Annual Sales of Electric Bicycles to Surpass 47 Million by 2018

Electric Bikes© Pike

Bikes on Steroids

Electric bikes are too often overlooked when people look for green ways to get around, and that's a real shame, because they are absolutely great. Thanks to their electric motors that assist the rider, they can make bike-commuting more accessible to people living in hilly area, or people with longer commutes, or those with physical problems that make regular bikes too difficult to use.

According to a new report from Pike Research, "the worldwide market for e-bicycles will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 7.5% between 2012 and 2018, resulting in global sales of more than 47 million vehicles in 2018. China is anticipated to account for 42 million of these e-bicycles that year, giving it 89% of the total world market. The e-bicycle market is anticipated to generate $6.9 billion in worldwide revenue in 2012, growing to $11.9 billion in 2018."

The graph above is a bit tricky to read, but I think that if you look at the scales on the right and left, you can see that the colored bars exclude Asia-Pacific, and that the yellow line is on a whole other scale and represents the much larger fraction of e-bikes that are sold there.

love eneloop electric bike photo

North-America is starting from a much lower base, but it is forcast to grow at 22% compounded per year between 2012 to 2018.

An important transition will be away from lead-acid batteries to the much cleaner and better performing lithium-ion models:

The vast majority of the e-bicycles sold in China, the world’s largest market, utilize sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries. While this has resulted in extremely low-cost e-bicycles in China, it has also led to a number of challenges including e-bicycle traffic congestion, lead contamination, and manufacturers effectively ignoring laws relating to e-bicycles speed and weight limits. Pike Research anticipates that the global penetration of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries will grow from 6% in 2012 to 12% in 2018. Cost pressures from Asia Pacific will keep manufacturers interested in SLA batteries through this decade, but once manufacturing efficiencies have driven down the costs of Li-ion, we will start to see the decline of SLA as the battery of choice in e-bicycles.

Via Pike Research, GCC

See also: Bike-Friendly Cities: How the Dutch Do It (Video)

Annual Sales of Electric Bicycles to Surpass 47 Million by 2018
Electric bikes are too often overlooked when people look for green ways to get around, and that's a real shame, because they are absolutely great.

Related Content on Treehugger.com