The dynamism of the electric bicycle market has led several players to take an interest in it. In a market with a relatively homogenous offering, players in the sector are focusing on innovation to stand out from the crowd. New materials, new services or new commercial approaches, innovation makes it possible to attract cyclists while removing potential obstacles to the use of electric bikes. Discover 7 innovations that are challenging the global e-bike market.
Safety innovations for electric bicycles
After price, the main obstacle to the use of electric bicycles is safety. To overcome this, the bicycle industry has come up with innovative safety features.
C-V2X and cooperative driving
Originating from the automotive industry, V2X is a technology that allows a connected vehicle to communicate with its environment. Road infrastructure, smartphones and the cloud transmit and receive information. Thanks to this, the driver is continuously informed of the evolution of his environment: weather, road incidents, approaching vehicle, etc. The switch to 5G for communication has made the operation more inclusive by including bicycles. This allows :
- To make the cyclist visible to other vehicles: each party will have information about the nature, position and speed of movement of the other.
- Avoid collisions: e.g.
,at an intersection or a bend, vehicles can be alerted to the presence of the cyclist in the blind spot.
- Be aware of traffic and weather conditions: depending on the weather and traffic conditions, cycling can be dangerous. By allowing the cyclist to be informed of the evolution of these parameters, he or she can ride in an informed manner and act if necessary.
ABS brakes, automotive technology adapted to e-bikes
Similar to the technology found on motorbikes and cars, ABS technology allows electric bikes to be more responsive when braking. Thanks to a sensor located on the front wheel, the ABS system measures the speed of the bike and shares this information with the ABS monitor, the system’s control centre. In case of danger, when the rider brakes, the tyre pressure is regulated by an actuator. This prevents the bike’s back wheel from lifting due to sudden braking.
Smart helmets, an innovation already available
While waiting for C-V2X technology to be democratized, the smart helmet is an innovation already accesible to cyclists. This helmet aims to increase the safety of cyclists when riding in urban areas. Thanks to an on-board LED system, cyclists can indicate the direction they are going to take by a head nod. To buy a helmet with this technology, the cyclist will have to pay at least 150 euros for an entry-level model.
Helmet with air bag system, technology to protect the cyclist’s head
Unprotected, the cyclist is vulnerable during an accident. To remedy this, accessory manufacturers have designed accessories with integrated airbags. Thus, in the event of an impact, a protective airbag is triggered to protect the cyclist from sudden shocks. Today, there are several references such as backpacks and helmets for protection against impacts.
Technology as a performance lever for the cycling experience
To perfect the electric bike experience, brands are choosing a global vision and are also thinking about related services.
Inspired by the home delivery giants, the cycle industry is also following the trend by offering a range of services accessible to cyclists from home or anywhere in the city. It is now possible to have your bike delivered to your home, to have it collected at home in case of maintenance or to call on a repair service when you encounter a problem during the day.
In increasingly connected environments, the smartphone is the preferred communication interface between brands and consumers. The smartphone is being used to make the electric bike experience more enjoyable. Via a mobile application, brands can offer their cyclists a wide range of services to facilitate their daily life.
- Remote actions: locking, unlocking the bike, disabling the electric power, trigger a sound alarm…
- Real-time geolocation: thanks to a connected tracker placed on the bike, the cyclist has access to its real-time position.
- Statistics: the cyclist can access statistics on his/her use of the bike (total distance travelled, frequency of use, journey history or calories burned…)
- Maintenance: the mobile application allows brands to assist cyclists in the maintenance of electric bikes. It is therefore possible to set up alerts for maintenance, to know what operation needs to be done and when.
Design innovations in the electric bicycle industry
In the bicycle industry, design is an important element of a product’s conception. It allows to build the brand identity, while answering important issues for the cyclist such as the weight, the practicality or the durability of his electric bike.
Folding bike: an innovation for city dwellers
From multi-mobility to urban travel, the electric folding bike meets the needs of city dwellers who sometimes need to use another mode of transport in addition to cycling. Compact, light and practical, the folding bike is easy to transport, allowing cyclists to enjoy the best of mobility.
Carbon bike: between innovation and challenges
In the 2000s, carbon bikes began to gain ground among cyclists. Today, with the expansion of the electric bike and technical developments, the trend is growing. Now, e-bike manufacturers can shape the very stiff carbon fibres into an aerodynamic shape.
The main advantage of carbon is its lightness and malleability. Thanks to this, it is possible to make frames weighing less than 1000g. For an electric bike, this is a real advantage as compared to a classic bike, it is heavier because of the battery. However, when it comes to carbon, recycling remains a challenge. To be recycled, carbon fibres require special treatment, which can be laborious. This raises the question of eco-design.
Innovation at Velco
At Velco, we innovate to provide cyclists with an ever safer and more enjoyable electric bike experience. Through our white label application and ecosystem, brands can offer their riders efficient and effective solutions to enhance their cycling experience.
- Application customisation: quickly and cost-effectively create a mobile application in your own colours to reach out to your customers
- Maintenance advice: Thanks to advice and alerts, accompany your cyclists in the maintenance of their bike
- Marketing operations: thanks to the information collected, plan marketing operations to build links with your customers