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E-Bikes Beat the Crisis

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The e-Bike was the driving force for the Dutch bike market in 2008. In the other main European bike market, Germany, electric bicycles are now gaining momentum while also in other markets in Europe electric bicycles are beating the financial crisis with

E-Bikes Beat the Crisis

AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – The e-Bike was the driving force for the Dutch bike market in 2008. In the other main European bike market, Germany, electric bicycles are now gaining momentum while also in other markets in Europe electric bicycles are beating the financial crisis with ongoing sales growth.

According to the Dutch industry organizations RAI and BOVAG, the number of e-Bikes sold in 2008 has again risen beyond all expectations; to about 140,000 units. In Germany 2008 sales totalled at 100,000 units. For 2009 this number is expected to grow with about 25 to 30%, says the German ZIV association.

For the entire European Union with its current 27 member states 2008 sales are estimated by some industry associations at 300,000 units which seems too low eying the fact that only in Holland and Germany sales stood last year already at about a quarter of a million units.

On the expectations for Europe’s 2009 sales it is said to grow to about 400,000, according to industry associations. This number again seems at the low end of the scale given the fact that in Europe’s main markets, Germany and the Netherlands, the public interest in e-Bikes is at a high level.

In the world biggest e-Bike market, China, the business remained strong last year. Total 2008 sales stood at 21 million electric bicycles. According to officials at the China Bicycle Association (CBA), the ebike business of China is strong, with only a modest 4% reduction in export of complete e-Bikes due to economic crises last year.

China’s 2008 exports stood at 580,000 complete e-Bikes which were exported to 170 different countries. The CBA figures do not include the very large numbers of CKD and SKD electric bikes that are exported to India and the EU. With them included sales may be much larger than the export number suggest.

The recently founded Light Electric Vehicle Association says on the dynamic growth in the last year in India, many smaller markets, as well as the EU and USA that: “Even in the difficult year, it is easy to see that electric bicycles are a very important vehicle category that is becoming one of the top 5 vehicle categories used by humans worldwide.”

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