eBike Riding Is Still Going Strong!

The era of social distancing has changed life across the globe in all sorts of ways, with major impacts on nearly every industry. It’s the kind of time we won’t soon forget, with people cooped up for weeks and months on end to flatten the COVID-19 curve. It’s a time when (let’s face it) more than a few of us have been going a little stir-crazy and keeping up with fitness has become a challenge.

One of the sectors that’s weathered the storm the best has been eBike riding. According to a recent Electrek article:

As government-imposed lockdowns spread around the US in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have been suffering. With people stuck at home and tightening their purse strings, many feared that the hardship would be acutely felt by the scores of electric bicycle companies that have popped up over the last few years.

But as it turns out, the opposite is true. In fact, sales of electric bicycles appear to have exploded recently.

Here’s why electric bike sales have skyrocketed during the coronavirus lockdown by Toll, Micah, Electrek (website), May 1, 2020.

And as more and more cities loosen their stay-at-home orders, the sales of bicycles in general – and electric bike, specifically – have seen a continues, steadfast uptick. And it’s understandable to see why.

eBikes continue to be a cost-effective way to stay active, keep healthy and enjoy the outdoors in an effort to fend off that quarantine fifteen. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why the e bike industry just keeps on going, and what this sector of the economy is bringing to the world.

Man wearing a suit and helmet commuting to work on an EB12 eBike
Cruise, commute and conquer the city with the streamlined EB12 City/Road eBike.

Low-Impact Health & Fitness

A big reason the eBike is still going strong is just how efficient a solution for health and fitness it is. You don’t need to be a dedicated Grand Prix cyclist or ultra-fit athlete to enjoy an eCycle. It’s a great way to make the transition into a more active lifestyle because:

Staying fit can also stave off depression and anxiety and reduce a person’s risk of chronic diseases. eBikes are a major part of a cycling market that puts these benefits within easy reach for people of all ages, but there are still more specific reasons for their growing appeal.

Ideal for Social Distancing

COVID-19 has created major challenges for getting around. The basic guideline to stay 6 feet away from other people makes using public transit and footpaths harder. That’s even more true if you’re in the heart of a city where paths tend to get congested. Bike and vehicle sharing, which were growing models before the pandemic, have fizzled.

eBike riders are enjoying a practical solution to these challenges:

  • Riding an eBike gives you greater range for the same amount of physical effort as a standard bike. That makes it easier to get out of crowded areas and enjoy a peaceful and socially distanced solo ride.
  • Car traffic is drastically lower than usual, as INRIX notes. Cyclists can feel more secure than ever with fewer cars on the road.
  • eBikes are a small business boon. Cycling, in general, is cheaper by far than operating a car, and that goes for eCycles, too. With the eBike’s added advantage of backing up your muscle power with motor support, they become an attractive option for the fast delivery of parcels and food (a small business niche that’s become crucial to keeping people supplied while keeping them off the streets). 

These unique benefits have created a thriving eBike economy. That economy is just getting stronger thanks to high demand, ongoing research and development, and lower costs passed on to the customer.

Strong Demand Means Lower Prices

Surging demand has made it possible for companies to bring down the price of a quality eBike as the competition for customers heats up. Though it’s still possible for eBikes to retail for upwards of $2,000, the price can run to as little as $1,000 even for a top-of-the-line model like the SWAGTRON® EB12 Road eBike. A short commute folding campus eBike like the EB5 Pro Plus might be had for only $499. With a financing plan, you can pay off the initial outlay for a basic eBike for as little as $47 a month. That compares favorably with the cost of a monthly transit pass in most cities.

Happy Split-image of a woman wearing a helmet and riding an EB12 Electric Bike, and close-up of the handlebar and Shimano gear system.wearing helmets, riding their electric bikes along the beachside boardwalk.
Ride swift & easy with the EB12 City Electric Bike’s 7-Speed Shimano S.I.S. Gears.

As demand continues to hold steady, which is to be expected for at least the duration of the COVID-19 crisis if not longer, further reductions in price could be possible. But that’s not the only factor driving down the cost of buying an eBike.

Improving Technology

Strong sales motivate companies to invest in research and development.  That makes for more cost-effective production of components like batteries, disc brakes and motors. Battery prices alone are expected to drop by 50% over the next half-decade according to some forecasts. Just as importantly, technology has revolutionized the retail supply chain, making it easier to ship and track products more efficiently and with less waste. 

With ever-improving technology in play and growing interest from cyclists all over the world, the outlook is good for eBikes to become even more affordable in the years to come. Car and Driver expected worldwide sales of eBikes to hit forty million units annually within a few years, even before we fully understood what a disruptor COVID-19 would become. The real numbers might well end up being higher as eBike riding continues to go strong.  

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