A Brief History of the E-Bike

History of the E-Bike

Do you know when the first e-bike was made? Most people would probably guess somewhere in the early 2000’s, and some people might remember seeing one in the 90’s, but unless you’re a history geek who is also infatuated with cycling, your guess is probably going to be very very far off. The first e-bike patent came out in 1895!! That’s right, 8 years before the first Tour de France took place, 16 years before the Titanic set sail, and 80 years before the first bike helmet was invented, the first patent for an electric bike was granted to Ogden Bolton Jr who invented the first battery powered electric bicycle. Before the year 1900 several more patents for electric bikes were granted, all with different motor designs.

Of course, electricity wasn’t nearly as widespread then and the idea never really took off. At least, not until 1989 when Yamaha started to focus their attention on the idea. They came out with their first prototype for an e-bike in 1989, and in 1993 developed the pedal assist system, which has since blasted through the e-bike market. Following this development, e-bike production soared by 35% between 1993 and 2004. From 2004 through 2019 e-bike sales continued on an upward trend, getting more and more popular every year. The years leading into the COVID Pandemic saw the highest jump in ebike sales, with 250,000 e-bikes sold in 2019, 450,000 sold in 2020, and 790,000(!!) sold in 2021. By 2023 the e-bike market is expected to generate $20 Billion in the US alone. That’s a lot of people who are going to need XNITO helmets!

Author: Benjamin Dai

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