An e-bike price war has broken out because manufacturers have been left with large stocks due to the cooling economy, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Wednesday.
From August 1 e-bikes made by European market leader Accell, which owns the Batavus, Sparta and Koga brands, can be had with discounts of between €200 and €400, according to a price list for dealers the paper had access to.
Acell is not the only one to lower prices, bike retailer Nick Veenendaal told the paper. “Websites show that brands such as Advanced and Flyer have also reduced their prices, as well as Cortina,” he said.
The discounts are mainly for bikes that are not great sellers, Veenendaal said, or for models that are being discontinued.
Accell, which was taken over last year by investor KKR, did not comment on the issue.
“What is happening is the reverse of what we saw during the pandemic,” market analyst Dirk Mulder told the FD. “Then demand was high for a scarce good, mainly because manufacturers had trouble importing parts. Now demand has cooled down and stocks have piled up because suppliers made good on earlier orders.”
High inflation did the rest, making consumers wary of expensive purchases, Mulder said.
Potential buyers will be able to pick up a bargain, Mulder said, because manufacturers want to get rid of their stock. “Stock bites into working capital, and interests have gone up during the last couple of months.” It may take a year for stocks to reach the normal level, he said.
Gazelle, made by Pon, is the only bike that is not going to be cheaper. Gazelle did not increase its prices earlier this year and stock levels have returned to normal, director Paul Vreeburg told the paper.
Meanwhile, with discounted e-bikes poised to flood the market, experts are expecting an increase in the number of accidents, particularly involving the elderly.
There are no national figures yet but hospitals in Noord-Brabant reported an increase of 120 seriously hurt elderly e-bikers last year compared with pre-Covid times. Rotterdam and Amsterdam regions reported dozens more accidents involving elderly riders and in Amsterdam region 160 more older people needed treatment for multiple trauma, the AD reported earlier this week.
The figures have prompted medical specialists to call on the elderly to learn to ride an electric bike before starting out and to always wear a helmet.
“Even if they are standing still elderly people can fall and seriously hurt themselves. Or they lose control in a bend because they go too fast,” Jeroen Poos, the founder of Artsen voor Veilig Fietsen (doctors for safe biking), told the paper. The consequences of a fall at e-bike speed can be serious, from broken bones to brain damage, he said.
According to the Fietsersbond, which organises safe cycling courses for the elderly, older people are just as likely to have an accident on a normal bike.
“Research has shown it’s not the electric bike per sé that is causing the most problems. It’s a general case of diminished reflexes and trouble getting on and off all types of bike,” spokesman Kees Bakker said.
National statistics office CBS said in April elderly cyclists accounted for 150 of the 291 bike riders who died in traffic accidents last year.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation