The Potential
of Bike Lanes

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EPAC – Built for the Bike Lane

Electric Pedal Assist Cycle (EPAC) is the legal term for an electric bicycle in the European Union. It is quickly becoming the preferred jargon used to describe a class of vehicle that includes formats beyond just the obvious electric bike. An EPAC is a “pedelec” – from pedal electric cycle – and refers to an eBike, eTrike or similar where the pedal-assist electric drive system is limited to a decent but not excessive top speed, and where its motor is relatively low-powered. EPACs are legally classed as “bicycles” rather than low-powered motorcycles or mopeds and fit the definition for use in the bike lane.

EPACs like electric bicycles and tricycles continue to be the highest selling electric vehicle on the planet, with nearly 35 million unit sales in 2016. Improvements in lithium ion (Li-ion) battery technology is resulting in EPACs that are lighter, lower in cost, and remarkably less bulky then eBikes of yesteryear. Additionally, increasing urbanization rates and consumer trends towards moving away from cars for motorized local transportation are opening up more opportunities for alternative mobility devices. EPACs are uniquely positioned to be a primary benefactor of this trend since they are low in cost relative to cars, do not require licensing, and can take advantage of existing bicycling infrastructure.

LEV – Built for the roadway

Light Electric Vehicles (LEVs) are one of the largest and fastest growing electric vehicle markets today. An LEV is a land vehicle propelled by an electric motor that uses an energy storage device such as a battery or fuel cell, has two or three wheels, motor power of around 4000 watts, an automatic gear box, and typically weighs less than 100kg. Consumers use LEVs in street traffic, next to cars and trucks.

LEVs lead the world in electric vehicle unit sales. Navigant Research’s projects that global plug-in EV sales will total about 1.1 million vehicles in 2017. In comparison, over 6 million LEVs are expected to be sold globally in the same year. Various LEV technologies are emerging to alleviate congestion, poor air quality, and lack of mobility options negatively affecting transportation markets around the world — attributes desired by government authorities and citizens alike. In contrast to private cars, LEVs occupy much less physical space, contributing less to traffic congestion and are more flexible with where they can travel and be parked. Additionally, these vehicles are more affordable than full-sized vehicles.

Market Size, 2014 – 2025

According to Navagant Research the combined European Union and North American markets for all LEVs, including eBikes, eMopeds, eMotorcycles and electric three-wheelers, is expected to grow from USD 20 billion in 2016 to over USD 50 billion in 2026

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Key MARKET Drivers

  • High urbanization rates
  • Aggressive city energy policy
  • Proliferation of bicycling infrastructure
  • Consumer desire to move away from cars for motorized local transportation
  • Improving battery technology enabling lighter e.bikes & e.trikes that are lower cost
  • Increased production capacity 
  • Innovative & high-quality OEM components
  • Consumers shifting away from low-quality & low-price
  • Consumers favoring higher-quality, higher-priced & higher-performing EPACs & LEVs
  • Consumers looking for alternative environmentally friendly modes of transportation


Deeper Market COntext 


Society is at a Tipping Point  – As 90% of all daily trips drop below 20 miles, urban congestion and gridlock hinders economic activity and blocks growth. With populations swelling, and 40% of those trips coming in at only 2 miles or less, building roads, subways and busses, while taking taxis, TNCs* and cars are slow, expensive, and politically charged answers to challenges of efficient & empowered local transportation. Interlinked with overcrowding and designed to limit the hard-hitting effects of climate change, cities are working to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency.

Emerging Solutions – Reallocating street space to bike lanes quickens movement, creating hyper-efficient networks based in personal freedom. These new thoroughfares allow three to six times more people to pass through city streets then cars and busses alone. Yet, 73% of city cyclists are dissatisfied with products that do not meet their everyday basic needs. Most bikes, e-bikes and mopeds force people to limit and adapt their behavior around stubborn, outdated and poorly engineered equipment that leaves the practical needs of local transportation riders largely unaddressed.

*transportation network companies like Juno, Lyft, Uber, & Gett


GEORGE STREET case study

The Australian province of New South Wales has begun work on a $2.1 billion Placemaking project that will bring light rail, cycling and pedestrian infrastructure to the heart of Sydney. The city is working closely with the NSW Government to create inviting public spaces where people want to live, shop, visit and do business. George Street, linking Randwick and Circular Quay, will undergo one of the biggest transformations ever seen in the city, with over $220 million already committed to Placemaking elements within the project. 

The main George Street strip will be pedestrianized between Hunter and Bathurst streets where blended footpath/cycle tracts will be widened and defined by landscaping, seating areas and paving stones. Existing driveway access for buildings will be maintained while roads travelling east and west will remain open to vehicles. Delivery vehicles and taxis servicing the Hilton will travel along George Street as normal. Greater space for pedestrians and cyclists along the street will mean cafés and restaurants can introduce outdoor dining areas and retail pop-up shops. The revamped George Street will become an easy way to travel between key attractions from The Rocks and Circular Quay to the city center's retail heart and down to Chinatown. Light rail and cycle lanes will link hotels to the renewed Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre when it's completed.

This is a prime example of Placemaking in action, and is an emerging urban development trend being seen around the world. This is the domain of the e-MotorTrike and the heart of LOVARO's target market.