Germany will soon become the first country in the world to see more e-bike sales than regular bike sales this year. As German automakers struggle to find footing an increasingly difficult industry, e-bike ownership and ridership is on the rise. According to a study by PWC, private vehicle ownership is expected to plummet in Germany by up to 25 percent over the next five years.
German cycling brands like Canyon are increasing their production of e-bikes at a variety of price points, and creating a push to bring these bikes stateside.
Last July, NBA legend LeBron James invested hugely in Canyon Bicycles through LRMR Ventures. The reported 30 million Euro investment was intended to expand both U.S. distribution and the e-bike offerings from the brand. Perhaps going green will look less like electric cars and be a bit more pedal-powered.
And German car makers have taken notice. Within the last year, German car brands Porsche and Audi have both released their own models of e-bikes—with price tags you would expect from these brands. (And yes, these price tags are high compared to many of the higher-end models from bike brands).
According to a recent New York Times piece about Germany’s e-bike phenomenon, consumers are beginning the slow shift from regular cars to electric versions, or eschewing cars in favor of even simpler alternatives like e-bikes.
Earlier this year, in some report that sales of electric bikes would outstrip sales of ‘analog’ bikes in the country this year. And get this: in the mountain bike sector, almost 90 percent of all MTBs sold were e-bikes.
According to Cycling Industry News, since 2019 sales of e-bikes in Germany have increased by 70 percent, and revenue has nearly doubled from 4 billion to 7.36 billion Euros. The German Bicycle Industry Association added that 1.72 million e-bikes were produced in Germany in 2022.
Will the rest of Europe (and the world) see a similar rise in e-bike sales? The growth is similar in the U.S., with a report by the National Bicycle Dealers Association finding that electric bike sales in the U.S. in 2022 surpassed $1.3 billion—a 30 percent increase from the year before.