Dutch keep on buying expensive electric bikes

Electric bikes accounted for a whopping 29% of turnover in the Dutch cycle trade in 2008, according to the national bicycle dealer association. They are now the dominant money-maker in many cycle shops.

Sales of regular bikes in €700-€800 suffered as a result, as customers spend their money on higher-priced electric models instead.
Total sales for electric bikes in the Netherlands are thought to have reached 120,000 in 2008, many times the number sold in the UK over the same period. Sales stood at 89,000 in 2007 and around 45,000 in 2006, so there is a clear trend of rapid growth that is being replicated in the UK as electric bikes become more reliable and better-known.
50cycles now specialises in European-made electric bikes from the Kalkhoff range, so we’re well placed to offer customers reliable bikes as the UK market expands.

We can confirm that the electric bike market in the States is now booming – we’ve delivered a number of Pro Connect and Agattu electric bikes to discerning customers across the USA, with many more expected as the pound weakens against the dollar.

Electric bikes selling briskly as gas prices climb
By DAN STRUMPF – 7 hours ago

NEW YORK (AP) — When Honora Wolfe and her husband moved to the outskirts of Boulder, Colo., she wanted an environmentally friendly way to commute to her job as a bookshop owner in the city.

Wolfe, 60, found her solution about a month ago: an electric bicycle. It gets her to work quickly, is easy on her arthritis and is better for the environment than a car.

“I’m not out to win any races,” she said. “I want to get a little fresh air and exercise, and cut my carbon footprint, and spend less money on gas. And where I live, I can ride my bike seven months out of the year.”

The surging cost of gasoline and a desire for a greener commute are turning more people to electric bikes as an unconventional form of transportation. They function like a typical two-wheeler but with a battery-powered assist, and bike dealers, riders and experts say they are flying off the racks.

Official sales figures are hard to pin down, but the Gluskin-Townley Group, which does market research for the National Bicycle Dealers Association, estimates 10,000 electric bikes were sold in the U.S. in 2007, up from 6,000 in 2006.

“The electric bikes are the next big thing,” said Frank Jamerson, a former General Motors Corp. executive turned electric vehicle guru.

They’re even more popular in Europe, where Sophie Nenner, who opened a Paris bike store in 2005, says motorists boxed in by traffic jams are looking for an alternative for short journeys that doesn’t involve navigating overcrowded transport systems.

Industry associations estimate 89,000 electric bikes were sold in the Netherlands last year, while 60,000 power-assisted bikes were sold in Germany.