As government-imposed lockdowns spread around the US in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses have been suffering. With people stuck at home and tightening their purse strings, many feared that the hardship would be acutely felt by the scores of electric bicycle companies that have popped up over the last few years.
But as it turns out, the opposite is true. In fact, sales of electric bicycles appear to have exploded recently.
Electric bicycle sales numbers had already been on a tear at the end of last year, and have been steadily increasing year over year as the industry has grown.
Now we’re hearing from e-bike companies in both the US and Europe who are reporting record sales figures during the COVID-19 lockdown.
VanMoof, a Dutch e-bike manufacturer that markets e-bikes all over the world, reported as early as last month that its sales had already risen since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Even as far back as February, the company saw its highest foot traffic ever at its flagship stores around the world in locations such as Paris and New York City. Then in March, the company recorded record-breaking online sales that were up almost 50% compared to the same period in the previous year, with visitors to its website up over 80%.
VanMoof has since capitalized on the momentum, launching two new electric bicycles: the VanMoof S3 and X3. The bike details had actually been leaked a week earlier, which might have helped increase site visitors. But anyway you slice it, the rather premium e-bike brand, whose new bikes start at around $2,000, has certainly seen a significant sales boost. And the fact the company’s recently released e-bikes have price points more than $1,000 below the previous generation models has certainly helped continue the positive sales trend seen during the coronavirus pandemic.
If higher priced e-bikes are selling well, you better believe that more budget-friendly e-bikes are seeing an even larger jump in sales figures.
In the US, Arizona-based online e-bike retailer Lectric eBikes has reported a 140% increase in sales since March 15, which corresponds with the period that many states began lockdowns. As state governments have encouraged social distancing, many riders have been taking to e-bikes as a way to remain active while keeping their distance from others.
As Lectric eBikes cofounder Levi Conlow explained in a statement provided to Electrek:
Our customers have been saying that e-bikes are a great option for the new coronavirus-era way of living. The dramatic increase in sales shows that nationally, people are looking to shift how they get around. It’s also a fantastic option for those looking to socially isolate while getting fresh air outside.
Lectric eBikes sells the Lectric XP e-bike, a 28 mph (45 km/h) folding electric bicycle with fat tires, which makes it capable of both on-road commuting and light off-road trail riding. With a price of just $899, it is one of the most affordable e-bikes in the US that is still capable of high power and high speed riding. We had the chance to review the Lectric XP recently, and you can see our review video below.
Lectric eBikes cofounder Robby Deziel explained further:
In addition to comfort and convenience, we want to offer our customers a product that doesn’t forgo quality at an industry shattering price and without hidden fees. Now more than ever, we feel that getting an electric bike should be attainable for everyone.
The company has even used its recent success to help give back to its local community, donating 8,000 KN95 masks to local healthcare workers in its home state of Arizona.
E-bikes are becoming more affordable
Other companies have dropped prices on their affordable e-bikes recently as well, such as the RadRunner from Rad Power Bikes.
The RadRunner also offers 20-inch fat tires like the Lectric XP, but uses a utility-style frame similar to a stretched electric moped. Such minibike or electric moped style e-bikes were gaining in popularity near the end of 2019, and based on current sales reports are continuing to grow in popularity.
Back when the economy started its downturn in late February, I must admit that I was among those that worried about the fate of the many e-bike companies in the US and around the world.
With more people out of work and less money in their pockets, I feared that electric bicycles would be seen as expensive luxuries instead of the cost-saving alternative transportation options they truly are.
Considering that e-bikes are great for both recreational riding and for replacing many car trips, I see them as a prudent choice now more than ever. And I’m glad to see that consumers are agreeing.
What do you think? Is this a good time to put some miles on an e-bike? Let us know in the comments section below if you’re socially distancing on two wheels!
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