From the "Innovations" blog at Smithsonian magazine a few months
ago, "Will America Ever Love Electric Bikes?".
"Last year, about 25 million e-bikes were sold in China; in the U.S. the
number was under 100,000. U.S. sales [...] would still be a sliver of projected
global sales in 2018, just under 50 million. And it would not only be dwarfed by
the market in China–which will still account for almost 90 percent of worldwide
sales–but also will fall well below e-bike purchases in India, Europe and Japan.
"So why have e-bikes been in such tepid demand here?
In progress right now is The Trans-American Electric Bike Tour, "a 4,000 mile journey from
New York to San Francisco taking place from the beginning of April to mid-June"
sponsored mainly by EVELO (2-part video interview). As of today, the 2 riders Boris and
Anna have reached Salt Lake City. They started from Prospect Park, Brooklyn on April 7,
took the ferry to Atlantic Highlands, NJ, and may have been in the vicinity of Princeton
en route to Philadelphia.
A program now underway in San Francisco suggests that car-sharing services
(e.g. Zipcar) may eventually offer electric bike-sharing as an option.