E-BIKE BOOM CONTINUES
A couple of graphs might not seem the most exciting start to an article looking back at 2021, but the two below (presented at the recent 2021 People for Bikes E-bike Summit) nicely sum up the continued popularity of e-bikes in the US.
Both show the amazing success of e-bikes from 2020 and the continued upward direction of both units sold and dollars spent. It’s difficult to pin down the exact reasons why the trends levelled off a little in 2021 compared to 2020 but surely two main factors were pivotal.
Firstly, although the Covid pandemic was clearly far from over, many who wanted to start travelling by e-bike to avoid close contact with others and / or get some exercise had already done so. Secondly the initial boom led to ‘supply chain difficulties’, or in other words a shortage of e-bikes so that all those who wanted to buy one simply weren’t able.
It’s also interesting to note a decline in non-electric bike sales in 2021 as a backdrop to the continued rise of e-bikes – perhaps shortages again playing their part here.
If the amount of investment capital, which poured into e-bikes in 2021 in unprecedented amounts, is anything to go by then the future looks mighty rosy for e-bikes. In the US Rad Power attracted over US$300 million over the course of 2021 which they say makes them the “most funded electric bike company in the world.” The new funding will be used to expand the company’s logistics capabilities, open new distribution centers and expand its mobile service program and in-person retails stores.
This looks set to continue into the future – especially if Joe Biden’s Build Back Better legislation (containing tax credit proposals) and the government’s proposed Infrastructure Bill (money for more bike lanes and the like) comes into law. These are both topics EBR has looked at in 2021 and ones we will take another look at in a forthcoming article on what 2022 might bring.