Electric bicycle sales have been increasing around the world for years, with the US seeing particularly drastic year over year growth. But never before have we witnessed the kind of colossal growth spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic. And according to industry leaders, there’s no sign of it slowing down.
When the pandemic first hit hard in the US around 18 months ago, most in the industry assumed it would be rough waters ahead.
The truth turned out to be the exact opposite, at least in terms of sales. The numbers absolutely soared as electric bicycles flew off the shelves across the country and around the world.
Of course it wasn’t all smooth sailing. New problems emerged in the industry due to the rapid growth. But the high sales figures have continued and there is no expectation of returning to lower pre-pandemic sales levels.
As electric bicycle company Pedego’s CEO Don DiCostanzo explained to Yahoo Finance:
“Let’s face it — everything electric is just hot, whether it be cars, now planes, trains. Electric bikes are probably the fastest-growing segment of any of these categories because they’re affordable for everybody.”
With so many models of electric bicycles available across the board, many of which fall in the key sub-$1,000 category, Americans have been scooping up e-bikes in droves.
Pedego even rolled out its lowest-priced electric bike to date in the middle of the pandemic (see my review video below). That helped the company reach a new demographic of riders and compete more directly with industry leaders like Rad Power Bikes who currently dominates the $1,000-$2,000 category.
Many popular electric bikes still cost north of two grand, with some priced considerably higher.
A new bill introduced in the US House of Representatives and a companion bill in the US Senate are currently seeking to help Americans lower those prices with an e-bike tax credit similar to the electric vehicle tax credit.
The plan would create a 30% rebate towards the purchase of a new electric bicycle in the US. There are still a few limitations, such as capping the rebate at $1,500 and the qualifying price of the e-bike at $8,000. But if the legislation passes, it could open the door to a second larger wave of electric bicycle sales in the US.
That couldn’t come sooner for many commuters, who are now weighing their options for socially distant commuting between private cars that are expensive and time-consuming for commutes, or crowded public transportation.
Electric bicycles have proven to be an excellent alternative for many of these commuters by providing a cheaper, faster and healthier alternative form of transportation.
And if the last 18 months are any indication, many more commuters are likely to discover those benefits soon as the modal shift we are seeing continues to change urban and suburban transportation before our eyes.
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