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E-Bikes Are Catching On
An article by Matt McFarland stands as testament to the growing awareness about electric bikes (e-bikes) as a mobility option in communities around the country.
"Although ebikes first appeared in the 90s, cheaper options and longer-lasting batteries are breathing new life into the concept," explains McFarland. A growing number of riders are using e-bikes for "convenience, health benefits, and their fun factor," adds McFarland.
Established bike companies and startups are embracing ebikes to meet demand. About 34 million ebikes were sold worldwide in 2017, according to data from eCycleElectric Consultants. Most were sold in Europe and China, where the bikes already have exploded in popularity. In 2017, the U.S. market grew to 263,000 bikes, a 25% gain from the prior year.
The popularity of e-bikes hasn't come without some speed bumps. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has run what seems like his own personal crusade against e-bikes in the name of Vision Zero safety goals, for instance. Still, McFarland finds many sources willing to go on the record predicting even more demand for e-bikes in the near future.