I was a little surprised to discover that electric bikes have been around since Victorian times, although as one would expect, the design and functionality of them has improved with the times.
Images of some electric bikes from the 30s to the 80s
Today, an ever increasing number of people are discovering the many benefits of riding an e-bike, and consequently sales are booming in this sector. With many different types of e-bikes now available, I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes the chosen mode of transport for many people across the world over the next decade.
Images of some electric bikes from the 00s
Above is the Cruiser floral and Titan MTB from e-Ranger’s range of electric bikes
When you think about it, there are some real ‘wins’ to be had using an e-bike instead of a car, for example:
- It’s far cheaper to buy, run and maintain an e-bike than a car or motorbike
- As we become more and more environmentally aware, riding an e-bike can play a vital part in contributing to reducing emissions
- Cycling can be good for your health and general wellbeing
- You can leave the heavy congestion behind, as well as the frustrations of hunting for that elusive parking space
There’s definitely a slight feeling of smugness when you whiz past people on your e-bike whilst they’re stuck in queues of slow-moving traffic, especially during ‘rush hour’ – oh, the irony of the word ‘rush’ when in fact it’s anything but – unless you’re on your electric bike that is, and then you literally can rush home!
So what does the future hold for electric bikes?
Personally, I doubt the basic shape and design of hybrid-type e-bikes will change that significantly over the next decade – we’ll possibly see some sleeker looking frames and lines, but the key areas that I suspect designers and manufacturers will focus on are:
- Reducing the weight of e-bikes
- Developing a more compact battery pack without diminishing its power, performance and longevity
- Maybe incorporating some form of solar charging / self-charging within the battery pack
Overall though, I hope that comfort, practicality, functionality and affordability remain the bedrock of any future design, while still creating a stylish looking e-bike.
Watch this space!