Customers Bought More eBikes Than Electric Cars Last Year

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The last twelve months have been tough on traditional automakers. Due to a widespread microchip shortage, production stalled and sales targets were missed.
Impressively, electric cars defied the odds by doubling in sales and they are on track for another record-breaking year. There’s no doubt an electric revolution is upon us, but you might be surprised to hear that America’s best-selling electric vehicles are not cars at all!
Following reports of soaring sales, data from the Light Electric Vehicle Association (LEVA) shows that eBikes are now the most popular EVs in the country.
So what’s the deal? Are eBikes just a fad or is this trend set to continue? Read on to find out.

How many eBikes were sold last year?

LEVA’s method of tracking eBike shipments provides a good estimate of sales, as nearly all eBikes are manufactured abroad, and they sell out fast. According to LEVA’s latest numbers, Americans imported 790,000 electric bikes in 2021, up from 463,000 in 2020. 
As Bloomberg points out, this is 21% higher than the number of electric and plug-in hybrid cars sold last year (652,000). And spurred on by the pandemic, it is the second consecutive year in which eBike sales have outpaced that of electric cars.

Are eBikes just a fad?

While some critics have dismissed eBikes as a pandemic-induced fad, their continued growth in 2021 suggests otherwise.
Ed Benjamin, founder and chairman of LEVA, is quoted by Bloomberg as saying, “The pandemic gave us a boost and that boost resulted in a lot of people finding that electric bicycles have a valid use in their life.”
The positives are pretty clear: eBikes are reliable, eco-friendly, easy to ride, and affordable when compared with other vehicles. The electric motor enables people to travel further than just pedal power alone, but it can be disengaged so the rider is not deprived of the pleasure and benefits of cycling.
The U.S. is edging closer to one million e-bike sales each year, but this pales in comparison with Asia and Europe, where annual sales run into the tens of millions. This suggests the fledgling industry still has plenty of room to grow, especially in America’s densely populated urban centers where car ownership is less common.

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