Taiwanese e-bikes impact with strong industry chain
WITH the rising awareness of environmental protection and the popularisation of leisure and fitness concepts, e-bikes have become a new model of “green transportation” due to their various advantages, such as power-saving and zero pollution. Thanks to gradually maturing technology and decreasing unit prices.
Europe has become one of the significant e-bike markets globally as it leads the world in environmental awareness.
With the international e-bike market being driven by Europe, as demand for e-bikes among seniors in the EU market increases, the average unit price of e-bikes exported to the EU from Taiwan has also risen significantly 36.7 per cent. That created a rise in the overall export value of e-bikes.
Apart from Europe, Taiwan’s export structure is led by exports of e-bikes to North America and in 2019 reached 144,000 units in volume, ranking first in terms of growth of export value among all regions.
Since the rise of the sharing economy, the Taiwanese bicycle industry was hit hard as the overall export value of Taiwanese bicycles slid downward. However, e-bikes have experienced “a rise in both volume and price” recently.
According to data published by the Customs Administration, Ministry of Finance, Europe and North America accounted for over 90 per cent of Taiwanese e-bikes exports. Simultaneously, the top three importing countries were the Netherlands, the US, and Germany.
However, the Taiwanese bicycle industry stresses quality over quantity and pursuing high-tech and high-value-added products. It has also greatly affected the development of the global bicycle technology.
In recent years, Taiwan’s two major bicycle brands – Giant and Merida – have actively developed e-bike products, to satisfy the global demand. For example, Giant Group invested EUR15 million to set up a new plant in Hungary to get closer to the rapid rising e-bike market in Europe by shortening the supply chain.
Giant bicycles are sold in over 50 countries with over 10,000 distributors and have been developing power-assisted bicycles since 1999. And was also the first brand to bring power-assisted bikes into the European market.
Founded in 1972, Merida Industry Co., Ltd. has also been targeting the trend of e-bikes. The launch of the e160, an electric mountain bicycle produced by Merida, caused a stir in the global market three years ago.
The “e160 900E Electric Full-Suspension Cross-Country Mountain Bicycle,” which flaunted that climbing uphill would no longer be a burden, has become a classic representation of sports and leisure e-bikes and has won the Taiwan Excellence Silver Quality Award 2017.
In 2020, Merida launched the eONE-SIXTY. It won the Taiwan Excellence Silver Quality Award, thanks to its variety of unique designs. The designs included a new carbon fibre frame that is lighter and more rigid and a heat-conducting device to prevent the battery overheating.