Forget about EVs, electric bikes are topping the sales charts

  • In Europe, electric bicycle as a mode of transportation are even more common and sales are actually projected to outdo cars by the middle of this decade. 
  • In the US where the public has been slower to catch on to e-bikes, new electric bicycle companies have reached impressive sales records in the last two years.

It is almost inevitable that the next decade is going to be defined by a revolution of battery-powered transportation. The uprising however is not just limited to electric vehicles. In fact, the electric bicycle industry that has been recording an impressive sales growth over the last few years, is anticipated to lead the charge.

Looking back, for years, electric bikes were relegated to niche status in most countries. But the adoption rates are gradually increasing as things start to shift in terms of lithium-ion battery technology, pricing, power, as well as a growing movement in cities to shift away from gasoline-powered cars to zero-emission vehicles. 

Now, analysts reckon that e-bike sales will enter warp speed over the next few years. For starters, Deloitte in its 2019 annual technology, media, and telecommunications predictions, expects 130 million e-bikes to be sold globally between 2020 and 2023. Looking at the European market alone where bicycles are more common, many countries within the region are seeing yearly electric bicycle sales growth in the 30% to 40% range.

In comparison, car sales are stagnant at low single-digit growth. That leaves room for e-bike sales to easily overtake car sales later this decade in Europe.. Even the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) expects the size of the region’s e-bike market to grow to around seven million units by 2025.

In a joint statement by Cycling Industries Europe (CIE), CONEBI, and European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF), it is predicted that Europeans will buy an extra 10 million bikes per year by 2030, 47% more than the annual number in 2019. The 30 million per year total will take bike sales to more than twice the number of passenger cars currently registered per year in the EU.

Meanwhile in the US where the public has been slower to catch on to e-bikes, new electric bicycle companies have reached over a hundred thousand sales in just two years, according to Electrek. To top it off, the more established electric bicycle companies in the US are raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in funding as investors awaken to the huge surge in e-bike adoption.

Overall in the US, according to data compiled by NDP shows that  in the 12 months leading up to July 2021, e-bikes grew by a whopping 240%, which made it the third largest cycling category in terms of sales revenue. This number is remarkable because it makes e-bikes a larger category than road bikes, which has traditionally been one of the biggest categories across all of cycling.

Experts reckon that apart from increasing consumer preference toward recreational and adventure activities, the adoption of e-bike applications in several sectors, like logistics and e-bike rental services, is expected to drive the adoption and sales of electric bicycles.

Overall, the European market is touted to garner strong returns in the coming months. According to Market Study Report, “Growing popularity of e-cargo and mountain bikes, inflating traffic congestion, and e-bike subsidy policy in France, special legal stipulations in Belgium to accelerate product adoption, along with presence of a strong biking culture and infrastructure in the Netherlands are spurring the regional market growth. Moreover, an increasing health conscious population is adding to the industry expansion.”

Dashveenjit Kaur

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