Search
Close this search box.

eBikes.org’s Data-Driven Insights Into the E-Bike Market

ebikes trends 2024 featured image
Here at eBikes.org, we conducted an in-depth survey about the public's thoughts on the expanding e-bike market — and the results are electric.
ebikes trends 2024 featured image
Written by Ashley Reid
Contributing Editor

Key Takeaways From eBikes.org's Report

Riding Toward the Future: Insights Into the Growing E-Bike Market

Electric bikes have surged in popularity over the past years, and if you don’t yet have one, you’ve probably seen quite a few out on the road. However, they aren’t yet making headlines like other electric vehicles — Cybertruck, we’re looking at you.

Even when e-bikes do make national news, it’s not always for the better. Safety has become a significant concern after several lithium battery fires, prompting ongoing security initiatives. As we move into 2024, the question now is whether the e-bike market will continue its growth or begin to plateau due to growing concerns.

To help answer that, we collected extensive data and compiled the insights in our 2023 E-Bike Trends Report. The findings revealed several promising points about the future of e-bike use — and a few hurdles that the market must overcome in the coming years.

Before getting into those details, we want to provide the backdrop for our data-driven predictions by reviewing large-scale electric vehicle (EV) market trends and factors that have spurred recent e-bike growth.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

E-Bikes: The Silent Leader in the Global EV Transition

If you look at the top EV brands, they’re all passenger vehicle manufacturers. Tesla, BYD, and even newcomers like Porsche are all household brands — and they don’t produce e-bikes.

That, combined with the minimal e-bike market research, might lead you to believe that the recent e-bike boom is just a secondary effect of the global move to electric vehicles.

However, the opposite is true. 

E-bikes are silently leading the EV transition. And we’re here to make some noise by both raising awareness and filling in the vast research gaps.

A Peek at the Global EV and E-Bike Market

Global EV sales continue to surge. PwC’s 2023 third-quarter report shows a 28% increase in units sold between September 2022 and 2023. In particular, battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales grew 19% worldwide. This growth pushed the estimated number of EVs sold to 14 million units in 2023.

While impressive, these numbers don’t include e-bikes — and actually pale in comparison to the global e-bike fleet, which boasted an estimated 40 million units in 2023. That’s over 280% bigger than the electric car market.

Global number of EVs and e-bikes

Granted, nearly all two-wheeled electric vehicle sales occur in China. Notable runner-ups include India, France, Germany, and Italy, where the two-wheeler markets are steadily expanding.

With a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 10% between 2022 and 2030, the e-bike market is set to maintain its impressive lead over electric cars. We can expect about 44.2 million e-bikes by the end of 2024 and over 77.2 million by 2030.

A Deep Dive Into the U.S. EV and E-Bike Market

The U.S. is home to one of the largest electric car markets, second only to China. With its prominent global position and internationally recognized manufacturers like Tesla, the market is only set to continue its rapid expansion.

This common knowledge only applies to EV passenger vehicles, though. Try bringing up U.S. e-bike brands like Aventon, Xtracycle, or Rad Power Bikes at your next Thanksgiving dinner, and you’ll probably get blank stares.

However, that lack of buzz around e-bikes makes their current success all the more impressive.

According to market research from Circana, U.S. e-bike sales surged 269% from 2019 to 2022, far outperforming traditional bike sales. While certainly remarkable, this data was somewhat expected, given e-bikes’ increased efficiency and performance compared to traditional models. What comes as a surprise is that e-bikes are the most popular EV in the U.S. — and they have been for a few years.

Data from the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA) and BloombergNEF show that e-bikes overtook other EVs in 2020 with 42% more imports. The following year saw a massive increase in EVs, but electric two-wheelers still outpaced passenger vehicles with 21% more imports. 

Our eBikes.org report also revealed data supporting the idea that e-bikes are rising as silent EV leaders. We found that nearly 15% of the U.S. population owns an e-bike — and often more than one. Looking specifically at residents of major metropolitan areas, the number is a bit lower at 11%. However, that’s still nearly three times the number of people who own electric cars.

E-bike vs. EV ownership in the U.S.

We also discovered that people are more willing to invest in an e-bike rather than an electric car. About 17% of our urban respondents were planning to buy an e-bike in 2023, and 47% said they were extremely likely to switch to an e-bike if the tax credit bill passes. That’s a significant jump from the mere 12% seriously considering getting an EV.

Three Factors Driving E-Bike Growth in the U.S.

