The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting the mobility behavior of all those involved in public road traffic. A clear trend has become established in recent years. While the conventional bicycle market has stagnated, sales figures for pedelecs have risen steadily in recent years. With a total of 2.000.000 e-bikes sold in 2021, a new record was set last year. At the same time, the number of bicycles sold fell from 3,09 to 2,7 million units, so the number of units sold fell from 5,04 million to 4 million. However, it is still well above the pre-corona level. In 7 it can be expected that the number of pedelecs sold will continue to rise. Rising energy prices are prompting many short-distance commuters to switch to pedelecs.
The trend towards pedelecs picked up speed during the pandemic, as can be seen from the sales figures and also from the number of accidents. As the Federal Statistical Office (destiny) reports that the proportion of younger people involved in pedelec accidents has increased accordingly: in 2014 every ninth person (10,7%) who had an accident with a pedelec was under 45 years of age, and in 2021 a good one in four (27,8%). For comparison: In the case of casualties on non-motorized bicycles, one or every sixth casualty was 65 and older. More than half (55,5%) were younger than 45 years.
Review – Interview with Felix Lindhorst
In a dialogue with Felix Lindhorst, trade-specific information transfer office, from the Federal Association of Two-Wheeler Crafts, we take a look at the emission-free future of mobility with the pedelec.
gcm: In the last five years the sales figures for pedelecs have increased continuously to 1,36 million bikes with electric drive in 2019. What is the trend for 2020 and what impact will the global Covid 19 pandemic have on sales?
Felix Lindhorst: It is difficult to estimate what total sales will look like for 2020, taking into account the current pandemic and containment measures. Basically, pedelecs showed a continuation of the market development before the lockdown and initial surveys from retailers signal an unexpectedly high customer demand after the lockdown.
An alternative for commuters
gcm: The pedelec seems to have hit a nerve with cyclists. Which typical buyer groups have developed in recent years and which advantages do they appreciate most about the Pedelec?
Felix Lindhorst: The target groups originally targeted by pedelecs of older people and those returning to the sport have changed completely in recent years. Nowadays the electric drive has arrived and been accepted in almost all market segments. The motives for pedal assistance are often different and can usually be reduced to “higher, faster, further”. Athletes appreciate new uses and higher speeds, commuters a real alternative to the car and still others look forward to a piece of regained freedom of movement.
gcm: Due to the technical evolution, one can expect some new technical developments. Can you take a look at the future with us and map some trends for the next few years?
Felix Lindhorst: The digitization and electrification of bicycles and accessories brings new developments with it. The assemblies and systems are becoming more and more complex as a result. End customers will experience the introduction of ABS, recuperation (recovery of braking energy), invisible brake lines running in the frame and electrical circuits. Furthermore, the quality and design will continue to change due to the use of the latest production technologies, but accessories are also becoming increasingly smarter.
gcm: Thank you very much, Mr. Lindhorst.
(Interview from green car magazine 2021)
The Federal Press Office also confirmed the trend last year:
“During the corona pandemic, electric bicycles and e-bikes were increasingly being bought in Germany. As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), at the beginning of 2021 there were around 1,2 million electric bicycles in private households in Germany, which is 20% more than in the previous year. At the beginning of 2021 there were around 7,1 million electric bicycles in households (beginning of 2020: 5,9 million). These were spread across almost 5,1 million households (2020: 4,3 million). This means that around every eighth household (13%) in Germany owned at least one electric bicycle. At the beginning of 2020 it was still every ninth household (11%)." (Source: Press release from the Federal Statistical Office of September 21, 2021)
Interview with Felix Lindhorst from the Bundesinnungsverband Zweirad-Handwerk from spring 2020.
Source: Development of the number of accidents - (Source: Federal Statistical Office (Destatis))
Cover picture © stockphoto-graf - stock.adobe.com
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