Few people are aware of the long-standing history behind the e-bike’s pedigree of design and innovation. The fact of the matter is that the earliest record of these buzzing transportation machines dates back to the 20th century—prior to the invention of vacuum cleaners, hairdryers, talking movies, electric razors, helicopters, automotive seat belts, and electric guitars.
Indeed, the first prototype of an electric bicycle existed over a century ago, yet appears as a more recent innovation to the majority of contemporary consumers. Why is that? Let’s take a closer look at the past and present of the electric bicycle industry. Here’s everything you need to know about e-bikes: a history.
Technological Progress: Forward-Thinking Machines
From a specific standpoint, technological innovation is innately savage. Fresh innovations destroy old ones to create a dynamic space for themselves. All the while, these innovations strive to create a better world. How are e-bikes changing the world for the better? Why are they only now sweeping the world by storm?
When considering the electric bicycle, realizing how little has changed since those first inventive steps so early on in history is almost humorous. The safety bicycle design model of two smaller wheels and a sturdy frame known as the standard today was solely conceptualized about a decade e-bikes came into the picture. The idea to make pedaling inherently easier for rider efficiency was at the forefront of the engineer’s mind since the start.
Regardless, the ultimate e-bike design just couldn’t come to fruition yet. Batteries were massively cumbersome and expensive, and the beautifully simple machine didn’t hold much public interest due to its luxury status—not to mention the escalating availability and popularity of the mainstream automobile.
Mass Motorization: A Decline in Ridership
The decreased interest in bicycles during the 20th century was largely due to wider mass motorization. This era of augmented car and motorcycle usage left bicycles lying in the dust. Generally, only people who couldn’t quite afford or take advantage of automobiles made heavy use of two-wheelers.
However, everything you need to know about e-bikes and their revitalization ties back to a history of surging ecological consciousness. Environmental and health movements of the past couple of decades began sprouting attention back to the benefits of electric vehicles, such as the blissfully battery-propelled e-bike.
The Modern Bicycle Market: Exponential Growth
The e-bike market revitalized in the '90s and onward, especially in parts of Asia and Europe. Technological innovations have brought to the picture lighter, smaller, and more affordable batteries. Environmental sustainability efforts are also steadily on the rise. The present-day worldwide production of electric bicycles is consistently growing in numbers. Due to vast improvements in design and manufacturing, a wide assortment of models and variations can be found to suit one's purpose and lifestyle.
Here at Voltaire Cycles, we’re a specialty bike shop providing superior cycling solutions for our customers. As a retailer, we solely carry the most reputable e-bikes brands—you can shop assuredly with confidence. Our brand selections include rechargeable Magnum bikes for sale online or at our storefront. Browse today or contact us with any questions on our assortment of available e-bikes.