The electric bike trend has apparently exploded all across the world. If you had gone to an alternative energy or electric bicycle convention 10 years ago you would have barely seen more than a dozen electric bicycle models on display. Of course, there were many reasons for this; mostly because electric power assisted bicycles were not advanced enough and had to many technical problems. However, as in countries such as India and China the electric bicycle had a lot of potential due to the fact that many people rode bikes to work everyday. Once again, necessity was the mother of invention and the electric bicycle became more advanced and more reliable.
In many countries such as Germany, where the infrastructure is much different than in the United States, people were able to use electric bikes much easier and were latching onto the new technology to get them from place to place. Currently, the media in Germany has reported extensively on the advent of electric bicycles in their society and there is a new interest in this technology. Of course, this trend is not only strong in Germany, but across most of Europe as well. For example, Holland has reported well over 200% increase in sales of electric bicycles in its country alone. Once again, you have a country where people live very close to where they work, so therefore, it is easier for them to commute on an electric bicycle that would be in the United States. However, many people in the United States do live close enough to use electric bike to ride what work as well as run errands on, not to mention just plain old recreational use.
It seems that almost every mainstream bicycle manufacturer in the world is jumping into the electric bicycle market. Even the bicycle industry giant, Schwinn, has been introducing new models of the electric bicycle in its catalog in an effort to capitalize on this newly revitalized market. Not only are the manufacturers selling electric bicycles and adding them to their product base, but they are also creating new innovative models for people to ride. For example, many of the bike manufacturers are creating trail riding bicycles that are electric assisted and there are even models of electric bicycles that fold conveniently and can be stored away or carried onto a train. As you can see, electric assisted bicycles are not just becoming popular with people with disabilities or that are older but these new models are appealing to everyone across a wide demographic market.
One of the reasons that the appeal and interest in the electric bicycle has changed so drastically, is because the technology with brushless motors has gotten so much better. Also, the advancement of the electric battery has also improved tremendously. Not only are batteries lasting longer but they are much lighter which means that the electric bicycle unit itself weighs less, and therefore can go greater distances on less of a charge. Sustainable energy has also been linked to the electric bicycle in the last several years. With just a solar panel or two and the right equipment batteries can be charged by solar electricity to power the electrical bicycles. It is this kind of innovation that is making electric bicycles far more impressive than they have been in the past.
Because of the increase of sales of these types of units, the technology and investment towards the technology of better batteries, motors and other aspects of the electric bicycle has also been renewed and researched. It is a safe bet to say that the electric bicycle will undergo vast improvements over the next 15 years as more as more people purchase these new vehicles. Not only will the distances become greater for electric bicycles, but the advancement of the electric motor, battery technology, as well as the sustainable energy innovations that could accompany them.
Article by Mark Ellis, appearing courtesy 2GreenEnergy.