One Million e-Bikes on Dutch Roads
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – The e-bike boom in the Netherlands is often regarded as an outlook for other countries. By the end of this year the total fleet of e-bikes in the Netherlands will amount one million units. A milestone.
“The market for e-bikes keeps growing and growing”, said Otto van Boggelen of Fietsberaad, a think tank for cycling and cycling infrastructure. “Particularly for people over 46 years old the electric bike is a very popular means of transport and some 10% of the people in this group owns an e-bike.”
Some 5% of all bicycles in the Netherlands is an e-bike today. According to Fietsberaad it won’t be long before the this percentage will rise to 20% and the e-bike ownership will be equally divided among younger people.
“It is striking to see that people ride more kilometers on an e-bike than on standard bicycles. The difference is more than ten kilometers a week on the average.” People up to 46 years old ride 31.3 kilometers with an e-bike a week compared to 20.7 on a bicycle without support. In the 46 – 60 category the same comparison shows respectively 30.9 and 17.3 kilometers. The category over 65 years rides the most with 31.4 kilometers per week, while those on a regular bike ride just 15 kilometers.
According to the latest inquiries by the VeiligheidNL (Safety NL) there is no difference in safety risks between e-bikes and standard bicycles. In the Netherlands 8,800 e-bikers end up in a hospital after an accident per year. “This number might very look high but taken the number of e-bikes on the road it is limited only”, said one of the researchers of VeiligheidNL. “It is remarkable to see that the e-bike riders don’t end up in hospital with more serious injuries compared to other cyclists after an accident.”
The latest statistics of the Dutch market researcher GfK Retail and Technology Benelux, indicate that the e-bike sale is still growing in the Netherlands. While the total bicycle market is in a depressed mood, the number of e-bikes sold last September increased by 5% compared with September 2011. The average price declined by 6%.