China’s E-Bike Industry Enters New Era with Production Drop
SHANGHAI, China – China’s electric bike industry experienced its first production drop in the past 15 years. During the first half of 2014, the production of the top 50 e-bike manufacturers dropped by 1.98%; a big contrast to the annual average 30% increase in the past.
Over the years the number of e-bike manufacturers in China has reduced from 2,000 in the year of 2000 to around 700 today. Among them only 393 have annual turnovers of over CNY 20 million (3mn euro). This consolidation made the top manufacturers, who were already dominating the market, even bigger. In 2014, Aima became the first e-bike company that accomplished annual sales of over 4 million units; an increase of 15% when the smaller companies were struggling.
Specs and size of e-bike lithium batteries
According to China Bicycle Association (CBA), the top ten e-bike companies accounted for 47% of the total production in 2014. Today, China has 200 million e-bikes running on the road totaling CNY 100 billion (14bn euro) in value, a tenfold increase from 2005. The value of the entire upstream and downstream industry chain has reached CNY 200 billion (28bn euro).
Since 2013, China has set and implemented regulations for the specs and size of e-bike lithium batteries while also a Battery Management System was launched. In October 2014, China reached a strategic collaboration agreement with Germany. With that the Chinese electric car brands will adopt the same charging standards as BMW and Audi. During the first half of 2014, the production of lithium battery equipped e-bikes reached 1.7 million units; an increase of 36% and accounted for over 50% of the total e-bike export.
Currently, major motorcycle manufacturers are entering the e-bike industry at full speed as demand from the motorcycle market shrinks. China’s motorcycle tycoons like Haojue, Zongshen, and Dayun are all investing in e-bikes. This stronger competition forces current e-bike makers to upgrade themselves in order to survive.