The North American e-bicycle market was valued at $0.8B in 2021, and it is expected to double in value, reaching $1.62B by 2027. Why the dramatic growth? More and more people are coming to appreciate the e-bike as a cost-saving, convenient commuting solution that has the added benefit of being eco-friendly.
Most electric bicycles in the market are defined as class 1 or class 3 because riders still want to pedal. In the US there are three types of electric bicycles:
- Class 1: The e-bicycle is pedal-assist only, with no throttle, and have a maximum assisted speed of 20 mph.
- Class 2: The e-bicycle has a maximum speed of 20 mph but are throttle-assisted. In other words, a throttle-assisted e-bicycle delivers power directly to the motor and does not require manual pedaling.
- Class 3: The e-bicycle is equipped with a motor that helps only when the rider is pedaling, and that ceases to aid when the bicycle reaches the speed of 28 mph.
There are two main types of motors used on e-bicycles: the mid-drive motors and hub-drive motors. The mid-drive motors generally apply force to the chainrings or chains, and they are located on the bottom bracket (the place where the crank arms attach to the bicycle frame). On the other hand, hub-drive motors apply force to the front or rear axle, and they sit inside the hub of the rear wheel (some are on the front wheel).
In terms of batteries, some e-bicycles offer two batteries at once and some e-bicycles come with batteries integrated into the frame. But most batteries will require three to six hours to fully charge approximately.
E-bikes can vary greatly in cost and capabilities—but are generally cheaper to buy and operate than internal-combustion engine-powered options. Here, listed by price, are 7 electric bicycles that grabbed Battery Technology’s attention: