In France, it was instead the whole market to grow for the third consecutive year, with a total sales volume increase of 1.3% (over 3 million units for the first time since 2012) and a turnover of 1,023 billion euros (+6.4%). The growth of the e-bike sector was even sharper rising up to 134,000 units with a 31.4% increase compared to the previous year. The leading models are city/urban and trekking bikes as well as e-MTBs, which are in constant growth (+72% with 15,300 units already sold on the market). As stated by Jérôme Valentin, CEO of Cycleurope France and co-president of the Union Sport & Cycle federation, 14 million people have hopped on a bike over the past twelve months in France.
The French industry trend – with a slow start and a sharp rise in more recent years – paves the way to markets such as that of the United Kingdom. While still with relatively low sales (+50,000 units sold over the year and a major uncertainty as per a significant price increase due to Brexit), the UK nevertheless shows signs of growth.
The Italian situation reproduces the European trend: apart from an overall sales drop of 2.6%, e-bikes registered a 120% increase with 124,400 units sold in 2016 and 108,800 ones imported from abroad (+148,9% compared to the previous year). Though with absolute values still small, the growth of exports is also encouraging (+135,3%, from 3,400 to 8,000 units with e-MTBs taking up 50% of total sales). The USA underwent a real boom: in the first six months of 2017, the American industry turnover doubled from 16.7 to 31.8 billion dollars, thus reproducing the same trend of units sold (from 8,213 to 15,930).
The potential of such a constant and sharply growing industry has induced companies to invest in this segment. It is no coincidence that Pirelli presented its new Cycl-e tyre at the German Eurobike 2017 Show. This product is specifically designed for electric-power assisted bicycles following the Company’s long-standing experience in the motorcycle sector. Pirelli’s new tyres boast a high wet grip performance and greater resistance to punctures, making the e-bike experience safer and more comfortable.