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Electric bike pushes traditional city bike from throne

Electric bicycles are the "new normality" in the Netherlands

Cycle superhighway in Breda, Netherlands
Cycle superhighway in Breda, Netherlands © Jörg Thiemann-Linden

Dutch bicycle industry breaks new records

Both sales of new bicycles and sales in the industry rose to record levels in 2018. For the first time since 2014, the industry sold more than 1 million bicycles (+6 percent) and achieved total sales of 1.22 billion euros (+25 percent).

40 percent more e-bikes/pedelecs

In particular, the continuing popularity of electric bicycles gave the industry a strong boost. Last year, Dutch consumers bought 409,400 electric bicycles, 40 percent more than in 2017. Sales of e-bikes also rose by 40 percent to 823 million euros. This means that the electric bicycle accounted for more than two thirds of the industry's total sales in 2018.

While four out of ten new bicycles (40 percent) are electrically powered, the market share of the city bike fell to 34 percent (from 42 percent in 2017).

Studies by TNO show that owners of new bicycles travel on average around 10 percent more business kilometres and 27 percent more private kilometres. With the simplification of the tax regulations for the commercial use of bicycles, the RAI Association expects that the commercial purchase of a bicycle will also increase to around 150,000 additional bicycles per year. The prerequisite for this is that villages and towns can be easily reached by bicycle.