Even before the pandemic, bicycles were enjoying an uptick in demand from environmentally conscious consumers, but the risk of contagion on buses and subways have increased the appeal. The emergence of e-bikes, which boost power with an electric motor, has removed some of the sweat factor, making biking a viable option for more consumers after lockdowns lifted.
Governments are fuelling the trend, offering buying incentives ranging from 100 euros ($113) to as much as 1,500 euros for heavy business users of e-bikes. Cities from Berlin to Lisbon are also opening up more space, with almost 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) of new lanes promised as a result of the public-health crisis, according to the European Cyclists’ Federation.
“People want self-supporting and sustainable mobility, that is a transformation in society,” said Susanne Puello, an industry veteran who helps run Pierer Mobility AG’s e-bike business, including the Husqvarna and R Raymon brands. “Corona is a phenomenal push in that direction.”