Norway: E-Bike Sales Doubles Compensating for Drop in Overall Market

OSLO, Norway – Electric bicycles are rapidly becoming more popular in Norway. This year sales are estimated to double. What contributes to the success is a subsidy scheme offered by the Oslo city council for residents that buy an e-bike.
2016 e-bike sales in Norway is expected to reach about 40,000 units.

Norway’s main distributors and dealers estimate 2016 bike sales in Norway to have dropped a bit compared to the 2015 total. It’s not possible to get exact figures. This year about 350,000 to 360,000 bicycles are sold. This is the educated guess by the country’s industry experts. Last year sales were estimated at about 400,000 units. Money-wise the Norwegian market is flat this year with e-bike sales compensating for the drop in the overall market.

E-bike market share

One of the biggest retailers in Norway says his sales in electric bikes doubled compared to 2015. In that year the total electric bike sales exceeded about 20,000 units in the whole of Norway. This year total sales are to reach about 40,000 units. It means that e-bikes are now holding a market share in Norway of over 10%.

Most of the in-Norway sold e-bikes retail for about NOK 20,000 (€2,200). Residents of Norway’s Capital Oslo however can obtain an electric bicycle for much less. The city council is supporting cycling and offers a NOK 500 (€550) subsidy for residents buying an e-bike.

With this subsidy scheme the Oslo city council is exemplary of Norwegian politicians that are actively promoting cycling. For that more bike lanes are constructed. And these bike routes are made snow free in winter after snowfall.

E-bikes for transport

All this fits with the trend that more Norwegians are now buying e-bikes for transportation and commuting. Previously Norwegians used mountain bikes or trekking bikes for this purpose. This is changing towards e-bikes, which are more suited for commuting and can also more easily be used in wintertime from November to April, especially in Norway’s big towns and their surroundings.

The rising popularity of e-bikes led to a decrease in sales of other bikes. The Norwegians, like the people in other European countries, repair their bikes more often instead of buying new ones. This means that parts suppliers are doing well. However, the sale of bike accessories and bike wear is down this year compared to 2015. Helmets are another story. Helmets are selling well in Norway, thanks to the continued growth of e-bike sales.