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The electronic vehicle (EV) industry that once sounded futuristic has become a reality in 2023. While the infrastructure is still under development in many nations, many consumers have already switched to low-emissions technology and are openly embracing electric vehicles. Amongst the entire EV industry, ebikes are being rented out at astonishing figures.

E-bike-Market-Size-2020-to-2030

Source

As per statistics, the global ebike industry is estimated to grow at an impressive CAGR of 21.9% in the period 2021-2032. These figures indicate a huge market share leap of more than $10 billion. However, as the ebike rental industry is still in its nascent stage, there is scope for many new entrants to step into the industry and become a dominant players.In this article, we will be covering how you can enter into the industry with your ebike rental marketplace. Along our way, we will also look at the key growth factors and existing players:

» Growth Factors for Global eBike Industry

Although there are multiple reasons behind the sudden market penetration, we can overview the major ones to provide a broad idea.

1. Affordability in Comparison to Electric Cars

Renting EVs is undoubtedly strict on the pricing side in comparison to diesel and gasoline vehicles. However, even within the segment, the rental pricing of EV cars and ebikes is quite disparate as well. Where ebikes rentals are available at an estimate of $30-$100 per week, electric cars are available for $50-$100 per day. This makes ebikes the most affordable clean and green micro-mobility solution.

2. Eco-Friendly Option in Comparison to Gasoline Scooters

A well-known reason behind the popularity of ebikes is their lower carbon footprint. Powered by electricity, ebikes do not emit carbon dioxide into the air, which helps reduce the air pollution. Considering this value proposition, ebikes are a much safer and more reliable solution than gasoline scooters and cars. Even after accounting for the emissions in battery production, ebikes come out to be a greener alternative to fossil fuel vehicles.

3. Support of Government Policies and Regulations

National governments want to adopt EV technology as soon as possible and are building rapid infrastructures. The UK government has even set goals to reduce their carbon emissions to zero by 2050. Similar goals are set by various other governments including the USA, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, and Korea. Moreover, there are incentives forthe purchase of electric vehicles like tax exemptions and government subsidies in many countries. This made purchasing easier and led to an increase in the number of ebike rental marketplaces.

4. Innovation in Battery Technology

Innovations in EV batteries, such as the NanoBolt Lithium Tungsten technology aimed to increase the longevity of batteries and improve their storage capacity. This makes the battery reliable for the long term and ebikes suitable for lending purposes. Other technologies that are improving the longevity of EV batteries are zinc manganese oxide batteries and gold nanowire electrolyte batteries.

» Existing Players in the eBike Rental Industry

We have also created a list of existing online players in the eBike rental industry. Note that we have only included those players who provide a checkout option directly on their website instead of providing a quote.
Businesses Launched In  Country
GhetWhizz 2021 USA
Spinlister 2011 USA
Citrus Cycles 2016 Canada
Zoomo 2017 Australia
Bird 2017 USA
Southern Bike Rentals 2020 UK
Hurrecane eBikes NA UK

» Business Model and Exemplary Workflow of an eBike Rental Marketplace

Two common business models are that are highly feasible for eBike rental marketplaces. These models are:

1. Multi-Vendor Marketplace

In this model, various e-bike stores and vendors sign up on the marketplace and offer their bikes for rent. They levy their separate terms and conditions, which can also be different from those of the marketplace. Lastly, in multi-vendor marketplaces, the vendors are mostly responsible for maintaining their bikes and getting them delivered in the right condition.

2. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Marketplace

In a P2P ebike rental marketplace, independent ebike owners sign up and list their bikes. Like multi-vendor marketplaces, P2P marketplace lenders can have their terms and conditions. However, they get some support from marketplace owners in maintaining their ebikes. Also, in P2P ebike rental marketplaces, customers manually need to contact peers for deciding the mode and place of delivery/collection.

› Exemplary Workflow of an eBike Rental Marketplace 

In this example, we will be explaining the workflow of multi-vendor marketplaces. Note that you may need to make adjustments in the workflow to make it suitable for your ebike rental idea or meet any specific requirements.
    • Step 1: Multiple vendors sign up on the marketplace and upload detailed listings with pictures
    • Step 2: Customers visit and browse the marketplace for their preferred ebikes
    • Step 3: With the help of a booking calendar, users select their rental dates and submit rental fees inclusive of rental security for the booking
    • Step 4: The rental fee is added to the vendor’s digital wallet whereas the marketplace owner reserves the security amount.
    • Step 5: The vendor delivers the ebike to the customer as per the selected delivery method
    • Step 6: On return, the vendor inspects the ebike for any damages and claims reimbursement from the customer’s rental security. In case of no damages, full rental security is returned to the customer
    • Step 7: The vendor can withdraw his earnings from his digital wallet at any time after reaching the threshold amount set by the admin

» Ways to Launch an eBike Rental Marketplace

In the modern-day world, there are two ways to develop an ebike rental marketplace.

› Bespoke Development

This approach will require you to develop an ebike rental marketplace from scratch. You will need to select a technology and a technology partner to help you materialize your business idea. First, your technology partner will assign you a business analyst who will create various documents and suggest integrations. After the analysis work is done, you will have two software development approaches to choose from:
    • Agile Development Methodology: Agile development is based on iterative development methods that divide a project into multiple sprints. Making changes during the development process is possible in this methodology and is mostly used when developing an MVP. Agile methodology is best suggested for long-term development projects.
    • Waterfall Development Methodology: The waterfall development methodology relies on a linear development approach in which once decided specifications cannot be changed at a later stage. As there are no iterations involved, a full-fledged marketplace can be directly developed with the waterfall method. However, in waterfall development, there’s no option to launch the marketplace in multiple phases like agile development.

› Using an Off-the-Shelf Software

Due to the long development times, high cost,and uncertainty of the end-product, bespoke development is not preferred by startups and many modern-day entrepreneurs. Instead, it is the off-the-shelf solutions that have taken the place of bespoke development. Even in off-the-shelf solutions, there are two main types of ebike rental marketplace solutions:
    • Self-Hosted Solutions: Self-hosted solutions like YoRent leave the hosting option to the business owner. Meaning, the owner can select any server of his choice or also set up a server on the worksite. As the server is under the control of a software provider, self-hosted solutions mostly come with lifetime usage licenses. A major benefit of using self-hosted rental software is that you get the option to select a fast or more secure server for your business.
    • SaaS Solutions: The acronym “SaaS” stands for Software as a Service.  In this type of software, the software is installed on the software provider’s server and delivered as a monthly service. For this reason, SaaS solutions have monthly recurring costs. However, due to never-ending costs, SaaS solutions turn out to be more costly in the long run, and neither provides the option to select a fast or secure server.

› Top Features Required on An eBike Rental Marketplace

On your marketplace, you should look forward to having the following features:
  • Booking Calendar: A module used to collect rental data inputs from customers, show ebike availability, generate appropriate invoicing, and prevent double booking. 
  • Rental Security Management: The rental security management options will allow you to collect rental security from customers and use it for reimbursing any damages or levying fines and penalties.
  • Rental Agreement Management: Allow vendors to enforce their terms and conditions with rental agreement management and the eSign option.
  • Tiered Pricing Options: Pricing flexibility to set daily, weekly and monthly pricing.
  • Request for Quote: An option to allow customers to request personalized price quotes in case of bulk or complex orders.
  • Rental Add-Ons: Add-on products and services such as helmets, raincoats, and mobile phone holders for upselling purposes
  • Vendor Management: Vendor management options should include features like approving vendor requests, setting withdrawal threshold amount, withdrawal interval period, and other mandatory fields.
  • Inventory Management: The inventory management options will allow you to update the catalog, manage products, brands, and product categories, and even include inventory reports.
  • Order Management: Order management options include features like the option to view order history, pending orders, pending payments, and even manually create and cancel orders.
  • Custom Filters: Custom filters allow you to create custom product specification fields to provide fully detailed listings to users.
  • Product Inspection: An option to allow customers to inspect the delivered bikes for any damages and quality issues and report the same on the marketplace.
  • Late Cancellation Charges: An option to set multiple slabs and penalties for recovering order processing costs in case of cancellations.
  • Late Return Charges: An option to set multiple slabs and penalties for overdue returns. 
  • Rental Duration Discount: Discount options to provide additional discounts for long-term rentals.
  • Bulk Volume Discount: Discount options to provide additional discounts for bulk orders.
  • Ratings and Reviews: Enable customers to give ratings and reviews to vendors and products to help other customers make informed decisions.
  • Alerts and Notifications System: In-built system to notify admin, vendors, and customers of important updates such as due dates, payment statuses, new orders, RFQs, etc. 
  • Reports and Analysis: Various performance reports to help you find out top top and least performing rental products.

» Conclusion

With government support and innovation in EV technology, the ebike industry is undoubtedly going to prosper. It is expected to gain a lot of public attention and bring investment opportunities while also giving the first mover advantage to numerous people. Thus, this is the right time to capitalize on the opportunity and launch an online ebike rental marketplace. Our recommendation to do so is to select a readymade rental solution that can provide you with full digital infrastructure for handling business operations.

Author Bio: Saurabh Thakur

Saurabh ThakurSaurabh Thakur is an ecommerce analyst & blogger, who has been active in the ecommerce industry since 2013. He is passionate about technology and always looking for new opportunities to help startups to establish their businesses online. He also has a good knowledge of branding & reputation management and has successfully delivered a wide range of projects in the past. Connect with him via Linkedin.

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