The combination of affordability and the social effects of the pandemic have created ideal conditions for the growth of ebike sales worldwide.
Porfas Padilla | Top5ebikes
It’s safe to say that ebikes are having a moment right now. In 2020, most people have started to take notice of the ebike phenomenon and many are making their first purchases. A Navigant Research study estimates that global sales of ebikes should hit about $24.4 billion by 2025. But what has caused electric bikes to spike in popularity in 2020?
Previously, ebikes were thought of as more of an expensive recreational activity that was out of reach for most people. At several thousand dollars each, it hasn’t been realistic for most people to purchase an ebike. Recently things have changed and ebikes are more affordable than ever before. This is partly due to battery production costs dropping over 87% since 2010, reducing the price of battery-powered ebikes.
Ebikes prices have come down
Now, if you’re in the market for an electric bike you can find one for just over $1,000. For example, the Ride1up Core-5 starts at just $1,095 making it one of the most affordable options. As a bonus, if you ride a bike to work, you may earn a tax-free subsidy under the Federal Bike Commuter Benefits Program. It’s definitely worth checking with a tax professional about!
There are more options
With the popularity of electric bikes increasing, more features and more competition have come to the market. There are three recognized classes of ebikes in the United States:
- Class 1: assists when you pedal, no throttle, stops helping at 20mph
- Class 2: pedal-assist mode up to 20mpg, but also throttle assist
- Class 3: pedal-assist only with no throttle, but with a max speed of 28mph
This means that you can choose the right class to fit your personal needs. But it doesn’t stop there! There are also so many other options that you can consider now. Different styles for instance, from modern to retro, or bikes with bigger batteries and longer riding ranges before a charge is needed. Some have more powerful motors situated at different points on the bike, depending on whether you need more low end torque (for off-road riding) or something better suited to city commuting. You can even get an oversized cargo bike so that you can haul around heavy loads. If you have specific needs, chances are you’ll be able to find an ebike that fits those needs.
Outdoor activities are limited
With the COVID-19 pandemic spanning the majority of the year, and most activities being completely restricted, biking has generally been one of the most available outside activity options. Being stuck indoors for weeks or months at a time has been hard on many people not just physically but also mentally. Because of this, many people have invested in ebikes to get outside for the mental and physical health benefits associated with exercise, sunshine, and just being outdoors.
Ebikes are environmentally friendly
As people start to be more aware of the negative impact that we as humans have on the environment, ebikes have been spotlighted as extremely environmentally friendly. According to Christopher Cherry, a transportation researcher at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, e-bikes are 10 to 20 times more energy-efficient than a car. While an ebike emits 21-22 grams of CO2 per kilometer traveled, a car emits about 271 grams of CO2 per kilometer traveled. On average, a 4 mile ebike ride prevents up to 15lb of pollutants from entering the air.
Electric bikes are also much more sustainable than even electric cars and can genuinely help clear up traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions in busy, congested cities.
Ebikes provide affordable transportation
Not only are ebikes good for recreational purposes and exercise, they are a viable option for affordable transportation. Not everyone is able to afford a car and ebikes are a solid choice to replace one if you live in a bikeable city and don’t generally travel too far or carry too much cargo. After the initial purchase, the average cost of ownership for a car is over $9,000 per year. An electric bike comes in thousands of dollars lower at just $200 per year!
Even for those who don’t want to own a car due to living in cities where it’s easier to rely on public transportation, ebikes can be a beneficial option. For those who ride to work, or want to ride to work, ebikes are the perfect option to do so without getting sweaty on their way to the office. Plus, it gives those who are older or can’t deal with the physical strain of bike riding a viable option for transportation.
Ebikes had quite a year in 2020, partially due to their already increasing popularity, but also due to the pandemic and the restrictions put on outside activities. With so many billions of dollars being invested into sustainable public policy and green energy technology we don’t expect this growth in ebikes to slow down anytime soon.