Big Growth Predicted for UK e-Bike Market as Mass Market Sellers Step In
The recently formed British Electric Bike Association (BEBA) is predicting dramatic growth for the UK e-Bike market this year, with further sales acceleration in the years to come. Halfords, Evans Cycles, Tesco and Argos are all selling and promoting e-Bikes in the UK while BEBA is about to start
LONDON, UK – The recently formed British Electric Bike Association (BEBA) is predicting dramatic growth for the UK e-Bike market this year, with further sales acceleration in the years to come. Halfords, Evans Cycles, Tesco and Argos are all selling and promoting e-Bikes in the UK while BEBA is about to start a major promotion of e-Bikes to independent bike dealers.
“We are confident that sales jumped from 15,000 in 2008 to over 20,000 in 2009 and I predict the UK will hit 30,000 units quite comfortably in 2010,” says BEBA secretary and co-founder Mark Loveridge.
Loveridge works for Ultramotor who recently pulled off a major e-Bike coup by doing a deal to sell two of their products in Halfords’ shops throughout the country. Ultramotor is now supplying Halfords with two models of Urbanmover branded e-Bikes; the UM ‘Electric Mountain Bike’ at GBP 849.99 and the UM Sprite at GBP 649.99. Halfords have actually been selling both Urban Movers via their website since last summer, but only put them in their shops in March 2010, complete with publicity posters.
Meanwhile supermarket giant Tesco and countrywide retailer Argos are both selling the Meerkat e-Motion as their sole e-Bike; Tesco for GBP 575 and Argos for GBP 599.99. However, neither company is putting the machine in their stores, choosing to sell it only for home delivery and with an absolute bare minimum of information in their catalogues and on their websites.
David Miall is the chairman of BEBA and the Managing Director of Wisper Ltd, manufacturers (in Shanghai) of Wisper e-Bikes, which are sold throughout the UK. “We welcome the appearance of Halfords, Tesco and Argos in the UK e-Bike market, because it will attract new people into the market who wouldn’t consider buying more expensive models. However, they are bound to go wrong sooner or later, but they should nevertheless convince people of their usefulness, so that many of those buyers will move up to better quality machines like ours.”
Miall added, “BEBA has got to get the IBDs on board, but they are terrified of e-Bikes, because they have had so many bad experiences with low-quality bikes in the past. Bicycle shops are used to doing repairs that are obvious, like puncture repairs, bearing replacements and so forth but with e-Bikes the faults are often not obvious. BEBA is working on developing a special 2-day training module for e-bikes, as an optional addition to existing courses for bicycle mechanics. “We hope this will make IDBs happier about selling and repairing e-Bikes.”