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Cargo bike growth exploding

Cargo bike sales are expected to grow more than 50% in Europe this year, and would have been more were it not for COVID-19 disruption of supply chains.

Cargo bikes have long been seen as a small segment of the bike business, with a number of small specialist manufacturers and as a side-line for larger companies.

But now growth is burgeoning with several large manufacturers expecting sales of 5000 units this year.

And new brands are joining the party on almost a monthly basis, driving innovation and market penetration.

The data is from the first European cargo bike industry survey, based on anonymous sales data from cargo bike brands.

Sales of cargo bikes for private and for commercial use are growing equally fast. Their market shares remain almost equal.

The majority of cargo bikes are sold with electric assist and their share of the market is growing.

The share of cargo bikes without electric assist decreased from around 31 percent in 2018 to around 25 percent in 2019.

Sales of three wheeler cargo bikes are growing a little faster than two wheelers. Their share is almost equal in expected sales for 2020.

Germany is the most important national market in Europe for 16 of the 38 survey participants, with Denmark (with a population 14 times smaller) most important for 4, and the UK and the Netherlands ranking first with three brands.

According to Kevin Mayne, CEO Cycling Industries Europe, the cargo and delivery bike market has really high potential for the cycling industries of Europe.

"This survey makes me very confident that we are on the right track, with the sector doing well and a diverse range of vehicles increasingly meeting all market needs across Europe,” he said.

Arne Behrensen, co-ordinator of the survey, said that in many regions the cargo bike revolution is still in a very early stage.

"Decarbonizing transport, improving air quality and regaining public street space needs more political support for sustainable vehicles like cargo bikes,” he said.

The European Cargo Bike Industry Survey will be repeated in European spring of 2021.

This article was made possible by the support of Bicycle Network's members who enable us to make bike riding better in Australia.

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