UK Electric Bike Sales Double in 2015 But Has 2016 Seen The Same Growth?

In a rapidly evolving world of technology and sustainable transport, the electric bike, also known as a pedelec (pedal electric cycle), has definitely gone under the radar

However, according to figures released by HMRC, UK sales doubled in 2015 and yet relatively speaking, even at that growth, demand in the US and Europe, particularly Germany, where over 500,000 were sold, has increased at a significantly higher rate

So the question is, why?

What’s holding the UK back when all our close allies are enjoying huge growth in this emerging marketplace?

Let’s take a closer look

Talking to a selection of industry experts, including FreeGo Electric Bikes in Southampton, one of the most common themes that came out, was a severe lack of investment in cycle related infrastructure

Keith Wilson, Marketing Director of FreeGo Electric Bikes added that naivety is also a key reason for the slow uptake. He said

People are still very unsure about the technology and unless we educate people on the benefits of these bikes, this slow trend will continue for many years to come”

Further interrogation revealed more benefits of electric bikes

– Green and friendly to the environment
– Allow people of all ages to enjoy the outdoors
– Great for exercise
– Improves physical health
– Community oriented
– Plus much more…

Now on the surface, it seems obvious what an electric bike is, a pedal bike with a battery, but is it really that cut and dry?

Well yes and no, let’s explore this in more detail

First and foremost, electric bikes are designed to ‘assist’ the rider via a small electric motor, rather than actually take over the function of a pedal cycle. When required, the battery can simply be engaged which then reduces the amount of effort required. Absolutely perfect when you start getting tired or approaching a steep hill

Also, during my research, I established that contrary to popular belief, peddling an electric bike does not actually charge the battery

The battery is only ever charging when plugged in to a 240v power outlet

As I continually dug deeper into this relatively hidden world of UK electric bikes, there were a few more really important things I discovered

– You must be 14 years or over to ride one
– There’s no law that dictates you have to wear a helmet
– They require no road tax
– They are available in a variety of different battery sizes
– Prices vary dramatically. At the lowest end they start at about £500 rising to well over £4000 and beyond

So all things considered, who are these type of bikes for?

Commuters: Absolutely ideal for people commuting to and from work, especially those in major cities where public transport is often extremely expensive and overcrowded

People without a driving license: Electric bike purchases are very common for those looking for an alternative form of transport

Those looking to improve their fitness: It’s also great for exercise, in fact in most cases, it can be better exercise than a regular bike. Riding one is so exhilarating, it’s easy to forget you’re actually exercising. You can enjoy a leisurely, soul inspiring 60 mile ride, which is something most people aren’t capable of doing on a regular bike

Leisure & lifestyle enthusiasts: Electric bikes are becoming more and more popular with those who already love the great outdoors such as caravan and motorhome owners, camping fanatics, boat owners, canal boat devotees to name but a few

Seniors looking to retain their youth: Electric bikes take the sting out of bike riding as you get old, and can even magically take the sting out of getting old. Electric biking is like a secret fountain of youth serum. When you ride an electric bike you feel a mixture of when you rode a bike as teenager, and when you rode your first car. You feel totally unrestricted on where you can go and what you can see

To learn even more and to request your FREE ‘Essential guide to electric bikes’ contact the UK’s leading supplier, FreeGo Electric Bikes, on 0800 077 8711 or visit

Come and visit us at EMEX, stand C1