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July 14, 2008

Status of electric bikes and scooters


Folding electric bike made in China. the Wisper works 805FE


Bicycle industry reports that electric bike sales in 2007 reached 21 million units, a 10 percent uptick from the previous year but below the heady growth rates of recent years as a shakeout forced hundreds of e-bike factories to close. China exported about 350,000 e-bikes, according to the China Bicycle Association.

China is the world’s largest bicycle producer and is the world’s biggest bicycle market, even as China’s surging middle class rushes to buy status-conscious automobiles. Domestic sales in 2007 totaled 28 million, a decline of 3.8 percent from 2006. China's bicycle exports rose 5.7 percent in 2007 to 59 million units, with half of those exports children’s bicycles (wheels under 22 inches). 24 of every 25 bicycles sold in the United States are made in China.

14 page report from 2005 on China's electric bike and scooter market.

21 million e-bikes in 2007
19 million e-bikes in 2006.

With the build up in e-bikes up to 2005 then there were probably 60 million e-bikes and scooters at the end of 2007. There will likely be 83-90 million e-bikes and scooters worldwide by the end of 2008.

This site has coverd electric bikes and scooters before.

An article with a review of folding electric bikes

A Dahon Mu P3 custom-fitted with a BionX electric assist motor in folded configuration



Open the Future had noted the problem of bicycle usage in hot weather Many environmentalists hope for bicycles to be the future of transportation.

100 million peddle bike sales worldwide. China has 450 million peddle bike users. So electric bikes and scooters are 20-25% of the amount of adoption as peddle bikes in China.

There have been about 40,000 segways sold since 2001.

The Aptera and other enclosed suped up three wheel scooters for 300 mile range e-bikes/cars. They are a cars with bicycle characteristics in terms of wheel thickness.

XP vehicles targetting inflatable electric cars with one model $2500. Light like an e-bike. Safe by riding around in something like car airbags. These electric vehciles would be climate controlled with air conditioning.

Electric scooters are also used by the elderly and those who are mobility impaired.

FURTHER READING
A list of folding electric bikes made in China

Walmart sells a folding bike for $124 and it weighs 23 pounds





Electric bike conversion kits for $250-700+
So a converted folding electric bike for $400 or less is a reasonable option.

A blog on innovative bicycle design

the RoboScooter is the outcome of a collaboration involving SYM (Sanyang Motors), ITRI (Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute), and the Smart Cities group of the MIT Media Laboratory, led by Professor William J. Mitchell.


The RoboScooter is a lightweight, folding, electric motor scooter. It is designed to provide convenient, inexpensive mobility in urban areas while radically reducing the negative effects of extensive vehicle use – road congestion, excessive consumption of space for parking, traffic noise, air pollution, carbon emissions that exacerbate global warming, and energy use. It is clean, green, silent, and compact.

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