdown.  

In 2020, the Department of Transport made £2 million available to support local councils as part of the e-Cargo Bike Grant fund, with the aim of increasing eCargo bikes being used.  According to a study conducted by the University of Salford, councils were able to bid for up to £200,000, purchasing 282 bikes for local authorities and subsidising a further 409 bikes for local businesses to support ‘green last mile’ deliveries.

Should the second car feel threatened though?  We think so. Transporting heavy shopping or taking kids to school is a real challenge for a standard bicycle without a motor.  E-cargo bike designs can fulfil many of the functions of a small family car, and with manufacturers recognising this necessity, we are seeing eCargo bikes such as the Tern GSD models, that have got larger batteries for longer ranges, and with the right configuration are able to carry up to a 200 kg payload, including groceries & passengers.  

The other obvious benefits are the lack of running costs; such as fuel, servicing, insurance and taxes. Without the requirement of a driver's licence freedom is just a charge away.  Get ready for the boom, e-cargo bikes are here to stay!

Transforming our cities as bike growth increases

The UK is leading the race to make cities more bike friendly, with £250 million put aside to create new bike lanes and safer junctions.  The Mayor of London, Saddiq Khan & TFL unveiled their ‘Streetspace’ programme last year, fast-tracking new cycle lanes, wider pavements to enable social distancing and reducing traffic on residential streets by the creation of low-traffic neighbourhoods right across London.  It’s clear to see that clean, green and sustainable travel are at the heart of London’s recovery which is why we have seen this rapid construction of strategic cycling networks aiming also to reduce crowding on our public transport system.

We may not be a nation of cyclists just yet, but our bets for the future are that we will be following in the footsteps of so-called ‘bike nations’ such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany & Sweden.

Smarter Electric Bikes

Smart functionality is now being introduced to e-bikes by many manufacturers, and it totally makes sense.  We are constantly ‘connected’ through our smart devices to the internet, and we interact with technology hundreds of times a day.  Cars have been connected for a while, and so why not electric bikes too? 

At first glance, you may not be able to tell if an e-bike is smart or not.  The standard e-bike is equipped with a display or controller that will allow you to choose the level of assistance and keep track of your mileage, speed and battery level, pretty normal stuff.  In addition to this standard data, we are now starting to see smarter features such as app connectivity - so that you can stay connected to your bike at all times and anti-theft systems such as automatic locks, GPS tracking and alarms for peace of mind.  The latest displays, such as the Nyon from Bosch will allow you to use apps like Strava and download the latest Google map.  Shimano and Bosch have also demonstrated that connectivity could advance to motor customisation, ABS braking performance and adjustable suspension, all from a controller on your handlebar.

It looks like we are on the cusp of seeing some amazing technological innovations.  Watch this space!

An increase in older cyclists

We have seen an increasing number of the over 55’s adopting e-bikes, and we think that the uptake of electric bikes for this age demographic is only set to go up.  Electric bikes are pedal assisted, which means you can reach further distances and tackle steeper inclines.  Places that would usually be unreachable on a traditional non-assisted bike are now well within the rider's capability.  A long ride out with somebody that is physically stronger can now be achieved with the assistance of the motor.  

Electric bikes offer the same health benefits as a normal non-assisted bike, and are a wonderful tool for both good physical and mental health. 

We can’t wait to see more and more cyclists of all ages!

More Folding E-Bikes

Folding e-bikes are already very popular, and with the ease of lockdown and more people heading back to the office, the demand is set to grow.  Working from home is now pretty much the ‘norm’ with workers going into the office just a few days a week, which is why the folding electric bike is being adopted by many commuters.  

The compactness of an electric bike means it can solve many problems such as a lack of storage at home or work, to tackle the last mile by taking it on the tube, train or bus or by popping it into the boot of your car.  The anxiety of leaving your bike locked up outside is also alleviated with a folding electric bike as you can take it with you anywhere you like - the ultimate theft prevention.  

Folding e-bikes are also advancing in technology, with front hubs becoming extinct and rear hubs now commonplace.   Mid-drive folding e-bikes such as the Tern Vektron Q9 and KTM Fold 20 are now also emerging, with more advances in technology like Shimano Nexus hubs and Bosch Performance Line motors onboard. 

Thanks for reading our blog, stay safe and enjoy your ride.

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