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Forecast Foresees E-Bikes Sales Tripling in USA By 2018

Pike Research estimates 89,000 ebikes will be sold in the USA in 2012 compared to 252,000 in Germany alone.

Published: 02-Aug-2012

BOULDER, Colo. -- While electric bicycles are highly popular in many rapidly growing economies - particularly China, which accounts for some 92 percent of e-bike sales in the world today - they have yet to catch on in a significant way in North America. Only around 89,000 e-bikes will be sold this year in the United States, for example, compared to 252,000 in Germany, a country with less than one-third the population of the United States. According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, that will begin to change over the next several years. E-bike sales in the United States will more than triple in the next six years, the report forecasts, reaching 265,000 in 2018.

Worldwide global sales of e-bikes will surpass 47 million vehicles in 2018, generating nearly $12 billion in revenue in that year.

"Although the e-bicycle will remain a niche product in the United States, the U.S. market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 20 percent," says senior research analyst Dave Hurst. "That means it will continue to trail significant Western European markets, but increases in bicycle infrastructure in growing urban centers and the rise in popularity of alternative means of transport will make e-bikes a viable choice for thousands of new users."

The challenge of distribution remains a significant hurdle to expanded e-bike sales in many regions, including North America, the Middle East, Africa and Latin America. In North America, as in some parts of Western Europe, traditional bicycle dealers have been uninterested in carrying e-bicycles because the customers are not typical bicycle buyers. Some of the world's largest bicycle manufacturers, including Giant, Trek and Schwinn, currently offer e-bicycles, but these vehicles also remain relatively unsupported in the U.S. market. Dealers in the United States are generally required to qualify to sell the vehicles, and many dealers have not chosen to pursue this product line.

The report, "Electric Bicycles", provides a comprehensive analysis of the worldwide e-bicycle and e-bicycle battery industry including an examination of market forces, technology issues, government policy influences, the competitive landscape and key drivers of growth. The study includes global forecasts for e-bicycle units and e-bicycle batteries through 2017, segmented by world region and key countries. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.

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