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Are Electric Bicycles Catching Cars As Europe’s Favored Transport?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to discover that there are more bicycles around than there are cars.

They’re vastly cheaper for a start, and require no pesky tax, parking fees or indeed, fuel. As far as methods of transport go, they’re second only to walking for inexpense.

More newsworthy is that the electrically-assisted bicycle, or e-bike, is starting to take its own healthy slice of the market–particularly in Europe.

Navigant Research reports figures from the European Cycling Federation on both car and bicycle sales figures from 2011. The former figure is around 13 million, the latter closer to 20 million–like we said, not too surprising.

Notably, while European car sales fell by 2 percent between 2010-2011, e-bike sales went the other direction, rising by a full 22 percent. With European car sales still suffering in 2013–for non-premium brands, at least–could the e-bike be taking over in the continent’s towns and cities?

If it is, the reasons for the increase in popularity are various.



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