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E-bike boom stalls — in the UK

Published June 26, 2020

(BRAIN) — The United Kingdom bike industry says e-bike sales growth stalled in Q1 and during the country's COVID-19 lockdown. The industry is urging the government to provide financial incentives for e-bike purchases and create a public awareness campaign to encourage the use of e-bikes for transportation.

Most U.S. retailers, suppliers, and sales statistics indicated that demand for e-bikes has increased significantly during the COVID-19 lockdowns, although not necessarily as much as demand for lower priced regular bikes.

However, the UK's Bicycle Association, a trade group, said there was no lock-down sales boost for the electric bikes there, despite growth in sales of regular bikes. 

Sales of bikes selling between £400 and £1000 (about $500-$1,200) more than doubled in April compared to April 2019. Overall, bike sales rose by 60% in units and 57% in value in April.

However sales of bikes selling for over £3000 9about $3,700) declined.

E-bike sales did recover some during April, but lagged the sales growth of regular bikes, instead matching the previously expected growth rate of about 50% for the category, according to BA. The percentage of bikes sold that were e-bikes fell by 2%.

April sales figures are the most recent available from the BA's Market Data Service

The BA is lobbying the government for direct financial incentives for e-bike buyers. "Evidence shows that a purchase incentive of as little as £250 would double sales of e-bikes over just 12 months," the group said. It also called for a public awareness campaign, more funding to incentivize e-cargo bike usage, and including e-bikes as part of a "car scrappage scheme" to take the most polluting vehicles off the road. The BA also is asking for a value-added tax of zero for all cycling products. 

BA executive director Steve Garidis said, "As lockdown eases there's just a short window of opportunity for the UK to build itself a cleaner, lower-carbon and healthier transport system. E-bikes and cycling must be a core part of that, which is why we've made detailed proposals to Government as they develop plans for a post-lockdown stimulus package."

Topics associated with this article: Electric bike

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