Convenience factor fuels electric bike sales

Convenience factor fuels electric bike sales

13 April 2017

Retailer predicts e-bikes will be its fastest growing category in 2017 as the nation realises the benefits of going electric

Approximately one in 25 adult bikes sold in the UK is now an e-bike, according to an estimate by Halfords, who’ve hailed this the year of the Electric Bike.

The UK’s largest cycling retailer expects that electric bikes will be their fastest growing category and has launched its biggest ever range, attributing the trend to customers realising the benefits an e-bike can bring.

The steady growth in sales suggests that electric bicycles are now being viewed as a fun and convenient mode of transport, instead of as ‘cheating at cycling’. Electric bikes are easy to use for out-of-practice cyclists or those just starting out, provide a gentler way to cycle for older cyclists, and are great for commuters who cycle to work, who can arrive fresh for their day in the office, minus the sweat of a regular bike.

The surge in popularity of e-bikes in the UK also reflects a trend sweeping Europe, where e-bikes sales are seeing double digit rises every year. Most notable in the e-bikes revolution is the Netherlands, where sales are up 20% or more, and sales in Germany up as much as 50%.

Victoria Pendleton who has recently launched her own electric bike, the Pendleton Somerby Electric Bike, says: “I first tried riding an e-bike in California and found them so much fun that I wanted to design one for myself. Electric bikes are great for giving you an extra boost and a bit more zip for when you’ve run out of breath.

“E-bikes are a fantastic route into cycling for beginners, or for those returning to cycling, as these provide a helping hand when it comes to conquering physical fitness challenges that would have remained a barrier with a normal bike. They really are a game-changer. Lots more people and families will be able to get out and have fun on bikes, whether they’re for leisure, staycationing, or a more ambitious cycling challenge abroad.

“The great thing is that you still get the burn and benefit from cycling but now with an added boost. And for commuters, there’s no need to get sweaty or change your clothes, so it’s perfect for cycling to work.”

E-bikes provide a real opportunity to persuade non-cyclists – motorists and commuters, as well as those who’ve not ridden in years – to switch to pedal power.

Carla Treece, Halfords’ electric bike expert, says: “This year, already, we’re seeing more and more people discover electric bikes. With electric bikes you still get the exercise but the difference is you can ride much further, hills will feel flatter and you’ll arrive to work fresher – you don’t have to cycle to in lycra, or even shower at the office.

“There is still a lack of awareness of the benefits of electric bikes but there’s no shortage of reasons to consider using one, whether you’re an aspiring mountain biker, a silver cyclist looking for a bit of an extra boost or a commuter in a rush. Each bike comes with a variety of modes so you can control the level of assistance to best suit your requirements.”

Halfords’ biggest ever e-bikes range now includes a variety of bikes for all abilities, including the Pendleton Somerby Electric bike, the Carrera Crosscity Electric Foldable bike for easy transporting, the vintage style Coyote Clasique Heritage electric bike, the Carrera Crossfire - E, and the Carrera Vulcan Electric Mountain bike for trail riding.

Each boasts a range of 30 miles or more and is powered by a lithium ion battery that takes up to six hours to charge. With a maximum speed of 15.5mph it will help transform the average ride.

This new bike range is just one example of Halfords’ drive to innovate and diversify cycling by making it both more accessible. Many of the bikes in the range have been specifically priced to qualify for the Cycle to Work scheme - which sees customers save up to 42% on the cost of bikes – and depending on their tax and NIC rate, this could reduce the cost of the bike even further.

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