Home Two Wheelers Scooters & Mopeds E-bikes give the two-wheeled market a jolt

E-bikes give the two-wheeled market a jolt

 

The battery-powered vehicles, which help riders puff up hills or into a strong wind, were aly gaining ground, helped by lighter and longer-lasting batteries and better motors.

LONDON: Electric bikes are giving the market for two-wheeled transport a big jolt. The pandemic that has boosted demand for bicycles also looks set to accelerate the shift to battery-assisted pedalling. As in the automobile market, though, the change is disruptive. Established players will have to make room for new upstarts.

For the first time since they were shunted aside by the arrival of automobiles a century ago, bicycles are enjoying a global resurgence due to the coronavirus. Closed shops due to lockdowns and socially distanced factories initially punctured demand and disrupted supply in the industry, which Bank of America analysts estimate earns $65 billion in annual retail revenues. But sales are now rebounding, as travellers eschew public transport and embrace solitary outdoor exercise.

Giant Manufacturing, the $4 billion Taiwanese group, saw revenue jump 55% year-on-year in June. British retailer Halfords reported a similar-sized spike in its cycling business in the 13 weeks to early July.

Renewed enthusiasm for two-wheeled transport has also turbocharged e-bikes. The battery-powered vehicles, which help riders puff up hills or into a strong wind, were aly gaining ground, helped by lighter and longer-lasting batteries and better motors. More than 40% of the bicycles sold in bike-mad the Netherlands last year, for example, were electric. In Germany, a third of the 4.3 million new bicycles sold had a battery, according to the country’s industry association.

Covid-19 has provided a further spark. E-bikes appeal to commuters who are keen to avoid public transport, but don’t want to dress head-to-toe in Lycra and treat their journey to work like a stage of the Tour de France. Manufacturers have struggled to keep up with demand. VanMoof, a Dutch firm which makes futuristic e-bikes that sell for around 2,000 euros each, is planning to double its manufacturing capacity to 12,000 vehicles a month by the end of the summer.

Governments, spotting an opportunity to reduce carbon emissions, are helping too. Cities like London, New York and Berlin have hastily built new bike lanes, while several countries have offered fiscal sweeteners. Italy is reimbursing citizens for as much as 60% of the cost of a new bicycle, e-bike or e-scooter, up to 500 euros. Electric power also helps stimulate the use of shared-bike schemes, like those operated by Uber Technologies-owned Jump.

It’s not just commuters and tourists who see the benefits of battery-assisted pedalling. Electric cargo bikes offer a quieter and cleaner alternative to vans for making deliveries in urban areas. And as cities turn over more road space to bicycles, motorcyclists may be tempted to switch. Manufacturers like Triumph Motorcycles and Piaggio now offer e-bikes alongside their motorised two-wheelers.

So far, existing bike manufacturers have been the main beneficiaries of the boom. Accell, the $730 million Dutch group which owns brands such as Raleigh and Sparta, earned more than half its revenue from e-bikes last year. Investors are betting that will continue. Giant shares have risen 43% so far this year, and are now valued at 26 times Daiwa Capital Markets’ forecast earnings for 2021. Shimano, the $19 billion Japanese group that controls roughly half the global market for bicycle components like gears and brakes, trades on a forward multiple of 35 times, according to Refinitiv data.

However, just as the shift to battery powered cars opened the door for new players like Tesla, upstarts are staking their claim in the e-bike market. While most conventional bicycles are assembled using mass-produced parts, new manufacturers are building batteries into frames, while adding features such as electric alarms and smartphone controls. In a sign of the industry’s potential, German industrial giant Robert Bosch earlier this year created a new standalone unit that makes batteries and other parts like anti-lock brakes for e-bikes.

The new players are also attracting different investors. In May, VanMoof raised 12.5 million euros from venture capital firm Balderton and Taiwan’s SINBON Electronics. Belgian startup Cowboy’s backers include Tiger Global Management and Index Ventures.

Whether the global cycling revival survives the end of lockdown and the arrival of colder and wetter weather remain to be seen. A permanent shift to home working might also mean less commuting. And subdued economic growth could discourage consumers from spending on more expensive e-bikes.

