The Biking Exhibition in Paris took place from 8 to 10 March 2019 at Parc Floral. The exhibition welcomed many exhibitors of electric bikes.
More than 250,000 pedelecs are now sold in France each year, a figure that is constantly increasing. Prices vary from a few hundred to several thousand euros but new offers could push the prices well down.
Bike, work, sleep!
Well-known brands of electric-assisted bicycles such as Bianchi, Easybike, Gitane, Lapierre, Moustache or Peugeot Cycles unveiled their new models. The electric biking market is boiling. 100 brands of e-bikes and 1500 models exist in France.
French customers logically rush first to the low price models that are imported from China by containers for a few hundred euros. E-bikes prices then go up to several thousand euros depending on the brand and level of equipment chosen.
“We are reaching price levels that are very high. The battery usually represents between a third and half the price of the bike, “says Jérôme Valentin, CEO of Cycleurope France. And would be not unusual, according to him, to expect arrival on the market by 2020 of an electric bike with less autonomy to push down prices of e-bikes.
Another way to get a cheaper deal is to rent. E-bike rental systems with an option to buy begin to develop.
Here are several models that are popular this year.
VOG N7C E5000, from O2Feel: urban and economical
Sold from 1299 euros (with a battery of 374 Wh) or 1499 euros (504 Wh), this city e-bike offers a very good
With 7 speeds and 6 levels of assistance, it’s an easy-going electric bike. Tested in town for 10 days, we appreciated the neo-vintage design, the comfort, the practicality of the luggage rack, the suspension of its front fork, as well as the quality of its brakes, even though they are not disk brakes on this model.
This model would be a good introduction to e-biking for anyone who wants to get a French pedelec, suitable for both short city rides and daily commutes.
eLC01 Legend, from Peugeot: vintage and accessible
The old “
Inspired by a famous Peugeot bicycle, dating from the seventies, this electric bike benefits from a front motor, disc brakes, and a battery (36V-11AH of 400W) located under its luggage rack. It claims autonomy of up to 70 km. Four levels of assistance and eight speeds allow the e-bike to adapt to all terrains. This model is only available in one 24″ size.
Folding Bike, from Ahooga: folding and happy
Created in 2015, Brussels-based Ahooga is campaigning for “the happy city”. With its Folding Bike, the company developed a folding and hybrid e-bike, which is lightweight (13 kg) and can also be used without electric assistance.
“This bike will work fine with either muscle power or electricity, this is your choice,” says Philippe Lefrancq, co-founder of Ahooga. With autonomy up to 50 km, the basic model is sold from 2100 euros. It is available in 215 colors, which help to achieve the goal of making every city – “a happy city”.
Friday 27, Moustache Bikes: trendy and tidy
The Vosges firm Moustache Bikes launches with its bike Friday 27 an electric bike well equipped for the city or the countryside. This e-bike’s battery (Bosch
Also stamped with the Bosch label (Performance Cruise 250W – 40/63 Nm), its motor has four levels of assistance. This e-bike can easily find its place in a corridor or on a balcony thanks to its system “Quick Park” which allows to easily position its handlebar at 90 °. But with the price from 3000 euros, this model remains expensive.
E-Jitensha: minimalist and light
Weighing only 13 kg, this French electric bicycle does not easily show all its secrets.
The secret? The battery (30 V, 160 Wh) and its motor (250 W) are integrated within its rear hub. All commands are done via a smartphone app. But, with its fine looks, the autonomy that does not exceed 30 km. This e-bike is best with hybrid use – as conventional bike and an e-bike with electric assistance.
The boom of e-bikes continues
After an unprecedented leap in 2017 and a further increase in 2018, the electric bicycle market now accounts for 40% of total bicycle sales in France.
The enthusiasm for cycling is confirmed and the cycle market continues to grow: more than 2 billion euros in sales (+ 2.3%) and more than 2.7 million bicycles sold in 2018 in France. Growth is increasingly being carried by electric bicycles.
In 2017 the market growth was unprecedented. 2018 has shown that this trend was anything but a fad – an increase of 21% and 338,000 units sold. The market of electric-assisted bicycles consolidates its growth, now reaching 40% of total bicycle sales turnover.
“The French market is doing very well,” says Yann Noce, marketing director of Moustache Bikes, a French e-bike company. Based in the Vosges and launched in 2011 with 1,500 e-bikes sold, this small company has taken the lead. In 2018, it proposed 55 electric bike models and has sold 28,000 e-bikes. “We are convinced that the more people we put on electric bikes, the more they will leave their cars in the garage. “
E-bike’s invisible hand
Assisted by an electric motor, the rider can travel long distances, longer and faster without getting tired. And no matter how steep the hills are: an invisible hand helps move almost effortlessly.
“The bike has always been seen as an object of freedom. If you offer access to people who otherwise do not have the physical capacity to ride a bike, it works! “Continues Yann Noce. Beyond the simple urban use, his company has developed e-bike frames for professional needs, leisure rides, as well as for sport.
Double Olympic medalist and multiple world champion in cross country mountain bikes – Julien Absalon, now rapidly evolves into mountain electric bikes.
“Power-assisted bikes are a new way to ride a bike. It allows people who have no particular physical condition to rediscover the mountain bike while having fun, “he says.
“Thanks to electric assistance, anyone can climb hills and mountains, which they could not have considered before. Someone with a good level of fitness will be able to apply the same level of effort as a regular bike, but will go faster, farther, and stronger. The muscular force is multiplied on an e-bike: the harder you press on the pedals, the stronger assistance you will get from your motor. “
In response to the explosion of demand, manufacturers in the sector are competing for innovations in the product (integrated design, connectivity, comfort, ergonomics), assistance (weight and volume, autonomy), safety (ABS brakes, proximity sensors or lighting).
“We are committed to ensuring that every person finds the right product. That every component on the bike is really adapted to the experience and the person,” explains Yann Noce.
“There is progress to be made on the engine and, in particular, on batteries. Tomorrow, we will gain 20% or 40% more autonomy. It will be a huge gain. Finally, we are including many connectivity options that take advantage of the massive use of smartphones. This allows having a custom computer board on each e-bike. “
Practical and ecological, the electric bike continues to attract riders in the growing numbers. 2018 demonstrates once again the positive dynamics of the cycle market in France.
In a context of political actions, both at the French (National Cycling Plan) and European (anti-dumping policies limiting Chinese imports) levels, it is a safe bet that this sector has not finished progressing.
“I am convinced that electric bicycles will change our way of life. It’s a part of the future!”
Take a look at this quick video, introducing Ahooga folding e-bike: