Despite most of the economy facing massive losses and financial disaster due to COVID-19, the bike industry is one area where there have been many success stories, as the public turn to two wheels to get their daily exercise and commute safer; and now Swytch Technology have revealed that they're battling to keep up with demand for their e-bike conversion kit, with 100,000 people on the waiting list for the latest version.
The Bristol-based startup crowdfunded their original e-bike kit, and also took to Indiegogo for the latest smaller and lighter version launched in October 2019. Swytch say that they've received "a boom in enquiries" due to the UK government urging the public to switch to cycling instead of using public transport during the pandemic; and they've had to ramp up production significantly to meet the growing demand for their kit, which can be purchased for less than £400 with pre-order discounts.
Swytch CTO Dmitro Khroma said: “The electric vehicle industry is expanding and evolving at an incredible pace. Before the pandemic, people were gradually seeing the health and lifestyle benefits of having their bike electric - but there has been a huge demand in the past few weeks as people are seriously turning to cycling as their only way to commute.”
Swytch won the London Mayor's Clean Tech awards in 2019, and were recently awarded a grant for research into the development of a hybrid e-bike sharing system based around a small pocket-sized battery, with trials set for 2021. Ultimately they aim to have converted 1 million bikes to electric with the Swytch Kit by 2025.
CEO Oliver Montague added: “From the very start of launching Swytch Technology we have always put innovation at the heart of everything we do. It’s a very exciting time for the e-bike industry as consumers are now seeking out sustainable transport solutions to be integral with their lives.
"With cities being re-designed to make cycling safer and more accessible, it’s a very exciting time for sustainable transport. Looking at the increase of people who are now on our waiting list to purchase a Swytch Kit, the era of sustainable transport for the masses has arrived.”
eBikeTips reviewed the first Swytch kit back in 2018, and are currently testing the new version that is 70% smaller and 50% lighter than the original - they claim it's now the world's smallest and lightest e-bike conversion kit, at just 1.5kg for the bar-mounted power pack and another 1.5kg for the front wheel with a hub motor. It offers up to 50km of range, is rim and disc brake compatible and there are both universal and Brompton versions available. Neither are actually available to buy at the moment as Swytch long since sold out of their first batch, but you can sign up for info about pre-ordering when new stock arrives on the Swytch website - they currently say they're expecting pre-orders to open again in June for a July/August delivery.