Electric bike is changing the biking scene
The electric bike is changing the whole biking scene. At least one out of three bikes sold is already electric and it’s still growing. New actors (e.g. Bosch) are entering the field and everybody has to rethink his position.
This success is also due to an image change. The electrical bike is no longer reserved for elderly people, his increase in range makes him also interesting for daily commuters. And for leisure purposes it becomes more popular, increasing the possibilities of use, especially for mountain bikes. Even transporting things can be more easily done with e-bikes.
Another big step forward can be foreseen if there is to be a political consensus on a so called mobility budget. Instead of having a company car, employees can benefit of such a budget and have a multimodal use of transportation possibilities.
The well known assistance company Touring is also enlarging its mobility offers to electric bikes, offering a package to firms who want to put a pool of electric bikes at the disposal of their employees.
Different technical solutions
Electrical bikes are always more expensive than normal bikes, but the difference can be substantial depending on techniques used. The best (engine as low as possible, integrated in pedal axle) can cost 2.000 € or more, but prices will decrease when more players come into the field with state of the art technical solutions.
That’s why a big player like Bosch is now interested and has created eBike Systems, offering different technical solutions for different bike manufacturers. Of course different companies fight on the same market, Shimano, Yamaha, Panasonic or Brose are big players here.
This evolution is also demanding for bike shops. They will have to send their personnel to mechanical training stages and invest in diagnostic material just as in the car business.
Apart from legal requirements (which were established recently with three categories of e-bikes) there are plans to create a quality label for bike shops and a so called Velopass, to be compared to the already well known Carpass for cars, where you get all kinds of information on the vehicle’s history. People interested can consult a small guide by the non-profit organization Pro Velo or look for “e-Bike 2017“.