Cycle Show 2017 ebikes special
by Dave Land, posted 22 September 2017
The NEC was full of ebikes. Why? And what's going to happen with them all. We discuss the issues.
Contact JRtB on twitter @justridethebike
The Cycle Show was dominated by ebikes. They are the breakthrough cycling technology of recent years, and the market is developing at pace. All the major brands have jumped on board, albeit in different ways, and there are a multitude of ebike-only brands that have emerged. The Chinese market has also jumped on board, and there is, potentially, more technological development in ebikes than in the rest of the cycling market put together. Bosch had a stand dedicated just to their ebike motors.
This expansive rush to market is exciting and great for cycling’s profile: mostly the pros outweigh the cons. The dominance of ebikes at something like the Cycle Show demonstrate great confidence in the market. Whether the market potential turns into delivery remains to be seen. Like any emerging market it is not a surprise that it shows buoyancy and welcomes new traders for a while. Then it is likely to mature, and the weaker brands will fall by the wayside. Rather than us being doom-sayers, this is simply how market-places work. Until that happens, we are likely to see more and more brands in this space. Established brands are now producing ebike versions of their regular bikes, or, equally, they may call them different names, so they protect the heritage of their actual bikes. We’ll see new brands emerge, as investment becomes available, and the tech race hots up. We might even see ebike brands start to develop non-e versions. If they’ve got the bikes anyway, would it be that hard to remove the motor? As riders start to build their own knowledge, they are likely to become more niche-based: smaller, or larger motors, smaller or larger batteries, as they become accustomed to what an ebike can do. This is married with the constant development of new technology by bike companies, as well as their suppliers.
We wonder if there will be an increase in motorbike sales, as ebike users become enamoured with the wonders of a bike with a motor, and motorbike companies develop electric motorbikes. Watch this space.
Credit: Unsplash, 2017