During the one-year period July 2012 to July 2013, the USA Electric Bike market appears to have doubled over numbers published by Electric Bike Reports WorldWide for 2012.
Searches of Customs and Border Protection records, phone surveys of dealers, Internet searches and interviews of distributors and dealers have revealed a doubling of USA ebike sales in the last 12 months.
908 retailers, (not including mass merchants such as Wal-Mart and Amazon) claim to be selling electric bikes. These dealers include electric bike specialists, electric vehicle specialists, motor sports retailers, Internet retailers, independent bicycle dealers, hardware stores, car parts stores, and more. Major mass merchants such as Wal-Mart, Sears, Target, Best Buy, (and Amazon) are also participating, although not in all of their stores locations.
The Bend Electric Bikes showroom.
134 brands were identified as being offered for sale through these channels. Of those brands, at least 54 imported new product during this period. Some brands are represented by product left over or on close out, but at least 30 brands are clearly in business, active, and thought to be growing.
While most electric bikes are imported to the USA from factories in China or Taiwan, companies such as Prodeco and Optibike assemble in the USA. Some complete bikes come from Europe.
Almost all parts (bicycle parts, motors, batteries, controllers, etc.) used to assemble an electric bike are imported from China or Taiwan. Estimates of the number of bikes assembled from these parts are included in the total estimate of USA sales for the 12 months ending in July 2013 of 159,000 units. Compared to estimated 70,000 the previous year.
eCE is an international consulting group that studies the Light Electric Vehicle Industry (battery electric two wheelers) and provides services and support to industry participants, since 1996.