Electric bikes, or e-bikes as they’re more commonly known, are not a new product. In fact, the first e-bikes were documented in the 1880s and 1890s in France and the United States. While technology has certainly changed since then, the e-bike trend is more popular than ever. Specifically, interest in e-bikes is rising as more people are concerned about public transportation amidst COVID-19 or they simply want some fresh air after being quarantined. Plus, like other electric vehicles, e-bikes are much more environmentally friendly than gasoline-powered vehicles.
As consumers become increasingly interested in the benefits of e-bikes, it’s up to your energy utility to be a resource they can turn to with questions. Get up-to-speed with the following e-bike FAQs.
How are e-bikes powered?
E-bikes use power from a rechargeable battery and motor that helps to make pedaling much easier. This means consumers don’t have to worry about walking into work sweaty from their bike ride and lessens the commute time compared to a normal bicycle.
How far do e-bikes travel?
The battery range for an e-bike varies depending on the size and type of battery, the weight of the bike and the way each individual rides. Typically, e-bike batteries will stretch between 25 and 70 miles on a single charge. The battery itself normally lasts between three and five years.
How much do e-bikes cost?
Prices for e-bikes can range from hundreds of dollars to $5,000 or more. Often times, the saying is true and customers get what they pay for. Some high-end e-bikes include anti-theft security locks and a cellular connection to help find the bike if it gets stolen.
How do e-bikes work?
E-bike features vary, but typically fall into two categories in terms of power:
- Pedal assistance. These bikes include a sensor to determine how fast or hard you are pedaling and will provide power accordingly
- Throttle. These bikes are similar to mopeds or motorcycles in that riders press a trigger or twist a handlebar to accelerate
Often, e-bikes with a throttle also include pedal assistance. However, pedal assistance e-bikes do not include a throttle.
How much do e-bikes weigh?
E-bikes are exponentially heavier than normal bikes. While an average bicycle may weigh around 20 pounds, e-bikes typically weigh between 40 and 55 pounds because of the weight of the battery and motor.
According to market research by NPD Group, e-bike sales jumped 91% from 2016 to 2017 and another 72% from 2017 to 2018. However, these numbers are rising as retailers continue to sell out of e-bikes due to consumer demand in response to the coronavirus. In fact, according to online publication Electrek, one Arizona-based online e-bike retailer, Lectric eBikes, reported a 140% increase in sales since March 15. This dramatic increase in sales shows that consumers are ready to take a spin with this new method of transportation.
As consumer interest continues to increase, how is your utility going to be part of the conversation? Consider partnering with e-bike manufacturers to add e-bikes and related supplies to your utility marketplace. If nothing else, ensure your utility is prepared to answer customer questions about this trending topic and transportation method. Your customers are looking for a shift in how they get around, and they’ll be turning to you for answers.