E-Bikes Still Most Popular Electric Vehicles in US

Fort Myers, Florida, US

e-Bike sales in the US outstripped electric car purchases for the second consecutive year in 2021, as both shot up at a similar trajectory, according to the latest figures from the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA).

The data, reported on the Bloomberg Green website, estimates the US imported nearly 790,000 electric two-wheelers in 2021, up from 463,000 the previous year and maintaining e-bikes’ status as the top-selling electric vehicle in the country.

In comparison, Americans bought 652,000 electric cars in 2021, including plug-in hybrids.

LEVA’s estimate on e-bike imports is not a sales figure but is regarded as a reliable guide on the US e-bike market.

LEVA founder and chairman Ed Benjamin sifts through customs data to identify shipments of e-bikes, electric conversion kits for traditional bikes, and other battery powered two-wheelers coming into the US. Nearly all e-bikes sold in the US are imported and most retailers are selling inventory as fast as they can restock it, so the import number is a good indicator of sales. 

One market research organisation, the NPD Group, compiles point-of-sale data from bike shops, outdoor stores, and other big-box retailers but does not capture direct-to-consumer brands such as Rad Power Bikes and VanMoof.

NPD data does show e-bike sales continuing to rise in 2021, with 368,000 units sold during the first 11 months of the year, compared to 273,000 throughout 2020.

“The pandemic gave us a boost and that boost resulted in a lot of people finding that electric bicycles have a valid use in their life,” Benjamin says in the Bloomberg article.

“I think that’s now driving the sales.”

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