E-bikes are a Growing Business in Thailand
Thailand is seeing a steady increase in the number of e-bikes on the roads. Although the practical range of e-bikes is still limited, people who work closer to home see them as less expensive to operate, more practical, and more environmentally friendly. Many riders are being swayed by the positive developments in battery weight and range that the current brands of e-bikes are demonstrating.
In urban areas, many people live in condos and apartment buildings. E-bike manufacturers realised that designing an e-bike with a cleverly integrated, non-removable battery might look cool, but it’s impractical for condo dwellers. People living in city high-rises need removable batteries they can easily bring up to their apartments to charge every night.
The battery is easily the most expensive of an e-bike, and riders develop a routine of charging and looking after them. The cost of a new battery is another reason people take their batteries home if they can. A high-quality lithium-ion battery can easily run between 14,000 and 28,000 Baht, depending on the brand of e-bike. Now that manufacturers are marketing more e-bikes with removable batteries, you’re starting to see more of them in urban environments.
Range Holding Back the Growth of the E-bike Market
The single issue holding back the growth of the e-bike market versus the internal-combustion motorbike is the lack of range. Most e-bikes fall short of delivering 100-kilometers per charge. This means they’re impractical for running several errands in a day or commuting long distances.
However, the market will soon get a little extra incentive as one of the biggest players enters the game. Honda is reportedly investing over three billion dollars US in developing e-bikes for the Asian marketplace. They’ve seen the runaway success of manufacturers in China and want to step in before these seasoned manufacturers expand to other Asian markets. The growing competition promises great things for the improved performance and capabilities of e-bikes.