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.

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.

0 thoughts on “Status of electric bikes and scooters”

  1. Back when Andrews first published on MiniMag orion, I immediately did a calculation on the fuel pellet trail idea and then realized that it is easier to produce a neutral particle beam of fuel. We would arrange things so the beam velocity is always zero wrt the ship meaning we have to launch fuel beams waaay before we launch the ship. However, it is easier to collect such a beam than to collect pellets, you simply follow the beam.
    Beam current would be very high, I cannot remember the numbers but it was Meg-amps or so and requires that the beam is then neutralized. The advantage of such is that such a beam can be aimed toward various destinations easier than a pellet launcher. Such a neutral beam device could also be used to support several missions at once by magnetically steering the beam and pulsing it.
    The beam device would be built in solar orbit to support missions to outer planets and to inter-stellar missions. Thus it would be available for multiple missions.
    The advantage of this is that although the actual energy expenditure may be higher than carrying the fuel, it means the ships engines can be smaller because it does not have to carry the fuel.
    A similar calculation can be done for a Xenon based electric thruster getting to .1c where power is provided by a nuke reactor and we simply scale up the NASA Deep Space 1 thruster. We use a neutral Xe beam. It looked reasonable except for the large amount of expensive Xenon. However, i have just heard of a “helicon” thruster using nitrogen gas………….

  2. Tom,

    I had not worked out the catching of the pellets. Either the pellets are slower and the craft overtakes them and catches/scooops or they are faster. With potentially far faster pellets from lorentz propulsion, slamming into the pusher plate makes sense.

  3. If I read what you intend correctly, you plan to “catch” the pellets?

    Once you hit 1% of C (perhaps before), why not just let them slam into a target mass a bit behind the ship, and use the resulting explosion to propel the ship? The faster you’re going, the less mass the target has to have.

    Or is that actually what you had in mind?

  4. interesting post, but your pellet catcher will expend a lot of energy. You will need to accelerate the pellets from their current velocity to the velocity of the ship when they intercept one another. The faster you go the more energy the pellet catcher will need. Now i am not saying that the idea isn’t a good one, but it may not be as efficient as one would like it to be.


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