Electric bikes take the spotlight at Eurobike - the largest and one of the most important bicycle trade shows in the world.
This year's show took place in Friedrichshafen, Germany and featured 1,280 exhibiting companies that represented over 54 different nations around the world. Roughly 2,000 journalists covered this 5 day trade show which included one demo day to kick off week's events, 3 days dedicated to industry participants and a closing day which was open to the public.
Of all the companies exhibiting at Eurobike, around 165 of them were electric bike brands, OEMs, systems or component suppliers – which estimates to about 20 more exhibiting brands from 2012. In addition to taking the center stage at almost every booth, electric bikes also received a large amount of press coverage compared to other products and traditional bikes.
Consistent Trends at The Show
- The electric bike market is expanding from its traditional market of older riders and younger cyclists are increasingly using battery-powered bikes for every day transportation.
- As more and more consumers are seeing and buying electric bikes as an efficient and cost effective transportation solution, car and car-related companies are paying close attention to these trends and are making noticeable investments into this industry with their own line of electric bikes. Most renowned car companies such as Daimler, BMW, Smart and Peugot have created unique electric bike models but have struggled with high sales numbers. Although not as recognized to consumers, car parts manufacturers such as Mando, Kymco and EH Line are also stepping into the field with impressive electric bikes - some with unique and custom drive systems and others with traditional Bosch and Panasonic fits. Although too early to say if these companies will disrupt the electric bike industry, their background experience in automotive manufacturing gives them strong credibility.
- One in five electric bike companies who exhibited at Eurobike are using Bosch as one of their drive system suppliers. Majority of European brands are focusing their designs and drive systems to cater to the ever growing German electric bike market – and almost all of them seem to be pro-Bosch. If they aren’t using Bosch they prefer entire drive system suppliers such as TransX, Panasonic and Neo Drives.
- The mid-drive motor is still king in the European market.
- Southern European countries such as Czech Republic, France, Greece and Italy are growing markets.
What’s Next in the eBike World
Eurobike is the show that sets the standard for the electric bike industry. But there is another show coming up... Interbike, the North American bicycle trade show. There will be about 53 electric bike-related companies exhibiting at Interbike, which is one-third of Eurobike’s total. Although the presence of electric bikes is much smaller, the North American electric bike scene is very unique and diverse.