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PHOTO CAPTION: Smart electric-assist bicycle weighs 3kg more than 'Boris Bike'.

I Bike London Checks Out Smart's E-Bike

Daimler loans London blogger its smart ebike for a test ride around the city.

Published: 12-Nov-2013

We all love to look back on predictions of the future from years ago that, wonderfully far-fetched as they were, simply failed to materialise. Who knew that we wouldn't live in glass domed cities, with personal hover craft, and robot maids to make our beds and do the dishes?

So it is with some trepidation that I make a prediction for the future of the British bicycle industry. The technology supporting electric bicycles has reached a mature enough stage that e-bikes are now here to stay, and as a market is only going to get bigger. But is Britain ready for an e-bike boom?

In Germany a second consecutive year of double digit growth of e-bikes has seen nearly half a million units sold this year. In the Netherlands, the natural home of the bicycle in Europe, e-bikes make up 15% of all bicycles sold. China - which is undergoing a massive middle-classisation of its population and a booming aspiration for private mobility - already has an estimated 120 million electric bicycles on its streets; from the humble pedelec to the fully battery-driven motor scooter.

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