The global pedal-assist bicycle market has experienced significant growth in recent years with an expected growth rate through 2025, driven largely by environmental awareness, government support, and rising fuel costs. Europe holds the largest market share, especially in Germany, followed by France and Italy. In the context of Italy, the market for electric and pedal-assist bicycles grew, with pedal-assist bicycles accounting for 11% of total bicycle production. Despite the pandemic in 2020, there was a marked demand for e-bikes due to factors like the need for outdoor activities and the introduction of the mobility bonus by the government. This surge in demand led to a shortage in the market, with a 44% increase in e-bike sales to 280,000 units in 2020 over the previous year, and a further 5% increase to 295,000 units in 2021. The global eBike market itself was valued at US$17.83 billion in 2021 and is expected to witness the sale of over 450 million units worldwide by 2030, with Europe alone accounting for more than 50 million eBikes by 2030. The Italian market has seen not only a rise in consumer demand but also growth among e-bike manufacturers and distributors, with companies like ITALWIN and ATALA reporting millions in turnover.

Pedal-Assist Bicycle Market Trends and Analysis in Italy

The Italian market for pedal-assist bicycles, also known as electric bicycles (e-bikes), has seen a riveting upswing in consumer demand over the past years, leading to exponential growth rates. Fueled by an assortment of factors ranging from environmental consciousness to fiscal stimuli provided by the Italian government, the market landscape of pedal-assist bicycles has evolved considerably. Diving into the demand dynamics, we witness a robust trend toward the adoption of pedal-assist bicycles as an environmentally sound and cost-efficient alternative to traditional transport methods, propelled by the escalating prices of fuel. The e-bike market growth in Italy is remarkable, with a rate anticipated to march on at an impressive average of roughly 10% through the year 2025. In terms of market value and expansion, the Italian e-bike segment experienced a leap of around 7.5% in 2021, primarily driven by electric and pedal-assist bicycles. Notably, these modern modes of mobility have started to occupy a substantial portion of total bicycle production in Italy. This pattern suggests a gradual cannibalization of the traditional bicycle market segment by its electric counterparts. Consumer preferences mirror the market's overall sentiment, with a majority—over 70%—opting for the personalized experience offered by specialty stores to acquire their e-bikes.

This choice is despite the propulsion of online retailers in the market that provide consumers with a wide array of bicycles and cycling accessories. Observing the price scale for electric bicycles, which significantly influences consumer choices, we uncover a broad spectrum. Starting from less than 1,000 euros and reaching heftier sums of up to 5,000 to 7,000 euros, delivering as much value as high-end professional traditional bicycles. The variance in prices accounts for the range of factors such as vehicle type, material quality, battery life, and supplementary features, ergo impacting consumer purchasing power. The proactive stance of the Italian government has reinforced the growth trajectory of the pedal-assist bicycle market. By implementing incentive schemes, the authorities have succeeded in promoting the acquisition of e-bikes, a move which forecasts a continued upward trend in sales. Regulatory frameworks have also been established to distinguish between pedal-assist bicycles and self-operated electric bicycles—the former requiring the cyclist's pedaling effort to activate the motor and being regulated as velocipedes, while the latter operating independently of pedaling effort, thus categorized alongside mopeds. The Italian pedal-assist bicycle market.

Key Players Shaping the Electric Bicycle Market Landscape

As the electric bicycle (eBike) market thrives, several companies have carved out significant niches, thanks to their distinctive offerings and strategic market presence. These players have contributed to shaping the dynamic of the market with their diverse range of pedal-assist bicycles that cater to different consumer needs, from city commuting to off-road adventure. Here's an overview of these influential companies and their unique propositions in the eBike industry.

  • Giant Bicycles: A stalwart in the world of cycling, Giant has extended its expertise to eBikes, offering a range of models suited for varying terrains and purposes. Known for their innovation and quality, Giant's electric bicycles are synonymous with reliability and performance.
  • Merida: Another giant in bicycle manufacturing, Merida has skillfully transitioned into the eBike market with models that blend sleek design with robust functionality. Their bikes are engineered to provide an outstanding riding experience that mirrors their reputation in traditional biking.
  • Trek Bikes: Renowned for their pioneering spirit, Trek Bikes has embraced the eBike trend with a robust lineup of electric models. From urban explorers to trail adventurers, Trek’s eBikes are designed to meet the demands of a diverse consumer base while ensuring sustainability and comfort.
  • Riese & Muller: Specializing in premium eBikes, Riese & Muller stand out for their focus on creating innovative and highly customizable bikes. Their products offer a unique fusion of luxury, technology, and versatility, appealing to a high-end market segment.
  • Bosch: Dominating the motor technology segment, Bosch has established itself as a leader in eBike power systems. Their motors are revered for efficiency and reliability, making them a top choice for various eBike manufacturers seeking quality propulsion components.
  • FIAT: Traditionally known for automobiles, FIAT has ventured into the eBike sector with a practical folding e-bike, catering to urban commuters seeking convenience and space efficiency.
  • Piaggio: Venturing beyond their famous scooters, Piaggio has introduced an array of electric city bikes, showcasing their commitment to green mobility solutions and their capacity to innovate within the eBike domain.
  • Italwin: A company that decided to specialize in pedal-assist bicycles, Italwin has made a name for itself in the eBike market with an array of models tailored to meet specific consumer preferences, from urban to adventurous riding styles.
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Summary and extracts

1 Market Overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

According to the Highway Code, electric bicycle or pedal-assisted bicycle is defined as"Velocipede equipped with an auxiliary electric motor with a maximum continuous rated power of 0.25 kilowatts whose power supply is gradually reduced and finally cut off when the vehicle reaches a speed of 25 km/h, or sooner if the cyclist stops pedaling." it is necessary to distinguish between pedal-assisted bicycles and electric bicycles, for which the cyclist does not have to pedal to move them forward and they look more like real mopeds.

The global pedal-assist bicycle market has grown in recent years, and is expected to continue to grow at a rate of 10.78 % through 2025. The main factors driving market growth are government support for pedal-assisted bicycles, a growing desire among users to use environmentally friendly and reliable alternatives, and rising fuel costs.

Europe has the largest share of the pedal-assist bicycle market, dominated by Germany, followed by France and Italy. Pedal-assisted bicycles are the preferred mode of mobility in Germany. North America is expected to be the region will see the fastest growth.

In Italy, the broader bicycle market grew by 7.5 % in 2021, driven mainly by the electric and pedal-assist bicycle segment. In fact, the latter has come to account for 11 % of total bicycle production. In recent years, the pedal-assist bicycle market has attracted many companies. Some operators have decided to specialize, such as Italwin, while others are diversifying their offerings.

Thanks to numerous incentives from the Italian government, the number of pedal-assist bicycle sales is expected to continue to rise in the coming years, cannibalizing part of the traditional bicycle segment.

List of charts

  • Number of electric-assist bicycles
  • Sales by bicycle type
  • Number of electric bicycles used in shared mobility services
  • EPAC Exports
  • EPAC Imports
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