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Electric Bike and Scooter Trend Driving Global Market Growth

Posted 01/07/2020 by Stephen Neuman, Global Product Manager, Electric Vehicles and Battery

The global transportation market is undergoing a sea change, and this transformation is driven by the recent rise of the micro-mobility trend. Market research suggests that micro-mobility is poised to become the preferred mode of transportation in cities worldwide soon; overtaking cars and motorcycles for distances of up to 25 kilometers.

The term micro-mobility refers to smaller lightweight vehicles, including the most popular kinds, electric bikes and scooters (e-bikes and e-scooters for short). They have battery-powered motors and are available to be rented or “shared” for recreation and commuting. Most can be rented via smartphone apps and picked up at docking stations or dockless parking areas on sidewalks.

Consumer and investor demand has secured micro mobility’s place in the sharing economy for the foreseeable future. E-bikes have a projected global growth rate (CAGR) of 6.39% by 2024, and sales are expected to reach $24.3 billion by 2025. The Asia Pacific region accounted for a dominant 67.53% of the global e-bike market, and China remains the highest user and exporter of e-bikes worldwide. More and more electric vehicle manufacturers, like Giant and Trek Bikes, are expanding production to Europe and the United States. In addition, two e-scooter start-ups based in the U.S., Lime and Bird, have reached billion-dollar valuations faster than any other companies on record. 

Why is Micro-Mobility a Macro Trend? 

The global rise of micro-mobility, especially the use of e-bikes and e-scooters, starts with increasing demand for eco-friendly modes of transportation in populous places. Consumer studies show that the protection of our environment for future generations is critically important to consumers. E-bikes and e-scooters present an exciting alternative to fossil fuel vehicles because they offer zero carbon emissions and minimal noise pollution.

Rapid urbanization in megacities worldwide also has led to increased pollution and traffic congestion, which means higher carbon emissions, rising fuel costs and frequent rush hour gridlocks. It's a problem for commuters as well as city governments. Smaller electric or pedal-operated modes of transit are easy-to-use and can help alleviate traffic jams.

Another factor is the shifting demand for transportation that fits with the active lifestyles of younger generations. Energy-efficient and cost-effective, hopping on e-scooters or e-bikes for work or play is popular for Millennial and Gen Z consumers. Their focus on fitness is a significant reason micro-mobility is taking off. The recent addition of on-vehicle storage on e-bikes can make commuting even more convenient, particularly for city dwellers. Electric pedal-assisted bikes also offer recreational or commuting alternatives for older, active consumers including baby boomers.

Ongoing Challenges Faced by the Industry

To keep climbing at its current global rate, micro-mobility must address several challenges, including rider safety and vehicle performance. Ensuring rider safety and preventing injury is critical, and governments in China, India and Singapore have created optimum environments for e-scooters and e-bikes by designating lanes for riders on busy streets. More countries are expected to follow suit soon. Rising recall incidents for electric bikes and maintenance or battery replacement costs for e-scooters could also hamper long-term growth.

Many larger micro-mobility companies have been working with cities to address safety and security concerns by using electronic geo-zones to prevent riders from either riding in an unsafe area or parking in an area where a city doesn’t want them to park (this also could be used to prevent people from riding on sidewalks). E-scooter companies require riders to be 18 years or older and with a valid driver's license scanned before you can open an account. 

What Does the Future Hold?

While flying bicycles or underwater scooters might be a stretch, there are many exciting advances on the horizon for micro-mobility. Electric bike and scooter manufacturers are focused on enhancing the user experience by integrating the vehicle with a user’s smartphone. This technology would provide the user with real-time information about things like location, speed and battery status. Sleek and lightweight bike and scooter designs are influencing manufacturers. And, battery-life technology, including a major focus on developing inexpensive, recyclable lead-acid batteries that extend the ride time of an e-vehicle, will make a significant impact on the market in the coming years.

As rideable electric technology evolves, H.B. Fuller continues to provide solutions that meet shifting market demands, specifically when it comes to the latest in battery design and installation for electric vehicles. Learn more about our complete portfolio of lightweight, thermally-conductive and high-performing adhesives.

H.B. Fuller is ready to help you solve your adhesive and sealant challenges today

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