California-based Green Automotive Company (GAC) has acquired a 30-percent stake in Powabyke EV Ltd, a UK-based Electric Bike business, from Metroelectric PLC.

With the Electric Bike market forecasted to grow globally from 31 million in 2013 to 38 million e-bicycles to be sold in 2020, GAC decided it was a sector in which they should develop a strong interest.

GAC said Powabyke is one of the oldest and most respected brands in the Electric Bike sector where they pioneered the introduction of what are now known as Pedelec’s some 10 years ago.

With a presence in several European countries, Powabyke has plenty of opportunity for growth, especially in North America where it has yet to start retailing its products.

Ian Hobday, a Director of GAC, said that “we were first introduced to the Powabyke brand through our recently acquired GoinGreen business, and we were impressed with what we saw. We believe the Electric Bike market is poised for substantial growth: Efforts to transition rapidly to renewable and clean energy solutions while satisfying growing urban mobility needs are key factors accelerating the sale and use of electric bicycles. The utilization of high-quality, affordable lithium ion batteries and attractive designs are helping open this market to people outside the normal e-bicycle demographic. Electric bicycles have not yet really taken off in America but, according to Pike Research, the market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent and we believe we can be one of the early players in this dynamic sector. The “fit” with our other EV businesses is good and we expect to add this to our California operations very shortly.”

This buy-in from GAC will provide Powabyke with an easier access to the North American market.

“We’re excited about working with the GAC team, and in particular leveraging their American operations to give us a quick entry into the USA,” said Greg Collier, MD Metroelectric. “This is an untapped market at the moment but working with GAC we think we can be very successful there.”