Bikes projected to outsell cars in Europe two-to-one by 2030

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Three cycling associations this week announced a new forecast for the cycling sector, which showed that Europeans are expected to buy an extra 10 million bikes per year by 2030, a whopping 47% more than in 2019. The new 30 million per year total will take bike sales to more than twice the number of passenger cars currently registered per year in the EU.

The trio of associations – Cycling Industries Europe (CIE), CONEBI (the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry), and the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) – developed new forecasting methods which analysed the impact the Covid-19 pandemic, current sales trends, and future government investment will have on new bike sales. Its findings suggest an increase of 47% for combined bike and e-bike sales when compared to 2019 figures.

This analysis, which was initiated by the CIE/ECF Market Impact and Intelligence Expert Group, predicts that the current upsurge in e-bike sales in particular is also here to stay. The findings suggest E-bikes are set to far out weigh conventional bike sales, increasing to 17 million per annum by 2030. In fact, current figures suggest that e-bike sales will increase by 23% in 2020 alone, despite pandemic enforced closure of shops and supply chain challenges. With the current surge in demand for e-bikes coupled with government investments, E-bike sales could even hit the 10 million figure as early as 2024.

The findings show a decline in sales of conventional bikes in recent years as e-bikes take over. However, the analysis announced this week paints a brighter picture for this sector, also. It is predicted that this decline in sales will be reversed this year, followed by two years of stability, before a slower decline recommences. This is largely thanks to the uptake in cycling again following the implementation of safe cycling infrastructure by governments across the continent.

All this should come as no surprise to anyone who has visited a bike shop or followed government action in recent times. Bike shops have reported unprecedented demand for bikes and governments across Europe have been keen to promote cycling as a safe means of transport throughout the pandemic. The ECF has been tracking government cycling infrastructure support since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in Europe. This analysis shows that since March 2020, Europe has spent an extra one billion euro resulting in 2,300 km of new bike lanes. The industry associations are now working with the ECF’s experts to show the relationship between government action, increase in numbers cycling, and sales in the cycling industry.

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