Yet the broader shift to battery-powered pedalling looks here to stay. Enthusiasm about electric cars this week propelled Tesla’s market value to almost $300 billion, even though Elon Musk’s company accounted for barely 1% of the 17 million cars sold in the United States last year, according to data from Edmunds. The e-bike market looks well-developed by comparison.

Hero MotoCorp invests Rs 84 crore in Ather Energy

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Zap out unwanted hair with Hina Khan’s homemade hard wax; check it out

The actor is right here with a foolproof answer for that unwanted hair. (Photo: Hina Khan/ Instagram)Unwanted hair has been some of the frequent...

Magnum Photos set to review archive after row over images of child sexual exploitation

Magnum Photos web site was quickly down two days in the past. (Source: Magnum Photos)One of the world’s most reputed photo businesses, Magnum Photos...

Disha Patani stuns in this golden eye look, here’s how you can recreate it

This look simply requires 5 straightforward steps. (Photo: Disha Patani/ Instagram, designed by Shambhavi Dutta)Make-up is artwork, however it can also be remedy. A...

Diesel sales drop 19% in first half of August compared to previous month

NEW DELHI: Diesel sales dropped by a fifth in the first half of August compared with a month in the past, signalling prolonged regional...

Media often captures sentiments correctly ahead of monetary policy: RBI study

Media often captures the sentiments correctly ahead of monetary coverage bulletins by the central financial institution, says a study by the Reserve Bank of...

World economy to see 'worst contraction' in 2020; steel demand to fall: Chandrasekaran

NEW DELHI: Steel demand is expected to decline considerably in 2020-21 in line with a projected contraction in the worldwide economy due to the...

Increase number of labs, start forensic study in MBBS: NHRC webinar panellists suggest

Citing “lack” of sufficient number of forensic laboratories and manpower to deal with these amenities, human rights and crime investigation specialists have prompt...

MS Dhoni: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Bye

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was digging right into a plate of noodles sitting on the steps of the Eden Gardens foyer. He had simply hit...

Govt may not need to infuse fresh capital in PSU banks this fiscal

New Delhi: The authorities may not have to inject fresh capital into the general public sector banks (PSBs) as one-time mortgage restructuring permitted by...

Ideal love: People weigh in on relationships, intimacy and infidelity

Poster of the 2019 rehashed model of 'Pati Patni Aur Woh' that delved into the topic of infidelity. I used to be simply waking...

LATEST NEWS

Ravi Shankar Prasad says Rahul Gandhi’s attack on RSS, BJP relies on a myth, asks a counter question

Senior BJP chief and Union minister for electronics and knowledge expertise and communications, Ravi Shankar Prasad, on Sunday launched a counter attack on Congress...

Locked for five months, shrines in J-K finally reopen

Some outstanding non secular locations together with shrines opened in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday for prayers after remaining closed for over five...

India’s Covid-19 death toll hits 50,000 mark

The variety of deaths from the coronavirus illness (Covid-19) in India exceeded 50,000 on Saturday, making it the fourth nation — after the...

Indian Railways to run Ganpati Special trains between Gujarat, Maharashtra

The Indian Railways will run extra Ganpati Special trains in co-ordination with Western Railway and Central Railway between Ahmedabad/Vadodara and Ratnagiri/Kudal/Sawantwadi Road stations...

MS Dhoni: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Bye

Mahendra Singh Dhoni was digging right into a plate of noodles sitting on the steps of the Eden Gardens foyer. He had simply hit...

ISL to be held in three venues in Goa: Organisers

All matches of the seventh version of Indian Super League will be held in three venues in Goa, possible in November, amid strict health...

Kevin de Bruyne named Premier League Player of the Season

Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne was named the Premier League Player of the Season on Sunday, changing into simply the third Belgian to...

Will BCCI retire No.7 jersey with Dhoni? Dinesh Karthik raises demand

Will Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s no.7 jersey comply with him into retirement? A demand has actually been raised and a distinguished voice inside BCCI agrees...