Key trends and market developments
Bicycles in general and e-bikes in particular are increasingly considered an important part of the solution to congestion in cities, safer city transport, CO2 reduction and healthier lifestyles.
Various European governments are encouraging the use of e-bikes by offering tax breaks. The European Union and various individual European countries are making subsidy schemes available to improve the infrastructure for cyclists both within and outside cities and to stimulate innovation. Investments in infrastructure are the biggest long-term growth driver in the cycling business after electrification, backed up by the European Commission’s announcement in late December of last year on the New Green Deal for Europe: improving the well-being of people and making Europe climate neutral. This initiative will clearly support the roll-out of cleaner, cheaper and healthier forms of private and public transport.
In 2019, the European Union decided to introduce anti-dumping duties for a five-year period on e-bikes imported from China. This was due to Chinese state subsidies and other significant market distortions, which have helped create an unequal playing field for the European bicycle manufacturing industry. On top of this, the EU also extended duties on regular bike imports from China for another five-year period.
The popularity of e-bikes is set to continue long into the future. The market is still growing in virtually all Western countries. Demand for regular e-bikes and e-performance bikes (B2C) is on the rise, but we are also seeing strong growth in demand for e-cargo bikes (B2B and B2C). Leasing, rental and bike-sharing concepts are popping up everywhere. In countries that offer substantial tax breaks to users and employers (Germany and Belgium), bike leasing is taking off, boosting e-bike market growth. Successful rental concepts seem to be having the biggest impact on the second-hand bike markets in larger (student) cities. If anything, bike-sharing schemes are helping to convert people from driving to cycling in cities, which is boosting total bike market growth.
Bicycles have evolved into a highly popular lifestyle product. More than ever before, strong brands and distinctive designs are making the difference in the likes of sports and urban biking. Smart internet technology and handy apps for connected bikes are enriching the bicycle experience and continue to make bicycles better and safer in all kinds of ways.