Growing popularity of e-bikes – Taiwan records 21% jump in e-bike exports
23 September 2020: E-bike use was shown to increase the amount of physical activity. E-bike users in 7 European cities had 10% higher weekly energy expenditure than other cyclists because they cycled longer trips. E-bikes can also provide a source of exercise for individuals who have trouble exercising for an extended time (due to injury or excessive weight, for example) as the bike can allow the rider to take short breaks from pedaling.
In some markets, such as Germany as of 2013, they are gaining in popularity and taking some market share away from conventional bicycles. Approximately 2 million were sold in Europe in 2016. China is the world’s leading producer of e-bikes. In 2016, approximately 210 million electric bikes were used daily in China.
With such growing usage and popularity of e-bikes, Taiwan’s electric bicycle exports in the first seven months of this year jumped by 21 percent in volume from a year earlier as announced by the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA). TAITRA also announced the Taipei Cycle Show 2021 to be held in March 2021 alongside a new virtual event. Addressing media persons, Walter Yeh, President of TAITRA, said bicycle industry is one of the few industries in Taiwan that has not been seriously impacted by the pandemic.
He said that even though Taiwan’s export of complete bicycles dropped 29.7 percent year-over-year to 905,000 units in the first seven months of 2020, e-bike exports have made up the loss. Taiwan exported 410,000 e-bikes in the first seven months of 2020, an increase of 21 percent year-over-year. The revenue from e-bike exports in the seven-month period reached US$523 million, almost equal to the US$583 million bicycle exports earned in the same period.
Reportedly, E-bikes use rechargeable batteries that can travel up to 25 to 45 km per hour, much faster than most people would cycle. It offers low cost, energy efficient and emission-free transportation which also has physical and health benefits. An electric bicycle also known as an e-bike comes with an integrated electric motor which can be used to assist propulsion.
Moreover, E-bikes are zero-emissions vehicles, as they emit no combustion by-products. However, the environmental effects of electricity generation and power distribution and of manufacturing and disposing of high storage density batteries must be taken into account. Even with these issues considered, e-bikes are claimed to have a significantly lower environmental impact than conventional automobiles.