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18 December, 2019 - 17:54 By Kate Sweeney

130 million e-bikes to be sold in next three years

Deloitte predicts that the proportion of people who cycle to work will grow by one percentage point over the next three years, equating to tens of billions of additional bicycle rides per year – and the firm predicts a new age of pedal power thanks to electric bikes.

The growth in cycling is supported by the launch of e-bikes, as well as a diverse array of technological innovations. 

Deloitte predicts that between 2020 and 2023, more than 130 million e-bikes will be sold globally. This is more than six-times the number of electric vehicles that are forecast to be sold in the entirety of the next decade.

Paul Lee, global head of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte, said: “The first patent for electrifying a bike was filed in the nineteenth century; however 2020 will be the year that e-bikes pick up pace. 

“Improvements in lithium ion battery technology, pricing, and power has led to a significant surge in interest globally. The number of e-bikes on the roads will easily outpace other e-vehicles by the end of next year.” 

The riding revolution will also help cities manage the strain of urbanisation. Currently only around five per cent of journeys in London are taken by bike. 

Technology innovations including predictive analytics, wireless connectivity, digital urban planning tools and 3D-printed parts will launch with the aim of making cycling safer, faster, more convenient, and easier to track and measure.

Lee added: “Over the next 12-months, cycling should shift from being a competitive hobby enjoyed by active individuals, to a simple way for a wide range of people to get from place to place. This will play a significant role in easing congestion, while improving air quality and public health.”

Industrial 5G will spark productivity gains, as more than 100 companies will begin testing private 5G deployments in 2020.

For many of the world’s largest businesses, private 5G will enable ultra-reliable, high-speed, low-latency, power-efficient, high-density wireless connectivity. 

Deloitte predicts that more than 100 companies worldwide will be evaluating or have deployed 5G in industrial environments such as factories, ports, and logistics centres by the end of 2020.

By 2023, the value of cellular equipment and services for use in industrial deployments will be worth tens of billions of pounds annually.

Dan Adams, head of telecoms at Deloitte, said: “5G is poised to be the most disruptive mobile technology since the mobile phone itself. The way we work fundamentally changed by the launch of 4G and Wi-Fi. 

“5G will bring a similar transformation to the connectivity of machines and devices, delivering a boost to productivity in factories and warehouses, in particular. 

“While it’s likely to be a long time until we see autonomous cars on the open road, factories will be full of 5G-enabled autonomous machines from next year.”

Deloitte says avid readers will lend their ears to audiobooks, growing UK revenues to £115m next year. Deloitte predicts that the global audiobook market will grow by 25 per cent to over £4 billion. 

Man and machine are also set to move closer as one million robots will be sold for enterprise use worldwide in 2020 – up by 18 per cent from 2019, generating £27bn in revenues over the course of the year.  
Of the almost one million enterprise robots forecast to be sold in 2020, just over half are predicted to be professional service robots, generating more than £13 billion in revenue, a 30 percent rise on 2019. In comparison, industrial robots are expected to account for £14 billion in 2020, a nine percent year-on-year increase.

• Paul Lee will be in Cambridge on Tuesday 11 February 2020 to present a round-up of 2020 predictions to the Cambridge business community. For further information and to register interest in attending contact clcampbell [at]

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