You might end up being right, but I think a lot of things need to change first. Namely, bike specific roads / paths to separate from motor traffic, the cost, and willingness.The mid drive motors have a controller/display that allow you to vary the amount of pedal assist.
Installation is easy if you have any bike wrenching experience. The videos and support group are great.
They’re not a fad. E-bikes are the fastest growing segment in the bike industry. People can commute and run errands at significant distances, allowing an e-bike to be a far cheaper alternative to a second or third car. I also see LOTS of teens using them, too. For a few grand a parent doesn’t have to drive their kid everywhere. Of course it helps to live where the weather is mild and where it’s somewhat bike friendly.
Fuel prices will only accelerate the trend. Plus economies of scale will bring down the price a bit over time.
You might be seeing popularity in metro areas where they would be nice compared to metro transit options, but outside of those areas it doesn't seem too popular. I remember when I tried to ride my motorcycle daily and it never really panned out in reality as you really didn't enjoy it in foul weather, so I think I rode it about 3 times per week only during the Spring and Fall periods only. At the $9,500 I paid for the motorcycle, I could have purchased a lot of gas for the car.
It just seems to me that the e-bikes are popular more for the speed thrill than anything else. Speed has always been a selling point in the bike market among road bikes and the e-bikes make it possible without all the long training efforts. I don't know if that covers the wide market or not?
In my area, what has been the most popular for the past 5 years are hotrodded golf carts and polaris vehicles. They are all over the place on the roads in town and there is even a dealer that sells high performance golf carts at $10k a pop with a lot that rivals most car dealerships. I think something like that will outpace e-bikes in popularity as a car alternative in town.
Now, what I would love to see more of are the enclosed bikes with a boost assist. There has been some creative folks building enclosed small 3 wheeled bikes for all weather use that I could see becoming popular with the addition of electric motors....I would be on-board with something like that for certain, but then if they would build a small gas / diesel engine single occupant commuter I would choose that every time over e-bikes.