Electric bicycles are showing strong year-over-year growth in the U.S., with dollar sales growing by 95% in the 12 months ending July 2017, and unit sales up 96%, according to The NPD Group.
A $64.9 million category today, electric bicycle sales have nearly tripled over the last 36 months. The majority of electric bicycle purchases are happening at independent bicycle shops, but the total market for this product is growing at a quickening pace, the firm adds.
Electric bikes appeal to the two strongest purchasing generations in the U.S. – Boomers and Millennials. The majority of purchases are happening at independent bicycle shops, but the total market for this product is growing at a quickening pace.
“Electric bikes are exploding right now because they have no age associations, offer an authentic riding experience, and appeal to the two strongest purchasing generations in the U.S. – Boomers and Millennials,” says Matt Powell, VP and sports industry analyst, The NPD Group. “Being experimental yet non-arduous they draw Boomers, while Millennials enjoy that they are technological, experiential, and offer a more economical way of getting around.”
Top five brands
The top five brands for electric bicycles, based on dollar sales, are Trek, Electra, Specialized, Raleigh, and Giant. In an analysis of the top 200 selling models, transit/fitness designs comprise 42% sales, followed by lifestyle designs, with 25% of sales. The fastest growing subclasses are lifestyle and full suspension electric mountain bikes, according to NPD.
Electric bicycles priced $2,000 and over not only account for the bulk of sales, but are also driving sales. With the average selling price for an electric bicycle today at $2,400, the fastest-growing price band is $2,000-$2,499, which has gained $3 million in dollar share over the last year; those priced above $3,000 have gained over $1 million, according to NPD.
There is also growing popularity of electric bicycles sporting fat tires. Less than $500,000 in sales two years ago, fat tire electric bicycles now exceed $2.5 million in sales and the average retail price has more than doubled, to about $3,200, NPD reports.