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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Musk says Apple has lost allure and Tesla sets its sights on e-bikes

The global e-bike industry is expected to reach a market size exceeding $21 billion by 2023

Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla, has expressed interest in e-bikes. AFP 
Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla, has expressed interest in e-bikes. AFP 

Elon Musk, the chief executive of electric car maker Tesla believes Apple has lost its allure and ruled out any possibility his company would manufacture electric scooters but expressed an interest in electric bicycles or e-bikes.

“There were some people in the studio who wanted to make a scooter… but I was like, uh, no. It lacks dignity. They do not (look fantastic), you are labouring under an illusion.” Mr Musk told the US-based technology news website the Recode.

“Electric bike. I think we might do an electric bike.”

An e-bike comes with an electric motor that can be used for gaining momentum. The global e-bike industry is expected to reach a market size exceeding $21 billion by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.91 per cent, according to a recent report published by the Market Research Future.

Ride-hailing company Uber, which is aiming to go public next year, also plans to introduce e-bikes for smaller trips in inner cities. Uber completed an agreement with electric scooter rental company Lime in July this year. The deal, led by Alphabet’s venture arm GV, valued the business at $1.1bn.

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Mr Musk who said he is an iPhone user, said the manufacturer Apple had lost its allure with its product line.

“I still use an iPhone and everything… But Apple used to really bring out products that would blow people's minds. And (they) still make great products, but there’s less of that.”

Mr Musk said that buyers are not likely to queue up for iPhones like they have done in the past.

“There's less of that. I don't think people are necessarily running to the store for the iPhone 11. But I think with Tesla, we really want to make products that people just love, that are heart-stopping,” Mr Musk added.

Apple refreshed some of its lower-profile products at a New York event last week, adding iPhone features like facial recognition to the iPad Pro and faster processors and better displays to some Mac computers that have not had a major update in years, some as far back as 2010.

Mr Musk’s comments came a day after Apple released the results for its fiscal 2018 fourth quarter ended September 29. Cupertino-based company has told analysts that it will stop reporting unit sales for its premium products including iPhones, iPads, and Macs.

The company posted quarterly revenue of $62.9bn, an increase of 20 percent from the year earlier period.