Battery technology driving e-bike boom, says report

July 14, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
Improvements in lithium ion battery technology are driving a boom in electric bicycle shipments around the world says a new report from market researchers Navigant Research.

Increasing urbanization and a desire to move away from cars for motorized transportation are creating more opportunities for alternative mobility devices such as e-bikes which will be the highest selling electric vehicle globally with nearly 35 million units sold this year. Navigant predicts the market will grow from $15.7 bn this year to $24.3 billion by 2025.

“Rising levels of population density and traffic congestion are driving interest in different modes of transportation,” says Ryan Citron, research analyst at Navigant Research. “E-bikes are uniquely positioned to be a primary benefactor of this trend since they are low in cost relative to cars, do not require licenses to operate, and can take advantage of existing bicycling infrastructure.”

Improving lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technology is also helping to drive e-bike sales, allowing for e-bikes that are lighter, lower in cost, and remarkably similar to traditional bicycles, says the report. While sealed lead-acid still constitutes a majority of e-bike batteries, the market is steadily shifting toward the Li-ion chemistry. 

Annual sales of e-bikes in the largest market, China, are expected to decline due to market saturation and new bans on e-bikes in large areas of major cities. While China still leads the global e-bike market, Western Europe and, to a lesser extent, North America are beginning to increase their market share, says the report. 

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