Explore the e-bike market demand and consumer boom in Germany

Explore the market demand and consumer boom for e-bikes in Germany-
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    High demand for e-bikes and high price per unit

    Rising oil prices and the energy crisis have made e-bikes, a new form of mobility, a hot commodity.

    According to the data, the global e-bike market exceeded $36 billion in 2022, and 10 million e-bikes will be sold worldwide by 2025, with China, a major exporter of bicycles, being the biggest beneficiary of this trend.

    China’s e-bike export volume reached 9.88 million+ units in 2022, with huge market demand and high customer prices per unit between $1000-4000, which is definitely a big business opportunity for Chinese companies.

    The European market is growing at an impressive rate, with a compound growth rate expected to exceed 20%, and is in a period of high growth, with Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands as the leading countries.

    In general, e-bikes in Europe are priced at €259-4699, with the largest consumer market in Germany.

    What kind of opportunities does the German e-bike market face? What kind of market characteristics are there? What will be the future development trend?

    To clarify these questions, we must first understand the macro environment in Germany.

    High demand for e-bikes and high price per unit

    Germany e-bike macro environment

    German first choice for electric transport

    Although Germany is a world-renowned automobile manufacturing country, Germans love to ride bicycles and are known as the “bicycle nation”.

    According to statistics, Germany has a population of 82 million and 81 million bicycles, so almost every German resident has a bicycle.

    In densely populated German cities, e-bikes are more widely used than electric cars. In urban and rural areas, two-thirds of daily travel can be easily accomplished by bike or e-bike.

    The exercise and recreational attributes of the e-bike beyond short commutes give it leverage over electric cars.

    Germany has a complex terrain with many hills and slopes, and the e-bike, which is powered by motor output assisted by pedaling, can bring consumers a different riding experience and is very popular among consumers.

    German people's first choice for electric transport

    In fact, not just Germany, but all of Europe has shown a strong affinity for e-bike commuting, and owning an e-bike is as common as owning a second car in an American household.

    2.2 million e-bikes were sold in Germany in 2022, accounting for 48% of the bicycle market share, and the CEO of the German Bicycle Industry Association (ZIV) predicts that Germany’s e-bike unit sales will overtake non-motorized bicycles for the first time this year.

    Bicycle-friendly countries

    According to EU Regulation 168/2013, e-bikes with a motor power of up to 250W and an assist speed of up to 25km/h (at which the motor stops assisting) fall under the L1e-A classification and can be loosely regulated with reference to ordinary bicycles.

    The pedalless e-bike, on the other hand, belongs to the L1e-B classification, which requires an AM driver’s license, 16 years of age or older and a series of other restrictions, which leads to the e-bike being more popular than the electric motorcycle in Europe.

    Germans originally rode bikes to avoid traffic jams, and after Germany developed more than 200 long-distance bike routes throughout the country, Germany became a thoroughly bike-friendly country.

    It turns out that a lot of bike-friendly infrastructure is just as good for e-bikes, with bike lanes and bike parking areas providing a boost to the development of e-bikes.

    Bicycle-friendly countries

    Strong cycling culture

    The age distribution of cycling enthusiasts is also very broad, with an excellent mass base. Before the epidemic, most Germans commuted by car and rode bicycles for leisure.

    But after the epidemic, many European companies abolished the rigid seating system and replaced it with a flexible remote office system.

    Many German people’s activities began to revolve around home, usually going to the retail store to buy something or something by car is purely too big.

    E-bike has become the best choice – and convenient and flexible, by the way to do a cardio, but also to take photos for ins.

    According to data published by the German Federal Environment Agency, the carbon emissions per capita per mile of e-bike, car and bus are strongly contrasting: driving a private car emits a full 240 grams per capita, bus travel drops to 100 grams, while e-bike carbon emissions are only 5 grams.

    In Germany, which is very concerned about climate and carbon emissions, e-bikes are not only an affordable option, but also a visualization of environmental ideology.

    Strong cycling culture

    Features of the German e-bike market

    Germany is one of the leading regions in the European e-bike industry.

    The trend is towards new energy for transport, of which e-bikes are the main development direction, mainly because German pedal-assisted e-bikes do not require registration and permits, and can be bought and put on the road, facing less regulation than other categories.

    In addition, city bikes are the most used and requested bikes, with the greatest advantage of faster commuting and easier parking in congested cities.

    Innovations in products and components, engineering and design are key drivers for the continued growth of this market.

    Overall, the German e-bike market is characterized by the following three factors:

    High growth in market demand

    Bicycle production in Germany reached a record high in 2022, with 2.6 million bikes and e-bikes produced.

    Bicycle production remained flat (900,000 units), while e-bike production continued to gain momentum, increasing 20% to 1.72 million units, with sales peaking at 2.2 million units in 2022 (up 10% from 2021), with demand outpacing supply.

    High growth in market demand

    In the longer term, data shows that the German e-bike market has grown a staggering fourfold in size over the past 10 years, from approximately €2 billion in 2012 to €7.36 billion in 2022.

