Even more than last year; electric bikes are everywhere at this year’s Eurobike. E-bikes now play a dominant role at the MY 2012 ranges as presented by bike makers and importers. It all has to do with what happened last year. 2010 might best be described as the year that featured a rising star in all of Europe’s major markets. Finally, Holland and Germany weren’t the only bicycle markets building on e-bikes.
Electric bike sales broke the one million unit mark in 2010. Sales are forecast to grow to 3 million by 2015. Electric bikes developed into a trend on the German market in 2010. A total of 200,000 e-bikes were sold; up 50,000 or 33% compared to 2009. The German industry association ZIV expects that by 2018 400,000-600,000 e-bikes will be sold annually.
Last year in the Netherlands electric bike sales rose by almost 8% to 165,000 units. In France also things started happening with regard to e-bikes in 2010. A 60% increase in sales was recorded. However, the total volume is still small, with about 40,000 units sold in 2010. The same goes for Italy. Industry association ANCMA couldn’t provide sales data on e-bikes in 2010 but reports that electric bikes are becoming a familiar site on the streets of Milan, Rome, Bologna and Turin. Accell recently stated that it is expanding the e-bike range of its Italian subsidiary Atala, as there’s lots of interest for e-bikes.
Whether the growing popularity of electric bikes all over Europe will be hampered by increased prices remains the question. Fact is however, that the e-bikes on display in Friedrichshafen all show higher price tags due to increased prices for motors and batteries sourced in China. Higher material prices for magnetic steel and lithium are the main cause for in the increased prices.