How do electric bikes work?

Shimano e-bike tech
E-bike development is surging, as illustrated by Shimano's new EP8 system (Image credit: Shimano)

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced commuters to rethink their use of public transport, the e-bike market boomed, since it offers a solution to active travel that's accessible to more people regardless of their physical fitness or abilities. With electric bikes now thriving, curiosity is being sparked, with more people than ever keen to give them a try and asking all manner of questions about them. 

What are the technical concepts and limitations of electric bikes? How will burgeoning e-bike development influence your cycling choices in the near future?

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