Just a few years ago, electric bicycles were practically unknown in Europe outside of the circles of professional and amateur cyclists. The population at large was quite unfamiliar with such vehicles. But even enthusiasts used to frown upon the idea of getting assistance for pedaling. Most used to consider it as “cheating.” However, things have changed.
The perception of electric bikes has been transformed radically. While the pedal bicycle market in the European Union (EU) remains stable, a whopping 3 million e-bikes were sold in 2019. This figure represented a 17% share of the total bicycle sales and a 23% increase in comparison to the sales in 2018. Germany had the largest share of market sales in 2019 with 38%, followed by The Netherlands and France.
The popularity of electric bicycles in Europe keeps on growing. Last year, the market of electric bicycles in Europe had an estimated value of $8.01 billion. Market analysts project it to reach $16.58 billion by 2026. A recent survey on attitudes toward electric bikes in Europe found that 17% of the sampled population is likely or very likely to purchase one. Eight percent of the sampled population already uses an e-bike.
So, what has changed? Why have e-bikes become so popular in Europe? There is no doubt that the benefits of these vehicles have played a major role. People can no longer ignore the following benefits:
- Reduce commute time and traffic congestion;
- Help to counter the effects of global warming;
- Lower running costs;
- Contributes to a healthy lifestyle;
- Practically anyone can ride an electric bike.
So, let’s discuss in more detail these and other factors that have contributed to the great popularity of e-bikes in the old continent.
Electric Bikes Reduce Commute Time
The streets and avenues of many European cities are highly congested (London, Berlin, and Paris, to mention a few). Driving a car in such cities can be quite stressful. Moreover, traffic jams make the process of going from one point to another quite time-consuming. Electric bicycles have positioned themselves as very effective commuting vehicles. For example, riding an e-bike to your workplace reduces commuting time and stress. As a big plus, you’ll exercise along the way.
Electric Bikes Help to Counter Global Warming
Global warming and climate change are major concerns among the European population. So, the majority of Europeans want to go green. Several countries in Europe have set 2030 as the deadline to stop using internal combustion engines. In a few years, burning fossil fuels will be outdated technology. Electric bicycles are environmentally friendly as they don’t pollute. Electric vehicles, which reduce the carbon footprint of the population, will be ubiquitous shortly.
Electric Bikes Lower Running Costs
Gas and diesel are expensive. Thus, saving fuel money through buy electric bike is a big incentive. But that’s not the only way e-bikes help to lower costs. It is not a secret that owning a car in Europe is quite costly. Car owners have to pay ownership taxes, road taxes, licenses, and more. In contrast, you don’t have to pay any tax to own an ebike. You don’t have to pay for parking either.
Moreover, if you take good care of your electric bike, you won’t spend much money on maintenance and repairs. True, you have to charge the battery regularly. But you will hardly notice that cost in your annual electricity bill. The major expense is changing the battery for long range ebike, which will set you back $500-$1000. Nevertheless, you will need to replace a battery every 5 or 6 years. In the case of high-end e-bikes such as the Delfast Top 3.0, the interval between battery changes is longer. The battery of the Top 3.0 withstands up to 3000 full charge cycles!
Electric Bikes Contribute to a Healthy Lifestyle
One of the most popular trends in Europe is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Most Europeans mind their diets and exercise regularly. Even for those that are quite busy with work and other activities, an electric bicycle offers a good opportunity to exercise. Contrary to a common misconception, one can exert almost the same effort by riding an e-bike in comparison to a conventional bicycle. This has been corroborated by a recent study conducted in Norway.
A separate study conducted in the UK found that e-bikers increased 10.9% their aerobic fitness after 20 weeks of riding. By contrast, people riding a conventional bicycle had an increase of 8% in the same period. Thus, it is not surprising that as the quest for a healthy lifestyle becomes more popular in Europe, so does the popularity of e-bikes.
Electric Bikes Make Cycling Available to a Wider Audience
Most people that have purchased an electric bicycle in Europe recently are those who would not cycle otherwise. For example, the pedal-assist mode of electric bikes allows the elderly to practice this sport safely. Practically anyone can enjoy cycling with these vehicles. Hence, electric bicycles are ideal for family rides. All the members of a family, independently of age and physical condition, can partake in the ride.
An Unexpected Factor that Increased the Popularity of e-Bikes in Europe
In Europe, a large percentage of the population uses public transport to commute in large and mid-size cities. This trend aims at reducing the cost of running a car and the carbon footprint. However, the current COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the transport patterns. Some European countries have been hit quite hard by this new disease. As a result, many people seriously consider the purchase of a private vehicle for commuting in the post-pandemic period. For the many benefits discussed above, electric bicycles are among the most preferred commuting solutions.
The many benefits that electric bicycles offer have made them quite popular in Europe. Whether for leisure or commuting, an e-bike gives an opportunity to exercise, care for the planet, and save money. Electric vehicles are the future of transportation. Hence, the popularity of e-bikes will continue growing. As more and more people purchase these vehicles, manufacturers will be able to lower their market prices. So, don’t hesitate to jump on the bandwagon!