The Dutch spent a record €1.2bn buying new bikes in 2018 and the sale of electric bikes overtook those of traditional city bikes for the first time, according to new figures from the RAI association and Bovag.
In total, the Dutch bought one million new bikes last year, a rise of 5.7% on 2017. The increase is partly due to the long, hot summer which encouraged more people to cycle, officials say.
The sale of electric bikes rose a whopping 40% to 409,400, accounting for €823m of the total bill or an average of over €2,000 per bike. City bikes without electricity accounted for one third of the number of bikes sold, down from 42% in 2017.
‘Electric bikes are becoming the new normal,’ the organisations said in a statement. ‘You can find electric bikes for all sorts of different target groups, from young to old. There are electric mountain bikes, transport bikes and cargo bikes so parents can move children around.’
Figures from research institute TNO show that people who buy a new bike tend to cycle more.
Bovag and RAI expect that new rules for company bikes which are due to come into effect next year will boost bike sales by a further 150,000 a year.
The rules involve encouraging more employers to pay their staff 19 cents a kilometre in travelling expenses if they use their own bike to get to work. The payment is part of the Dutch tax system but few employers use it.
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