- Small-manned vehicles have many advantages, challenges
- Airbus unveils $56,000 3D printed e-bike
- E-bike company cites Tesla as its inspiration
The e-bikes/scooters/motorcycles sector of the small-manned electronic vehicle market is forecasted to reach $33 billion in 2027, according to a report by IDTechEx. Meanwhile, car-like micro EVs and two-wheel EVs, are expected reach $33 billion in 2026.
In terms of sales, e-scooters will have the largest market followed by three-wheel micro EVs, four-wheel car-like micro-EVs and e-bikes in 2026.
Micro EVs are extremely lightweight which makes them among the first vehicles to spawn energy independent vehicles that never fill up or plug in. This involves solar cells incorporated into the body.
There are many advantages to small-manned vehicles. Many of these vehicles are an affordable step to a full-sized EV or e-bike. The small size makes them ideal mobility vehicles for the obese, elderly or disabled. In emerging nations car-like micro EVs prevent air pollution and give citizens an opportunity to be mobile. Also, they can be customized for airports and other areas where specific tasks need to be performed.
The market does, however, face some challenges. These vehicles are not required to meet auto industry regulations and manufacturers are not required to perform crash tests. In addition, in some nations, the vehicles can be driven without a driver’s license or automotive insurance.
Airbus Enters e-bike Market
Aerospace giant Airbus Group has entered the e-bike market with a model produced using a 3D printer and an aluminum alloy. It was manufactured by Airbus subsidiary APWorks.
The Light Rider weighs 77 pounds, 13 pounds of which is the hallow frame, and can reach 55 miles per hour with a range of 37 miles.
“The complex and branched hollow structure couldn’t have been produced using conventional production technologies such as milling or welding,” APWorks chief executive Joachim Zettle told the Daily Mail. “Advances in additive layer manufacturing have allowed us to realize the bionic design we envisioned for the motorcycle without having to make any major changes. With these technologies, the limitations facing conventional manufacturing disappear.”
The e-bike will cost $56,095 plus tax. It is a limited release with 50 available for purchase.
The Tesla of e-Bikes
American startup Alta Motors released its first e-bike last autumn.
The company’s inspiration for its e-bike Redshift was Tesla Motors which “paved the way somewhat technologically and absolutely in terms of public opinion” Alta Motors co-founder and CEO Mark Fenigstein told Business Insider Australia. Alta Motors also shares two investors with Tesla.
The Redshift is intended to be the first of many Alta Motors e-bikes and utility vehicles. It retails for $15,000.
Fenigstein widespread acceptance of electric vehicles will occur within a decade.
- With three or four wheels car-like micro EVs, microcars and quadricycles are an electric transition to traditional automobiles.
- The market includes Chinese farmers’ “cars” and Philippine e-tuktuks and e-rickshaws in India.
- In the Philippines, 3.2 million fossil-fuel-powered taxis could be replaced with e-tuktuks.