Companies crossover to build bikes to push e-bike into a new level

Companies crossover to build bikes to push e-bike into a new level

While bicycles used to be a means of transportation to work and school, they are now more of a special social language and have evolved to become an effective icebreaker between people of different professions and age groups.

Like traditional fuel vehicles, bicycles are experiencing their own era of electrification. According to some data, by the end of 2022, the global e-bike market will reach $49.7 billion, with a total shipment of 51.25 million units.

The global e-bike market is expected to grow to $118.6 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of more than 10%.

Undoubtedly, this is an era where personalization is highly defined, and once a boring single product is given a meaning, it will become a rare thing that everyone will fight for.

And in the face of such a large enough and attractive enough market, companies are also brewing waiting for the field.

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    Companies crossover to build bikes

    In 2010, for example, Volkswagen introduced a folding electric bicycle concept, the Bik.e. There are no pedals, and it can reach a top speed of 20 kilometers per hour and a range of about 20 kilometers.

    As no specific information was released, the market speculated that Bik.e’s lithium-ion battery and hub motor could be built into the rear wheel.

    So far, there has been no news of Volkswagen Bik.e going into production. In the same year, Lexus also unveiled a hybrid electric bike concept, which it also says has no production plans, but just wants to use it to show the results of hybrid technology in other areas.

    Volkswagen Bik.e

    Perhaps the electric bike market wasn’t that attractive to these automakers.

    At the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota and Yamaha collaborated to launch the PAS-WITH, an electrically assisted bike, and it’s interesting to note that in this era of “Japanese fallout,” you might not realize Toyota’s forward-thinking approach to electrically assisted bicycles.

    Simply put, the PAS-WITH connects to the Toyota Smart Center via an internet feature that allows you to check the bike’s remaining battery level, locate nearby charging stations, and pay bills online.

    Mercedes-Benz Smart

    In 2012, Smart, which is still under the umbrella of Mercedes-Benz, officially launched the sale of electric bicycles.

    The new bike is equipped with a 250W, 35Nm motor, plus a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 423Wh, with a range of 100 kilometers.

    However, with Geely’s acquisition of 50% of Smart equity in 2019 to bring it into the fold, the smart electric bike business has also come to a temporary end.

    Also in 2012, BMW launched the i Pedelec, a foldable electric bike, but only 200 units were put on the market as a special vehicle for the Olympic team.

    At the same time, Audi launched a concept electric bike called “Wörthersee”, which uses a permanent magnet synchronous motor, a 530Wh battery, and a top speed of 80km/h.

    The Wörthersee is an electric bike that can be operated by a permanent magnet synchronous motor.

    It is worth mentioning that the Wörthersee has a variety of riding modes and supports power exchange.

    In addition to this, Peugeot, Ford, JEEP, Porsche, General Motors and other brands have also tried to create their own electric bicycles.

    Even Mercedes-Benz launched a related product as early as 2000, but was eventually forced to stop production due to high cost and poor performance.

    Porsche’s electric bike business is growing. After releasing its first e-bike concept years ago, Porsche has been steadily promoting its e-bike business.

    In March 2021, Porsche teamed up with German bike brand Rotwild to launch two electrically assisted bikes, Sport and Cross, which were iteratively upgraded in 2022, and continue to deepen its core technological layout to this day.

    Last year, a Chinese car company also released an electric bike-related product, a pure electric off-road vehicle co-branded by Great Wall’s Tank and BUXUS.

    pure electric off-road vehicle co-branded by Great Wall’s Tank and BUXUS

    The vehicle is limited to 300 sets, priced at 15,000 yuan, with a range of 100km, and not only has a GPS anti-theft system, keyless start, remote monitoring, OTA upgrade, but also supports third-party device connection, EBS power recovery, cell phone smart APP and many other functions.

    Seeing this, you may find it already difficult to impress today’s e-bike market just by speed and passion.

    To put it another way, the competitors that car companies have to face are obviously not just the industry itself, as the obvious changes brought about by electrification and intelligence are being staged.

    This is true for traditional companies, not to mention new manufacturers.

    Earlier, Rivian revealed that it would be developing an electric bike in-house. Although there were no further details, the market was quite excited to see how beatable this product would be.

    Pulling the timeline back to 2018, Musk also said Tesla could potentially launch an e-bike (sic: Electric bike, I think we might do an electric bike, yeah).

    Over the past few years, Tesla’s side hustle has taken off, selling wine glasses, whistles, cat scratching boards, and children’s bikes.