North America still accounts for less than 1% of the global e-bike market. It will likely take several years — if not decades — for U.S. e-bike sales to be on par with Europe, not to mention Asia.

However, the U.S. e-bike market is quickly gaining momentum. This interest in e-bikes didn’t happen gradually like with electric cars; it largely occurred over the past 3-4 years and shows no signs of stopping.

Let’s explore why e-bikes have quickly taken over electric cars and why the U.S. e-bike market will continue its exponential climb into 2024 and beyond.

Timeline of e-bike market growth in the U.S.

1. The Pandemic and the E-Bike

The pandemic played a critical part in mobility evolution, essentially acting as a catalyst for e-bike popularity in the U.S.

Social distancing meant restrictions on public transportation and ride-sharing, leaving people searching for alternative ways to get around. An obvious solution was the bike, not just for commuting but also as a way to exercise during lockdowns. Cities also saw an opportunity for social-distanced transportation and began organizing fleets of e-bikes for public use.

As a result, all bike sales — both traditional and electric — surged in 2020. Conventional bike sales quickly peaked before returning to normal levels, but e-bikes have continued a strong upward streak. After consistently accounting for less than 1% of the U.S. bicycle market, e-bikes passed the 1% mark in 2020. Just two years later, they reached 4% and are expected to continue on an exponential growth trend.

The e-bike sales growth didn’t plateau or taper off as restrictions eased. On the contrary, they continued to grow, showing that e-bikes are here for the long run.

2. The Economic Impact on E-Bike Market Growth

First, let’s acknowledge that, yes, e-bikes are considerably more expensive than traditional bikes. You can find a standard bicycle for a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, while electric bikes generally range from just under $1,000 to well over $10,000. 

However, e-bikes are not just a traditional bike alternative, nor do they continually require steep investments. On the contrary, they offer considerable long-term cost savings.

Move Aside, Cars

Thanks to their higher speeds and cargo-carrying capabilities, e-bikes are emerging as a cost-effective car replacement.

Not only is the upfront investment considerably lower, but the long-term maintenance is also minimal. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American pays $2,635 annually just in gasoline — nearly 125 times what they would need to spend on electricity to charge an e-bike.

Many people are already trying to cut back on travel to save money on gas. In fact, our 2023 eBikes.org report found that almost 31% of people have somewhat or greatly decreased their vehicle usage over the past year due to gas prices.

Change in vehicle usage due to gas prices

While gas prices dropped during 2023, they remain high. On top of that, the economy has not yet stabilized. Volatility remains, the U.S. GDP is predicted to slow to a near halt in 2024, and experts have mixed opinions on whether the year will bring a recession.

Considering all these factors, cost-saving tactics will remain a priority for many Americans. Eliminating — or at least reducing — those gas expenses with an e-bike could be invaluable.

Bike to Work; Make More Money

Choosing to bike rather than drive can do much more than help people save money — it can also help increase their annual earnings.

In our eBikes.org report, we surveyed over 1,000 commuters and found that bike commuters saved $48 weekly just by not using their cars. This translates to $2,500 annually, which is about how much the average person spends on gas each year.

That cost-saving perk is to be expected. What’s interesting, though, is the substantial increase in motivation and job satisfaction. Our data shows that a significant number of bike commuters have a boost in energy (70%), productivity (27%), and motivation to innovate (40%). Another 30% are less likely to resign.

Professional benefits of biking to work

As a result, their job performance improves, leading to higher salaries. This isn’t just speculation. Our eBikes.org report shows that people receive an average salary increase of $5,000 after choosing to bike to work, and bike commuters generally make $15,000 more annually than non-bike commuters.

Financial benefits of biking to work

3. The Environmental Impact on E-Bike Market Growth

The focus has long been on how passenger EVs can help reduce carbon emissions and lower the world’s reliance on oil. Just look at the recent federal tax credits for electric cars, which are encouraging people to switch from gas guzzlers to EVs. However, this emphasis on electric cars has been misplaced. Electric two-wheelers have actually been significantly more successful at displacing global oil demand thanks to their quick adaptation and high numbers. They even accounted for 60% of displaced oil demand in 2023, reducing daily oil consumption by over 1 million barrels. In other words, e-bikes are an incredibly effective zero-carbon mode of transportation. As more U.S. consumers — and government officials — realize this, the more e-bike demand will increase.

