The ebike revolution continues to rage in 2022, and consumers have more options than ever before. The technology has matured with the marketplace. Standard bikes will always be around, but for the more practical enthusiast, ebikes are a game-changer. From beach cruisers to cargo bikes, and from sports bikes to commuter bikes, including mountain bikes and more, ebike technology continues to drive consumer interest in 2022. With the law still evolving, the all-electric revolution is ongoing, practical applications and recreational uses are expanding, and knowing more before investing in an ebike makes sense.
Generally, an ebike combines the traditional bicycle with an added battery and electric motor. An integrated motor and battery assist the rider’s pedaling. There are two basic categories: pedal assist and second throttled motor ebikes. In both cases, they have the ability to be peddled.
The Importance of Electric Motors and Batteries
The core of the technology, and the value of an ebike, are the electric motor and battery. The motor needs to be efficient, light and durable. The battery needs to be of high quality for a long service life. Most manufacturers contract out from major companies like Shimano, Bosch or Yamaha. Others have custom motors and batteries made by established manufacturers set to their specifications.
In 2022, it is widely accepted that advances in batteries and motors will continue. The ebike market has grown so that funding and investment capital is available for research, and there is a rush to get new ebikes to customers. The goal is more power, longer battery life, quiet powerful motors and lighter overall construction. Motors will become smaller, lighter and more powerful. The industry leaders building new motors for 2022 are Shimano, Bosch and Yamaha.
The real work is to build ebikes with longer battery life and shorter charging cycles. The new batteries will work better with pedal power with multilevel engagement. Many manufacturers will offer accessory batteries to double range – up to 180 miles.
The Three eBike Classes
2022 will also see changes in state law and local ordinances governing the traffic rules for ebikes. The dynamics of the new legislation are not identical across North America. Some states have yet to regulate ebikes seriously. In part, existing and proposed laws classify ebikes into three classes, and each class will have slightly different regulations. Some states or local governments require a license for Class One and Class three ebikes.
There are three generally accepted standards based on speed and pedal assist systems. A Class One ebike has a maximum 750-watt motor with pedal assist up to 20 MPH. Likewise, a Class Three ebike can have up to a 750-watt motor but peddle assist helps up to 28 MPH. Class Two ebikes have a throttle-controlled motor and can propel the rider up to 20 MPH without pedal assist. Generally, local governments classify ebikes as bicycles and are exempt from licensing. eBikes are regulated by different electric bicycle laws.
eBikes and History
Before the 20th century, electric motors were well developed enough to be useful. The first patent was filed in the 1880s. The motor was attached to the bicycle’s rear wheel hub and had no gears, but it is unknown if a model was made and demonstrated. In 1897, a similar design was completed and patented. This electric bike was imitated in the 1990s by Giant Lafree ebikes. The later 1800s saw several designs that 100 years later would be incorporated in the first modern ebikes.
New Features 2022
The ebike will become more streamlined with batteries and motors more integrated, a trend seen in the last decade. Another commonsense trend, key locked in batteries, will become standard. With greater ebike speeds, stability becomes more important. Suspension systems will be improved, and tires will be widened – increasing control. Brake systems will be able to slow and stop more like motorcycles. Lightweight disk brakes will become more common. More rack systems and installed lighting (turn signals, stop signal lights and headlights) are on the horizon.
eBikes are becoming more common and reliable. In Europe and Asia, they are mainstream, replacing gas engine light motorcycles and mopeds. This is not so new, but new on the scene to many; personal transportation is expected to expand market share over gas-powered choices. Eco-friendly and affordable, ebikes are a natural choice as the world goes all-electric. For recreation, commuting, exploring and exercise, there is no better choice – join the ebike revolution.