The Popularity of Electric Bikes Is Growing Fast
[TUE MAY 16 2017; A7; ’Sähköpyörien suosio kasvaa nopeasti’, Henripekka Kallio]
The sale of electric bikes is about to double for the second consecutive year, the bike business representatives interviewed by Lännen Media estimate.
– The growth continues. And this spring, electric bikes have really been successful in Finland, describes CEO of Helkama Velox Oy Jari Elamo.
The company specializing in electric bikes, Electrobike, has already imported nearly the same amount of bikes during this year as it did all of last year. And the bike season hasn’t even properly started yet.
– It feels like this year the sale of bikes may more than double, when it’s not exactly biking weather yet, and the we’re already reaching last year’s total, says Jami Jokinen of Electrobike.
The sale of electric bikes soared to new heights last year. According to Customs, 1400 electric bikes with motors of 250W or less were imported into Finland. In 2014, 2 200 bikes were imported, 2 700 bikes in 2015, and 6 500 last year. Most of them came from China.
The overall market for electric bikes is likely greater, because the bikes Helkama assembles in Hanko need to be taken into account. Last season, Helkama sold over a thousand electric bikes. According to Elamo, production is about to double.
Although only a few percent of bikes manufactured by Helkama are electric, their significance to the company is greater than the figures show.
– When measured in euros, our goal is to have half of our revenue come from electric bikes next year, Elamo says.
Electric bikes are very lucrative to Helkama and its retailers, because quality electric bikes are much more expensive than traditional bikes.
According to Elamo and Jokinen, the increased interest towards electric bikes has also been visible in trade fairs. The bike business has expected the breakthrough in electric biking for years, as sales have already exceeded expectations in continental Europe.
– In the Netherlands has been one of the first to exceed a 30% market share for electric bikes, which means that nearly every third new bike sold over there is electric. In Germany, there have been reports of a 20% market share.
In Finland, the market share for electric bikes has remained at aroud 2%.
– I would say Finland could reach a 10-15% market share in a few years’ time, which would mean several dozen of thousands of new electric bikes, Elamo calculates.
The growth in the popularity of electric bikes can be explained with many factors. The performance, features, and selection of bikes have all improved, but prices have started to decline.
Previously, customers looking for electric bikes were mainly commuters or senior cyclists, but now all kinds of peddlers are interested in them.
– Companies, cities, and magazines – everyone is advocating electric bikes. It’s bound to have an effect on purchase decisions, says Jami Jokinen.