The Need for Cleaner Air

While e-bikes’ efficiency in displacing oil is not yet common knowledge, their impact on air quality is much more tangible. Urban residents can smell and feel the effects of air pollution, which might even seem more abrasive after the empty streets and clean air during the pandemic. As a result, cleaner air has become a priority for residents of major U.S. cities. Our eBikes.org report found that the vast majority — 70%, to be exact — say that reducing air pollution is extremely important. Another 28% say it’s moderately important.
Perceptions of city dwellers on e-bikes and air pollution

This pressing need for cleaner air has impacted residents’ opinions on e-bikes. About 56% of city dwellers believe e-bikes could significantly improve air pollution, and environmental benefits are the number one reason residents would support an e-bike tax credit.

Sustainability as a Leading Purchasing Factor

While environmental concerns have been a pressing topic for decades, they haven’t always affected consumers’ habits. All that is changing now. Consumers are increasingly prioritizing sustainability when making purchasing decisions. According to NIQ’s 2023 The Green Divide, nearly three-fourths of consumers report that sustainability has become more important than two years ago. Environmental friendliness now ranks as the fifth most important factor when choosing a brand, following things like price and safety.
Important e-bike features with focus on eco-friendliness
Our eBikes.org report revealed similar findings. Over 43% of current e-bike owners listed eco-friendliness as a top e-bike feature, ranking it third overall. While it lagged far behind the top two options — speed and ease of riding — sustainability was still a significant consideration, especially for Gen X (between 45 and 60).
The importance of eco-friendliness for e-bike owners according to age

Governments Going Green

Moving into 2024 and beyond, we expect a rise in environmental awareness, especially with upcoming green initiatives. These will impact various sectors, from food and agriculture to building construction and, of course, transportation. Take the E-BIKE Act, for example. While it initially failed in 2021, it has been reintroduced into Congress with significant support. Whether it becomes federal law is yet to be seen — we can only hope, though! However, the increased support from representatives shows that the move to zero-carbon transportation is of national concern.

What to Expect in 2024

With multiple economic and environmental factors at play, e-bikes are clearly much more than a fad. But what does 2024 specifically hold for the e-bike market?
The most realistic prediction is steady growth as manufacturers and e-bike enthusiasts work to overcome the two biggest barriers to large-scale e-bike implementation: a lack of knowledge and common misconceptions about e-bikes. But that doesn’t mean 2024 will be a boring year for e-bikes. On the contrary, leading e-bike brands are preparing some exciting ’24 models and experimenting with e-bike integration options. Let’s take a closer look at each of these points.

Overcoming Unawareness

The simple fact is that most people in the U.S. don’t know much about e-bikes — and many don’t even know they exist. Our recent survey aimed to understand why more people don’t own an e-bike, expecting answers regarding safety or battery life. However, the top three reasons all reflected one thing: awareness is lacking.
Reasons people don't own an e-bike
Unawareness of the Need for an E-Bike

Nearly 48% of non-owners said they had no need for an e-bike. While we don’t expect an e-bike to work for everyone, the high number of respondents saying e-bikes are unnecessary speaks more to an unawareness of the benefits than a true lack of need. It could also reflect the limited biking infrastructure, but we’ll explore that later.

There are numerous benefits that people might not be aware of, such as improved road safety, better mobility, and increased sustainability. E-bikes also work for people of all ages and capabilities, especially with the pedal assist features. And there are even kid-sized models so little riders can enjoy trail and urban riding with the family. With that in mind, we could argue that most people do> need — or could at least benefit from — an e-bike, if not for their personal benefit, then for the environment.

Unawareness of Current Prices

Another 46% of respondents cited high prices as the reason they have not yet purchased an e-bike, reflecting a similar unfamiliarity with e-bikes.

This concern about price is common with innovative products since new tech usually comes with a high price tag. However, e-bikes don’t cost as much as people think.

High-end e-bikes can cost thousands of dollars, but those are usually for hardcore riders. Plenty of more economical options exist, with some coming in under $1,000. Combine that with the cost savings mentioned above, and e-bikes are an extremely affordable and smart investment. Many owners already realize this. Nearly 40% had a household income under $75,000 — well below the national average of $87,864.

Household income for e-bike owners vs. non-owners

Unawareness of Options

Surprisingly, 21% of respondents said they were either unaware of options or did not know what an e-bike was. This makes sense since other EVs have dominated headlines, and e-bike design is streamlined enough to pass as a traditional bike to the untrained eye.

Welcoming a New E-Bike Era

Despite these hurdles, we expect unawareness to dissipate in the coming years.

