SHANGHAI, Nov 25 (SMM)—China’s annual electric bicycle sales have exceeded 30 million units in the past few years, with social e-bike ownership rising close to 300 million units, and output of bikes over 1,000 yuan continues to increase, according to China Bicycle Association. In 2019, output of high-end products such as lithium-ion battery e-bikes stood at nearly 5 million units, accounting for 13.8% of total e-bike output.
E-bike output has increased gradually since April 2020. Data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) showed that e-bike output totalled 22.85 million units in the first nine months of 2020, jumping 30.3% from the same period last year.
The Safety Specification for Electric Bicycles took effect on April 15, 2019, which was called a new national standard for e-bikes. As the standard requires the frame weight of electric bicycle should be controlled below 39kg, the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery with lighter weight and higher energy density has become a mainstream choice of e-bike producers. Domestic large-scale e-bike makers such as Yadi, Aima and Lvyuan have successively launched new products that meet the new standard, while new brands such as Niu and Segway-Ninebot have started to use lithium-ion batteries since their birth.
Demand for e-bikes has increased year on year in 2020, and total output is expected to reach more than 36 million units. The proportion of lithium batteries used in e-bikes is estimated to increase to 25% by the end of 2020 amid the new national e-bike standard and higher performance-price ratio of lithium cells. Demand for lithium batteries is likely to increase by 60-70% from a year earlier to 15GWh in 2020 considering the fact that currently more than 90% bike sharing are using lithium batteries and the delivery and express sectors have increased proportion of e-bikes that use lithium batteries.
Many battery makers and lithium battery e-bike manufacturers have cooperated with bike-sharing companies this year. While new energy vehicles suffered a lot from the COVID-19 pandemic in the first half of this year, sales of electric two-wheeled vehicles increased, prompting some battery makers to resume production of lithium batteries. Demand for lithium batteries from electric two-wheeled vehicles is expected to rise by more than 70% in 2021.