Annual Sales of Electric Bicycles Will Surpass 47 Million by 2018

With sales expected to reach over 30 million units in 2012, electric bicycles are the world’s best-selling electric vehicles.  Rapidly accelerating urbanization, the increasing need for low-cost transportation in developing markets, and expanding opportunities for new market entrants are all helping to drive e-bicycle sales.  Despite significant business challenges outside the Asia Pacific region, the market for electric bicycles is expected to grow strongly over the next several years.  According to a new report from Pike Research, the worldwide market for e-bicycles will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.5% between 2012 and 2018, resulting in global sales of more than 47 million vehicles in 2018.  China is anticipated to account for 42 million of these e-bicycles that year, giving it 89% of the total world market.  The e-bicycle market is anticipated to generate $6.9 billion in worldwide revenue in 2012, growing to $11.9 billion in 2018.

Under a more aggressive forecast scenario, worldwide e-bicycle sales could reach 51 million units and $13.2 billion revenue in 2018, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts.

“E-bicycle manufacturers and importers in North America and Latin America continue to struggle with a weak distribution network and modest demand,” says senior analyst Dave Hurst.  “As a result, the e-bicycle market is experiencing an accelerated rate of acquisitions and business failures.  Nevertheless, sales are expected to grow rapidly, with a CAGR of nearly 22% in North America from 2012 to 2018.”

The vast majority of the e-bicycles sold in China, the world’s largest market, utilize sealed lead acid (SLA) batteries.  While this has resulted in extremely low-cost e-bicycles in China, it has also led to a number of challenges including e-bicycle traffic congestion, lead contamination, and manufacturers effectively ignoring laws relating to e-bicycles speed and weight limits.  Pike Research anticipates that the global penetration of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries will grow from 6% in 2012 to 12% in 2018.  Cost pressures from Asia Pacific will keep manufacturers interested in SLA batteries through this decade, but once manufacturing efficiencies have driven down the costs of Li-ion, we will start to see the decline of SLA as the battery of choice in e-bicycles.

Pike Research’s report, “Electric Bicycles”, provides a comprehensive analysis of the worldwide e-bicycle and e-bicycle battery industry including an examination of market forces, technology issues, government policy influences, the competitive landscape, and key drivers of growth.  The study includes global forecasts for e-bicycle units and e-bicycle batteries through 2017, segmented by world region and key countries.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Contact: Richard Martin

+1 303 997 7609

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