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Three Charts (And A Few Words) On The Rise Of Electric Bikes

by KRISHNADEV CALAMUR, www.npr.org

We told you last week about how bicycles are outselling new cars in almost every European country.

When we delved a little deeper into the numbers, we found that while bicycle sales remained steady in a six-year period that began in 2006 (the top chart), sales of electric bikes exploded (the second chart).

Sales of electric bikes (in 1,000 units) in 2012 in the five EU countries where they are most popular.

Now, electric bikes — they have motors that engage when the rider needs it — aren’t new. NPR’s Anthony Kuhn rode one back in 2007 and told us about it. And it’s worth noting that their sales are still tiny compared to the sales of regular bikes.

But the gains are impressive. In the Netherlands, COLIBI, the association of the European bicycle industry, says it’s the “most important sales segment.”

The U.S. appears to be following that trend. Read the rest of the story here.

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