E-bikes are currently the fastest-growing type of bike in both the US and UK. According to a study by Mintel, e-bike sales in the UK grew to represent 23% of bike sales in 2020, and in the US, e-bike sales increased by 145% in the same period.
What’s caused this rise in sales and how is it changing cycling as we know it?
What is an E-Bike?
An e-bike is a bicycle with a small motor that acts as a power assist while pedalling to give you a boost. In some cases, e-bikes can come with a throttle, which at a press of a button engages the battery power.
Who can ride them?
The average age of e-bike users is between 40 and 70 years old, but many young people are starting to transfer onto the e-bike hype. People are using e-bikes for many reasons including leisure activities, but the predominant reason for using an e-bike is for commuting or as an easier method of cycling, requiring less physical effort.
Young Adults - Young adults who want to make the commute to work quicker and avoid traffic. These young generations are also becoming more aware of the environmental impacts of their lifestyle choices, and by choosing an e-bike over a car they are being more sustainable.
Older People - The power-assisted aspect of the e-bike means people with less physical strength and ability, particularly older people, can enjoy cycling without straining their health.
Busy Parents - E-bikes are particularly attractive for busy parents who can use them to pop out to complete a quick errand and can kill two birds with one stone using them for physical activity where they may not have the time to go to the gym.
E-bike sales are expected to grow to 17 million per year by 2030. (Forbes)
1 in 4 say physical impairments have stopped them from riding a standard bike. (JuicedBikes.com)
The number of people using bikes to commute to work has more than doubled, due to e-bikes.
E-Bikes and Food Delivery
E-bikes have many uses outside of commuting and leisure activities, and one area they are massively impacting is deliveries. From postal services to food delivery, e-bikes are making deliveries more practical and efficient, and minimise transport costs for companies.
Germany is using e-bikes to deliver post, alongside DHL and UPS in other European countries. In Portland, you can get fresh coffee and baked produce delivered by e-bikes. In the UK, food delivery services like
Deliveroo and Uber are using e-bikes to skip traffic and ensure the hot food is delivered efficiently. The use of e-bikes for delivery drivers means that the companies save on petrol and insurance costs.