22 million bikes and e-bikes sold across EU and UK during 2020, data reveals

CONEBI has released its 2021 European Bicycle Industry and Market Profile Report, with sales shooting up 40% to €18.3 billion or 22 million units sold (bikes and e-bikes) across the EU and UK during the course of 2020.

“Spurred on by booming consumer demand, investments in cycling infrastructure and political commitments to a transition to the Green Economy, the EU-UK industries continue their upward spiral year on year, with 2020 being the best year since we started analysing data,” said Erhard Büchel, CONEBI president.

“Investments/innovation topped €1.5 billion, up from €1 billion in 2019. This has fuelled unprecedented production growth across Europe.”

Manuel Marsilio, CONEBI general manager, said: “E-bikes are fast becoming consumers’ preferred choice. European citizens are selecting greener e-mobility options over buying cars or using public transport, which resulted in e-bikes enjoying a staggering 52% increase in sales. E-bike sales leapt to €10.6 billion in 2020.”

Büchel added: “Production of parts and accessories in Europe also spiked in 2020, reaching €3 billion, which highlights the positive impact on the whole production value-chain. Nevertheless, the current situation in the global supply chain is an important signal: we need to invest more in local production; we need to invest more in Europe. Based on current projections, we expect the value of the parts and accessories produced in Europe to double to €6 billion by 2025.”

A suite of new national policies focused on cycling infrastructure, driven by changes in consumer behaviour, has meant more good news for European bicycle manufacturers: 3.6 of the 4.5 million e-bikes sold in the EU/UK were manufactured in region. This equated to 80% of all products sold in EU/UK also being produced here.

The performance by the bicycle, e-bike, parts and accessories sectors also boosted jobs, with a 30% increase in employment across the sector reported.

“Today, we have over 1,000 healthy sustainable manufacturing SMEs in Europe, which provide 155,000 direct/indirect green manufacturing jobs,” said Marsilio. “Taking into account bicycle tourism, cycling services such as cycle logistics and bike-sharing, and the retail sector, more than 850,000 green jobs are supported by our industry.”

With a growing number of companies reinforcing their EU/UK investments by reshoring production to the EU/UK, 1,000 bicycles re-shored/produced each year in Europe creates three to five skilled jobs. And, for 1,000 e-bikes that are re-shored/produced in the region each year, between six and nine skilled jobs are generated.

“Our sector brings tangible value to the European Economy in terms of jobs, investment, entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Marsilio. “Plus, our environmental footprint is a net positive when it comes to the Green Economy. Local production in EU/UK results in a reduction exceeding two million tons of Co2 emissions per year.”

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