Over 3,800 e-bikes were reported stolen to Dutch bike insurer ANWB last year – 38 per cent more than the year before, according to new reports coming out of the Netherlands.
Some 420,000 e-bikes were sold in the Netherlands last year – 40 per cent of total bike sales - so the rise in thefts isn't wholly unexpected. An ANWB spoksesperson commented: "Until recently, the plug-in bike was mainly used for recreational purposes by older Dutch people, but now masses of pupils ride them to school and commuters take them to work.
"Shopping centres, train stations and entertainment areas in particular are true theft hotspots."
The figures were confirmed by Enra, the Netherlands’ other major bike insurer. They said that while conventional bikes were mainly stolen by opportunistic thieves, the high value of e-bikes made them a focus for organised crime.
"Most stolen electric bicycles cross the border straight away," explained Jeroen Snijders Blok of SAFE, an organisation that works to combat bicycle theft. He said the fact that e-bikes are widespread in the Netherlands, but not yet in the rest of Europe was a factor.