Groups like PeopleForBikes are already working to dispel these misconceptions, raise awareness, and change legislation. And here at eBikes.org, we hope to do the same in 2024 by providing more reviews and educational materials.

With more e-bike riders each year, we expect to see a growing number of people — like you! — sharing e-bike news, advocating for better bike networks, and, overall, improving e-bike awareness.

New Design and Technology

Perhaps the most exciting thing to come in 2024 is new e-bike designs and technology — and there’s quite a bit to unpack.

Several brands have already provided a sneak preview of their 2024 models, getting us hyped up to try these new e-bikes. For example, Bosch announced new-and-improved batteries, additional apps, and an expanded smart system. Simplon has already released a few new models, highlighting their aerodynamic frames and sleek designs that make battery packs almost invisible.

Sneak Peeks from EUROBIKE

The EUROBIKE 2023 convention highlighted up-and-coming trends, from improved suspension and sleek designs to reinvented cargo racks. Some standout models include the new aerodynamic e-bike from Aero Design Swiss and a rentable Riese & Müller cargo e-bike.

There were also several advancements in sustainability. For instance, Schwalbe’s Green Marathon tire made history as the first bike tire made from other bike tires. Not only does it have a closed-loop product cycle, but it also offers exceptional performance. Deutsche Bahn also unveiled a ‘Call a Bike’ station with a vertical mini garden that improves city aesthetics and air quality.

We probably won’t see all of these advancements reach the U.S. e-bike market this year, especially things like ‘Call a Bike’ or rentable cargo e-bikes. However, we can definitely enjoy the 2024 models and use existing European bike infrastructure as inspiration for ongoing projects.

E-Bike Tech Reveals at CES

The recent CES 2024 in Las Vegas displayed all kinds of cutting-edge technology — but the e-bike innovations stole the show.

Vanpowers released smart e-bikes, complete with an anti-theft protection system, geofencing, an emergency SOS, and other safety features. The best part is that the smart system is available for both urban riders and hardcore mountain bikers.

E-bike brand Urtopia took it a step further with the unveiling of its ‘smartest’ e-bike. The company has incorporated ChatGPT into its e-bikes, allowing riders to receive information about the best routes, review personalized coaching tips, and even have a quick chat while riding.

Artificial intelligence has finally made its way into the e-bike market, and we’re definitely excited to try out these bikes and see how AI can transform the biking experience.

Safety Regulations

Even with continued innovations, safety remains a primary concern for communities. Battery safety is, of course, a priority, but so are road regulations. As more cities roll out bike-share programs and more individuals invest in their own e-bikes, both drivers and bikers must effectively share the road.

Local governments have already implemented some regulations, such as age limits and special license requirements. However, they vary drastically and depend on whether the state views e-bikes as bicycles or motor vehicles. Some states have next to no restrictions.

So, what’s the solution?

We asked both e-bike owners and non-owners what safety initiatives they would prefer to see in 2024, and the top three answers for both groups were safer batteries, required safety gear (e.g., reflective clothing and mirrors), and dedicated e-bike lanes or areas.

E-bike owners favored safer batteries far more than other options, while non-owner votes were more evenly distributed. Strict age and speed limits fell in the middle for both groups, leaving rider insurance and license requirements as the clear least favorites.

Preferred e-bike safety regulations for owners and non-owners

A Step Toward Safer Roads

States like New York are already taking initiatives to prohibit the sale of uncertified lithium batteries. Hopefully, other states will follow suit to keep old, recycled batteries off the market and maybe even implement safety gear regulations. Only time will tell.

What we do know, though, is that local governments will continue to take proactive steps in 2024 to help manage road traffic and safety.

New York City is a prime example. The mayor’s administration recently published a “Charge Safe, Ride Safe” plan to boost electric micromobility and keep riders safe. Starting in early 2024, the city will invest $25 million in charging and storing stations throughout the city. While it doesn’t directly address the issue of safer batteries, it encourages safer charging practices and lowers the fire risk.

Many cities are also addressing the increase in bikers by updating their infrastructure. Some major metropolitan areas like Seattle and Minneapolis have already created bike-friendly infrastructure, while others are still in the process of reimaging the layout.

For example, Dallas recently released an update to its decade-old bike plan after recognizing that the current infrastructure was designed for vehicles, not bikes. With 87% of residents supporting more bike-friendly policies, the city is now preparing for some major overhauls to create a safer and more connected bicycle network.

