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Disruptors? Who is Elon of the pedelecs?

State of the global pedelec market and technology - where does it go? Who is Elon of the pedelec? Think out of the box.

On 26th November 2019, Hannes Neupert, Chairman ExtraEnergy e.V./Executive Director EnergyBus e.V., talked online at the "Ebike Future Conference".    

Topic: State of the global pedelec market and technology - where does it go?    

• Self introduction
• Market of pedelecs today
• Market drivers in the past*
• Market drivers today*
• Key technologies for Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) which will drive the next 10 years of innovation!
• Disruptors? Who will become the "Elon of the Pedelecs"?  

Watch Hannes Neupert, talking about "Disruptors? Who is Elon of the pedelecs?" at the "Ebike Future Conference" 2019:

>> Disruptors? Who is Elon of the pedelecs? (vimeo)

Automotive industry forced to wake up
"Who is Elon of the Pedelecs? An interesting question and as German, I can say that the German automotive Industry was actively sleeping about electric mobility.  

This crazy guy from South Africa, Elon Musk, just forced them to wake up by just stealing their customers. 

Many Tesla customers have had a BMW first and now they are driving an American car, ditching their premium German brands cars for Tesla because it is more cool and it is more fun to ride. 

And that’s it and they go and the German car industry is really in trouble. 

The bicycle industry I think is still waiting for this Elon to come.  

Think out of the box
Who is Elon of the pedelecs? My guess is: He will not come from the bicycle industry.  

My observation for so many years: Bicycle industry people are in love with their existing product.

You have to think out of the box. So, when you love all these bicycle details, you can not come up with these crazy ideas. 

Pedelec archetype not created yet
The perfect fit: Healthy, little resource and affordable. The Pedelec is the perfect hybrid out of laziness, fitness, fun and image and it will become the iconic symbol of modern mobility.

But the archetype of the pedelec of the future is not created yet.

So, this is something for industrial designers and innovators. This job still needs to be done! 

When will e-bike sales overtake sales of bicycles? That’s now
Carlton Reid, who always made fun of me for many years that I said that the mechanical bicycle is going to die.

Actually now in his article „When will E-Bike Sales Overtake Sales Of Bicycles? For The Netherlands, That’s Now“, he referenced to me and said: Yes, it happened already in the Netherlands.“ 

We counted this year at Eurobike all displayed two-wheelers and we found that there are several hundred more pedelecs displayed: More than 2,000 electric bikes have been displayed and less than 2,000 mechanical bicycles, including children bicycles.

Just to give you an example on the largest bicycle show in the world, the Eurobike, how crazy this has been. 

Read the article on the preliminary results of our survey of end users, dealers and manufacturers, plus trade show research on the market share of drive systems: 

>> Latest survey of pedelec and pedelec drive system market developments 

Nokia dropped in ten years to marginal
In the 2007 edition of the FORBES magazine, it says: „Nokia, one billion customers - can anyone catch the cellphone king?“  

Today, we know: yes. Because Nokia was not considering customer wish fulfillment first.  

Steve Jobs, who is kind of the Elon Musk of the IT, considered what customers really want and not what his sales people told him. 

Because when you talk to sales people, they can just look back and say: This and this went well and project this to the next year.

Of course, there are some who can also digest what customers really wish. But this is really difficult.  

Bicycle makers go to nowhere
That’s why, when you look at this chart, you can see: In 2007, Nokia by far market leader, dropped in ten years to marginal.

And I think, unfortunately, this will also happen to most bicycle makers of today.

When they are just sitting on their big bicycle history, just considering that they own the market, but if they are not making the product which fulfills the customer wishes, which the customers may be are not able to explain, then they will go to nowhere. 

Today, we can see: Samsung, Huawei and Apple are sharing this market." 

Ebike Future Conference
The full video of Hannes Neupert`s speach and all other conference videos are now available at the conference website:   

>> Ebike Future Conference  

*only available at

Please read the previous article:

>> Key Technologies for LEVs - Part 7

Please read the next article:

>> Pedelec Gate - What could stop the market to grow?

Video recording and lecturing: Hannes Neupert  

Video editing and online publication: Angela Budde   

Picture: Video screenshot 

7th April 2020



7 - 12 September 2021, IAA, Munich, Testtrack