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What’s the best-selling electric vehicle? The E-Bike!

Travel is going electric. Battery technology combined with ever-more efficient motors have meant that electric mobility has taken off in a big way around the world. With all the hype surrounding them, you might think that everyone is going out and buying electric cars. Well don’t forget the humble e-bike! While electric cars are growing in popularity, they are being handily outsold by electric bikes. Which begs the question why e-bikes and similar electric ‘micro-mobility’ devices (e.g., e-scooters, e-skateboards and the like) aren’t a bigger part of the discussion when it comes to sustainable transport alternatives. We certainly think they should be!

New figures from Europe show that e-bikes sales are growing by around 30 to 40% per year and they’re currently outselling electric cars in the order of 3-to-1. The Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) predicts that the European e-bike market will grow to around 7 million units per year by 2025. Sales of new motorcars on the other hand have begun to stabilise at around 15 million per year. It seems possible that e-bikes may one day not only beat the sales of electric cars, but also overtake the sales of all cars. It’s worth considering that these figures come from Europe, a region already saturated with bikes.

The growth elsewhere has been just as impressive. In the US, research by LEVA indicate a similar boom as e-bikes are on the rise there too. In 2021, nearly 790,000 e-bikes were imported into the US, up from 463,000 in 2020. If those estimates are anywhere near correct, e-bikes are already by far the best-selling electric vehicle in the states – beating out the 652,000 electric cars bought by Americans that same year.

Here in New Zealand the e-bike revolution is just getting started, but electric bikes are already doing a lot for the many Kiwis who have them. Whether it’s overcoming that local monster hill that used to tire you out, or whether it’s all about getting to work or a local café that much quicker and more easily – and without worrying finding a parking space! The numbers show the growing interest, around 75,000 e-bikes were imported into New Zealand in 2021, up from 23,000 in 2017. It’s a massive rise in popularity that doesn’t look like stopping any time soon!

There are still plenty more new opportunities to do it better by bike. For instance, there’s the growing trend of cargo e-bikes – you might have seen couriers using them for local deliveries, since they’re far more efficient for getting around built-up areas and they don’t get stuck in traffic. At the other end of the scale, e-bikes are becoming a popular choice for people wanting to go ‘multi-modal’ – What’s that mean? It’s all about using several types of transport to easily and efficiently get around. For example, a quick bike ride down to the local station to catch the train to work, then hop onto a bus after work to your favourite restaurant. Getting around becomes a lot easier and more enjoyable with an e-bike powering you between each destination and never needing to worry about getting stuck in traffic.

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