    Looking at the German bicycle and e-bike market, the German Bicycle Industry Association says it sees great potential.

    It’s not just that e-bikes are becoming more expensive; customers also want higher-quality components such as gears, brakes, tires or lighting.

    A more fragmented brand landscape

    Although there are many bike manufacturers in Germany and many bike manufacturers are getting involved in e-bikes, as an emerging track, Germans do not yet have an inherent brand perception of e-bikes.

    Many e-bike brands are still in competition, and there are still great opportunities for small and medium-sized brands.

    The German e-bike market is moderately consolidated, with the top five companies accounting for 61.00% of the total.

    Major players include Cartrend GmbH (Fischer), GROUPE SPORTIF PTY LTD (Haibike), Kalkhoff Werke GmbH, MHW Bike-House GmbH (Cube Bikes) and Prophete GmbH & Co. KG (in alphabetical order).

    German e-bike market leaders

    Local lack of manufacturing end

    Although there are better brand names in Europe, there are only complete bicycle factories at the manufacturing end, lacking capacity for supporting parts.

    Although there is a tariff ceiling, European manufacturers must still import parts from Asian manufacturers such as China and Japan for production. Therefore, under the pressure of high tariffs, Chinese manufacturers avoided tariffs to take the first transit parts overseas and then assemble and sell them.

    Although Germany also intends to make up for the shortcomings of components, hoping to move towards “self-sufficiency”, the gap in the industry chain for many years is difficult to fill for a while, especially since China continues to retain a large synergy and first-mover advantage in the lithium-ion industry chain.

    Electric bicycle electric power systems are expected to continue to be dominated by Chinese manufacturers, as is the German e-bike market.

    The development of the German e-bike market will continue to benefit China.

    Local lack of manufacturing end

    Trends in German e-bike development

    Mountain bikes ahead of urban recreational cycling

    The reports found across the border in Tarsus coincide with the mention of the prominent role of e-bikes in leisure and tourism, which is mainly manifested in the mountain bike category.

    According to the survey, 931,600 mountain bikes will be sold in Germany in 2022, of which 836,000 electric mountain bikes will be sold alone, accounting for about 90%.

    In the winter of 2022, when ski tourism in Europe becomes extremely difficult due to the warming climate, the tourism industry begins to look for new alternatives, and mountain bike tourism is one way out, and electric mountain bikes have a greater use.

    According to ebike24, electric mountain bikes are leading the way for the second time in a row with 23% growth due to buyer preference.

    Mountain bikes ahead of urban recreational cycling

    Now by a margin of ten and fourteen percentage points respectively, it leaves long-time favorites electric hiking bikes and urban e-bikes far behind as the best-selling segment in the e-bike group.

    Wide tire e-bikes are even becoming popular throughout the e-bike industry for their inclusiveness on all terrains, superb balance and traction, superior shock absorption, and greater durability than fine tires.

    In addition, e-freight bikes also grew significantly, with sales increasing to 165,000 units, a 37.5% increase, behind demand driven by a combination of private and commercial use.

    All-age friendly trend

    Although European countries have serious aging problems, middle-aged and elderly people still have great enthusiasm for bicycles.

    E-bikes just make up for their lack of physical strength and keep their cycling hobby alive, so e-bikes are widely welcomed.

    Moreover, middle-aged and older people are financially strong, and the high price of e-bikes is not a big problem for them.

    When these people buy an e-bike, price is not the main consideration, expensive high-end e-bikes are more popular, safety, portability, comfort, intelligence is the main consideration.

    After the supply chain shortage problem in Germany was alleviated, the supply time of ordinary e-bikes was shortened, but high-end e-bikes are still in short supply and the booking period for customers is up to one year.

    All-age friendly trend

    A rapidly growing market

    According to Grand View Research, the global e-bike market will be US$17.83 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.5% from 2022 to 2030.

    E-bike penetration in Europe is also increasing year by year, and is expected to rise to 42.6% by 2025, with a CAGR of 13.5% in the coming years.

    The compound growth rate will also remain high at 13.34%, with Germany being the largest market in all of Europe, accounting for 34.5% of sales.

    With the combination of many factors, the international market for European e-bikes has been formed and has become the target market for many e-bike brands, attracting many Chinese e-bike brands.

    With 30-40 e-bike brands choosing to export to Europe and the US in 2022 alone, the international e-bike market is expanding.

    A rapidly growing market

    Sales share

    With more and more brands flooding into the market, the sales base of new energy vehicles and e-bikes is growing and maintaining a high growth rate is becoming more and more difficult, and the growth rate of German e-bike sales is gradually slowing down, while the launch of mainstream models for the general public has become the key to competition.

    On the other hand, subsidies continue to recede and new production capacity continues to be put in place, all parts of the industry chain are under pressure to reduce prices, and the price war in the industry chain is intensifying.

