During the recent IDTechEx Show!, Nils Sveje, co-founder of Bike2 Aps, has shared some details on their electric bike drive system, a technology that falls in the category of what he describes as "elegant." It brings to bikes what has previously appeared in the BMW i8 sports car. It is the series hybrid powertrain that has even appeared in boats and aircraft.

This is an enabling technology of course, with applications way beyond bikes. If the company lacks the resources to pursue them all, they could license out, particularly if they have good patents. In our research for reports and consultancy on high power energy harvesting, we can see many examples where this could be married to solar, wind, tide, wave, and other power systems, even in small flying machines.

On the narrow basis of bikes, this does not necessarily make them less easy to steal, but it should widen the appeal to people who are less fit and who value better reliability and a more attractive product. It will not lead to 150 million people going to work on them in Europe or the Americas, copying China today. Indeed, the Chinese eBike market is saturating, with cities often restricting bikes, citing congestion and accidents. Around the world, accidents with two wheelers have not dropped in the manner seen with four wheelers. However, many new variants on the bike become possible with this engineered system, and cost reduction may occur with parts standardisation on many vehicles.