EBMA President: ‘E-Bike Production in EU To Triple in Next Five Years’

MADRID, Spain - Just over a year after the entry into force of the anti-dumping duties on the import of electric bicycles from China, the president of the European Bicycle Manufacturers’ Association, Moreno Fioravanti, takes stock of the effects of the measure. He does that in a recently published interview with the Spanish trade journal for the sports sector, CMD Sports. According to the EBMA president e-bike production in the EU has seen a more than 100 percent growth in just one year. And much more is to come in the next five years; not only due to the anti-dumping measures.
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'Insourcing' - in Europe - is gaining momentum rapidly. – Photo Bike Europe

The words of the EBMA President materialize in recent reports published by Bike Europe on new and big e-bike making facilities being opened in Romania and in Bulgaria. Next to complete electric bikes also investments are taking place on a large scale in frame manufacturing; in alloy frames that especially target e-bikes. Bike Europe reported last year on the investments being made in alloy frame making facilities in Poland, Bulgaria as well as in Turkey. Also a new carbon producing facility is now starting in Belgium. Another phenomena taking place now is that former Chinese exporters are settling production in Europe while the same goes for former EU based importers that are transforming into producers.

Other market forces

To attribute these developments and the big investments that go with it, only to last year’s anti-dumping measures goes too far. Other market forces also play a major role here. Rapidly growing online sales for instance, forcing production to take place much faster and more flexibly, which is almost impossible with long supply lines stretching to Asia. Or the fact that much higher valued e-bikes entail limitations with regard to working capital as well as the money that’s tied up in stocks that are transported from Asia taking up months.
All this is an incentive for more, much more production in Europe. It’s not only due to the dumping measures. What can be stated at most is that those measures have given a final push to the fact that ‘insourcing’ in Europe is gaining momentum rapidly.

‘In the next five years, we can grow production in the EU to 7 or 8 million e-bikes annually’

More production and more jobs

In the interview of Spanish trade journal CMD with EBMA president Moreno Fioravanti it is further made clear where the production of e-bikes in absolute numbers in Europe stood in 2019. And where it will continue to grow to over the next five years. Fioravanti says that when comparing the 2017 production of between 1.3 and 1.4 million e-bikes compared to the 2.3 to 2.4 million in 2019, it boils down to which to almost double. And he claims that “For the manufacture of every 1,000 e-bikes more per year, between four and five sustainable and long-term jobs are generated, especially from highly qualified young people and young electronic engineers. This involves the creation of some 5,000 new direct jobs per year.
“Currently, we employ 110,000 skilled workers in the EU in a total of 900 small and medium enterprises capillary distributed in 24 of the 28 member states. These companies and their workers are our best asset. In fact, we are the most innovative bicycle industry in the world.”

Production by 2025

In the CMD interview the EBMA president also expresses his expectations for the next five years regarding the growth of industry in Europe. He says “In the next five or six years, we can grow production in the EU to 7 or 8 million e-bikes annually, with a 50 to -60 percent increase in the number of our “green jobs”, from 110,000 to 160,000 or 170,000. Also smaller and medium-sized companies of bicycles, e-bikes and components will develop more advanced technologies and innovations that can improve safety and prevent accidents.”

Production in EU is more sustainable

Finally the EBMA president points to the fact that manufacturing in the EU means a radical reduction of CO² and other dangerous emissions. He states “Each conventional or electric bicycle imported from China causes 91 to 123 kilos of dangerous extra emissions compared to local production. This means that if all the annual EU sales of (electric) bikes (about 20 million units per year) were imported from China, there would be an increase in emissions of about two million tons of CO² and sulfuric dioxides. Around 50 percent of these emissions would derive from the cheap production of iron, aluminum, chemicals and energy in China, where they can still use coal massively until 2050, while another 50 percent would come from the scandal that the containers of freight ships still use harmful fuels instead of more refined fuels. The emissions of container ships is one of the bigger pollution sources in the European Union.”

Source Paula Alonso, CMD Sports