Deloitte, which recently released its annual technology, media, and telecommunications predictions, believes that there will be a one percentage point rise in the worldwide proportion of people who bike to work from 2019 to 2022. Tens of billions of additional bicycle rides per year means benefits for traffic congestion, urban air quality and lower car emissions, and the company predicts that many of those making these changes will be doing so on e-bikes.
E-bikes allow cyclists to work less and go faster by using batteries to assist with pedalling . Some cyclists get upset just at the mention of e-bikes (“You should earn your power!”) but the electronic aid can be extremely helpful for those who have difficulty getting up to speed, or even those who just want to enjoy a ride without going full gas.
It seems that the pro-e-bike team has won out over the naysayers, as Deloitte says it expects 130 million e-bikes to be sold globally between 2020 and 2023. The company attributes the surge in e-bike popularity largely to recent improvements in lithium-ion battery technology, which impacted pricing, power and weight of the bikes.
By 2023, Deloitte anticipates e-bike sales to be generating about CAD $26 billion in revenue. The review projects that the number of e-bikes in circulation around the world should reach about 300 million in the next three years, a 50 per cent increase from the 200 million in circulation in 2019.
The company’s review largely focuses on the commuting potential of e-bikes, comparing them to a stroll rather than the sprint of traditional bikes. Twenty-eight per cent of e-bike buyers bought the e-bike as a substitute for a car, not as an upgrade to a bike. It also mentions the importance of e-bikes for people with disabilities and those who are scared of getting into cycling — A study found that 20 per cent of people surveyed who don’t bicycle say that they are too old or unfit to do so.
If this forecast is correct and the e-bike industry continues to expand, the urban centre of the future slowly will slowly crawl its way towards a bike heavy landscape and the boom of e-bikes will be a major part of the change.