Eager for growth opportunities
Those figures clearly show that the earlier disinterest by Taiwan’s OEM makers in e-bikes has changed completely. After years of decline in the production volumes of regular bicycles the Taiwanese manufacturers were eagerly looking for growth opportunities.
The e-bike boom in Europe, in combination with the US-China trade dispute resulted in many investment initiatives in Taiwan. KMC announced an investment program to expand local production capacity in Taiwan. For this investment scheme of TWD 800 million (24 million euro) KMC applied for support at the Taiwan government to return parts of its production from China. Also, other companies in the bicycle industry like Glory Wheel Enterprise and Shuz Tung applied for this support program in local investments.
New names enter as e-bike sector expands
Last year also a second computer giant from Taiwan after Darfon Electronics Corp. made its appearance on the e-bike market. The multi-billion computer laptop, tablet etcetera maker, Acer Group, stepped into the electric bicycle market through one of its subsidiaries and battery manufacturer, MPS Energy Inc. Next to e-bikes, MPS batteries are also targeting e-scooters, e-ATVs as well as energy storage systems. The batteries are made of, what MPS calls “High capacity power cells” that together with the company’s Battery Management System must provide “the best battery life”.
To improve its service for OEM customers e-mobility components and complete drive system manufacturer Bafang has opened its own sales office in Taichung City, Taiwan. All these developments clearly show that Taiwan wants to play a key role in the transformation of the production from traditional bicycle to modern e-bikes.
Taiwan is now fully focused on e-bike engineering
Bicycle exports to Europe
In combination with China-US trade dispute, Taiwan could limit the decline of export volumes of regular bicycles last year to 3.85 percent or 2,210,105 units. However, contrary to previous years the average unit price declined as well last year from 610 euro in 2018 to 567 euro in 2019. This resulted in a decrease in export value of no less than 9.23 percent to 1.340 million euro.
The export of regular bicycles to Europe declined even further by 10.66 percent. Last year the export volume slipped under the ceiling of 1 million units or 985,311 bicycles. The market lost more than 17 percent of its value and stood at 449 million euro in 2019. In one year, the market for regular bicycle export to Europe has lost more than 100 million in value. An increase in export volume of nearly 180,000 units to the US could not compensate for the loss on the European market.