Electric bicycles are showing strong year-over-year growth in the U.S., with dollar sales growing by 95 percent in the 12 months ending July 2017, and unit sales up 96 percent, according to global information company The NPD Group. A $64.9 million category today, electric bicycle sales have nearly tripled over the last 36 months.
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. 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.
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.
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 percent sales, followed by lifestyle designs, with 25 percent of sales. The fastest growing subclasses are lifestyle and full suspension electric mountain bikes.
“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,” said Matt Powell, vice president 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.”