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E-Bike Import Continues to Show Huge Growth

Sales & Trends 3117

DOETINCHEM, the Netherlands – 2016 was another great year for e-bikes in Europe. Just how great? The electric bicycle march throughout Europe is reflected in the import figures from EU’s database Eurostat. They show that in 2016 the e-bike import of 250W – 25km/h models into EU’s 28 member states from countries outside Europe increased by over 60% compared to the 2015 figures.

E-Bike Import Continues to Show Huge Growth
Close to 80% of all imported e-bikes from outside Europe stemmed from China. – Photo Bike Europe

This report is focused on the import of regular 250W – 25km/h e-bikes from countries outside Europe. The import numbers for speed e-bikes are excluded from this report as the figures obtained from the Eurostat database indicate anomalies. That they show a clear mismatch with current market condition is because the total speed e-bike (speed pedelec) import in the Eurostat database registered under CN Code 8711 9090 stands at 1.7 million for 2016.

Read also: E-Bike Downside: Regular Bike Drops Hard

Also, the average price per imported units indicates a mismatch. It stood at €150 in 2016. Current market conditions are that the speed e-bike market is much smaller compared to regular 250W – 25/km/h e-bikes while speed e-bikes are also higher priced. The 2016 import figures for this e-bike category show just the opposite.

Total import 2016 & 2015 (in units & euro)

Source: Eurostat

Source: Eurostat

Top-10 Suppliers, 2016 & 2015 (in units)

Source: Eurostat

Source: Eurostat

Changed CN Codes

The report this trade journal did last year on the e-bike import into the European Union also brought these anomalies to light. And because there’s clearly something wrong, the CN codes for e-bikes as well as speed e-bikes/speed pedelecs have been changed as of January 1, 2017. This is of vital importance because under the European Union’s CN codes all imports into the European Union are tracked while all import, dumping, and circumvention duties are linked to these codes.

Entering the wrong CN code can have far-reaching consequences. It not only impacts fiscal matters such as customs duties, also bans and restrictions, import/export licensing and permit requirements, documentation requirements, and the obligation to report certain measures.

Big growth

The 2016 e-bike import statistics are, like the years before, again showing a big growth underlining the growing popularity of this bicycle category. From January 1 to December 31, 2016 a total of 1,188,000 electric bicycles of the regular 250W – 25km/h category were imported into the European Union from countries outside the EU. This means that e-bikes imported from one EU country to the other are not included in the figures presented by this trade journal presents.

Compared to the 2015 total import figure for the 250W – 25km/h category of 726,000 units the 2016 import is up by a substantial 63.6%. The average value per imported unit dropped by 7.9% from € 396 in 2015 to € 365 in 2016.

Import per country

Some 80% of all imported e-bikes from outside Europe stemmed from China. 932,000 units of the import total of 1,187,000 came from the Peoples’ Republic accounting for a huge 78% market share. The China imports showed the biggest growth of the top 5 supplying e-bike countries to Europe as they rose by a big 70%, counting for a growth of 385,000 units, to a total of over 930,000.

Also, the e-bike imports from Taiwan showed remarkable growth as it almost doubled; from 43,000 to close to 80,000 units; an increase of 84%. And with that total Taiwan ranks as Europe’s 3rd biggest supplying country. Claiming the number 2 position in 2016 was Vietnam.

To what extent the Cambodian bike makers like A&J and Strongman are behind these imports remains the question. However, it is likely, as they operate in Economic Zones close to the Cambodian/Vietnam border. Next to that there’s no anti-dumping for e-bikes applied as with the regular bicycle exports to Europe from the named companies for which they are excluded and granted import duty free status for Europe under the GSP regulations. The e-bike imports from Vietnam increased in 2016 by 23% to 91,500 units.

Interesting also is what Europe’s 5th largest e-bike supplier showed in the Eurostat figures for 2016. The imports grew by a huge 111%. This more than doubled figure came to a total of over 30,000 units, meaning that Flyer and Stromer had a great year.

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