The folding bicycle maker Brompton is predicting electric bikes could make up at least half its business within the next 10 years, as it broadens the appeal of cycling beyond the traditional market of lycra-clad males.
Brompton makes 50,000 bikes a year at its factory in Greenford, west London, but is aiming to double production in five years if Brexit does not get in the way.
It has sold more than 2,500 of its new ebikes, which use a battery to help make pedalling easier, since their launch in August last year and believes they will become increasingly popular, particularly among women.
Will Butler-Adams, the chief executive of the privately owned company, says ebikes could make up at least half the business within 10 years as they help broaden the appeal of cycling beyond the male fitness fans who make up the majority of bike buyers in the UK now.
He likens the potential impact of the ebike to that of the smartphone, predicting it will “radically change how people live in cities”.