Make room for the e-bikes, the top-selling electric vehicles for the next decade - TreeHugger

A new study from Deloitte predicts what we have said before: e-bikes will eat cars.

Recently, after calling the teens the decade of the bicycle, I predicted that the Twenties would be the decade of e-mobility.

Now the big consultancy, Deloitte, makes its technology, media and telecommunications predictions for 2020 and calls e-bikes the next big thing.

By 2023, the total number of e-bikes in circulation around the world—owned by both consumers and organizations—should reach about 300 million, a 50 percent increase over 2019’s 200 million. These 300 million e-bikes will include both privately owned e-bikes and e-bikes available to share.

Deloitte gets why people like e-bikes; they are less work, easier to get started after a red light or stop sign, and great for chewing up long distances, hills or when carrying stuff, "or some combination of the above."

They also open up bicycling to people who otherwise might not do it: the older and the less fit. "And the effect doesn’t end with out-of-shape able-bodied individuals. Electrification can be a game-changer for the disabled." They suggest that they are real competition for cars.

E-bikes may soon start to invade the niche currently occupied by automobiles thanks to their convenience, utility, and relatively low cost. Even electric cargo bikes, though more expensive (at about US$8,000) than standard e-bikes, are much cheaper than most cars—and may be just as useful for running most errands. According to one survey, 28 percent of e-bike buyers bought the e-bike as a substitute for a car, not as an upgrade to a bike.

Deloitte also notes (as I have) that cities have to change, that people riding bikes need a safe place to ride and a secure place to park.

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