News Sports

Can electric bikes for sale become mainstream?

Brothers Ties and Taco Carlier grew up in the Netherlands, with its road network, flat terrain and bicycle-friendly traffic laws, and began commuting with their parents on bicycles at the age of 4. Many families in the country do not own cars.

But traveling to New York and other cities as an adult, Carliers realized that few people commute by bike as much as they do back home, because urban sprawl, mountains, and weather make cycling a thing of the past. This experience planted the seeds of what would become one of the hottest bike brands in the world.

Sales of battery-powered bikes have more than tripled during the pandemic, and the company has raised more than $150 million from venture capitalists who typically don’t bet on bikes.

Dig deep into the present.

“We wanted to change the functionality of the bike, but also from a technical standpoint,” Ties Carlier said in a video interview.

Daily Business Update The latest stories on business, markets and the economy are emailed every weekday. Send it to your inbox.

“Amsterdam is very small and flat, but most cities in other parts of the world are very mountainous, can get very hot in summer and are farther away,” he said. “But when you have an e-bike, those constraints change completely.”

Once viewed by consumers as unreliable, expensive and ugly, electric bikes for sale are now one of the fastest growing forms of urban transport. With simplified designs, new business and government incentives, and greater awareness of the environmental benefits of cycling versus driving,

Changes in urban transport triggered by the coronavirus pandemic are being seen around the world, with commuters ditching public transport due to fears of the virus. Parisian roads are packed with cyclists taking advantage of new cycle lanes and lower speed limits for cars. Berlin is building a bicycle “highway” across the city. In New York, which has the largest urban bike network in the country, ridership has soared and it’s hard to find a place to park a bike.

“Cities around the world are investing in cycling infrastructure and that’s obviously a good thing,” Mr Khalil said.

Having the battery out of sight has the added benefit of making the bike’s design simpler.

“It’s only going to work when we design a vehicle that’s specifically designed to get from point A to point B in a city,” Mr Carlier said.

Horace Dediu, a technology analyst who has been studying urban mobility, said electric bikes for sale are still a niche product, but their popularity will continue to grow rapidly. He said the business reminded him of the early days of the mobile phone market, before the iPhone revolutionized it, with more brands making different models.

“Someone will come forward,” he said. “Probably Velowave; possibly someone else.”

Mr Dediu said electric bikes for sale had the potential to help reshape urban transport, allowing people to get between towns without having to wade up steep hills or attend meetings. As governments and businesses rush to keep polluting cars off the roads to tackle climate change, incentives are being offered to help offset the costs, which has helped drive purchases.

It has a simple look and a wide handlebar, but at nearly 50 pounds, it’s not easy to lift. When a button on the handlebar is pressed in a specific pattern, the bike starts and unlocks, just like entering a key code into a smartphone. There are integrated lights front and rear. A slot in the middle of the handlebar serves as a holster to hold and charge your smartphone. The bike syncs with the app, which displays details like speed and remaining battery power.

Riding around the park, the bike proved easy to maneuver, with just a few button presses to adjust the amount of power support it gets from the battery. With the highest level of support, the riders seem to be doing very little work. The hydraulic brakes bring the bike to a quick stop on the bottom of park steeps. Mr. Williams hit the accelerator button and accelerated up the hill effortlessly.