The popularity of e-bikes is continuing to grow in Europe, with the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA-EU) saying they expect 2019 sales figures to surpass 3 million - up from 2.8 million in 2018 - when all member states have published their stats.
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Although current 2019 sales figures only stand at 2.28 million, when all countries have published their stats LEVA-EU expect it to surpass the 2018 figure by a least 200,000. They say this is "largely due to the fact that LEVs (light electric vehicles) are sustainable means of transport, which become more and more popular as a solution to escape congestion, to prevent further damage to our climate and, importantly, a fun way of moving around that has an overall positive impact on public health."
In Germany - where 1.36 million e-bikes were sold in 2019 - e-bikes account for 31.5% of total bike sales. In Belgium this share is even higher at 51%, with 238,000 sold.
Despite the increase, LEVA-EU say there is still much more to be done to promote the benefits of e-bikes and other LEVs as sustainable modes of transport, commenting:
"The corona crisis has unexpectedly put that health benefit of LEVs even more in the spotlight. Unfortunately, among policymakers, especially at EU level, there is still a huge lack of awareness as to the potential contribution of LEVs in making transport more sustainable.
"LEVA-EU works tirelessly to raise that awareness, to encourage policy-makers to design policies and legislation that encourage LEVs as well as to remove the various legal bottlenecks, which continue to seriously hinder the market development and uptake of LEVs."
While the UK is quite a bit behind many European counterparts when it comes to adopting the e-bike as a viable everyday transport alternative, sales are growing rapidly and the increase is expected to continue. Last year, Halfords went as far as predicting that UK e-bike use could grow by as much as 40,000% in the next 30 years if sales continue to increase at their current trajectory. This would mean a jump from around 60,000 UK e-bikers today to 1.5 million by 2050.