Summer is here and people all over the world are getting on their bikes and taking to the streets. As mentioned in this previous post, our Viking eBike team is looking into purchasing more eBikes for your use, and for our research in sustainable transportation. Recently, however, our search has run up against a wall (or perhaps just a curb) when it comes to ordering new eBikes. Our local retailers are working to supply us, but not only are we competing with enthusiastic local cyclists, but more startlingly with the skyrocketing demand for electric bikes in China!
Last year, Bloomberg News and the New York Times reported on the rather chaotic eBike use in China’s major cities. The NYT writes,”Beijing now has 5.6 million motor vehicles on its roads, even with restrictions on new sales. The city has up to 2.5 million electric bicycles, and sales have reached 300,000 each year, said Ms. Guo, of the bicycle association.”
We expect that this trend is holding true for 2017 as eBikes grow in popularity, and as the technology continues to improve. As we look back to Bellingham and our research at Western Washington University, we are both excited by the increase in sustainable transportation options for cities the world over, and simultaneously frustrated that it’s taking longer than expected to get more of our hopeful riders on an eBike!