    But only this electric bike, five years between all the news. “Model B,” the market rumour in the code name, was also Foxconn first, used in their own electrically assisted cars.

    Tesla e-bike

    However, in a recent market survey conducted by foreign media, Tesla is the brand of electrically assisted autonomous vehicles that the male group is most interested in.

    The results showed that the average price people are willing to pay if Tesla launches a relevant product is more than $2,200. In a way, that’s where Tesla’s brand appeal lies.

    It is not unusual for car companies to cross the border to build e-bikes, and e-bikes themselves are nothing new.

    It can even be argued that the entire history of automobile development runs through the growth of electric bicycles.

    Accordingly, the technological development trend of electric bicycles has also slowly become clear in the past hundred years.

    The future of e-bike

    Nowadays, electric bicycles are selling more and more, especially in the last few years, the e-bike craze is even higher.

    The reason for this is that the new coronavirus outbreak is one aspect that needs to be mentioned.

    With the epidemic sealed and transportation halted, two-wheeled electric bikes have become an important tool to meet people’s travel needs.

    So you can say that the e-bike explosion is out of chance, but from the perspective of technology development, the market for electrically assisted bicycles towards maturity is also inevitable.

    Just like the electric car, the three electric technologies are available, will the scale of the market be far away?

    Take the battery as an example. Early electric bicycles are mostly lead-acid, nickel-cadmium batteries, energy density is far less than lithium-ion electronics, installation space is very conspicuous, and the overall appearance of bulky and heavy.

    By the 1990s, lithium-ion batteries had become commercially available, and because of this, electric bicycles could be in the middle of the rapid average consumer penetration.

    Right now, electric bikes are also looking for a longer range and faster replenishment experience.

    The future of e-bike

    In June this year, European electric bicycle manufacturer Stromer launched the next generation of solid-state ceramic batteries.

    The latest version of Stromer’s model, the ST7, is known to be capable of reaching a range of 160 miles (260 kilometers), and it is currently working with BMW and Mercedes-Benz to develop similar solid-state battery technology.

    There is no doubt that the same logic of development in the automotive sector applies to two-wheeled bicycles.

    If electrification is the first half, intelligence may be the second half.

    The introduction of diversified sensors to improve driving safety and the integration of other electronic devices to increase visual operation, social sharing and other personalized attributes are the distinguishing elements of modern electric bicycles.

    In addition to working on the intelligent on-board system and application ecosystem, other intelligent features such as larger displays and tracking distance detection have also been targeted by some brands.

    But in the end, electric bikes are ultimately different from four-wheeled cars, and it’s hard to stack sensors with cost.

    What’s more, there is an essential difference between the use of electric bicycles and cars, and the reason for car companies to cross the border is not as simple as selling cars.

    Rolling towards "last mile" green mobility

    Some want to expand their product lines, some want to attract traffic for the electric car business, while others are eyeing the “last mile” travel trend.

    Including the launch of a variety of electric bicycles, Mercedes-Benz said that the $12,000 of electric bicycles to demonstrate its high-tech raw materials technology, in order to attract customers to order cars. Another new product to go with seems to be more traffic.

    The likes of Porsche, on the other hand, are serious about broadening their business lines. Lutz Meschke, Vice President of Porsche’s Executive Board, cites Porsche’s huge potential in the field of electrically assisted bicycles as a reason for its expanding presence in this field.

    Of course, there is another key reason. In recent years, European countries have been caught up in the energy crisis, and under the goal of carbon neutrality and peak carbon, both Europe and the United States have increased subsidies for the purchase of e-bikes.

    Rolling towards last mile green mobility

    In addition to ease of use, more and more people are paying attention to the “last mile” of green transportation in the face of congested urban roads.

    Especially in densely populated countries, and with the trend of people constantly moving into cities, e-bikes are definitely a good direction for development.

    In fact, when Rivian revealed its intention to develop electric bikes, CEO RJ Scaringe said that in the next 10 to 15 years, transportation may increasingly diversify.

    When driving is congested and parking is inconvenient, consumers may use transportation, or they may opt for an electric bike. In short, electric bikes are an area of great excitement for Rivian.

    DJI e-bike project

    Recently, there are also rumors that DJI intends to personally operate in the electric bicycle industry.

    The internal project has been set up, code name “EB”, starting with the person in charge of the previous shadow product line of senior engineer Alex.Jia.

    At present, the project is still in the secret operation stage, but DJI as early as before the outbreak began to explore, e-bike project is quite important.

