AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – “In 2012 the turnover in e-bikes will be bigger than in city bikes on the Dutch market. The rising popularity of e-bikes is unprecedented”, said Anneke Smeulders of GfK Retail and Technology at the Tweewieler E-Mobility Congress last month in the Netherlands.
“In a few years time the image of the e-bike changed from ‘old people’s’ bicycle to a status symbol”, continued Smeulders. According to market reseracher GfK between January and October 2011 the turnover on the market for bicycles in the Netherlands declined by 3.4%. However, e-bikes continued to show an upward trend as in turnover sales increased by 2.5% while the average retail price did not drop. Today 15% of all bicycles sold in the Netherlands are e-bikes and this number is expected to grow to 25%. This might sound interesting for newcomers on the market but they have to realize that just five out of 31 brands have a turnover share of 86%.
E-bikes maintained their popularity and at the moment sales are particularly growing in the age group between 40 and 50 years. Only one out of five e-bikes sold is a gent’s model, meaning that a substantial number of men prefer riding a women’s bike. Some 64% of all e-bike riders are women.
While 15% of all bicycles sold is an e bike, this percentage is much lower in webshops. A consumer inquiry by GfK showed that e-bikes have a market share of only 4.7% among e-retailers. The main reason for this difference is that many people still prefer to walk around in a store, make test rides and rely on the service of their local IBD.
GfK’s market review also indicates that the four main cities in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht have the biggest potential in e-bike sales as volumes lag behind the average market.
More on the E-Mobility Congress (organized by Bike Europe sister magazine Tweewieler) in the January/February issue of Bike Europe.