Change is also occurring worldwide. In 2023, the Bloomberg Initiative for Cycling Infrastructure awarded grants to redesign cycling infrastructure in ten cities, including Fortaleza, Brazil; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Lisbon, Portugal; and Wellington, New Zealand.

Diverse Use

Respondents to our 2023 survey ranked leisure as the number one use for e-bikes, followed by fitness. This makes sense since most people use conventional bikes for the same reasons. However, e-bikes have a much broader range of uses, and we’ll likely see more of these other uses implemented in 2024.

Increased Mobility

Take, for example, increased mobility. E-bikes in pedal-assist or throttle mode allow people to pedal at their own pace, reducing the risk of over-exertion and injury. This can be a complete game-changer for older adults and those with disabilities, offering them a safe way to exercise outdoors while increasing their freedom and functionality.
Many people don’t yet realize this, considering it was one of the lower-ranked uses for non-e-bike owners. Those who do own an e-bike, however, ranked increased mobility in the top three uses. Interestingly, people over 60 were the most likely to use an e-bike for increased mobility — but also the most likely to not use an e-bike at all. Given the incredible benefits that an e-bike could offer older riders, the fact that they tend to disregard e-bikes speaks again to the looming problem of unawareness.
Preferred e-bike use by age

With more e-bikes designed for adults with limited mobility and growing lists of e-bikes for seniors, this unawareness will slowly dissipate in the coming years.

A Rise in Younger Bikers

Younger generations are often the first to embrace newer technology and innovation. However, it’s been a bit different for e-bikes.
Age distribution of e-bike owners

Our survey found that about 61% of e-bike owners are over 45, with only 16% of owners under 30. Most of the younger respondents cited price as the main reason they don’t have an e-bike, which makes sense since nearly half reported a household income under $50,000.

Household income of e-bike owners by age

However, this age group was the most willing to consider an e-bike — especially for commuting and urban riding. This openness, combined with an increasing number of affordable e-bikes and a general tech savviness, means we will likely see even more young bikers jump on the e-bike bandwagon in the coming years.

Deliveries

Important e-bike features for owners with a focus on carrying cargo
Interestingly, our survey found that carrying capacity was the least important feature for e-bike owners, and less than a quarter used their e-bike for deliveries or errands. However, we expect this to change in the coming years.
Main e-bike uses for owners with a focus on deliveries/errands

Not only are many e-bikes built to carry deliveries and groceries, but they also have enough motor power to make such transportation easy and sustainable. Delivery e-bikes are already common in other parts of the world, so it’s only a matter of time before they become popular in the U.S.

In fact, many companies are already starting to switch to more eco-friendly transportation methods — like e-bikes — for deliveries. Amazon is a prime example. Its e-bike fleet has helped transform grocery micromobility in New York City, and the company plans to expand its EV-based services in the coming years.

The Everything Bike

To date, many e-bikes have been designed for a specific purpose, whether that’s mountain biking or urban riding. But why limit yourself to just one activity? And that’s just what e-bike manufacturers have been asking as well.
Versatility is the name of the game now, with recent growth in multipurpose and crossover e-bikes. Top brands are beginning to combine on- and off-roading features, increase carrying capacity, and offer different frame designs to broaden usage. Even simple integrations like semi-fat tires and a front suspension system can allow people to easily go from urban to trail riding. Just as the do-it-all SUV became popular, we can clearly see a growing market for multipurpose e-bikes.

2024 and Beyond

Only time will tell what 2024 has in store for the e-bike market. But if past trends are any indication, e-bikes are on track to have another strong year.

That said, there’s still a lot of work to be done to raise awareness, especially considering how the U.S. e-bike market is almost nonexistent compared to the Asian and European markets. Too many people still don’t know what an e-bike is, let alone that it offers a cost-effective and fun approach to zero-carbon transportation.

So, if you’re an e-bike enthusiast like us, share the word! And if you are just discovering the e-bike world, check out our resources or sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Was this helpful?
YesNo

About Our Editorial Team

ashley reid headshot
Written by Ashley Reid
Contributing Editor
Ashley is a professional writer, editor, and teacher with over ten years of experience. Her real passion is traveling - and biking - around the world.

Be The First To Know

Signup for eBikes.org emails to be the first to see reviews, news, and exclusive deals and discounts from e-bike brands.
ornate green dots
These ads keep the power on

Related Resources

More Resources

Be The First To Know

Sign up for eBikes.org emails to be the first to see reviews, news, and exclusive deals and discounts from e-bike brands.