Austria’s (Electric) Bike Sales Reaches Record Highs
VIENNA, Austria – 2018 wasn’t only a good year for bicycles in Germany, but also in neighboring Austria. The main trend here is the same as in many other European countries: e-bikes, e-bikes and e-bikes. Growing to a 33 percent market share (2017: 29 percent), Austria is now one of the biggest EU e-bike markets; in fact, the third largest (behind Belgium and the Netherlands and before Switzerland and Germany).
Last year, a total of around 457,000 bicycles (including approximately 150,000 e-bikes) were sold in Austria. Compared to 2017 this accounts for a 10.4 percent sales increase. Austria’s bicycle sales haven’t been that high for the past ten years.
According to ARGE-Fahrrad, Austria’s industry organization which is part of the country’s Association of Sporting Goods Suppliers (VSSÖ), the 457,000 bikes sold last year include “All bicycles imported by the domestic bicycle industry for the Austrian market in 2018 and sold through the Austrian sporting goods and specialist bicycle dealership”. Non-industry private labels and (online) discounter sales are not included in the sales figures available here.
Sales by categories
Category wise 2018 sales accounted for:
- Regular bicycles:239,236 units (plus 4.9 percent) on 2017.
- Regular children’s and juvenile bicycles:68,232 units (plus 5 percent).
- E-Bikes (according to STVO road traffic regulations):80,222 units (plus 65 percent).
- E-Mountainbikes: 62,960 units (minus 12 percent).
- Other e-bikes (e-cargo-, e-road-, e-sports- and e-folding bikes: 6,170 units (plus 529 percent)
More mobility e-bikes
What’s striking here is the drop in e-MTB sales. In 2017 the electric mountainbikes clearly outperformed the e-mobility category (e-city, e-trekking); in 2018 this trend was reversed. “The motorized commuter bike segment named ‘e-bike STVO’ has clearly overtaken the e-mountainbike category. It proves that how e-bikes are used is becoming more and more diverse, especially in urban areas”, is noted by ARGE-Fahrrad pointing to the three-digit growth of the “other e-bikes” category of e-folding and e-cargo bikes.
Significant price increases
Last year’s strong e-bike sales is having a positive effect on retail prices. The average retail price for a bicycle sold through IBDs increased in 2018 by 20 percent to 1,265 euro. The average retail price for an e-bike increased by 8.4 percent to 2,698 euro.
New urban e-bike categories
According to VSSÖ the end of the e-bike boom is not yet in sight. In particular as e-bikes are more widely used especially in urban areas while there are also still new sectors like e-folding and e-cargo bikes. E-cargo bikes are not only booming within the end-consumer sector, but also at trade and retailers. For the last urban area mile more and more companies are investing in e-cargo (delivery) bikes.
E-bikes and tourism
Another factor contributing to a continued e-bike boom is the link between electric bicycles and tourism. Especially in Austria’s holiday regions “New marketing models and regional development strategies integrate the bicycle as a local theme. Phenomena such as bike & hike and bike sharing will significantly develop mobility behavior”, underlines VSSÖ.
But not all is well in Austria’s bike market. In particular when taking into account that bicycle use takes up only approximately 8 percent of total mobility in Austria. It leaves room for much more growth. With an eye on that VSSÖ President Gernot Kellermayr concludes that “E-bikes have not yet reached their full potential yet. In our opinion, a 50 percent market share is in the coming years quite conceivable”.