Explore the incredible history of e-bike – past and future

Understand the history of e-bike-

We might as well start with the first bicycle and the birth of the e-bike, to understand the past life of electric power, and explore the relationship between it and the traditional bicycle.

Let’s explore more about the history of e-bike in this article.

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    History of e-bike: birth & improvement

    The bicycle and the "safety bike"

    Speak of the history of e-bike, we need to learn that the first bicycle was born in 1817 in what is now Germany, and its inventor, Carl Vondrese.

    He originally intended to create a new form of transportation that would reduce people’s dependence on horses (the primary means of transportation at the time).

    After several generations of improvements, the bicycle gradually gained the attention of high society.

    It was not until 1885 that the “safety bicycle” was invented, reducing the safety risks of the bicycle, reducing its price and increasing its ride comfort, that it became a product for the masses.The bicycle and the safety bike

    The first e-bike

    In 1895, Ogden Bolton, Jr. patented the first e-bike, and a battery-powered electric bike was born, with a bulky DC hub motor mounted on the rear wheel that slowed the bike’s forward motion.

    The DC hub motor mounted on the rear wheel was bulky and heavy, but slowed down the bike’s speed, so the electric assist did not catch on at the time.

    Nevertheless, Bolton’s invention laid the foundation for the modern e-bike design, which became the pioneering work of the e-bike.The first e-bike

    The beginning of the mid-drive motor design

    In 1897, Hosea W. Libby invented a dual-motor e-bike.

    Unlike Bolton’s design, he placed the motor at the outer end of the tire, in the position of the pedals, but eliminated the role of the pedals, so it was subject to a lot of controversy.

    At the beginning of the mid-drive motor cycle, this bike had a faster speed and a more stable body, and many subsequent e-bikes followed such a motor design.

    E-bike with friction drive

    Another innovative e-bike was introduced in 1899, which used friction to drive the wheels by setting rollers on the rear wheel.

    Compared to the previous two bikes, it made a louder noise, had a more prominent motor, and could not even be started when the tires were wet, but it was still popular with some DIYers because of its price and simplicity of construction.

    E-bike with friction drive

    History of e-bike: sedimentation & innovation

    The e-bike stalemate

    With the popularity of fuel cars and the delay in solving the weight problem of batteries and frames, the improvement of electric bicycles gradually came to a standstill.

    While bicycles remained popular during the same period, various manufacturers catered to people’s needs and introduced various versions of improved bicycles as the market and times changed.

    Pedal Assist System (PAS)

    In the 1990s, people began experimenting with e-bikes in the form of a pedal assist system (PAS) – a motor that provides auxiliary power to the bike only by pedaling.

    The motor can only provide auxiliary power to the bike by pedaling. This form of riding allows people to experience the same ride as a regular bike, while providing additional power to the bike.

    In 1989, Michael Kutter invented the world’s first “Pedelec (pedal electric cycle)”, and while people before him had focused on how to use throttle to improve the e-bike, he took a different approach and invented a bike that started by pedaling instead of throttle.

    Michael Kutter

    He went the other way and invented a bike that started by pedaling instead of throttling.

    This is why some people consider Michael Kuttert to be the father of the e-bike, while the history of e-bike before him is the history of the electric motorcycle.

    E-bike sensor & controller & battery

    The invention of sensors and controllers provided the most important basic accessories for the modern e-bike.

    The power gears, riding speed, and battery capacity that we now know all depend on the cooperation of the two.

    The history of e-bike moved to a new world.

    Battery improvement is also the key to the e-bike’s rebirth.

    Lead-acid batteries slowed the development of the e-bike due to their excessive weight, and after lithium-ion batteries were used in large numbers in 1993, the e-bike was able to have a lighter, smaller and safer high-capacity battery.Yamaha e-bike in 1993

    History of e-bike: popularity & future

    At the beginning of the 21st century, the e-bike was welcomed by the European and American markets because of its environmental concept and economic value, and maintained its popularity for more than two decades afterwards.

    In 2004, the best electric bike manufacture SAMEBIKE was established to dive into manufacturing and designing its own e-bike brand, which has been welcomed by international cyclists.

    China - huge potential

    The concept of the e-bike has changed a bit since its introduction in China and this change also enrich the history of e-bike.

    Chinese manufacturers have reformed it according to consumer demand, and the e-bike has gradually become the “electric bike” we see everywhere now, abandoning the look of pedals and bicycles and actually moving closer to the realm of electric motorcycles.

    Despite this, the e-bike has received a lot of attention and support from Chinese cyclists.

    In recent years, many Chinese bicycle and electric bicycle brands have entered the electric bike industry, also smelling the huge potential of the market.

    modern e-bike

    International - a hot market

    In the international market, the e-bike market is hot.

    According to a recent Statista Research Department report, the global e-bike market reached about $26.5 billion in 2021.

    It is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of just under 10% from 2022 to 2030, reaching a maximum of $62.3 billion.

    popular transpotation

    After 130 years of history of e-bike improvement and innovation, today’s e-bike is a completely different position than it was in the history of e-bike.

    And can help people achieve a more economical, environmentally friendly, convenient and healthy lifestyle, which is the market trend.

    SAMEBIKE will witness the progress and popularity of e-bikes in the future with cyclists.

    And we believe that the history of e-bike will develop and upgrade to a new level and open a creactive era.

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