    Overseas competitors are also accelerating their layout, and the production of local German manufacturers has increased by 20% to a record high, bringing a new impact to companies going abroad.

    Fanatical consumers and their reasons for buying

    From the macro perspective of the development of the entire industry, the explosion of e-bikes is driven by the energy crisis, environmental protection concept, the new coronavirus epidemic and other historical events.

    But from the perspective of consumers, the reasons for buying an e-bike that can easily cost thousands of dollars or even tens of thousands of dollars are not so ambitious.

    To promote consumers to buy a Chinese-made e-bike, we obviously still need to start from consumer demand and explore the development direction of e-bike.

    Enthusiastic European and American consumers

    Compared to the Chinese, European and American consumers are simply fanatical about e-bikes.

    In 2021 alone, 6.4 million e-bikes were consumed in Europe and the United States, and tens of thousands of dollars were spent on an e-bike.

    Porsche has launched two luxury e-bikes, priced at $ 10,700 and $ 8549.

    In China, we are afraid that few people ask for it, but in Europe and the United States the market is very established, because in Europe and the United States, this thing is not just a commuting tool, or fashion items.

    American pop singer Justin Bieber, Post Malone, star Will Smith have to ride it to travel, a variety of beautiful photos on the ins;

    Enthusiastic European and American consumers

    Even US President Joe Biden also stood for it, expressed strong support for the attitude, and actively promoted the relevant bill.

    German demand for e-bikes remained high during the epidemic, and sentiment on related topics was so high that some German media exclaimed, “Germany is becoming a bicycle country.”

    Although soaring prices during 2022-2023 have dampened consumers’ desire to buy, to the point that German warehouses have been overflowing in recent months, German bike industry insiders still believe that Germany’s e-bike boom is not over, and say the market will normalize this year.

    According to German industry insiders, Germany’s e-bike supply chain was previously severely disrupted by the epidemic and the e-bike market has underperformed this year, partly due to a shortage of parts, bikes and e-bikes, causing many potential customers to postpone their purchases.

    But this year as people return to the road, customers interested in e-bikes will find a wide variety of reasonably priced products.

    Reasons and barriers to buying for German consumers

    A 2018 online survey of 1,000 Germans aged 16-70 conducted by market and opinion researcher Ipsos found that 81% of Germans cited “environmentally friendly long-distance travel” as a reason to buy an e-bike, with 79% citing this as a decisive advantage, as they can then travel longer distances and time on a bike without being exhausted or sweaty.

    Only 36% of respondents believe that normal cycling without electric assistance is too much effort, even among the middle-aged and older age group of 50-70 (43%), and even less among the 16-29 age group (29%). The proportion is even smaller (29%).

    Interestingly, however, there were no significant differences between age groups in purchasing plans.

    Pros and cons of e-bikes

    The biggest reason is income, which is often cited as the main reason to buy an e-bike. 82% of respondents think it is too expensive to buy and 75% of Germans are concerned that e-bikes are not as effective as traditional bikes for exercise.

    Almost half (48%) feel it too much of a hassle to charge the battery, and 40% worry they won’t be able to do so.

    At the same time, some also say there are no dedicated e-bike parking spaces, with consumers in large cities particularly concerned (44%). Another interesting observation is that the emergence of the e-bike has almost no impact on sales.

    Consumer perspective on the e-bike segment

    ① Travel e-bike:
    Comfort on short trips and in everyday life

    Touring bikes are ideal for relaxing weekend hikes and daily commutes. Top considerations for these products often include a seat position that allows for uprightness, prioritizes comfort and practicality, and is designed for lightweight travel.

    ② Urban e-bike

    In Germany, almost everyone who travels regularly in cities seriously considers buying an urban e-bike.

    The biggest demand for this product is for comfortable seating positions and standard lighting, allowing these e-bikes to be used all hours of the day in the city.

    ③ Folding or compact e-bike:
    For those who travel a lot

    For those e-bike buyers who are particularly looking for convenience, the best solution is a folding e-bike or compact e-bike.

    They are easy to transport and can easily be taken on trains or cars, which is definitely an advantage on self-driving or long-distance trips.

    Consumers buying these products usually require bikes with powerful motors and support for bicycle pedals to get the pleasure of riding.

    Consumer perspective on the e-bike segment

    ④ Cargo e-bike:
    A practical help in everyday life

    Cargo bikes are usually better suited for bicycles that need to transport large or heavy items, need a spacious storage space to transport items or even children, and body stability and a reliable electric drive system are the most important considerations.

    ⑤ Mountain e-bike:
    For adventurers:

    Germans who enjoy sporty off-roading will often consider buying an electric mountain bike.

    Consumers typically require these models to be rugged, safe on gravel and dirt roads, and adaptable to everyday use scenarios.

    Other full-suspension electric mountain bikes are equipped with suspension in the front of the fork and a shock system in the rear to accommodate riding on hard roads.

    German brand Canyon is one of the most popular manufacturers of electric mountain bikes in Germany.

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