    The drone market is saturated, and DJI is betting on e-bikes to find a way out. It is undeniable that DJI’s main business, drones, is facing a growth bottleneck, and it is urgent to find a new growth point.

    DJI’s revenue growth rate will peak in 2013-2017, with a five-year average compound annual growth rate of more than 120%, but then it falls into contraction. The lack of growth in the broader market is DJI’s biggest concern.

    Statistics from Wakefield Sullivan show that the market share of industrial drones has been rising over the past few years, and the market size is expected to reach RMB 265.8 billion by 2026.

    Accordingly, the market share of consumer drones, which DJI is best at, will gradually decline from 80% at its peak to 54%.

    It is important to know that, although DJI has long diversified its business, consumer-grade products still contribute more than 70% of its revenue to this day.

    DJI e-bike project

    It is not difficult to understand why DJI chose e-bike: there are many commonalities between the e-bike and drone industries, and DJI’s technology and production experience can be copied to the new product line;

    The target users are young people with a certain degree of spending power, and the user profiles partially overlap.

    The technical threshold of the e-bike is not high, and the core technology is mainly the power system (i.e., battery and motor), as well as the torque sensor with the function of intelligent sensing and automatic power adjustment.

    In addition to Germany’s Bosch and Japan’s Yamaha and other major manufacturers, other emerging brands also have self-developed torque sensor power systems.

    They have many years of experience in hardware research and development. DJI wants to overcome this barrier and believes it won’t be too difficult.

    From the current exposure of information, DJI e-bikes will focus on high-end models, specializing in overseas markets and targeting sports and off-road scenes. Check the best off road e-bike for your reference.

    Horizontal comparison of other mainstream brands, the product selling price span is extremely large, but overall preference.

    Marketsandmarkets statistics show that the highest proportion of e-bike products in the $1,000 and above range is 70%, and there are also about 25% of products priced at more than $4,000.


    Overall, the e-bike industry is on a fever pitch, and although there are many players, there is still a lot of room for development in the high-end field.

    Compared to the market leader, the short board of the new entry is the sales network and market share, but just like the competition in the field of electric four-wheeled vehicles, the new bikes may not be able to catch up.

    Not long ago, VanMoof, known as the “Tesla of the bicycle class”, announced bankruptcy, making the industry increasingly aware of the importance of profitability and sustainable operation.

    At the same time, how to build brand differentiation on top of the product, to give young people the best experience, will be all the electric bicycle brands need to think about the problem.

    At least at this stage, the vision of only talking about the “last mile” of green travel is still too good.

    The potential of the e-bike market is undeniable. According to Statisia, the global e-bike market will maintain a CAGR of 10% from 2022-2027, and its market size is expected to exceed $100 billion by 2030.

    However, the outside world’s perception of e-bike, there are still very obvious geographical differences.

    In Japan, the birthplace of e-bikes, its penetration rate is as high as 45%, and although the United States started late, it is making rapid progress and has a high level of national consumption, so the market has great potential.

    A report from Data Bridge Market Research points out that the number of e-bikes imported into the U.S. in the first quarter of 2022 and sales volume even exceeded that of electric cars. But in China, e-bikes are still far from the general public.

    The lack of success of e-bikes is partly due to cultural and policy differences. For example, China’s big cities have dense traffic, urban planning is not bike-friendly, and users lack cultural recognition of e-bikes.

    So much so, that after urban cycling became popular during the year, many social media users are still looking for traditional bikes, even though some high-end models are priced similar to Ebikes.

    Consumer attitudes are, well, elusive. Before e-bikes became popular, electric two-wheelers took the lead in vigorous high-end movement. What are the top 10 two-wheeler battery companies in the world?

    Whether Yadea, Aima and other traditional enterprises, NIU electric and Ninebot and other emerging brands, fully open up the high-end market, the average price of the product will be pushed to a new height.

    But this high-end trend, recently there have been signs of flameout. The latest financial results show that NIU Electric’s total revenue in the second quarter of the year grew at a near-zero profit loss rate, recording a net loss of 1.9 million.

    Among them, its China market sales of 178,600 units, a year-on-year decline of about 1%. This is still the case with the average price of a bike rising 8.1% year-on-year.

    In the context of consumer downgrade, consumers are quite sensitive to price perception. E-bike has its own uniqueness, but it is not yet a rigid demand.

    Consumers are looking for high quality and value for money. Providing more reasonable prices while maintaining innovation is something that all players need to work on in the long run.

    Hi, I'm an experienced writer about mechanic and an expert on bike and e-bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. And of course, I love cycling.
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